Fabricating Heartwood Whips of Passion as made in Janette’s Workshop (1989 - 1999)
Tools and Equipment
Large, stable work table at least 4ft x 6ft to accommodate major part of a full cow hide
X-ACTO Self-Healing Cutting Matt (24 ins x 36 ins)
Metal T-Square, 36 ins long
36 in long flat ruler with clear increment markings (used for measuring not for cutting against)
12 in right triangle (with a knob or handle on the face for easy pick up and quick relocation)
Rotary cutting tool with plenty of spare blades
Superior quality scissors (large and small sizes)
Magic Marker or Sharpie type pens that make thin lines
Wool Daubers (small round sponge on end of wire handle)
Small paint brushes (for touching up)
Small electric drill press, ¼ hp, ¼ inch chuck
Balance beam scales
Wide spring clip or clamp on vertical stand to hold hanging tails or handle strands for edge dying
Small spring clip or clamp firmly attached to wall for braiding the wrist loops.
Custom made needles or fids for weaving lace into finish knots. Detail of how to make them follows. The purpose of this needle is to make it easier to weave the lace under and over its self.
Small needle nose pliers for weaving
Small flat blade screwdrivers for tightening the woven finish knots
Small paper cups for holding epoxy
Wooden stirring sticks for mixing epoxy
Tall mugs to hold handles while adding epoxy and weight
The easiest way to braid handles is to sit in a chair with the handle and leather strips positioned comfortably just above your lap. To hold these firmly in position, build a wooden braiding board. Basically it’s a 6” by 14” by 3/4” shelf board with a long wooden dowel protruding at an angle from the center. Sit with the board beneath your thighs and slip the hollow pipe handle over the dowel. The dowel is leaning away from you at a comfortable angle for working wrists and fingers while braiding. The dowel diameter needs to accommodate the smallest pipe handle and can be shimmed larger with a bit of leather to firmly hold the larger pipe sizes. When braiding, the pipe needs to be rotated on the dowel at will, but not be loose or swivel easily. The dowel is fastened to the board with a triangle shaped piece of board. Attach one edge of the triangle to the board and the other edge to the dowel with long thin screws in pre-drilled holes and strong glue. Grooving one edge of the triangle to mate more closely with the dowel will make a stronger joint. The completed board must be sturdy to withstand the tugging and pulling required to tightly braid a top-quality handle. Round off the corners and sand smooth all the board edges so it is comfortable to sit on.
I’m guessing between 30 and 45 degree angle for the dowel, sloping away from you. It’s best to experiment with different heights and angles to find your most comfortable working position so you do not fatigue your hands and wrists nor stoop your shoulders and kink your neck while braiding.
A friend built my braiding board so I could sit anywhere in the workshop. Sometimes I watched tennis on TV while braiding.
Leather Lace on spools (for finished knots)
Lead Shot (to gain the most weight, choose sizes of shots that fit tightly together)
Lengths of PVC pipe (diameters: 1/2 in, 3/4 in, 1in and occasionally 1 1/4in) for handles
2 part Epoxy (+ paper cups and wood stirrers)
Adhesive in tubes
Double-sided tape (3/4 in wide) long roll on hand operated dispenser
Single-sided tape (3/4 in wide) on regular dispenser
Fiebing’s Leather Dye (mostly black)
Waxed thread on spool (similar to that used for saddle making)
Rags, paper towels, waxed paper, newspaper, latex gloves
Two part epoxy: Probably any type will serve the purpose as long as it is easy to work with and sets quickly. For our production work, we used West System brand. We bought it in quarts and pints and used their metering dispenser pumps. It is an excellent system.
Lead shot: Do not forget that lead is toxic; always protect your skin and lungs when handling it. We bought bags of lead shot at outdoor supply stores that sell hunting and ammunition reloading supplies. I don’t remember the number size, but it was smaller than common bb’s.
Adhesive: Although Barge Cement brand is commonly used in leather assembly work, we chose instead to use an industrial adhesive; 3M brand Scotch Weld 1099 plastic industrial adhesive, tan color. It comes in 5 ounce tubes that are easy to handle and use.
Double-sided tape: Sticky on both sides, used to permanently adhere leather strips to the PVC pipe core of the whip handle. This is NOT the tape for paper which is sold in office supply stores. Instead use heavy industrial grade made for bonding materials, especially to plastic PVC. It comes in a roll large enough to cover the palm of your hand and is used in a hand operated dispenser. The backing strip is removed before application. I think we used a tape made by 3M. Choose thin tape to avoid undesirable build up of thickness and with the ability to allow repositioning. Sometimes as you are placing one strand over the other the lower strand will sit on the tape so you will need to release the lower strand as the braiding progresses.
