Topic: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Hello folks smile
These are my third and fourth attempts. Please critique the crap out of these, I need to hear it from you experienced people. I apologize if i’m not posting this in the correct area.

#3 - Pineapple
This whip in my opinion is the best one i’ve made thus far, and the only one i’ve actually put a heel knot on. I’m not a fan of transition knots, maybe some day. I jumped off into whip making with Nick Shrader’s tutorials. 4 foot. 5 inch handle, BB loaded sinker cord core, two bellies, sinew binding, 18 plait overlay because I made the transition so beefy, which still led to gaps there.

#4 - That 70’s Whip

The pattern on the handle along with the colors reminds me of a 70’s sweater, hence the name.
6 foot 8 inches. 8 inch handle, BB sinker cord core, 2 plaited bellies, sinew binding on bellies,  18 plait overlay. The second half of this one is gap central. I have a hard time covering empty sinker cord with 4 plait, it might be because I really plait tightly, which I try not to do but end up doing anyways. I would love advice on proper tension when plaiting. I get my seams pretty straight until dropping to 4 plait because I think i’m pulling too hard. I’m afraid to wax these guys because they are pretty tight to begin with. Does waxing mess with the sinew binding?


I’ve been running the sinker cord the entire length, which i’m going to not do on my next one and use the drops as core. Are there advantages or disadvantages to running the core the entire length?
Plaiting tension is my main concern, these are relatively stiff, though I have not broken them in very well as i’m waiting for warmer weather. I’m a perfectionist and don’t want to get them dirty, I really need to get over that or not use such bright colors.
Let me know what you think. What does it look like i’m doing right, and what am I doing wrong, as well as a picture can show.
Thank You in advance.
Peace and Be Well.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Nathan, very nice #s 3 & 4.
They do kind of have that sated python look at the transition though, but you'll get that solved with more experience.

The 4 plait is actually a diamond plait when you think about it and pulling a little more perpendicular in stead of at an angle might help there.

The binding , for me, is a combination of close loop over the transition, then covering that with diamond or "X" binding in layers extending the length each layer.

Example: close loop from 3 or so inches above to 4 or so inches below.
"X" binding in layers at your discretion in layers to where you want to stop the binding.
With out having a specified length it's hard to say how far to bind or what kind of performance you would like out of the whip for which it's being made.
Doing that for all bellies will help you avoid the pregnant look.

For me, tight is right. It will loosen up while you break it in.
Wax has no affect on the artificial sinew.

That's my two cents worth... here's a dime.... keep the change. smile

I too am learning so keep that in mind, because there are just as many ways and methods to make a whip as there are makers. But this is my methodology to date.


Procrastination is totally a good thing. You always have something to do tomorrow, plus you have nothing to do today.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Nathan, for numbers 3 & 4, these are very respectable offerings. Thanks for sharing them.

I'll give it a try, Dad, but it's going to be really hard...kind of like trying to saw something in half using a banana.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Nathan, These are very nice. Several of us started out with Nick's tutorials, myself included.

My opinions are worth exactly what you paid for them, so, even less than Ron's. smile

I tried sinker cord once and never messed with it again, I just didn't like it, but a lot of whipmakers do and have great results with it. If I'm doing a loaded core I use what is called 1100 cord that I buy at Walmart in the camping section. The BBs fit perfectly into it and you don't have to worry about them staying lined up. I rarely use loaded cores unless someone asked for it. Ever since Rachel showed me how to do a twisted-tapered core I try to use that.

There are whip makers that have formulas for everything, how long each belly is, how many cords to use to core a certain diameter of core or belly, etc., and they get fantastic results with it. If that style fits you then the formulas are easy to find on this forum and on YouTube. I will use them when cutting leather strands as a starting point but don't rely on them much even then and with nylon, I don't really use them at all. I just with what it looks like. For instance, I can tell by the angle the strands make on your whips that the strand count was too low. If the angle is too flat then you need a couple more strands, if it is too steep then you need less. Shoot for about 45 degrees (some styles call for 60 degrees). This is how I decide to drop strands as well when it gets too steep drop one or two.

