plantgirlll
member
Location: Sydney Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2002
Total posts: 150
Posted:Tomorrow my dad is giving me his stock whip so I can learn to use it with the intention of eventually having a flaming one cracking.

I would really like to make my own, as we did with our fire poi. Making the toys is almost as fun as using them!

Tips anyone?



People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne

Delete Topic

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:http://www.bearclawmfg.com/s_whip.html


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

plantgirlll
member
Location: Sydney Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2002
Total posts: 150
Posted:ta muchly mike.

i love their gear, it's fab!

have been wanting to do something like the snake as well but with 4 or 5 knots along the length.

i'd better slow down maybe, kids can't eat kevlar.......


People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Not that I want to run you into bankruptcy or anything like that, but if you submit a design for a custom toy to BearClaw, they will be happy to make it for you...

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Fire By Riz tm
member
Location: tampa fl usa
Member Since: 31st Dec 2001
Total posts: 212
Posted:Plantgirlll
way cool on the stockwhip.how big are you starting out with? I am also a sport whipcracker as well..But being american I use a aussie style bullwhip..they are real big over here..
I prefere a 5.5ft whip myself for trick stuff
8 to ten ft if I just want to make alot of noise..And I like my Fire whips about 5 ft.
keeping them short helps my keep them off the ground when I do routines..
There is alot of info on how to make fire whips
in past posts you might want to do a search and see what you come up with ..keeping in mind In the fire commuinty most call a piece of rope with a handle a fire whip..which works good if you want to make a fire ball.but they dont work weell if you are trying to do whip routines..
Best start to learn how to make a whip buy a book called "How to make whips" by Ron Edwards
you can get it from amazon.com for about $25
that book will walk you through every step of how to make a whip..Then all you have to do is replace the matreils they tell you to use with kevlar and other fire restaint matirels..
It has taken me about a year to learn how to make basic whips.but well worth the effort.
They throw as well as my aussie made roo hide whips ..and insted of one fireball i can do multi crack whip moves and get 5 or six.. Thats the advantage of using a real fire whip
over a piece of rope with a handle on it..
good luck and happy braiding
Riz


I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all

Delete

plantgirlll
member
Location: Sydney Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2002
Total posts: 150
Posted:ta muchly Riz! all & any help greatly appreciated

If I remember correctly, the whip I'm getting tonight is about 8 foot long & I can't wait!

I guess I want to make it about the whip & add flame rather than the other way around. Can't wait to get started & see where it goes!

Mike, we really get a lot out of making our gear, so I mean no disrespect when I say that I'd rather not have my stuff built by someone else except as a last resort. Mind you. if I had an American Money Tree in my back yard I'd be ordering some bearclaw gear right now.....



People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne

Delete

Qi
member
Location: Portland, Oregon
Member Since: 26th Dec 2002
Total posts: 2
Posted:greetings,
I spent some time last summer designing fire whips. It's really easy to make a simple one using some electrical conduite, kevlar wick rope, and some electrical tape. but the wick rubs on the edge of the conduite and eventually it will break. I made some Whip handles last summer for a friend. Using aluminum tubbing lined with a copper tube on the inside that flares out as it exits the aluminum on the wip side, so that it doesn't wear on the wick. Also the back of the handle has a copper ball that incases the knott you tie in the wick. I still have some of the prototypes if you would like to see them.


Sat Nam

Delete

plantgirlll
member
Location: Sydney Australia
Member Since: 22nd Nov 2002
Total posts: 150
Posted:oooohhhh!!!!

would love to see please Qi-flow!



People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.-H. Jackson Browne

Delete

Qi
member
Location: Portland, Oregon
Member Since: 26th Dec 2002
Total posts: 2
Posted:Aloha Plantgirl,
I don't have a camara right now. So I can't show all the designs. But a friend of mine has a picture of one of the better versions on his website www.fireninja.com. He has a picture of a whip he made, and a picture of one that I made for him. The picture isn't the best but it's OK. It'll give you an idea of what I mean. If you would like to tell you how I made it let me know. My mail is ohmdreams hotmail.


Sat Nam

Delete

Puk
Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2002
Total posts: 2615
Posted:Plantgirl if you like I've got one of the fire whips from bearclaw manufacturing. Im bringing it along on sunday so you can check it out .

[ 16. January 2003, 19:42: Message edited by: Ivan Newton(grubiln) ]


that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

Delete

ShadowlessTyger
ShadowlessTyger

Flow Artist
Location: USA
Member Since: 28th Jan 2011
Total posts: 67
Posted:How to make a fire whip:

Let me start off stating that this will not be the best way to make a fire whip. I am trying to provide information to the average fire performer. Since most do not have a lot of money, access to large manufacturing equipment such as welders, or even more common tools such as a rivet gun, I have limited myself to using only tools and materials easily obtainable.