Waxed thread: Also known as artificial sinew. This thread is used only to tie leather strips fast in place during weaving and assembly. Does not matter whether nylon or polyester, as long as it is strong and the waxing holds the knots tightly.
PVC pipe: used as the core of the whip handles. This is the same white plastic pipe used in plumbing and irrigation which can be purchased at hardware stores. Choose the diameter to match the tails. We used the common Schedule 40, which has the thick wall. The thin wall Class 200 pipe was used only for the tiny lightweight mini whips.
There is also gray Schedule 80, which is thicker walled and stronger. We used it only to make a whip with rubber tails, and only because of it’s gray color as the handle was not covered.
The Hide and Leather House, 595 Monroe, Napa, CA 94559 CA is where I purchased most of our hides. To get started I suggest making a visit to choose hides and be impressed by their extensive (sometimes overwhelming) selection.
Sav-Mor Leather & Supply, 1626 Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Offered a more limited range of hides but at favorable prices.
Marcellus-Oriva Leather Co, 12601 Crenshaw Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250
The place I found to buy leather lace used for braiding knots on the handles.
Don’t skimp on this lace if you wish to create a really professional, finished look that will last through decades of use. The best leather lace is strong with only a very occasional weak spot which will cause abandoning a braid in progress.
Let experience guide your choice of hides. Don’t skimp on quality since making each great flogger entails a lot of detailed work. My final Catalog covers hides and other materials in great detail. View online in same way you found this document.
As with many handcrafts there is little economy of scale. Making two widgets by hand takes twice as long as making one widget.
To optimize hand working time, without skimping on details of the finished flogger, we completed individual jobs in “runs.” Cutting a whole hide at one time. Edge dying a box full of tails. Braiding handles of various sizes with the most popular colors and patterns. Platting wrist loops. Cutting and edge dying belt loops. Weaving dozens (and dozens) of finish knots for later use. Weaving finish knots take a disproportionate amount of time. Using pre-woven ones, ready to slip on a handle and then tighten is a joy, especially during busy months when customers are always in a hurry for their whips! Remember, to avoid wasting expensive lace you must keep the roll of lace attached to the knot until the knot is tightened and finished on the handle.
Most of the techniques and processes explained here apply to the production of many whips. However, if your desire is to create only a few whips for personal enjoyment I think you will still find much of the information useful.
Cutting tails from a full hide
Our standard tail lengths were 18, 21 and 24 inches. Longer tails are more difficult for even an experienced Top to control. 1/2 inch is optimum width for tails on most floggers.
Our cowhide floggers usually had 24 tails. You can swing a bundle of tails before deciding how many to use in a particular flogger.
Examine both sides of your hide, especially the underside. Note any thin or thicker areas or defects like slits or scratches. Tails with defects will not fly in sequence with the bundle and will stretch prematurely.
Lay the hide out (top side up). Use your long metal ruler to measure and decide how to make optimum use of all areas of the whole hide so tails with similar characteristics will be bundled together.
Tails, cut from below what will become the top band, will remain attached to the top band throughout the whip making process. Individual lengths of tail pieces can be incorporated within bundles, in specific cases like when a flogger might need one or more tails.
Don’t set aside less nice parts of the hide thinking you will use another day. There’s no fun in watching such a pile accumulate and “money go down the drain” as my mother would say. Cut tail bundles from all the left over pieces and store in their own boxes for later assembly as short whips. Make a goal to only handle a hide once (unless it’s a most spectacular hide kept for delighting those extra special customers, whose names you rarely mention).
A large work table simplifies selecting and cutting tails.
Use a metal tee square that is longer than the intended tails.
Cut a straight line along what will be the top band of future bundle(s). The band will later be attached to the handle. Align this straight cut parallel with the edge of cutting board, holding away about an inch so you can read dimension increments printed on the cutting board as a guide. This avoids need to mark tail widths.
Pre-mark a line where tail cuts are to terminate. Hold tee square down firmly so the leather stays in place. Nice parallel tails will result if the bottom edge is NOT pre-cut. Use the rotary cutter to cut through the edge of each tail in a continuous motion. Move the tee square sequentially towards your self after each cut. Dull blades can cause snags or sliding of the material. If the cutter slips, nonparallel grooves form in the cutting mat. A degraded cutting mat makes cutting parallel tails almost impossible. Eventually the cutting board will need to be replaced. When all tail lengths are cut, release the tail ends from the hide by cutting with long, sharp scissors.
