16 Foot Bull Whip!

16 Foot Bull Whip!

Currently I’m working on a 16 foot bullwhip.  I’ve got the insides finished and the overlay cut out.

bullwhip

The biggest pain when making a longer whip is that as you are plaiting the strands, the ends are just tangling.  I’ve tried tying them in “tamales” and am not a fan of that method.  I don’t think it saves much time, as you have to untangle each strand as you braid it.  It really slows down my rhythm.  Personally I’d like to braid a bit, then stop and untangle over pull, untangle, pull, untangle…

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Kangaroo Skins at David Morgan!

Kangaroo Skins at David Morgan!

Last week I swung by David Morgan to pick up some kangaroo skins.

kangaroo

I always love visiting them!  I picked up two black kangaroo skins for a 16 foot whip I’m making and a saddle tan kangaroo skin.

Saddle Tan Kangaroo

bull whip

bull whip

bullwhip

I was also surprised to see that they now stock the veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo in “whiskey” color now!  So they have more than just black and natural tan…that’s great news!  If you need kangaroo for making whips, I always recommend getting it from David Morgan, you’ll always get a great skin!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Tightening Up a Bull Whip Point

Tightening Up a Bull Whip Point

Recently I was performing at a festival and ran into Henrik Bothe.  He’s a juggler and many years ago he had gotten a 4 foot bullwhip from me.  He had the whip that I made with his show and still uses it in the show.

Here’s the whip:

bull whip

When I saw it I notice it could use a bit of a tune up.  The point over the years had loosened.

bullwhip

I replaited the point of the whip:

bull whip

Now Henrik has a whip that’s good as new! If you need a  whip that needs a bit of a tune up, let me know!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip Repair

Bullwhip Repair

I recently had this bullwhip come in:

bullwhip

The point was blown out, so it needed to have that replaited and a fall/cracker put on. The handle was completely worn out, however the owner wanted to keep that worn out handle so it looked old.  However he did intend for the whip to still be used occasionally, so I did put a heel knot on it.  If I didn’t the knot foundation wouldn’t last long.

Here’s the finished bullwhip:

bullwhip

I took it to the park and gave it a few cracks, it’s got a lot of life left in it!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

In Stock Whips

In Stock Whips

Today I’m shipping out a couple of bullwhips:

bull whip for sale

One is a 6 foot 4 plait Beginner’s Bullwhip and the other is a 5 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip.

These both were IN STOCK, so they was no wait time for them to ship out to their new owner!  What’s IN STOCK is changes frequently, so be sure to check out the IN STOCK Whips Page.   I’ve got a few whips that just need a knot or two that I’ll be adding soon!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

From the Mailbag…

From the Mailbag…

Here’s an email I got about whip making:

I am also a whip maker, though so far I have only made paracord whips. I am interested in getting started on leather whips but lack some of the tools. I am in the process of getting what I need, though, I don’t know the names of what I am supposed to be buying and I was wondering if you can point me in the right direction.
I am seeking the jig that is used to thin, cut and angle the lace.
I was wondering if you can lead me to a website, that would have the proper tools to get started on this craft.

If you are getting into leather whips I highly recommend getting David Morgan’s book Braiding Fine Leather.

It does a really good job of taking you through all the steps of how to prepare cut and prepare lace for braiding along with a few simple projects to work on.  I also recommend reading David’s book Whips and Whip Making which gives a nice overview into what goes into a bullwhip including a how to make the famous Indiana Jones Bullwhip.

I recommend learning to cut and pare lace by hand with a knife instead of using a jig.  Hand cutting is much faster to do and you will get better results because you can taper the lace much more easily.  With paracord your lace doesn’t taper simply because it can’t, however being able to taper is one of the HUGE advantages to using leather.

I do own a lace cutter / beveler and occasionally use it, however that’s only for very specific project and usually after I’m done using it, I think to myself it would have been faster by hand.  The guy that made mine I don’t think makes them anymore (his website is gone).   If you have your mind set on getting a lace cutter / beveler there’s always something like: http://www.gfeller.us/lacemaster.html  However for the price, personally I would (and did) put the time in and learned to do it free hand.

One of the huge disadvantages of only using a machine to cut and pare your leather is that you can’t easily resize it once you start braiding.  For example lets say I’m making a whip and the strands are a bit too wide for where they are on the whip, but I don’t want to drop them yet. The simple solution is to simply grab a knife and resize them while the whip is on the hook.  If you are using a machine logistically it gets complicated.

If you want something to cut there’s the Australian Stranders, however you won’t automatically be cutting great lace with them.

These do still have a bit of a learning curve and personally I think that time is better spent learning to do it by hand.  The safety bar on these makes it hard to switch between pieces of lace as well.  If you are making a whip you need to cut one piece for a little bit…disassemble the strander, reassemble it around the next piece and cut for a bit.  You’ll be repeating this process over and over and over again.  It’s really not a very good way to cut lace from a time stand point.

To sum it all up, if you are starting out as a leather braider I would recommend getting a box cutter and a box of blades.  I’d then call the David Morgan Company or Midwest Whips to see if they had a lower grade kangaroo skins that I could buy hack up while I’m learning to cut lace.  I know kangaroo costs more than cow, however kangaroo is easier to work with than cow.  Cutting cow leather and braiding it is EXTREMELY difficult compared to kangaroo, especially if you are doing anything over 12 plait.

Hope that helps!

Louie

 

 

 

 

Whip Progress and a Fall Replacement…

Whip Progress and a Fall Replacement…

Yesterday I got a bit of plaiting in on the 4 foot bullwhip before I had to stop to take a break to let me wrist rest.  Luckily this is only a four foot whip and I started work on it ahead of schedule, so with a bit of luck it will only be a day or two late shipping out.

While I was giving myself a break from plaiting I had a whip come in for a fall replacement.   Here’s the whip without a fall attached (but one with the point threaded through the fall):

bullwip

And here’s the whip ready for action again:

Bull whip

If you’ve got a whip that needs a new fall, or a repair you can get more info about those services at: http://bullwhips.org/?page_id=7409

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Bullwhip Bolsters…

Bullwhip Bolsters…

Yesterday despite having a hurt wrist, I managed to get the internal layers of the 4 foot whip I’m working on finished.  bull whip

This bullwhip internally has a core, plaited belly, then two bolsters.  Up next for today is putting on a knot foundation and cutting out the overlay.  Cutting the overlay shouldn’t be too hard on my wrist.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org