6. Whipping the Grip
6. Whipping the Grip (37 Images)
By: Ken Leedham, GHSC Member
This post shows the basics of my process for whipping the grip on a hickory club. It’s another fairly large one.
In these pictures I am whipping the new grip that I put on in the Gripping a Hickory Club post.
However, the same procedures would apply if replacing whippings on an antique grip.
The 37 thumbnail images below read left-to-right across each line, and then down to the next line. Mouse over an individual thumbnail image to see the title. Click on an individual thumbnail image to see a larger image.
Image #1: Stick in Vise – This is almost the only special ‘tool’ I use – a stick in a small vise that I picked up. I can put a spool of thread on the stick, and the thread will unwind easily as I pull it.
Image #2: Crawford Thread – For the vast majority of my whipping – everything except repairs and spliced necks – I use Crawford’s 4-cord waxed linen thread. This is quite strong, whips well, and gives a good appearance.
Image #3: Whip Thin to Fat – I always want to whip from ‘thin’ to ‘fat’, so I start on the shaft and whip up onto the grip itself. First the thread is looped round the shaft and over itself.
Image #4: One More Loop – Next, the thread is passed round for one more loop, and again over the free end.
Image #5: Close to Grip – Now the thread on the shaft is moved up close to the grip, where I want to start the whipping, and tightened onto the shaft by pulling hard on both ends.
Image #6: Trim Grip – Once the thread is tightened onto the shaft, I trim off the free end short of the grip. There is a method where the free end is taken right under the whipping to the far end, and then tied off to that end of the whipping, but that is not what I do.
Image #7: Winding Thread – Now I continue to wind the thread onto the shaft, as tightly as possible.
Image #8: Drawing Thread – I am just drawing the thread off the spool, mounted on my vise/stick arrangement.
Image #9: Whipping Onto Grip – Whipping from the bare shaft up onto the grip itself is rather tricky, especially with a grip like this, which is quite thick. If you keep the thread tight and keep winding it on each turn laid against the previous one, it should work out. You could also bevel the bottom edge of the grip leather with a sharp knife or a razor blade… but I don’t generally do that.
Image #10: Whipping Climbs – Here the whipping has ‘climbed’ onto the grip, and the tack is almost completely covered.
Image #11: The Puller – As a ‘puller’ I just use a loop of thread, knotted. This is a thinner, very strong, unwaxed, artificial thread. Some people use thin wire. And you can get specially made pullers, with little handles.
Image #12: Whip in Puller – Once the whipping is past the tack, I whip in the puller.
Image #13: Whip Over Puller – I continue to whip over the puller until I’ve got almost 1/4″ of whipping over it.
Image #14: Cut Off Thread – Then I cut off the thread, about 1″ past the puller.
Image #15: Open Puller Loop – Now I use tweezers to open up the loop of the puller.
Image #16: Thread through Loop – And pass the end of the thread through the loop of the puller.
Image #17: Draw Puller Back – Next, I pull the end of the thread tight, and draw the puller back under the whipping by pulling on the knotted end.
Image #18: Puller Traps Thread – Here the puller is back to the point where it is just trapping the free end of the thread against the whipping.
Image #19: Continue to Pull – Now I continue to pull, and draw the free end of the thread under the whipping.
Image #20: Free End Protrudes – The free end has been pulled through under the whipping, and protrudes.
Image #21: Trim Excess Thread – The excess free thread is trimmed off with scissors or a knife.
Image #22: Bottom Whipping – And here is the finished bottom whipping on the grip.
Image #23: Top Whipping – I have mixed feeling about top whippings. Being so narrow, they tend to come loose and unravel very easily. Honestly, I often don’t replace them on antique grips, if they don’t seem needed. But I do always put on a top whipping when I do a new grip. And here I am starting the top whipping.
Image #24: Second Turn – Now I have taken a second turn, wrapping the thread tightly over itself.
Image #25: Top Whipping – With a top whipping, the end of the thread needs to be cut off very short, as the whipping itself will be small.
Image #26: Insert Puller – And the puller needs to be inserted immediately after the first two turns are tightened.
Image #27: Wind Top Whippings – I try to wind top whippings as tightly as possible, to help them stay in place.
Image #28: Cut off Thread – Once the top whipping is as far up as it can usefully go, the end of the thread is cut off 1″ past the puller.
Image #29: Pass Through Puller – And the end is passed through the puller with tweezers.
Image #30: End Pulled Tight – The end is pulled as tight as possible, before drawing back the puller.
Image #31: Pull Back Puller – Now the puller is pulled back, trapping the end thread.
Image #32: End Under Whipping – And the end is pulled under the whipping.
Image #33: End is Out – The end is out, back where the puller was initially inserted.
Image #34: Trim Excess – Now the excess is trimmed off.
Image #35: Finished Top Whipping – And here is the finished top whipping.
Image #36: Whole Grip – And here the whole grip, with both whippings.
Image #37: Lexol – At this point, if I were working with a grip where the leather was smooth side out, I would treat the grip with Lexol leather conditioner – wipe on with a sponge, leave for about 15 minutes, then polish off with a cloth. This helps to soften and waterproof the leather, and gives a better grip. But with a suede side out grip, nothing of that kind can be done.