We precut each hide to optimize time and avoid re-handling, noting any special qualities before storing away.
Material not used to make tails is still useable for many other parts of a whip. Even the smallest pieces can be used for something. Mini whips can be carried in a bag or pocket and quietly shown off in some delicious moment.
Belt loops and wrist loops (described later) are usually made from scraps. Scrap material is also used to build up the base for the finish knots.
Storing in Boxes
We stored similar material and same length tails in long, shallow cardboard boxes placed on shelving. Much time is saved if tails are sorted into pre-determined bundles so tails do not require recounting. Odd bits were designated for future use (mini-whips, wrist loops, belt loops etc) and stored separately in smaller and smaller boxes. That way we knew right where to look for the material needed for specific jobs plus it was visually obvious the quantities of different selections on hand. Another aid when writing a hide re-order list.
All our tails were edge dyed, usually in black, to create a finished look or sometimes to add an attractive contrast with colored tails. Occasionally black tails would be edge dyed in a contrasting color for more visual “pop.”
We found the most comfortable position for edge dying was to stand at a table or counter with the leather tails suspended directly in front of us. Attach part of the top band to a long spring clip or clamp so the tails hang freely above a work counter (covered with newspaper). Use two fingers, or a small clip, grab the end of a tail and bring it towards you.Work with one tail at a time (in sequence). Dip dauber into the can of leather dye, removing excess dye by stroking the dauber inside the neck of the can. Too much dye on the dauber can cause ink to migrate onto the back (or worse, the front of a tail). With practice you will be able to run the dauber swiftly and evenly down one edge then the other. Take care so each freshly edge-dyed tail hangs back vertically along side its original neighbor in the bundle. Move the band down the clip as edging proceeds. Use the small paint brush to detail where cuts get tight near the top band. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any over runs on top or bottom of the leather when they first occur. Rest the dauber on something like a plate, not in the can of dye where it will pick up too much liquid. When finished, wash the dauber under running water so it can be reused a few more times.
The size of a whip’s handle is dependent upon the weight and length of the tails.
Ideally, all or most of the bundle can be fitted inside the hollow end of the pipe handle, with one (maybe two) wraps of tails on the outside of the pipe. Therefore, a larger bundle of tails would have a larger diameter of pipe. Longer tails will need the longer handles. Also, heavier tails will need larger diameter pipe handles to accommodate enough lead shot for balance and give a feel compatible with the flogger as a whole.
There are so many user preferences with regard to handles I’d prefer to let each maker experiment for themselves. We kept a few pre weighted pipes of different lengths and diameters on hand so an unusual bundle of tails could be temporarily attached then swung around before a final handle was chosen.
Hopefully you can feel some of our original floggers to help with your choices.
Braiding the handles
The easiest way to braid handles is to place the braiding board (described above) on a chair. Sit on the board with the dowel protruding between your thighs and angled away from you.
Wind a piece of leather around the bottom of the dowel until the wrap is a little wider than the pipe you will be using. Keep the wrap in place with single side masking tape. This creates space for your fingers and thumbs as the braids reach the bottom end of the pipe.
Handle braiding patterns can be simple or more complex as your skills grow. I bought separate hides for braiding handles, thinner leather, with good tactile feel and in many colors. With the pipe securely in place (but still able to rotate with a little pressure) run a piece of double sided tape around the top of the pipe. The sticky surface will keep your individual strands in place while you position them.
Determining the necessary length for each strand is a matter of trial and error. Keeping example strands on display helps as a guide. You will be surprised how long each strand needs to be to complete a handle. Sometimes when selecting (and hoping) a particularly desirable strand or strands ended up being too short to complete the handle we would cut off the pipe and keep that braided handle for a different whip.
When all the strands are at the correct desired angle and spacing, then tie down the ends to the pipe handle by wrapping waxed thread around a few times, pull tight and tie off. (Firmly tying the strands will allow you to pull them smooth and flat while braiding before pushing them securely against the double-sided tape on the pipe). Hold the strands away from the pipe and run double-sided tape down the pipe to cover the surface. Cut the tape evenly around the bottom edge of the pipe. Now you are ready to start braiding. To ensure an even pattern as you braid, rotate the pipe so the part of the pattern you are working on is towards you. Clasp the braided portion and squeeze to be sure the leather is firmly attached to the double-sided tape. Secure the finished braiding with waxed thread and cut off the strands even with the bottom of the pipe.
