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Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of pouch? (Read 13853 times)
justbarak
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #15 - Jan 12th, 2004 at 11:29pm
 
Thanks Rob, I'm excited to have found this forum.  Wrapping is simple; over-under-over-under just like you were weaving on a loom.  It's a single, separate weft strand that does the wrapping.  I don't have any slings to photograph right now, so I doctored one of Jim's pictures to here - I don't think he'll mind.

...

As you braid down, add in the extra strands the final inch before the pocket.  It will add significant bulk to the braid.  Take the braid off the card and use a separate strand to wrap with.  Start above where you added strands and do half-hitch wraps.  Continuous half hitches create a spiral, alternating half hitches create a straight line (you may know all this).  If you make it good and tight it will decrease the fatness of the braid where the strands were added in.  This is part "A" in the diagram.  Once you get to the end of the braid, separate the unbraided strands into two and wrap it over-under-over-under keeping it good and tight (part B).  Stop about every centimeter and shove the wrapped strands together to keep it tight and you shouldn't have problem with the inner warp strands showing through.  You do the split, wrapping the one side (Yellow part of part D).  Then go back and using a separate weft wrap the remaining side of the split (you can use a different color easily for aesthetics). 

You get to the end of the split and keep going with that same weft thread.  The first weft thread I incorporate into the warp for now.  Pair it up and wrap, then pair up again and wrap, then you put it on the card and braid and inch, cut out your strands (pay attention to how you braided them in and cut them out the same.  I add to the four uppers and braid the four lowers, then add to the next four uppers, and braid the four lowers, etc till all 16 are in.  So it creates a gradual increase in diameter over half a centimeter.  When removing them I do the same but subtracting them.  If I just cut them out all at once it would create a drop off that wouldn't look the same as the other side).

Now, you're wondering what happened to the two weft threads - they should have been added somewhere in the braid and cut off; this is a trick I learned.  I use to save out a weft to use to finish off the half hitch wrap over the thick part of the braid.  The problem is is that wrapping down a slope (instead of up the slope as you did on the other side) is extremely difficult and you usually end up with gaps in the wrap which are unsightly.  Instead, just continue braiding through to the end of the sling.  Then come back and use a new weft thread and start at the narrow part of the braid above where you cut the strands out and do the half hitch wrap towards the pocket.  If you do a spiralling half hitch wrap, decide whether or not you want it to mirror the spiral on the other side.  When you get down to the end of the braid at the edge of the pocket, use a needle to thread the end of the weft back under the wrap.  It's tight stuff so you may need a pair of pliers.  Remove the needle and cut off the end of the weft as close to the braid as you can.  Stretch the braid a bit and the weft will disappear inside.  I've never had one come undone. 

One of the ways I overcame the problems of portability and storability of a maru dai was to create what I call a box maru dai.   It is quite easy to make and you can compact it, store your bobbins in it, and take it with you somewhere without messing up the strands. 

...

Essentially, it is a wooden box that I bought for $5 bucks at hobby lobby, cut a 1" hole in the lid, and gave it removeable dowel legs (should be four, but I could only find 3 for the photo - and ignore the fact that the strands are actually messed up - I was finished with this braid and had taken it off and then I put it back on for the pictures and hap-hazardly arranged it).

...

I didn't show it here, but I put a rubber band around the rim of the lid to hold the strands in place.  The take the legs out, put the bobbins in the box, and put the lid on.  It works really well.  The only complaint is the diameter of the box.  I was going for really compact and so I got a smaller box, 4" diameter I think it is.  It just means all your strands are closer together which means you have to be a bit more careful when you braid.  I'd get a 6" box which would give a bit more circumference, as well as some added volume for storing bigger bobbins and extra yarn. 

...

The legs are anchored by wooden bobbins super glued to the inside of the lid and bottom of the box.  Then I just bought dowels to fit the inside of the bobbins.  Overall I think it cost me under $10 and less than an hour to make.

Whenever I finish my web page, all this info will be on the site with pictures and stuff.  Oh, and the braid in the photo is not for a sling.  I was braiding a necklace and used a single ply of embroidery floss.  The diameter of the 16 strand braid is about 2mm.  The pattern is the spiralling diamond and it's really intricate.  I was surprised by how well it came out.

Ok, so enlighten me on the lovelock cave pattern.  I remember seeing in on Jim's web page and I went through my university library trying to find the article, but never did.  How is the pocket made?

