What a keeper is for
The keeper holds the thong to the handle. There is a loop in the thong and the handle has an attached loop. They are looped together as shown in the photos below. The keeper should be as tight as possible with little movement, leather stretches a small amount after time so when you buy a whip or make a whip make sure the keeper is tight, if the keeper is not tight you might find that the whip wobbles when you crack it and jerks your wrist and the whip will not crack as well. You can adjust a keeper if it is bound on with twine, have a look at the photo below. Tube whip keepers do not need to be adjusted because the rope from the thong is bound back to the handle, it should never stretch. Below is a photo of a tube whip keeper.
How to fix a keeper
A lose keeper.
You need a strong loop of string.
Cut the first strand.
Unwind the string.
Tie the string to a solid hook.
Wind the string round the handle 2 or 3 times.
Wind the string around one side of the leather loop. It needs to be a little higher than the original string mark on the leather. Wind the string around 2 or 3 times.
Place the other side of the leather loop on the handle and continue to wind the string around both ends of the leather loop.
Put the string loop in when you are about half way winding the string and continue to wind the string tight.
Cut the string off the hook.
Put it through the loop.
Pull the loop through.
Trim of excess leather and the keeper is adjusted.
How to attach a thong to a handle
This is a kangaroo whip keeper I am demonstrating, some keepers of other whips will look different but all have the same principle.
Put the loop of the thong over the handle.
Put the fall thru the loop in the handle.
Pull the thong through and fold the edges under. With a bit of practice it will look like this.
The original tube whip keeper example
Click on the bubbles to find out more about the Australian stock whip.