Now & then, customers send in a whip needing the fall replaced. In most cases, the fall hitch remains intact & all that’s needed is the old fall pulled off & a new one threaded through the fall hitch. It’s a fairly simple & quick repair to make. At the bottom of this post is a video link where I demonstrate how to do that. Just a note, for all Noreast Whips customers, I’ll replace the fall on your whip at no charge the first time. I only ask that you pay for the return shipping.
The last fall replacement I did involved a bit more work than normal. After cutting off the old fall, I noticed that one of the hitches was damaged to the point of near breaking. So, I untied the entire hitch, unstitched a couple inches & then tied on the new fall. This customer wanted a leather fall put on his whip, so a new 3 ft black latigo fall was attached. The first pic to the left shows the old fall kind of draped over the end of the whip, the fall hitch hadn’t been untied yet. The first pass on the fall hitch was the one damaged, which wasn’t visible until the old fall was removed.
The pics above, from left to right, show the fall already on the thong of the whip. Before untying the hitch, the point of the whip was pushed through the eye of the fall & up several inches from the whip’s end. A couple inches of the thong were then untied. The second photo shows the first hitch being tied over the fall. Because I cut the fall to have a taper, the thinnest section of the fall is placed against the whip thong, a few inches from the end of the fall. When the fall is ultimately pulled down into place, the entire hitch will tighten around the fall. When tying the hitches on the fall, I start with the highest strand & tie it first. On this whip, it was the first strand on the left side. From there, the remaining three strands are tied. At this point, the strands aren’t pulled as tight as possible, but are made to be pretty snug.
The number of hitches tied over the fall is normally determined by the number of strands the whip is finished with; this whip ends in 4 strands. To make the point of the whip a bit stronger & more aesthetically pleasing, I tied the first & second strands again; the first hitch then becomes the fifth, & the second becomes the sixth. This gives the whip the appearance of having a 6 strand point. The reason I end the whip thong in 4 strands is for the taper of the whip. I want the end of the whip a bit smaller in diameter to aid in energy transfer. A 6 point hitch on a nylon whip would end up at roughly .340 of an inch, whereas a 4 point hitch measures roughly 250.
The last hitch is then passed under a few strands above it to finish it off. What I do is use a fid to open three hitches slightly, then thread the last strand up underneath them. A Permalok Needle is threaded onto the end of the last strand to make it easier to pass under the other strands. This needle is an invaluable tool for finishing off a fall hitch, as well as tying the knots on a whip.
After the last strand is passed under a few strands above it, I then tighten each strand, starting with the fifth hitch, then each subsequent strand above the last; the fifth, fourth, third & so on. The new fall is then pulled down into place against the top of the new hitch. The fall hitch is now tightly tied. I snip off the excess nylon, leaving roughly an inch or so in place. Then melt the ends of each strand with a lighter to prevent the strands from fraying. Put a cracker on the fall & now the whip is ready for action again.
I hope this helps give you an idea on how to replace a fall, whether it’s a leather or nylon fall. The method is the same for both. If the fall hitch isn’t damaged but the fall needs replacing, then watch this video on how to go about doing it, http://youtu.be/0pyyPy0d2bY.