If a pattern is not working out to your satisfaction do not continue. Start again. Skills and design choices are improved through practice. Use the detailed set up I have described then follow videos on the internet as braiding demonstrations.
The wrist loop is not used to swing or hang a whip. When using the whip with the loop positioned around the wrist, the Top can pause, let go of the whip, and use his or her open hand without dropping the whip on the floor or laying it on furniture. Tops often fit the loop around their wrist to assist in holding the handle in place. So the length of the loop is important. I can’t remember the dimensions we used, so hope you can be guided by finished examples. Changing a loop once the whip is finished is impractical since it’s attachment is designed for strength and longevity.
Since the wrist loop must not stretch it is braided over an inner rope. I can’t remember the size but the rope needs to be limp, flexible and strong, maybe 1/8 inch diameter. I think we used cotton. Narrow braiding strands will offer flexibility and sit tightly around the inner rope. Always edge dye strands before braiding. Start by arranging the strands around the rope. Tie the top one inch firmly with waxed twine to hold in place. Use a clip attached to a wall (or other secure point) to hold the top of strands in place. Braid very tightly and tie off the bottom in same way as the top.
To avoid a wrist loop being used to hang a whip which increases likelihood of the wrist loop stretching we incorporated a belt loop, usually made from the same material as a heavy tail. Take a piece about 4 inches long, leaving an inch at each end, cut the two sides in the middle equally, so the loop will be about 1/4 inch wide. Always edge dye belt loops after cutting.
We made whip holsters to slip on a belt with a strip of leather going around the handle, kept in place with velcro. This is the superior way to carry a nice whip allowing the tails to hang down and no pressure is applied to the wrist loop.
Preparing Loops to attach to the Handle
Fold the belt loop in half, secure with adhesive between the uncut ends. Place the wrist loop over the belt loop and bind their ends firmly together with waxed twine. Wrap a piece of tail leather, coated with adhesive, around the bundled loop ends. Build up the diameter until the bundle will fit tightly inside the top end of the braided pipe handle taking care to adjust the position of the belt loop so it relates visually to the handle braid. Loops are attached to handles with the same techniques as tails; see further explanation below. Once the loops are attached, the handle can be stored until you are ready to weight it to match a set of tails.
Adding Weight to the Handle
To create a balanced whip, i.e. when the handle is supported on one finger, close to the finish knot at the tail end, the whip handle will lie level horizontally.
We used a balance beam scale so the bundle of tails could be placed on one platform and the small paper cup on the other platform. In this way, lead shot could be added to the paper cup until the scales balanced. If you use a regular scale weight the bundle of tails and make a note. Then weight out a corresponding amount of lead shot into a small paper cup
There are decisions to be made when selecting the diameter of lead shot. The goal is to have the most volume of lead shot with just enough epoxy to coat and maintain the lead shot rigidly bound together and firmly attached to the inner wall of the pipe.. Mix up an appropriate amount of epoxy. Sit the handle upside down in a heavy-base mug so the handle is positioned vertically, open end up. Pour some of the lead shot then some of the epoxy down the upturned handle, being careful not to spill onto the leather. Poke and tamp with the stirring stick to push all the shot to the far end of the handle.
Shake the handle to be sure both materials are combined and the lead shot does not rattle about loosely. Add more lead shot and epoxy as necessary to have the lead shots stay in place but not to use more epoxy than will cover the lead shots. Shake well so all the shot is covered with epoxy and the mass has completely migrated to the end of the pipe. Keep the handle upright in the mug until the epoxy is completely cured.
If the beautifully braided handle you have chosen will not hold all the lead shots needed to create a balanced whip using the delicious tails you have chosen, a decision needs to be made. Okay with less lead shots for an unbalanced whip; or change to a larger diameter handle; or maybe a slightly longer handle; or reduce the quantity of tails. Sometimes we used dummy handles into which we poured the correct weight of shots and allowing for epoxy, determined what length and diameter of handle would be needed to match a specific set of tails. These design trials are especially useful before starting a braided handle for a custom order.
Attaching the Tails
Tails are attached both inside the pipe handle as well as around the outside of the pipe handle, if necessary. (You may want to do a trial run without adhesive at first, until the process becomes familiar).
