For fun I made a 3 1/2 foot signal whip (aka single tail whip).
This is made from 12 plait kangaroo with a shot loaded core. I put a loop at the end so that the cracker is easy to change.
This is my first signal whip that I’ve made with a loop for the cracker to attach to, instead of a cracker that’s braided to the whip. The advantage of the loop is that it makes changing a cracker easier for the user.
The end had been broken off, if I remember correctly this was a dog that chewed through the whip.
After chatting with the owner and giving them some options they decided to put the new end of the whip where the whip was chewed off. I had to unbraid the whip a bit and taper the inside a little bit, the put a new fall on it.
I also added in a pack of polypro crackers.
This whip shipped back to its owner cracking a lot better than it did when they shipped it to me! If you’ve got a whip that needs repairs feel free to contact me!
About a year ago I made an instructional DVD that teaches you how to make a 4 plait cowhide bullwhip with a plaited belly. This DVD takes you step by step through the whip making process and even includes a shopping list with Tandy Leather Factory item numbers to make getting your supplies easy!
This is a great resource for learning to make your first whip.
I never really promoted the DVD or had it listed on my website…why…because I forgot to. So I’m re-launching the Make a Bullwhip DVD. It will sell for $30, however during the relaunch you can get it for $20 shipped in the USA.
I know I keep saying this, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to offer these. I don’t make a ton of money on them, and they are lot of work for what I charge for them. I’d almost rather charge a few bucks more and make the whip. The fun part is assembling the whip, not cutting out the leather!
My current project is working on an 8 foot Indiana Jones Style Bullwhip. I’m trying something that I don’t normally do when I make these whips. I’m trying to get a slightly lower profile on the heel knot.
Basically there are few ways to do this:
Use thinner leather: This option will change the entire whips profile, not just the heel knot.
Use less lead: This will also accomplish making the heel knot smaller, but may potentially give the whip an undesirable “in the hands” feel.
Put the lead on sooner: By putting the lead on a lower layer, I can use the same amount and it will stick out less.
I opted for adding the lead on a lower layer of the whip. Normally the lead goes on top of the outer bolster. My thinking all the layers give me some meat to attach the lead to.
If you look at the picture above you will see the layer that’s cut short is the outer belly. By attaching the lead in that space, the lead will not be on top of two layers (the outer belly and the outer bolster). That’s going to reduce the profile of the heel knot, however visually I won’t know how much until the whip is done.
I recently had this stock whip come in for a repair.
It needed a new fall and point plaited onto the whip. Quite often when a whip comes in for a repair they are very dry. One of the first things that I do is give it a coat of grease. However many whips are beyond repair and will basically turn to dust if you try to move the strands. This whip was on the edge, however I was able to get a new fall onto it!
The moral of the story is to make sure your whips don’t get dried out. A light coat of Pecard’s Leather dressing a couple of times a year on a whip that you don’t use will help keep it in good shape.
One of my least favorite parts of any whip to make it to put on the heel knot.
I think it’s because at that point all of the plaiting is finished and I just want to be done and making the heel knot isn’t fun. However it’s something that’s got to be done and in comparison to plaiting, or cutting out the leather it’s pretty quick!