This four foot bullwhip recently shipped out to its new owner!
I’ve got a few more whips listed and ready to ship out on my IN STOCK whips page!
Recently I got an email from someone who wanted to know the names of the different parts of a bullwhip. There is some variation in the terms that people use. The variation is usually a geographic thing, but it can also be a generation thing.
We’ll start at the end you hold and work our way to the end that makes the noise.
The knob on the end is called a heel knot.
Moving up the whip, you then have the handle. Despite it being called the handle, most whip crackers hold the whip in their hand by the heel knot. Holding the whip by the heel knot allows you to use the full length of the handle as leverage to put more energy into the whip with less effort on your part.
Here’s the handle:
Visually at the end of the handle is the transition knot. This know is mostly decorative. There are specific instances where this knot has a function, but is most whips it’s purely for aesthetics. A whip doesn’t need this knot to function, in fact I’ve made many by whips by request that don’t have that knot.
This knot typically sets at about the spot where the rigid handle ends. It’s main purpose it to hide the transition from the plaiting pattern of the handle to that of the lash.
Past the transition knot is the Lash or Thong of the whip. The lash is the flexible part of the whip that’s braided.
Extending past the lash is the fall. The fall is attached to the lash by a knot called a “fall hitch”. The way a bullwhip is designed the fall which takes a lot of stress is easily replaced.
Finally we to the end of the whip that makes the noise and that’s the crackers. Like the fall the cracker is designed to be replaced, and replaced very easily. The cracker takes the most abuse out of all the parts of the whip, it’s also cheap to replace.
There you have it, all the parts of the whip.
The 6 foot bullwhip has been finished!
Here’s a peek at the overlay and the finished transition knot:
And here’s the whip with both finished knots:
Once the knots are done, the whip will get a couple coats of shellac and rolled a couple more times. Here’s the whip right before I boxed it up:
It’s on the way to it’s new owner!
Work is starting on a six foot, 12 plait bullwhip in whiskey colored kangaroo.
I got this skin from David Morgan, and at 55dm it’s the perfect size. Currently all the interior layers are finished and I just need to do the outside of the whip.
Here’s the set for the overlay after being cut, stretched and pared:
I’ll get started on plaiting soon.
Here’s a stockwhip that came in for a repair. It needed a new fall hitch:
Here’s a close up of the hitch:
It’s not exactly how you want the fall to be attached to the whip. It was probably a decent temporary fix. I’m glad the owner sent it to me to get it redone.
here’s it is:
This is on it’s way back to its owner!
Here’s a 5 foot 12 plait bullwhip that’s shipping out to Europe to its new owner!
I just realized I forgot to post pictures of the 8 foot 12 plait bullwhip that I finished recently. Here’s the final product:
It was a fun bullwhip to make!
The National Cowboy Museum has some cool whips in their collection.
Here’s Lash LaRue’s Whip:
Here’s Tim McCoy’s stockwhip:
They had a bunch of his incredible plaited works. You can learn more about him from this book:
If you’re in Oklahoma City, OK, it’s definitely worth a stop!
Yesterday I finished the overlay of an 8 foot bullwhip. It’s 12 plait in whiskey kangaroo.
After the overlay was put on, I tied some string for the foundation for the transition knot:
Then put a turkshead over the string:
The string base for the knot is something that I put on to keep the knot from sliding up and down the whip if it loosens over time. It also builds up the space under the knot and gives it a little bit of texture.
Also you’ll notice the color difference between the knot and the handle/lash of the whip. The knot is the color of the leather when I get it, and the handle/lash is the color the braiding process (pulling/plaiting soap/etc) changes it to. The knot will be darkened during the finishing process.
Today I’ll put the heel knot on, roll and schellac the whip and ship it out!