Note: Many of the details were left out because designs change and I cant think of everything nor do I wish to type everything that goes into making a whip.

Materials:

I dont give dimensions because everyones preferences are different. Also prices vary depending on what you buy so this wont be the same for all.

Handle = Metal tube (Aluminum Tube) ($2 per foot)
Core = Wood dowel, threaded rod, Kevlar rope (about $9)
Belly & Overlay = Flat Kevlar
- 50 ft of 1/2 by 1/8 from HOP ($20 after discount) (enough for two whips, so $10)
- 100 ft of 1/2 by 1/16 from TrickConcepts ($20 after discount) (enough for two whips, so $10)
Hardware = Fender washer, screw, nut, wire, needle, glue, thread (about $5)
Grip = tennis grip ($3)

Total cost: ~ $29 (about $50 if you want to do it well.

For the really cheap people: 100 ft Cotton Rope ($4), pipe ($2), Screw ($0.03) ~ $6 (it works though)

Procedure:

Simple Easy Method: One can simply drill a hole and put a screw through the handle, thread the wick up the handle around the screw and start plaiting.

I recommend for most to find a dowel the same size as the inside of your handle and secure it by placing it in drilling a hole and either screwing it in place or riveting it. (I use a 7/8 aluminum tube, with .06 wall thickness, a 3/4 dowel, and 1/8 rivets or screws.) Even better is to first epoxy the dowel in first. (Other Manufactures will place the base of the whip inside the handle to hold even more fuel.) Make sure the dowel sits just inside, about a mm short of flush with the handle.

Drill a hole slightly smaller than your threaded rod into the dowel on the end of your handle. (I use a 3/32 drill bit with 1/4" -20 threaded rod.) and screw the rod into the hole keeping about 4 sticking out. (epoxy this too for more strength)

Place a Fender washer if you want a guard for your hand, not absolutely needed. If you can, its better to have this welded on if you have your core starting inside the handle.

Now this is where it gets tricky. To conserve Kevlar and you would need to calculate exactly how much Kevlar is needed at this stage. For most, making a single plaited whip and just cutting the 50 ft roll of 1/2 by 1/8 from HOP in to 4 lengths of 12.5 ft and using 2, 12.5 ft lengths is the easiest. However this will not hold as much fuel for behave as well as double plaiting your whip with thinner wick. The extra effort is well worth it. This is why Riz and FCB charge so much, but they have the best whips out there. I could type several pages as to the exact length you need, but if this is that important to you, youll figure it out.
(I use 4 lengths of about 8, 10, 15, and 17 ft of TCs 1/2 by 1/16 wick for an 8 foot fire whip)

Poke a hole about in the center of your 2, 12.5 ft lengths, and place the end of the threaded rod through the holes. If you are using 4 lengths of the 1/16 thick wick, your whip should look like this:

DPW01
Go ahead and bolt this down with a nut.

The core:

The easiest thing to do is to just take a piece of Kevlar rope and put it over the threaded rod.
For a much better whip, you can shot load a tube of Kevlar with steel shot, in a progressive manner. This is what a real whip maker would do. A good middle ground is to buy several sections of thinner and thinner Kevlar rope and sew the ends together. Depending how you do the core, the prices and the quality drastically change. (I use 4, 1 ft sections sewn together at 1/2, 3/8, 1/4, and 1/8)

Place the core over the threaded rod. Its best to secure this to the rod with glue and wire. Its not needed; none of my other whips have ever had a problem with the core becoming loose, but its a good idea. This is the stage at which you start plaiting.

DPW02

Plaiting:

I will do my best to describe the basic 4 plait. For nicer fire whips and normal whips much higher plait counts and designs can be introduced.

There is a very pretty way to start your whip. Go somewhere else to learn it, or figure it out. Sorry, its too difficult to describe to be worth it.

Keep two strands one either side of your core ( S1 S2 Core S3 S4 )
You will bring the outside strand (S1) behind the core and between the opposite two strands (S2 Core S3 S1 S4)
Cross the strand over back to the same side but underneath the other strand on the original side (S2 S1 Core S3 S4)
The same thing happens on the other side (S2 S4 from behind S1 Core S3)
Bringing the strand back to 2 on each side (S2 S1 Core S4 on top S3)
Repeat a lot.
Basically you are doing a wraparound kern-mantle braid over/under. This will taper to the end.

