Yesterday I got an order for 4 foot black 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip, so that puts my stockwhip back onto the back burner while I make that bullwhip. I’ll probably cut out enough strands for two bullwhips at the same time. That way I’m halfway finished by the time I get another order. I’ll post some pictures of this whip as it get’s made.
Since it’s almost October, I’m wondering how much free time I’ll have in the near future to work on that stockwhip. October is a busy performing month for me, but then in November it’s slower, but I use November to prepare one of my businesses (www.amazingmagickit.com) for the holiday rush. And of course December is a super busy month for both performing and my magic kit business.
So with any luck I’ll find some holes in my schedule to crank out some more whips (aside from bullwhip orders).
Usually September is a lazy month for me as far as peforming and other business goes. This month has been very busy with last minute gigs, and projects appearing. Thursday I ended up taking on / helping out some one that got a used book collection.
You may or may not know that my “day job” is as a professional magician, and I happen to know a lot about old magic books. Specifially what is worth $$ and who is looking for specific books. So I’m helping out to find homes for 17 boxes of books!!!
So with all that going on, in the last 3 days I’ve only gotten about 6 more inches of the plaiting done of the stockwhip that I’m working on. But I did get out and get to crack my new 1/2 thickness polypro crackers. I notice a slight difference between the full thickness and the 1/2 thickness, but they really aren’t much harder to make, so I’ll probaby keep using them.
In the future I may try 1/3 thickness polypro crackers.
One thing that Morgan mentioned to me was that the Polypro Crackers that I use were too heavy for my falls on the pair of whips that I use. Based on how I make my crackers, there was no way to make them lighter….until today. I took the strand of polypro string and split it down the middle so I had two strings of the same lenght, but 1/2 the diameter of the original string. Then I tied them into crackers.
It’s raining today, so I don’t get to try them out today. With any luck they won’t tangle like the thicker cracker, and will have the bulk/weight of a nylon cracker…the best of both worlds.
The cracker on the left is the regular thickness and the two crackers on the left are the 1/2 thickness crackers.
Well here’s what I have done and what I have in the hopper with my bullwhip making. Yesterday I put the knots on a 4 foot “Neo Indy” bullwhip that I had started last week, but got put on the back burner while I made that two tone 5 foot whip. The 4 foot whip is finished and luckily yesterday it was ordered…so it’s going to ship out today. Here’s a picture of that bullwhip:
My current project is making a 8 foot 8 plait stockwhip. David Morgan mentioned that I should make a few stockwhips to help me play with how the weight is in my whips. He says that if you make three handles and three thongs, you can play with how the weight is by switching handles and thongs.
I’m making this stock whip basically from page 78-82 of David’s book Whips and Whipmaking. After this one if it turns out alright, I’ll probably make two more thongs with the weight in different places. One carried further out into the thong and the other not quite as far.
Right now I have the core and belly finished of this whip.
The next step is to cut out the bolster, then to cut out the overlay. One thing that Paul Nolan and David Morgan mentioned to me was that stockwhips were easy to make (compared to bullwhips).
Today it’s raining out here in Seattle (way to live the sterotype), so unless it gets real sunny and hot out soon, I won’t be doing any cracking today. But since I only have one gig tonight and not many people to call back about gigs today, I should be able to finish the stockwhip today.
After the stockwhip my next project will be another bullwhip. The points for me to watch are cutting my strands wide, but not too wide. That and attaching a fall and cracker of the appropriate weight. I’m going to try to engineer a way to make a lighter polypro cracker than I am currently making. Also I need to keep my knob a smidge smaller.
Last night I finished the two tone bullwhip. As I predicted it’s a very subtle two tone with the black and brandy colors. the contrast between the two really doesn’t photograph well. Below is a picture of it halfway finished.
This whip was a bit of a challenge because of the two different thickeness of hides. I remembered something that Joe Strain told me about pulling strands differently based on thier width, and thickness.
Sometime this afternoon after sun burns the dew off the grass I’m going to take this whip out for some test cracks. Also I’ll have some pictures of the finished whip posted later today.
Lately I’ve been working on my two handed whip cracking. Yesterday I managed to get in three 15 minute sessions. the first session was normal, and the second one I was kickin’ butt really making progress. But the third session I was having trouble doing things that weren’t hard.
I’ve talked a bit about that with Steve Huntress who makes nylon bullwhips and is a whip cracker too. He mentioned that some days he has trouble doing things that he shouldn’t have any problem doing. My thoery for this is usually you have trouble right before a “breakthrough”. Like your brain is rewiring itself, but needs to shut down to complete the job.
I notice this when my daughter was a toddler and learning new things. Like she’s have a very clumsy day, then the next day she’d have a new skill that she was working on down pat.
Also yesterday I got an order for a 5 foot bullwhip. This is going to be a two tone bullwhip without the lead loading in the butt like I’ve been making. The colore are going to be Black and Brandy Kangaroo.
This put’s a couple of my projects on the back burner. Right now I have a 4 foot, 12 plait black kangaroo whip almost finished, all it need are the knots. Also it delays my stock whips that I am planning on making. but soo far all I have done with those is draw up a plan.
The 5 foot whip that was ordered soo far has the core made, 1st belly plaited and the 1st bolster cut out and attached to the 1st belly. My next step is cutting out the 2nd belly that I’m going to do this morning after I sweep the house and take my daughter to school.
With a little luck I’ll be able to get the overlay cut out and braided today as well. I’ll post pictures of this whip in progress later today.