When you use cowhide to make an Aussie Bullwhip do you use 4oz for your bellies and/or the overlay?
I believe that I once read that you use 2-3oz. ‘kip’ (?) for the bolsters when crafting one in kangaroo leather..?
Basically the answer about what I’m using for bellies in all whips is pretty simple. I use the thinnest veg tanned cow leather I can find. Typically that’s going to be 2-3 ounce leather. However sometimes due to what’s available I have to use a thicker leather and run it through my leather splitter to thin it down.
As for overlays, I would use kangaroo and not kip. You can use kip, but it’s not something I’d do, unless I had some kip I was trying to get rid of. Also I think most Australian whip makers would tell you that for an Aussie Bullwhip, kangaroo for the overlay is a must!
My current project is working on a dozen whips! Six of them will be six foot 12 plait bullwhips and the other six will be four foot stockwhips. The most labor intensive will be the bullwhips, so I’m working on them first.
For me, when making a lot of whips that are the same, the easiest way to save time is to do the same layer of all of them at the same time. This is “production line” style, where you do only one task at a time. This way your brain isn’t constantly shifting gears. For example, I cut out all of the bellies at the same time:
Then I went through and attached all of the inner bellies at the same time. Once they were all attached I plaited all six of them.
This way works great, but when I’m doing the overlays will be really rough on my hands.
I had this whip come in for a repair. The keepers on the handle and the lash were basically gone. What was left of the keeper on the lash was the loop from an inner layer of the whip. The keeper on the handle was about to fall off as well.
I wanted to keep what was left of the keepers/loops and build over them. This in theory will provide a bit more strength than if I had cut them off.
For the handle, I took off the knot:
Then removed the string:
I then put a new keeper onto where the string was. I bound it really tight with sinew and put a new knot on it. . I did a similar procedure for the lash:
And the end result turned out looking pretty nice!
I gave it a crack, and it works great!
I want to give a shout out to Paul Nolan for helping me get some kangaroo that matched the whip!