DPW03

Note: When doing a double plait, make the overlay looser to allow for more fuel absorption.

The ends will drop off so that you can then have a 3 braid followed by a 2 strand loop. Most likely your ends will not end in a nice taper. Cut the strands when youre done plating so they end about every 6 inches.

I recommend that if you dont know how to properly tie off whips, either learn, or just sew off all the ends with Kevlar thread. In my experience its better to try off ends rather than sewing, gluing, tucking, or even melting (for nylons) It might not look as nice, but functions much better and last longer.

I now sew a loop into the end with 1/8 rope because it makes it very easy to change the fall. The best fall and poppers I have ever come across are just 1/8 rope tied in to a loop and Kevlar thread made into a popper. Even what I get from HOP, Riz, and BC dont seem to work as well, and is much more expensive.

You can add a grip or even a handle stop if you choose and you should have a functional fire whip.
Once you get this down, youll learn that fire whips are cheaper, easier and faster to make, louder, and more durable than nylon or leather sport whips.

DPW04

The one pictured cost about $40 for me to make in about 2 hrs. I now have about 12 fire whips and have made about 20.

---

For those curious about buying a whip here are some previous posts:

Fire by Riz is the best commercially.
Home of poi's is pretty good too, it flows smoothly, but the poppers and falls that come with it are not that good.
BearClaw's are usable, the newer one is still not as nice as Karaka's (HOP's)
So far the best in terms of quality, fuel absorption, durability and price, ss to make your own.
It really is not that difficult, you can make one in about 2 hrs, it'll cost about $30, and it will be loud and last longer than anything on the market today.
I've gone through one of Riz's pretty quickly, but it's too pricey for me.
Two of HOP's (Karaka) and they can't be repaired plus I seem to spend more on the replacement falls and poppers.
I don't use the one from bear claw at all anymore, it just doesn't feel right.

I forgot to add:
http://www.floridacrackerbullwhips.com/Fire%20Whip2.html
br>I have yet to use one from them, but I hear they are of the same quality as Riz's

---

A lot of first time users do not realize that the popper/cracker will break after only about 5 uses.
If it's less than this, then it's usually due to improper fueling.
The fall will usually last about 15 uses.

As for good whips, the top of the line that I know of is Fire by Riz; they are the only ones to actually plait their whips. If you can afford them, get them. The poppers that come with these are super loud, but you really need a tight in plane crack. (I have discovered that FCB does plait their whips too)

Second is Karaka whips, and they are weighted very nicely, but it is still just Kevlar rope with some core removed and shot loaded, not plaited. FYI, these are what HoP sells.

Next is Bear Claw Manufacturing, especially their new Fire Whip III. However, their falls and crackers are pretty crappy I've never gotten them to really pop or last more than one burn.

When it comes to the falls and poppers themselves, as a beginner, get the ones from HoP. Theirs are by far the best to start with. Fire by Riz and Bear Claw's are nothing but twisted Kevlar which the diameter and drag ratio to fray (fluid mechanics think Reynoldss number of Mach 1) is very poor. Trust me, beginners get very frustrated when they can't crack a fire whip and 80% of the time it's because the popper/cracker just can't move fast enough. Technique, length, weight and quality can help.

Now the best whip you can possibly have will be plaited. Think the 4-plait or 8-plait nylon or leather whips you see.
The cheapest way the get this is by making one yourself.

HoP sells a 50 ft. roll of 1/2 in Kevlar for $20.00 US after the 15% discount.
A metal tube, a hard wood dowel, cotton sheets, and patience will give you a very nice whip for less than $30 US.
This whip will also be about 11 feet in length if you use all the Kevlar.

But a 10ft plaited fire whip will cost you at least $300 to buy.
With experience you can make 2 of these whips in less than an hours work. I'll try to upload pictures of my old whips I made with the time stamps on the photos later to prove this. Otherwise I still have enough K&A l around I could make a quick tutorial if you really want.

Now, as I said before, and the number one compliant from customers of Bear Claw and Fire by Riz is that the cracker breaks off after 1 or 2 uses. Then they get really mad because of this and write nasty reviews when it's not the manufactures fault.

First off, fuel the whip correctly. There is no need for you to dip the Fall and Cracker in your fuel. Don't believe me? Just try it. You can still get nice fire balls and even better arcs after your cracker breaks off.

(Note: If you buy the fall cracker combo from Home of Poi, RE-TIE THE KNOT!!! HoP does not tie their poppers on correctly and they will fly off with the first crack. Glue it too, just in case. This will also help with not having the fiberglass melt into the Fall or end of the thong since HoP puts fiber glass in their Kevlar.)

