From the Mail Bag…

From the Mail Bag…

Here’s a email I got and I figured the answers would be relevant to some others:

“I’ve made a couple whips before and they turned out alright. But I’ve been asked to make an Aussie stock whip for a girl from Australia. Any tips or advice? And what is your take on saddle soap as a conditioner and plaiting agent? Thank you for any advice you might have.”

Let’s start out with a general thought about making stock whips:

A basic stock whip is a lot easier to make than a bullwhip.  

While I don’t know the length you are going for, there’s a great pattern for making a stock whip in David Morgan’s book Whips and Whip Making.  If you basically follow that and adjust it based on the length of the whip you should do fine.

Next up is using saddle soap.  I personally do not use it, the main reason is I can’t stand the smell.  Every brand I’ve tried stinks!  There are other valid reasons to not use saddle soap as plaiting soap and as conditioner.

First for plaiting, you really can’t beat using soap and lard.  You can find the recipe for making this in David Morgan’s book Braiding Fine Leather (I think it’s also in Whips and Whip Making).  Soap and lard is much cheaper than buying saddle soap, and it’s usually much easier to buy, as you can get everything you need from the grocery store.

Now as for using saddle soap as a conditioner.  Yes, it has some stuff in it that’s good for leather, but it also has stuff in it that’s bad for leather.  Products like Pecard’s Leather Dressing and Fiebing’s Aussie Conditioner are generally accepted as better for kangaroo.  The nice thing about products like Pecard’s is that it’s ready to go, you don’t need to add water.  You can throw a small tub of it in your whip bag and you can add conditioner to that fall you didn’t realize was dried out when you are at the park cracking your whips.

Hope that helps!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

8 foot stock whip

8 foot stock whip

My current project is making an 8 foot stock whip.  This whip will have a 12 plait handle and an 8 plait lash. I’m starting with a 61 decimeter kangaroo skin that I picked up yesterday at David Morgan.

stock whip

For the handles I’m using a fiberglass stock whip handle.  I got a bunch of these many years ago from David Morgan, they had surplus’d them.

stock whip

Today I should get the handle finished and hopefully get all of the leather cut out for the lash.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Short Bullwhip

Short Bullwhip

My current project is working on a 4 1/2 foot bullwhip with a 12 inch handle.  I’m using a 57 dm veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo skin that I got from David Morgan:

kangaroo skin

This bullwhip will have a core, plaited belly, two bolsters and a 12 plait overlay. Here’s the first bolster sitting on the plaited belly:

how to make a bullwhip

And here’s the bolster after it has been tied onto the belly:

how to make a bullwhip

I then attached the 2nd bolster (not pictured) and cut out the 12 plait overlay:

bull whip

Tomorrow I’ll get onto plaiting the overlay.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Stingray Barb Letter Opener

Stingray Barb Letter Opener

This morning I’m shipping out a fun little project that I made a long time ago.  It’s a plait letter opener with stingray barb as the “blade”.

letter opener plaited sting ray letter opener

The original post from when I made this is here: http://bullwhips.org/?p=5312

This was a fun build to make 6 years ago, and apparently it’s been kicking around on the internet all those years and I’m glad it’s going to a new home!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Another Interesting Stock Whip Repair

Another Interesting Stock Whip Repair

This is the week of unusual whip repairs.  I have another stock whip that came in for a new fall.

fall replacement

Upon closer look at the fall this fall hitch wasn’t the normal fall hitch most whip makers use.

fall replacement

Here’s a little closer view of the fall hitch:

fall replacement
I’ve never seen this type of hitch in person, but have seen it in Ron Edwards book How To Make Whips:

It’s described on page 149 of the book as Maurice Doohan’s Hitch.  Here’s the finished fall hitch:

fall replacement
And the whole whip as it’s going back to its owner today:

fall replacement

In the How To Make Whips book the author mentions this works best on new whips, not on repairs.  After tying the hitch, I get the feeling that advice is more from an ease of making standpoint.  I can see how much easier it’d be to do that hitch with new lace over old lace.

This was a fun repair for me as it took me out of what I normally do!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Beginner’s Bullwhip

Beginner’s Bullwhip

I finally finished up a 6 foot 4 plait Beginner’s Bullwhip that I started a long time ago.  I’m glad I had time to finish it.

6 foot beginner's bullwhip

This bullwhip internally has a leather core, two leather bolsters and a 4 plait belly. It’s listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Next up on my list is to do a repair on a stock whip that needs a new fall!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Unique Way of Tying a Knot!

Unique Way of Tying a Knot!

I recently had a stock whip handle come in for a repair.  This whip belonged to someone that was a former rodeo performer.  Here’s  the handle when it got to me:

stock whip repair

Here’s the lash (he didn’t send me the lash, so I never got to see it in person):

stock whip lash

And a close up of the broken keeper:

stock whip repair

Nothing too exciting.  When I went to untie the knot, I realized what looked like a two pass knot, was actually one pass!

stock whip repair

The maker had tooled a line down the middle of the lace so that it appeared to be two pass knot!  I’d never seen this, or even considered doing it this way. They also did this with the heel knot to make it appear to be a three pass, when it was only one:

stock whip repair

To make this a more fun repair for me, I decided I was going to try to replicate the lace that was on the stock whip handle.  My first attempt was to take my fid and run it down the middle of a piece of lace.  It was a lot of work and turned out really sloppy and I forgot to take pictures of it.

For the second attempt I dug out  my lace cutter and had the blade barely poke out and ran a piece of lace over it.

leather lace cutter

This did work, but upon comparing it to the original lace it wasn’t what the original maker did. Also the slit in the lace was so thin, it really won’t show up until the whip gets used a bit and it gets dirty in the slit.

turkshead knot

My next idea was to use the tool in the picture below (I don’t know what the tool is called) and cut a little channel in  the leather lace:

turkshead knot

It took me two tries to get the channel straight, but it ended up working out and I think this is the method that it looks like the original maker used. Here’s how mine turned out:

stock whip repair stock whip repair

If you had some sort of tool that you ran the lace over and were mass producing whips, this would be an effective way to save some time.  Obviously it only works if everything is pretty much the same size.  Based on how this whip was made, the maker was cranking them out, and not concerned with leaving little gaps.

This stock whip handle is on the way back to it’s owner!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org