Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Build a Wooden Whipping Post

By David Jeffries ; Updated September 21, 2017
Whipping posts have been used as a punishment device through out history.
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

In order to fully comprehend the horrors of torture, authentic replicas of the tools used to inflict brutal punishment can have a powerful impact as a teaching aid. This includes the whipping post -- an innocuous looking yet barbaric device used to immobilize victims as they were mercilessly flogged. They were common on plantations in the Old South and have been used by tyrants through out history, Far from condoning such practices, building this hideous device today serves as an important reminder of mankind's potential for inhumanity. Although they took several forms, whipping posts were usually simple wooden poles or stakes to which an offender was tied or chained while being lashed for punishment. The person being punished was typically bound to the post by the wrists, with his arms stretched at length above his head to prevent them from collapsing.

Building a Whipping Post

Step 1

Dig a hole at least 18 inchs in diameter and 3 feet deep using a shovel and/or post hole digger. (Ensure that you dig below the freeze or frost line for your locality.) Set the wooden post in the hole. Pour one-quarter to one-half of the dry concrete mix into the hole around the post, and add water. While adding the water, use the shovel or a stout stick to mix the concrete as best you can. Repeat the process with the remaining concrete mix. Use a level to ensure the post is vertically straight each time you add concrete before it has a chance to set.

Allow the concrete to set for at least 24 hours and then fill the remainder of the hole with well-tamped dirt.

Step 2

Cut the post at the desired height, bearing in mind that offenders were usually bound to whipping posts with their hands above their heads. (It is easier to cut the post before setting it, but make certain you know the exact height needed.)

Step 3

Rope or chain can pass through the ring bolt in order to secure the
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Drill a 3/8 inch hole through the post about 6 feet above ground level. Pass the ring bolt shank through the hole and secure it tightly with the nut.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Post hole digger
  • Level
  • Drill
  • 3/8 inch drill bit (long)
  • Handsaw
  • 4 50 lbs bags fast setting concrete mix
  • 3/8 inch diameter-by 6 inch shank length ring bolt with nut, stainless steel or galvanized
  • wooden post, 6 inch diameter 8-12 foot long


  • You can add a small sign to the top of your whipping post describing its purpose and historic significance.


  • Using a whipping post as forcible restraint is illegal in the United States and many other countries.

About the Author


David Jeffries attended Indiana and Ball State Universities and holds degrees in English and journalism. He served 17 years in the U.S. Army, during which he acted as a print journalist, editor and press officer. During his tenure, publications for which he worked received the military's Keith L. Ware Award for journalistic excellence. Jeffries has been published in various military and civilian newspapers.