The most problem I have with gaps is if I drop a strand too soon, so wait as long as needed before you drop.

What Ron said about binding and plaiting tight goes for me as well. Binding is different for different styles. Bullwhips as a rule need stiffer transitions, snake whips, stock whips, and cow whips can get by with a lot less or even no binding.

As for the fat look at the transition, 2 bellies might be a bit much for a 4 ft whip, but once again, that is sort of a personal preference

The 3 pass pineapple knot looks fantastic. as do your fall hitches.

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

I forgot to say in that post that I am not nearly as experienced as Ron, and Rachel, and Roy, and Tyler, and Jeff, and Gio, and Jyri, and Sparky, and, well, nearly everyone, so you should probably do what they say and just ignore what I wrote.

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Amigo, you have tons more experience than I, and beaucoup more knowledge. Especially in leather in which I have none. smile


Procrastination is totally a good thing. You always have something to do tomorrow, plus you have nothing to do today.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

We're all learning this together, Ron.

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Thanks you so much Mark, your last post gave me a good chuckle, and thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts. “if the angle is too flat then you need a couple more strands” That’s exactly the type of advice I was looking for, something only another whip maker could tell you, i’ll remember that forever. I’ve seen some pictures of Rachel’s twisted taper cores and they are definitely amazing and look like they work way better than a shot loaded core.

Thank you very much for your input as well Ron.
Pulling more perpendicular on a 4 plait is great advice, i’ll definitely be doing that on the next one. As for the binding on these, it was X’s down a third of the area I was binding and going back up I spiraled to fill in some of the areas left untouched by the X’s, then down 2/3 with X’s and spiral back up filling in more of the gaps and the same for the final pass, so by the time I was back up all of the transition area was completely covered by sinew. Over the binding on the 2nd belly I also bound some dacron lace that I just happened to have way before I knew about whip making, starting about an inch before the metal handle stopped to about 2 inches after that, so that definitely added some bulk to contribute to the pregnant look.

Thank you too Scott.

The taper on these is merely a byproduct of the different belly lengths along with the shot load. I want to venture into being able to plan the taper and have complete control over it. I want to plan my drops and not do them because my strands are ending. The first step of that is to predict the diameter of the thong at any given point so that I know that I have enough strands to plait gapless. I need to bring more math and planning into this, and I will. I found this video last night by Swordguy Builds on youtube, who seems very knowledgeable, and his quirkiness is endearing.
I think his core build is genius, lots of twisted tapering.
Thanks for reading and helping, sorry for being so long winded. hmm


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

They look much better than my 3 and 4 big_smile

I have my cores going thru the whip mainly becose i plait my bellyes from the tip as weĺl as the overlay.

Plaiting tension has to be tight but the most important thing is to have it consistant thru the thong and bolth sides

I think i'm the only weirdo here with my core style as i dont use any bbs or twisted taper core. I dont like to use bb as i is really hard for me to "fade" away the point where they end and it is harder to get solid connection with the handle at least for me.

If you search "my new core" you can see what i do. I have later started to use 275 cord for the full lenght of the whip instead of 550 cord.

I bind my whips different way as well.

The most important advice i can give you is to try every different way to make whips you can find. Here you can find a ton of information of the many ways to make them and many people to give ideas and advice.

I dont know how waxing effects whips made by different makers but my whips are sticks before the wax, literally.  I'm going to wax 2 whips this weekend i'll try to take a video so you see it for yourself big_smile

Hope you get something out of this. If you have any questions dont be afraid to ask!

Mark you are many hides ahead of me! big_smile


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

It suddenly occurred to me while plaiting this afternoon that I said "shoot for about 45 degrees" when I actually meant 90 degrees on the plait angle. Sorry about that.