Layout the tails so that you can tightly roll the uncut band at the top of the tails, compressing the leather. You want to create a bundle of sufficient tails that can be pressed tightly into the open end of the pipe handle. Be sure to roll so that the side you want will show towards the outside. As you roll, coat the inside of the top band with adhesive to form a tight, firm plug. Coat the first inch inside the pipe with adhesive before inserting the bundle. Push hard to insert the full width of this top band plug, so that the beginning of the cut tails are in line with the end of the pipe. Examine this first set of tails before proceeding. If any tails are not hanging evenly, now is the time to yank (judiciously) so all tails are hanging evenly.
On a particularly heavy whip, especially one with an oversized diameter handle, we pre-drilled and installed some nails through the pipe into the center tails before adding more tails around the outside handle. Coat the exposed outside of the pipe and the inside of the top band of the remaining bundle of tails with adhesive. Wrap the top band of the tails around the pipe taking care that all tails are hanging evenly. If necessary, either pull or compress the outer lay of tails so an even spacing will be evident all around the flogger. Sometimes an extra tail needs to be added or subtracted to achieve a visually even result. Again, on the large-handled, heavy whips, pre-drill and install additional nails to hold this outer layer of tails in place. Do not use so many nails that the integrity of the pipe is compromised. We learned from experience, fortunately before we sent to a customer. We were giving the flogger a somewhat heavy test run when all the tails flew off along with the end of the pipe to which they were attached. The holes from too many nails had acted like a parting agent similar to perforations along the edge of a roll of stamps. If the PVC pipe is weakened, the tails will NOT be held on by adhesive and finish knots only.
Installing the Nails
Attaching the leather parts to the plastic pipe is not difficult, but you must do it correctly and carefully. We used PVC plastic pipe for the core of the handles. PVC plastic pipe will crack and break when stressed. That is why you must pre-drill a hole through the PVC pipe wall before hammering in any nails.
Let us begin with what we are calling nails, but which are actually small wire brads or wire nails. They are readily available at any hardware store (Hillman brand is common). We used size 17 gauge, which is the diameter of the wire shank. We could have used heavier 16 gauge, if available, but do not use smaller gauges, which are numbered higher: 18, 20 etc. We used a flat head instead of the finish head; the flat head prevents the brad from being driven too deeply into the soft leather and from working its way out when covered with a finish knot. Wire brads or nails are available in various short lengths; use the length appropriate for the diameter of the pipe handle and the amount of leather wrapped around it. I think 1 1/4 “ is the longest that are made in size 17 gauge. (Longer lengths are made only in heavier gauge).
For simple whips, the tacks can pass through one wall of the pipe, through the leather in the center, and then on through the other wall of the pipe, hammered into pre-drilled holes of course. In this way, two tacks can firmly anchor the leather in the pipe and create only four holes in the wall of the pipe. The belt loop and wrist loop bundle are installed this same way. Pre-drill the holes so that the installed nails do not hit each other. For larger diameter handles with more wrapped tails, you should plan ahead where and when and how many nails you will install to secure the tails without weakening the bottom inch of the pipe handle.
The electric drill press is used to drill the holes. Mount it on a workbench or table so that handles can be easily managed when laid our with their loops and tails. Hold the handle in drilling position with your left hand and operate the drill press lever with your right hand. Drill the hole, slide the handle toward you on the work surface then hammer in the nail. Reposition the handle in the drill press, repeat. You can use the needle nose pliers to tightly hold and accurately aim the nail when driving it. Don’t let the nail slip and be driven into an un-drilled part of the pipe wall. We used 1/16” diameter metal drill bit. That size is commonly sold, and nearly matches the diameter of the 16 and 17 gauge wire nails.
Completing the Handle
Cut a minimal slit in the center of a small round piece of leather. Pull the wrist loop through the slit and work the round of leather down the loop to the top of the handle. If the slit is too long it will not form a tight seam at the bottom of the wrist loop. Be sure the slit aligns with the belt loop. Apply adhesive to the underside of the leather round once it is in place then poke the slit down next to the belt loop to create a finished appearance.
Build up for Finish Knots
Both ends of the handle require round woven finish knots. To create an attractive, rounded, finish knot, a mound of leather is wrapped around the handle beneath it. Start with a strip of scrap leather, one end nearly as wide as the desired knot, then tapering narrower at the end. Applying adhesive as you proceed, wrap this strip around the handle so that the overlapping narrowing layers form the rounded ball shape. Larger whips will need proportionally larger finish knots.