Barak Smiley
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #16 - Jan 12th, 2004 at 11:46pm
 
Ben, does Ronís book outline how to adjust the factors in making with to produce whips for various purposes?  Iím curious about relationships of taper and balance as it relates to the performance of the whip.  So explain it in terms of ďgreater taper equals...Ē  what, better point-to-point (Iím assuming that means accuracy).  Why is taper so important?  What are the trade-offs in a whip.  More cracking power/volume creates worse point to point and vice versa?  If there are websites that explain all this, or if it is in Ronís book, you donít need to spend hours explaining it all to me. 

Mattís whip kit has pre-cut strands, pre-made belly, and a pre-made handle.  So basically it is giving you experience in plaiting without needing to understand how to make bellies or cut your own lace.  I definitely want to learn how to do it totally from scratch, but I thought it might be a good place to start.  I donít know if I will bother with it or not.  Iíll probably just get Ronís book and see what I think.  I feel like cutting the lace will be the most challenging part.  You say you use math and graphs... Do you use a spread sheet or something to make calculations based on desired length, taper, etc?

Barak
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #17 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 3:58am
 
Barak,

Hey I like your Maru Dai!  And that's excellent about how to do the second half of the split cradle.  I've only experimented with the traditional design, and your method makes sense!  Wrapping down hill is not easy.

Ok, the thing with whips is that it's easiest to just copy someone elses work.  Even the best whipmakers brag about how they have a Henderson or a King stockwhip in their collection and have figured out the great secret of how to make the perfect stockwhip by doing this and that, etc....

I learned the hard way over 8 years.  It took me 7 years to really figure out how to make a well balanced australian bullwhip on my own without copying anyone elses work.  The fact is I didn't know who was living who could do it.  It's hard to get info and know who to trust and, I started back before I had internet. 

Ron's book won't tell you much about whip taper, but Morgan's book gives hints.  All in all, there's a lot too it, but you don't need to worry about it, just make something that looks about right, and I'm sure it will work great for you. 

Point to point cracking is a term I use to describe multiple cracking techniques that involve volleys from one side to another.  Perhaps you've seen or heard, or maybe can even do, volleys or 4 corners style cracking?  Basically the whip cracks in front and then you pull it to the back to crack behind you, and then say to the front again, and then over you left shoulder.  John Brady's video will illustrate for you if you haven't seen it before. 

American bullwhips, and more cheaply made whips of any variety, Australian or American, can't do that sort of thing.  They do what I call swing and cut cracking.  That's where you swing the whip up in one direction and then cut it back in the opposite direction to make it crack.  All decent whips can do this, but only the best ones are capable of point to point aswell as swing and cut.  Don't get me wrong though, many whips aren't made for point to point.  American bullwhips just don't have that purpose behind them, nomatter how well made. 

In point to point cracking, a whip that isn't balanced and weighted just right, will have too much recoil at the end, or too much weight to be maneuverable, or be too weak to pull off a crack in the lower powered moves, or not handle right in the air, or jolt the wrist about, or wear the arm out after only a few cracks. 

If you're interested in complex multiple cracking, it's best to just buy a good stockwhip from one of the better Australian whipmakers.  The way you travel that shouldn't be hard.  Otherwise I'd just recommend not worrying about trying to make the perfect point to point whip.

Well balanced whips that are designed for this complex point to point cracking are not necessarily the most powerful whips around.  They tend to be lighter in weight and less powerful, though very efficient.  16 plait is common because it's dense and aerodynamic.

This whole subject of whip tapers and balance is some guarded secret in whipmaking.  So is "cutting out."  Atleast historically.  The masters would get the apprentices plaiting, but never cutting out.  So when they turned them out on their own, they were no competition for the masters.  Raw deal.  Cutting out is the hard part.  I say that whip tapers is a guarded secret, but honestly it iisn't.  It's just that nobody knows why their whips are so good, and even if they did know, they would keep it secret anyway. 

If that whip kit is all cut out, then I'm sure it will go together nicely for you.  If you want more of a challenge and a less nice end product, go it alone with Ron's book. 

I personally, kept graphs as records of my research on whip tapers and honestly I've forgotten most of what I ever knew.  I haven't been making whips for some time, because of a wrist injury.  There's a whole physics behind it and it's just a matter of building a lot of whips, taking them out and trying them, and trying to figure out what does and doesn't work right.  The point (end of the plaiting) should be long, but not too long.  The section that comes out of the handle should drop off weight pretty quickly, but not too quickly.  And then there are whips that are too light.  They just snap, they don't crack.  Honestly, I just barely figured it out and never really mastered it.  I also have found out that there is more than one way to accomplish this same goal.  Henderson's whips (which are supposedly the best ever made) are all wako in my judgement.  They shouldn't work.  But they do.   