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

I understood what you meant with the 45 degree angle Mark, but thank you for the clarification.

Jyri, Thank you for writing all that. It’s good to hear about your whips being ‘sticks’ before wax. It makes me less afraid to plait as tightly as I do. I will definitely be checking out your core builds. I have that same problem with the fade out at the end of the BB section. I tried building it up just a little bit with sinew at the drop off but i’m fairly certain it would lead to a kink there as it’s not as flexible as the BB core or the core strand after that. I think getting away from shot loading, at least with BB’s, is the way to go for nylon. I do love the tapered shot bags created in leather whips though, something i have no experience with. I would love to see a waxing video! I watched your video last night of how you plait tightly by holding the strand tight and pushing up on the plaiting just a bit, that looks like it works really well. If I might add, your plaiting looks like perfection. I aspire to be as skilled as you some day. Thank You for taking the time to help me.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Nathan, I'm not a maker, but I think these look remarkably good for umbers 3 and 4. I personally have no problem with FAT whips (still less with HEAVY whips), but I know that 'gaps' will only get bigger with use.

On the basis of Rachel's whips, I strongly recommend that you try the twisted taper core.

Your attention to detail bodes wel!  smile

'Less is often more!'


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

What Ron, Mark, and Jyri says on building wink

Really nicely made first whips!

Inch by inch.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Thank You Robert. I kind of fancy the look of fat whips as well, very snake-like.

Thank You as well Rachel. Your twisted taper core is on my horizon.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Actually these whips look good for your 3rd and 4th whip.

Like the colors!

I too started with Nick's videos, but after I found this great family, I reached "a higher level of whipmaking". Muhahahaha, big_smile
if you didn't get that one, just read Robby's posts about Nick and the use of e-tape.

just to add some of my ideas, don't forget, I'm just learning too, and I'll probably tell you stuff that has been said above this post already, anyways:

Binding is very very important. Try to get as much information on binding as possible. It makes all the difference.

About cores, I used many different types and haven't yet settled on any single type. My latest whip uses a TT core which is a first for me. But I used BBs, steelcable, empty paracord, plastic core.
Every core makes the whip behave differently. Just experiment.

Also, what I like to do is. Take a look at my previous whip, then pick a part I'd like to improve and try to improve that in my next whip, and so on. I try not to improve everything at once, but just use baby steps. That's how I do it.
It's just an idea. If that's not for you, no problem.
Everybody has a different style.

Oh, and don't forget that heel knot, it's also important. I know, heel knots can be a pain in the a**.

Good luck!

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads...


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Sven is right.
If you try to change a lot of things at once and notice an improvement or a negative performance you'll not know what caused that specific change.
With one thing at a time you'll know if it achieved what you wanted or not with nothing else to influence anything else.


Procrastination is totally a good thing. You always have something to do tomorrow, plus you have nothing to do today.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Sven, Thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughts. I’ve seen Robby’s video on e-tape, I understand it’s a no no. Luckily i’ve never used it for binding on anything i’ve made. That’s great advice on the baby steps.

Thanks you as well Ron. I’ll keep the changes small.


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Nathan, about e-tape, it's not like you'll be banned here if you would choose to use it. But Robby has a very good point.

I can see where it would be usefull for a beginning whipbuilder, to get some stiffness in the whip, so you can get the feeling of what a whip should be like. And then, eventually replace it with solid binding to achieve the desired effect.
But IMHO, not using it, is the better way.

Anyways, good luck with your builds


Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads...


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Here it is!
Sorry for my rally english and lack of big speeches(i'm a finn daah big_smile )


I was muscling the cracks a bit maybe becose i am pretty used to my 10ft whip now. Sorry for that big_smile


Re: Whips #3 & #4 by Nate Mayer

Jyri, I think they both look terrific!  Well done!  smile

'Less is often more!'