We pre-wove finish knots during less busy times. The leather lace we used was strong, with a good surface sheen and slightly sloped finished edges. We may have had a couple dozen or more spools of lace, each with a knot woven at its end, ready to be slipped onto a whip. The knots are tightened into final shape and position on the whip handle by working the excessive lace out from the knot. To avoid excessive waste we worked the knot tightly into final position on the whip before cutting it free from the spool of lace. We kept notes on how many feet of lace were needed to pre-weave each particular size of finish knot.
We never spliced together short pieces of lace. New spools of lace will often be made of several lengths spliced and glued together. Be on the lookout as you measure out lace to pre-weave knots, and avoid using lengths that are spliced. If a splice is used, the finished knot will be weakened and the edge will be subject to lifting along the join.
A metal needle or fid is very helpful to speed up the process of weaving knots. The needle or fid slips over the working end of the lace so that it can be inserted easily beneath and between the parts of the knot you are forming. We made these needles from a strip of tin, 28 or 30 gauge sheet metal commonly used for HVAC ductwork. Use a tin snips to cut a strip of tin slightly narrower than the width of the lace, and about three inches long. Bend this strip in half so that the lace can be sandwiched between the two tangs. While bending the metal, form the bend around a thin nail or small drill bit to create space for the thickness of the lace. Use a metal file or sandpaper to smooth the edges and blunt nose of the needle so that it does not snag the lace. Pressure from your fingers as you weave will hold the lace in place between the metal tangs.
Weaving Finish Knots
All of the braids and knots used on the whips are explained and illustrated by Bruce Grant in his several excellent books about leather braiding and how to make cowboy horse gear. You will need to study the instructions and practice to become proficient at this type of leather work.
We made various size mandrels on which we wove the different finish knots. Using the mandrel made the weaving easier, faster and produced a uniform knot. If I remember correctly, Bruce did not tell how to make mandrels, but we quickly figured it out after fumbling to weave our first few finish knots. Basically, a mandrel is a tubular core or form with protruding pins around which the lace is woven as the knot takes shape. For example, my first mandrel was a length of round Styrofoam bar with straight sewing pins inserted to position the bights of the lace. After completing the pre-woven knot, the pins were pulled out to allow the knot to slip off the Styrofoam bar. This simple mandrel was useful, but not adequate for production work.
Mandrels for Weaving the Knots
We used PVC pipe to make mandrels, approximately the same diameter as the whip handles on which the finish knots would fit. We used two short pieces of pipe, each about an inch and a half long. These two pipe pieces slipped snugly over a wooden dowel a couple of inches long.
If I remember correctly, finish knots are described as having “parts” and “bights”. We installed (pre-drilled) smooth-headed screws as protruding pins uniformly around the circumference of each pipe piece about mid way between the ends. The number of screws corresponds to the number of “bights” in the desired knot. The pipes with the protruding screws can be positioned closer or farther from each other on the wooden dowel to accommodate different numbers of “parts”. Start weaving with the pipe pieces a distance apart on the dowel. The knot is formed by loosely looping the lace “bights” around the protruding screw as the lace circles around the mandrel, and the different “parts” can be accommodated by increasing the distance between the two circumference rows of screws. Once the knot is completely woven, but loosely, it can be removed from the mandrel by sliding the pipe pieces fully together, which allows the lace knot to expand to a larger diameter, slip up off the screw head pins, and slide off the mandrel.
Application of Finish Knots
The pre-woven finish knot will fit loosely around the mound you have built up on the handle. Your task is to gradually remove the excess lace in the knot so that the knot constricts tightly around the handle. Insert the flat blade of the small screwdriver under the lace to pull up a loop of the excess, and then work that growing loop around the knot until the excess can be wound back onto the spool of lace. You may have to repeat this process several more times to to produce a tight uniform finish knot.
Now is the final time to carefully examine your almost finished creation. Use a bracket to allow the whip to hang without obstruction. Pull gently down the tails so the bundle is hanging evenly. Then, with your eye in line with the bottom of the tails take your sharpest scissors and cut any tails that are protruding below the bundle. Sometimes it is necessary to cut more tails if there is a bunch that is shorter than the rest. Next time you’ll remember to watch more carefully when attaching the tails to avoid major tail length reduction.
Finally, we snipped a small angle off both sides of the end of every tail and used a dauber to apply a small amount of leather dye to the cuts. Wait for dye to dry before removing the flogger from the hanger.
Questions? ….. email: Janettedesigns@me.com