Do not dunk your whip, the fuel inside will stay in the whip for just about forever, there's no need to. Instead trail or snake the whip through a painter's tray or planting tray from the end of the thong to the end of the handle. Obviously use the correct fuel. Lamp oil, K, and white gas work well. Lighter fuel will destroy a whip.

Lastly, if you have a long whip, stick with overhead and halo cracks, maybe a flick or two. Every time your whip hits the ground, this will damage your whip. Plus a photographer can then lay underneath you and get pictures of the cracks from underneath, with the recoil of the whip and a full moon. This makes for epic pictures. Ill try to find those too.

If you really dont like to use Hops falls and crackers because of the price, you can buy braided kern-mantel Kevlar rope and make your own. You can use Kevlar thread too, but that will get expensive. Cotton braided rope works surprisingly well. So does hemp. Really it does. I didnt believe this either until a show where we forgot extra poppers or the material to make them, a girl was making necklaces with hemp, we asked for some, and they lasted an entire burn with really great cracks. Plus its cheap as h3ll. You can attempt nylon, but it will melt and elongate but look really cool as long as the whip is in constant motion; actually dont; just dont.

Thats all I can think of for now. Ill try to find pictures of when I made by 11 foot plaited twin fire whips. Otherwise next time Im back home, Ill take pictures of all the different whips and show you the differences.

Hopefully this helps, otherwise if you are still confused, post what about and Ill try to explain further.

Oh wait, burn time.

If you let your whip burn a little longer at the beginning before your first crack, you will heat up the fuel in the whip and the cracks will look much bigger. However, only let the thong burn, and try to burn it flat. Lay it on the ground like a coiled snake is better because (and every fire eater knows this far too well) HEAT RISES!!! Burning with one end higher will damage the whip further. This also means that you should never, ever, EVER, let your whips burn out. Once it stops producing you can do one or two twirling tricks, angel wings, tosses, bells, whatever, but then put out the whip. When youre done, check a bight, (bend) and if your whip is not dyed black, you should still see the original color of your Kevlar in the bight/bend. Otherwise youre burning through your plaiting and burning the belly or even the core. (Id get photos of this too, but that whip is long gone.) The core should never burn; this is why even a cotton core will work with making a whip, its lighter too and will hold more fuel than one with a Kevlar rope core.

---

If you want more info I will do my best to check both this thread and private messages on a regular basis.

Okay, now I think thats all.

Good Luck.


Delete

ShadowlessTyger
ShadowlessTyger

Flow Artist
Location: USA
Member Since: 28th Jan 2011
Total posts: 67
Posted:I have now made over 100 fire whips including one that will be about 250 feet long (Yes, that's a world record), and got feedback from some of the world's top whip experts (including Adam Winrich).

There have been a few design changes I highly recommend:

Don't use cheap Kevlar, Don't use a fiberglass blend, and never, ever buy from Trick Concepts.

I actually glue, tape and sew the cores together, it's much stronger. Don't forget to seal the ends with glue.

Use at least a 5/16" if not a 3/8" Threaded Bolt, smaller ones have been breaking.

Now I use a 1.5' section of 5/8", 1.5' of 1/2", 1.5" of 3/8" and 3.0" of 1/4" rope for a longer cord and the 1/4" rope turns into the fall.

Use 1/4" Rope for the fall not 1/8" unless you find continuous filament Kevlar, as the 1/8" has been breaking.

Also sew, lash and glue both the end of the thong and the end of the fall to help against fraying.

I've started to use 6 and 8 plait overlays for more re-activity.

The actual measurements for the double plaited whip strands are, in order, the 4 plait belly: 11' (5' + 6') & 15' (7'+8') and the 6 plait overlay: 15.5' (7'+8.5'), 20' (10'+10') & 20' (10'+10')

I hope this helps. Happy Cracking!


Delete

BootMasterG
member

Member Since: 13th Sep 2014
Total posts: 1
Posted:Thanks for the tutorial!
I'm plaiting a pair of fire whips for the Circus of Fire portion of our local Burning Man festival and I've run into an issue with tapering the 4-plait belly.
I've been all over the interwebs and youtube trying to figure out how to continue the braid once you drop a strand, but I've yet to find anything that uses less than 4 strands. How do you wrap the core once you drop down to 3 strands, then to 2?
When I try to continue the braid with 3 strands it gets lumpy and there are small gaps where the core shows through. I've tried doing a traditional tapering twist, but that doesn't seem to work with the long core strand/fall.
Any advice would be great. Thanks!


Delete