I just got started working on some bullwhips and some stockwhips. I didn’t have enough kangaroo skins for the order, so I headed up to David Morgan to pick up some kangaroo:
I picked up a dozen kangaroo skins for the whips. I got started on the bullwhips by making the cores (and plaiting one belly):
I’ve already got all the bolsters cut out. The next step is to get work on the cutting out the braided parts.
For larger orders like this to save time I try to work “production line” style. Trying to do all of one thing for all the whips at the same time. So I’ll cut out all the cores at the same time. Then I’ll attach them all at the same time. It saves a lot of time and mentally if I’m in a groove, I don’t get out of it by switching mental gears to another task.
Recently this ad for bullwhip someone is trying to sell crossed my path:
Vintage Braided Leather Bullwhip – $25 (Madison)
Vintage Braided Leather Bullwhip
Great Condition, A little wear
This was a Craigslist ad (view it here) and I’m hoping the person has never seen a whip before in their life if they think it’s in “Great Condition” and that the end being blown off is “A little wear”.
However the plus side is that it’s only $25 bucks. If it was in my local area, I’d probably try to get it for $15 – $20 and take it apart to see how it was built. There’s probably no surprises in there, but I’d drop $20 on it as a learning experience.
I just finished a 3 foot signal whip (AKA single tail whip).
A signal whip is different from a bullwhip in several ways. A signal whip doesn’t have a rigid handle, it’s flexible. It doesn’t have a fall and the popper is braided into the end of the whip. They are also measured differently, a signal whip that is 3 feet long, is actually 3 feet long. Where with a bullwhip the fall and cracker isn’t included in the measurement, so a 6 foot bullwhip is closer to 8 feet long.
These differences make signal whips ideal for indoor use.
I don’t have a category for signal whips to order simply because most people want something fairly specific and I would say most of the signal whips I’ve made were custom orders. If you’d like a signal whip, feel free to contact me with what you want and I’ll send you out a price quote.
I was just down in Las Vegas a few weeks ago at a trade show and a bunch of the people went out to Gilley’s at the Treasure Island to see a band. Gilley’s is a country bar and on the wall was this bullwhip:
It’s nothing crazy special, it’s a cheap bullwhip. I find it interesting to see these in person. It amazes me that anyone would buy them for anything other than decoration. The lash has virtually no taper, making it very difficult to get a good crack out of it without “dish ragging” it.
A proper whip should taper from the handle to the point. That’s one of the principles that allows it to build up the speed to break the speed of sound in an efficient manner. Good taper is something you should look for when shopping for a whip!