Anyway, I do have basic whip tapers figured out and I'll give you a run down here. 

For a basic whip, you're dealing with one thing, air friction. 

Air friction increases exponentially with velocity.  So counterintuitively, the slower your whip moves through the air, the more powerful the crack will be.  I'm not kidding.  I'm not talking about throwing lightly, I mean all else being equal, the slower your action, the more powerful your crack. 

Whips with fast actions, are whips that drop off a lot of weight early on, and thus a great part of the whip moves at a pretty high speed.  As it is doing this, a lot of the energy is bled off by the air friction, and thus the crack is less powerful.

A Morgan bullwhip on the otherhand, carries it's weight way out into the thong.  The whip moves slower as a result and saves energy.  Then in the later sections, the weight drops off more rapidly, and the inevitable air friction comes into play.  But the increase in efficiency is great enough to really improve the whip's power, and it tells when you hear the sonic boom.

Everything with slings and whips is a compromise.  I make a fast whip that has little power, or a slow whip that blows your ears out. 

For point to point cracking, say I make a fast whip that I can do fancy work with, but it hardly cracks.  I dislike the lack of power so I make a slower whip and it's too heavy and I can't pull off that special trick crack I was trying to do.  So then I make a lighter whip of the same speed, and it doesn't have enough power again.  And so I make a heavier whip with a fast action and it is too heavy and fast for me to be able to reverse it's direction at the speed it's traveling.  It can give you a headache.  With stockwhips you can vary the handle length considerably, to balance the whip.  I've seen stockwhips with handles between 16" and 21."  But with Australian bullwhips, the handle length is set when you start the things.  That makes it harder.

So what we can control here, even if we don't understand tapers completely, is this.  The overall weight of the whip, and the density of the plaiting. 

The heavier the whip the more power, in general.  The denser the plaiting, the more power. 

But the heavier the whip, the harder it is to use.  For this reason I don't recommend lead loading.  It's not needed on a well made whip.  Just keep it dense and taper it smoothly and it works well.  There's no magic to it.

Stockwhips use lighter thongs and longer handles.  They start off faster, are faster, and are less efficient at making loud cracks.  But since that's not their only objective, they do what they do well.  There's a balance to everything and stockwhips are very good whips if you know how to use them.  And I'm saying this as an American. 

Trust me, if you stay within reasonable bounds, you won't go wrong.  If the plaiting is dense and tight, and the shape is whiplike, it'll crack Wink 

I hope that helps, it was just a rant, and I hope it made sense. 

                                      Ben      
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #18 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 4:06am
 
I wasn't quite accurate about lead loading.  That's a complex subject too.  The reason I don't like lead loading is because of the sudden weight drop off, because of the lack of balance in the thong, and because of the excess, seemingly wasted, extra weight.  I can make a powerful whip without all that lead if I want to. 

With whip points, don't go too long before you taper up from your point into a slightly larger section.  Just slight, but makesure it's there.  If your point goes on too long, it tends to curve up as you lay the whip out and sort of pooter out.  Make your point about 1'.  That's my advice, but every whipmaker will tell you something different.  And that's a rule about whipmakers.  Their way is the only way, and everone else does it wrong.  That's a rule.

                                   Ben
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #19 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 1:15pm
 
Ok, so that's a lot of info, but it makes sense.  I know a bit about the physics of whip cracking so it's not too unintuitive.  I can do good single cracks of three or four styles, but I've never learned point to point and I've really wanted to.  I have a list of videos I've wanted to get on whip cracking when money made itself available.  I want to learn point to point and also target cracking or whatever it's called.  Accuracy.  I think I remember reading that lead weighting is good for accuracy.  I definitely can see that a heavier weight would allow the whip to loop more uniformly 

Cutting out - I assume that is cutting out the lace for the whip?  It frustrates me to no end when masters hide their secrets.  Sure, I understand wanting to preserve your market etc.  But the only way the human race progresses is by sharing knowledge.  How will whip making ever become a science and a refined craft if each whip maker must forge their own way, taking years and years to develop a style that works.  If each master was willing to share their knowledge they would be able to actually combine the strength of their styles to produce whips that were amazing in all areas.  In so doing they would not only advance the craft, but preserve it through the interest and excitement of hobby whip makers.  The reality is that they would not lose money.  Each whip maker would still have their own preferences and nuances whip whip buyers would gravitate towards the established reputations and nuances of whip makers they prefer. 

