Bullwhips – Handmade by Louie

8 Foot Bullwhip

September 18th, 2014

I’m currently working on an 8 foot 12 plait bullwhip.  So far I’ve got the inner belly finished…

plaited belly

…and the inner bolster finished.

bullwhip bolster

Next up will be to do the outer belly and bolster.  I’ve already got them cut out, so it should be pretty quick to get them on the whip.


Quick Visit To David Morgan…

September 17th, 2014

I was working on making some cheapo  4 plait cowhide bullwhips when an order for an 8 foot Indy style bullwhip came in.  The 4 plait bullwhips were put on hold and I made the drive up to David Morgan to pick up a kangaroo skin for the bullwhip. What I love about being so close to them is that I can dig through their skins to find what I need for the project.  I picked up this heavy 70 dm2 kangaroo skin:

kangaroo skin

If you haven’t ever gotten a kangaroo skin from David Morgan and you make Indy Style Bullwhips you really should give them a call and order one of the Heavy Kangaroo Skins for the overlay of the whip.  I think the thick skin really contributes to the look of  the whip!

Here are a couple of the other sights from my quick visit:

David Morgan

david morgan

I had a great time chatting with Alex and Will, and unfortunately I was in a rush so I really didn’t get to chat with Meagan.  I’m very fortunate to  live so close to their shop, they’ve been a great help to me!


Cowhide Bullwhips…

September 15th, 2014

The other day I had some time to kill and ended up buying a side of cow leather, so I’m making some cowhide bullwhips.  I’ve got the cores greased up and attached to the handle foundations:

bull whip cores
Next up I need to cut out the bellies, I still haven’t decided if I’m going to make them 4, 8, or 12 plait overlays yet.

One thing about making these cheaper cowhide bullwhips is that I need to make them in batches of more than  just one to cut down on the time it takes to make them.  For example cutting out three bellies at one time is much faster than cutting out three bellies at three different times.


How To Grease Dry Leather

September 14th, 2014

I frequently get asked how to grease dry cow leather.  There are two ways, you can do it while it’s a whole hide or you can do it after you cut it.  Personally I prefer to do it as a whole hide, it makes paring it easier (in my opinion).  It’s pretty simple to do, you basically rub grease into it.

I’m amazed at how many people after I give them that answer they still don’t understand and think I’m blowing them off. Here’s a video of one way to do it:

After it’s nice and greased up I then trim the hide.  It’s easier to grease it before you trim because you don’t  need to grease all the way to the edge, just close to it.

Hope that helped!



Bullwhip Holder

September 11th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve needed to make bullwhip holders.  I made a ton of them many months ago and just ran out.  Here’s a couple I just made so I have some in stock:

bull whip holder

I make a basic bullwhip  holder that snaps shut. They will hold an 8 foot bullwhip on your belt.


Here’s a 6 foot bullwhip that I made a while ago.  It’s internal construction was two bellies and two bolsters, however I made this one using kangaroo bolsters instead of cow leather.

The end result gave me a slightly slimmer profile on the whip.  This is shipping out to its new owner today!


I’ve been doing a lot of travelling around the USA this summer and I’ve run into many bullwhips in museums, stores, etc.  Here are the ones that I was able to take pictures of.

I was at a flea market in Marysville, CA and found the following two bullwhips:

bullwhip_10_080814 Bullwhip


When I was passing through South Dakota I went to Walldrug and found a bunch of cheap whips:

BullwhipBullwhip   Bullwhip

As I got deeper into the store I found this whip:


It looked decent, not great, but not a piece of junk.  They had a few others by the same company:


These bullwhips were at the Casey Tibbs Museum at the Historic 1880’s Town in South Dakota.  Casey was a rodeo champion.

Bullwhip Bullwhip BullwhipIt always amazes me at how much neglect leather gets in most museums.  I wish they’s put a bit of effort into preserving these whips.



Jacka Bullwhip

July 9th, 2014

Here’s a bullwhip I ran into a couple of months ago at the Seattle Comiccon:

Terry Jacka

It’s a bullwhip made by Terry Jacka on the hip of a guy dressed as Indiana Jones.


Braided Leather…

June 25th, 2014

I’m travelling this week and here are some braided pieces that I’ve run into.  The first is a synthetic whip which is made out of a similar material as the Karaka whips.


The next is a bullwhip and the picture turned out blurry…but that’s probably for the best, this one hurt my eyes.

bull whip

The last is a little rawhide quirt.



We’ll see what turns up on my next road trip in a couple of weeks…


Bullwhip UnBuild Part 2

June 24th, 2014

I’m still taking apart this bullwhip.  Here’s the last of the picture of the overlay:

nylon bull whip

Here’s the core without the overlay.  The entire thing is wrapped in electrical tape.

bullwhip core

Here’s a close up of the handle.  If you click on it you’ll get a larger picture and you can see the bottom  bit isn’t wrapped, it’s just the metal bar.

Bullwhip core


The bar had a hole in it, and I’m trying to figure out the purpose of the hole.  No strands were fed through the hole.  If the whip was braided from the tip like I think it was then the hole wasn’t used to hang it on a hook while braiding.

If it was used to hang from a hook while braiding from the tip it makes the whole process very awkward to braid.  Or maybe it’s used while they wrap it in electrical tape. It’s hung by the hole and the tip is secured someone and they simply run the tape around.  That’d be my best guess.

Now that I had the core out, since the whole thing was wrapped in tape and there were no loose strands I wondered if I could crack it.  Here’s a very quick video of me trying:

So the core cracked, and I think it cracked easier than the assembled whip did.  I think the reason is the nylon on the second half of the whip was slowing it down when I tried to crack it.

I’ve been thinking about the strand adds/drops and them being secured by tape. These go maybe an inch into the plaiting.  This is a horrible idea and the reason for that is over time the tape will lose its stickiness and not hold the end of the strand in place.  This will then give you a situation where the end can come loose and there’s not a lot holding it in place.

I’m curious as to how things are laid out under the electrical tape, but I probably won’t have a chance to keep taking this whip apart until next week.




Copyright 2009 by Louie Foxx LLC http://bullwhips.org.