Apr 242011
 
Completed Bamboo and Jute Flogger

I made this flogger for a theme party. People seem to like it, and a couple have asked me to make them one.

The feel of this piece is a little different to what you might be used to, at first you get a scratchy thud from the ropes, followed by a bigger thud with sting from the knots tied in the end.

It is a fairly easy piece to make, and because the idea is to have something that looks like it was made in the jungle, slight imperfections aren’t going to ruin your build of it.

Because the handle is made of bamboo, you will need to create this over a period of time, varnish on the handle is a must do, bamboo splinters are definitely not something you want in your hand.

 

Materials

  1. Piece of 30-40 mm diameter bamboo (gardening shops often sell 6 foot lengths for a few dollars)
  2. 43 feet of natural rope. I use home made jute, but anything will do. I don’t recommend you use Sisal rope unless you love picking splinters out of people. (You may need more or less, depending on the diameter of the bamboo)
  3. Insulation tape or any other kind of tape that is fairly strong but comes off easily without damaging the bamboo.

 

Making the Handle

Bamboo wrapped in tape ready for cuttingBamboo splinters easily when cut, to try and prevent big splinters wrap the parts you are going to cut or drill in electrical tape. Cut through the tape and into the bamboo.

Ensure that you cut slowly using a fine toothed saw. As you are almost through cut even slower, but don’t panic if it splinters a little. You can use a file and sandpaper once it is cut to smooth out any imperfections.

When cutting the bamboo try and make your cuts straight, it is far easier than trying to get the ends level later, but again, this is a supposed to be a rough looking piece, so don’t get all anal about it.¬† I don’t even bother measuring, I merely eyeball it.

Bamboo pieces cut to sizeThe picture to the right shows two pieces cut and ready for the next step. The lower piece shows the tape that you use to prevent splintering, On the left side you will see the tape is very close to one of the section pieces, try and make sure you have  one of these near the top of the handle, not only does it improve the look, it helps prevent splitting right down the shaft of the bamboo.

Now we need to put some holes in the shaft. I use a 22 mm hole cutter near the open end to make the hole for the falls to go through. These hole cutters don’t work well and do a pretty rough job. A little sanding soon fixes it up though. For the hanging loops I use a standard 10 mm drill bit.

You may find it easier if you drill a small pilot hole right through the bamboo and the use the bigger bits to drill through one side at a time from the outside, you will get a neater looking finish. Again sanding the holes to make the smooth and removing any excess chunks is needed.

Bamboo pieces cut to size If you did forget to put tape over the bamboo before drilling you will probably end up with something looking like the picture on the left. Not to worry, filing and sanding will fix even this.

Once you have all the holes cleaned up, look down the tube and make sure you have it free of debris on the inside, if not then clean this up as well, a metal rod or stick can help here.

Run a fine piece of sand paper over the whole handle, you don’t need to remove all the imperfections, just a quick removal of any grime and rubbish thats on it. Now clean the handle of dust, your about to varnish it.

Two handles varnished and left to dry.Get a short piece of string and loop it through the holes for the fall. Tie it to something so it can hang freely in the air. Paint the exterior of the handle, making sure to get the inside edges of the holes. It doesn’t matter if some of the varnish runs down inside the handle.

Don’t put too much on or it will run and dry in clumps, instead aim for a thin coat and do it 4 or 5 times. I use a high gloss floor varnish, it seems to work well and is not slippery when dry.

 

Rope

11 Strands of rope & the prepared BambooAs mentioned earlier, the amount of rope is a guide only, the larger the diameter of bamboo, the more falls you can fit in. For this piece I need 11 x 46 Inch Strands. I prefer to knot the ends to help prevent it unraveling. This does make it somewhat harder to put everything together, but I think the end result is better.

I’m using home made jute rope, which I will explain how to make another time, but you can use any rope you like. I would suggest using a natural rope if your trying to get the right look.

 

Making the Hanger Part 1We are going to begin with the hanging loop.

You will need to thread one piece of your rope through the small hanger hole, as shown in the picture. The aim is to form a loop.

By cutting the rope shorter and tying a knot in it, you could stop at this point, you have a hanger. I prefer to wrap it a few times to make it look more balanced. You may find this much easier by untying the knot and then retying it afterwards. A pair of long nose pliers is a help in pulling it through.

 

Making the Hanger Part 2 Pull the rope tight and hold the bite, wrap it around the handle. To make it smooth do not cross the rope.

 

 

 

 

You can do this twice, it should look like the picture on the right at this point.Making the Hanger Part 3

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Hanger Part 5Now let the loops around the bamboo get some slack in them and then push the bite under all of them, you want to do this just past one of the knots.

 

 

 

 

Making the Hanger Part 6Pull everything tight, except for the final piece of rope that the loop goes under. In this picture it is the one that is slightly apart from the rest of the rope.

 

 

 

 

Making the Hanger Part 7 Take the bite and loop it through this piece again, this will ensure it stays secure.

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Hanger Part 8Pull everything tight and your hanger is now complete.

 

 

 

 

 

Now we need to put the falls in. Here I am doing 10 pieces of rope in total, making 20 falls of approximately 22 inches each.

 

Making the falls Part 1 Take the first piece of rope and put one end through each hole.

 

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 2Pull it tight, ensure the ends are even.

 

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 3 Take the next piece and do the same. Only make sure the bite is on the other side of the handle.

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 4Now alternate the sides with each piece of rope you add. You need to keep the ropes from crossing as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 5 Eventually you may find that you can’t easily get any more falls in. Pull back the falls from the bite, trying to keep them even and tidy.

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 6Using a sewing awl or if you don’t have one a star screwdriver push the knot of the next fall through and then using a pair of needle nose pliers grab the knot and pull it out with the rest of the falls. This can be a little difficult as you add more and more falls. Remember to keep swapping the side the bite is on.

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 7Once you have them all in, get the ends of each piece of rope and pull them evenly through until the bite is hard against the bamboo.

 

 

 

 

Making the falls Part 8You might need to work the bites a little to stop them crossing. The idea is to have the same number of bites on each side of the handle, and that they not cross other pieces of rope.

 

 

 

Congratulations, your Bamboo flogger is now finished.

Completed Bamboo Flogger

  2 Responses to “Bamboo & Jute Flogger”

  1. Why wouldn’t you want to get bamboo splinters in your hand? Have you or do you know anyone who has ever had bamboo splinters in their hand?

    • I have had them in my hand, and no I don’t like it.

      I don’t particularly like getting hit in the back either, unless it’s in the course of a scene.

      There is a difference between something happening in a scene and an accidental injury, at least in my head.

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