I make bamboo and hardwood flutes and it's that way in the flute making world.  Master flute makers travel world wide visiting other flute makers discussing techniques, styles, physics etc and share their discoveres.  I just spent a day down in Virginia with one of the top five Irish flute makers in the world, Patrick Olwell.  I spent the afternoon talking technique, dimensions, tone quality and he was totally open.  It was fantastic.  Is he worried that I will take over his market?  Heck no.  Mastering flute making takes years and years.  Then you have to gain a reputation in the field.  Patrick has a five year waiting list for his flutes.  Even if I became as good as him I will never have his long experience until he's dead and I'm old.  He he has a loyal  following.  I should imagine that it would be the same for whip makers. 

Oh well... So when whip makers copy Henderson whips or others, do they disassemble the whip so see how it's made, or do they just look at the taper and weight and create their own preferred guts?  Are point to point and accuracy a compromise like point to point and power?  I would think that the power whips would tend to be more accurate because of the weight. 

How long does a whip take to make in it's various components?

Well, this is a great thread on whip making here at the slinging forum Grin

Barak
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #20 - Jan 13th, 2004 at 2:29pm
 
Thanks guys!  I'll start on the pocket tonight!  Barak, that was a great explanation, and Jim's pictures doctored up real nice.  As for mine, check out the photos page.  Mine's the red and black one under the name Robert.

It's my favorite one that I've done to date...well, at least until I finish this third one.  It's got a solid knotted pocket.  It's a pretty solid sling, though I added an extra 16 strands to make the pocket and ran into the same thing that Ben was talking about.  What do you do with the extra strands after the pocket??  It's the one weekness that I've seen in the design.

Ah well, experiment, experiment, experiment!

Rob
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #21 - Feb 5th, 2004 at 8:16am
 
You guys who are so talented and skilled at making slings of authentic, traditional designs makle me feel so guilty sometimes, and I admire you for your patience, craftmanship, dedication and skill.  I always just took the "quick and dirty" utilitarian approach, when seeking materials for sling building.  I have some questions that have beennagging at me:

Does anybody here know what the slings mentioned in Xenophon's writings as "well-twisted wool" were likely like in physical structure?  Has any of you ever built a sling that approximated the "well-twisted wool" sling? 

What about the slings (and bow designs) likely used by the Benjaminites in their civil wars agianst their brothers from the "tribes of Israel"?

Finally, has anyone here tried to build the stiff three cord slings mentioned as being used by the "Achaeans" or Balearic slingers to hit "ant part of the face" at which  they might have aimed?

I think that among the craftsmen here, are many good historians/scholars.

Jean B.
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #22 - Feb 5th, 2004 at 1:39pm
 
well, I think that most of the braided styles can count as well twisted wool.  Some of the Andean slings recently purchased from Ben definitely fit that description.

Rob
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #23 - Feb 5th, 2004 at 1:47pm
 
Thank you!  So, the "well-twised", in your opinion, simply refers to intricate braiding?  If so, that makes good, logical sense to me. It kind of intrigued me, the way they said it, rather than just calling it a "sling", or something like that.  Do you think that the "wool" was necessarily limited to what we would think of as "wool" today (ie. sheep's hair-derived thread material), or oculd their term which we commonly translate as "wool" include other types of materials?
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #24 - Aug 1st, 2010 at 4:05pm
 
Shocked  The comments on this thread are loooonnnngggg....
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Re: Benjamin Scott Gallery Sling - What kind of po
Reply #25 - Aug 1st, 2010 at 4:39pm
 
  Wow, there's some really interesting stuff in this thread.  I just brought lunch, sat down and took the day reading it... Grin  I have thought a bit about doing something like missionary work myself at times as I would love to see some of these exotic countries and work with the local tribes and such, it would be great to do something like that down in the amazon or in parts of Africa.  I can't say I have ever done any complicated pouches myself as I am new to weaving and braiding, (been doing it about 4 months?) but I have seen some amazing slings from tibet and peru.  I believe there is a thread on here for amdocraft slings from tibet, they are 7$ each including shipping and have some pretty complex work on them, you could probably buy one and use it as a template to replicate one.
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