7 foot Old School Indy Bullwhip

7 foot Old School Indy Bullwhip

Here’s the pictures of the 7 foot Indiana Jones Style bullwhip that I made. It was going to be 8 foot, but I had to adjust it due to an unusual amount of strand breaks while making it.

7 foot Indy

Even with all the strand breaks, it turned out pretty good looking.

Indy Bullwhip 7 feet

I took it out and gave it a few cracks on my deck and it’s got a nice weight to it.

bullwhip handle

Louie

P.S. This bullwhip is for sale in the “In Stock” page: Click here to see my In Stock and ready to ship whips.

New Look For www.Bullwhips.org

New Look For www.Bullwhips.org

This morning I was monkeying around with the look of this website and ended up with what you are seeing now.  I need to start resizing my picture so they fit the page. I think I’ll just start doing the resizing with my new posts and leave the old ones how they are.

Louie

P.S. I’ll post pictures of the whip I just finished shellac’ing in a bit, I’ve got to eat lunch and go do a gig.

What Happened…

What Happened…

I’m still working on the 8 foot bullwhip, and for me the maker it’s been a pain in the ass…however the bullwhip looks pretty good.  While making this bullwhip I must have broken 5 strands.  The silver lining to breaking that many is that I’m getting pretty good at adding strands in at the breaks. 

My last two whips (this one and the 4 foot before it) have been rough.  One thing I know from being a performer (and I hope it applies to whipmaking) is when things get bad there’s going to be a “break through” just around the corner. When you are learning to do anything there are peaks and valleys and you have to go through the valleys to get to the peaks.  And that most people give up right before the peak, you just have to work all the way through the valley.  I’ve notice that applies to whipcracking as well.  Everynow and then I’ll struggle doing things that I know I can do, then a day or so later I’m back to normal, plus I’ve figured out what I’ve been working on.

I learned about the  “peaks and valley” while I was in high school in Minnesota.  I was riding the bus home from somewhere and had to transfer in downtown Minneapolis.  I had some time to kill and found a bookstore called the READundant Bookstore.  The crazy thing about this store is that it only had one book, but shelves full of it.  The book was called Innovation on Demand by Allen Fahden.  I met Allen and we talked a bit.  I got the book and read it.  I don’t know how much I really got out of it at the time, and I’ve only read it once (I really should crack it open again).  However I think about the book’s “peaks and valleys” idea often and have applied it to my life ever since.   There’s more in the book about different type of people, but since I typically work alone I don’t remember too much about that part.  Alright I’m going to re-read Allen’s book right after I finish reading Born Standing Up by Steve Martin.  Steve Martin’s book is a must for anyone that wants to be a performer.

Back to bullwhips, I’m still finishing up the 8 foot whip and have started cutting out another 8 foot whip in the Indy IV style.  I don’t have much cut out yet, but it’s been started.

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

Visited David Morgan…

Visited David Morgan…

Yesterday I had a gig up near David Morgan’s shop, so I popped by for a visit.  We talked about plaiting technique and his hook set up.  Morgan also confirmed my thinking that plaiting in a vise had encouraged me to get some bad habits while plaiting.

I also picked up a kangaroo hide to make an 8 foot whip with. 

I showed David the 6 foot blue bullwhip that I had made.  He picked it up and cracked it a bit and said, “Very good“!!!!!  That’s the best comment I’ve ever gotten from him.  In the past I’ve gotten “you’re on your way”, or things like “good, but…”.   This is the first whip I’ve shown  him that got a “Very Good”!!  I’m calling that a passing grade from Morgan and something that I’ve worked really hard to get. 

bullwhip 12 plait 6 foot

I left his shop with the biggest smile on my face!  I was going to sell this bullwhip, but I think I’m going to keep it for myself.

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

Two Tone Bullwhip

Two Tone Bullwhip

I don’t know if I ever posted pictures of this whip.  I made it at least a couple of months ago and it’s been hanging on a peg.  This two tone bullwhip was part of my early experiments with hand dying the kangaroo.  I cut the set then folded back every other strand and dyed the rest as a group.

 bullwhips two tone for sale

This bullwhip’s handle was my first and only attempt (so far) at fancy plaiting on the handle. This bullwhip was made from a EXTRA thick kangaroo hide that I had found.  So the strand drop in the picture below really stands out.  The seam on this whip turned out pretty straight.

fancy plaiting on bullwhip handle

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

Secrets To Straight Seams…

Secrets To Straight Seams…

When I first started making bullwhips I braided on a hook on my deck and my seams were very “wonky”.  Then I put a vise in my office and my seams straightend out.  Recently I rearranged my office and have a hook on the wall and no longer have a vise set up.  I’ve notice my seams haven’t been as straight since I switched to the hook. 

Then today I figured it out!  My Seam is going very straight on the whip that I’m working on.  One of the things that I really enjoy about making whips is the trial and error.  Figuring out new things and trying different techniques while making bullwhips. 

What did I do to straighten my seams?   Well I went back to basics an focused on technique and changed one little thing and what a difference that made!  I can’t tell you what I did to fix it because if you are paying attention to how you are braiding  you aren’t having the problem I did (poor technique).  I think the vise allowed me to get a bit sloppy, but the hook whipped me back into shape.

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

Broken Strands

Broken Strands

Last night while working on th 8 foot bullwhip I broke a strand!  Breaking a strand isnt’ the end of the world, but it’s a pain in the ass.  I’ve got a technique that I use to drop the broken one and add in a new one.  I think this technique is original to me (but I could be wrong). 

What I do is I undo some of the overlay and taper the broken strand to a point…but I give myself room to do some plaiting before it tapers.  Then I take the strand that is going to be added and taper the start of that strand to a point.  I add the point under the bolster and plait over it.  It will wind out from under the bolster shortly before it’s needed. 

Then when I’m ready I add the strand to the overlay, but don’t drop the broken strand yet.  At that point both strands (the broken and one to be added) are about half the width of the other strands in the overlay.  I run them together for one hitch, then drop the broken strand and continue with the added strand. 

I don’t know if this is the best way to do it visually, because you can see a “double strand”, but it seems to avoid and lumps that I normally get when dropping and adding strands.  Also I think it holds them in place pretty well. 

 That’s how I’m currently dealing with broken strands.  It seems to work pretty well. 

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

Handle On 8 Footy Finished

Handle On 8 Footy Finished

Yesterday I managed to get some some work on the 8 foot bullwhip done.  I’ve got about a foot of the overlay on this bullwhip finished last night.  

One thing I’m noticing is the small things that I do when making my whips that I’ve picked up here or there or figured out myself are starting to add up.  I think my own style is starting to develop, but it’s still got a while to go.   It’s funny how all these little things start adding up. 

Today I should be able to get another couple feet of the overlay finished.  I’ve got a lot of work to do again today, but I did pretty well yesterday finding time to do a bit of whipmaking. 

Also it’s almost time for me to get a new side of kip, I think the hide that I currently have is good for two more whips.

Louie

www.bullwhips.org

www.bullwhips.org

Full Day of non-whipmaking (with a little plaiting snuck in)…

Full Day of non-whipmaking (with a little plaiting snuck in)…

Today I’ve got a full day of working on a mailing to book my shows and I’ve got a ton of phone calls to return.  I should be able to sneak a bit of whipmaking in today at some point. 

The 8 foot “old school” indiana Jones Bullwhip that I started yesterday has the 2nd belly plaited.  My next step is roll it, then to cut out the 2nd bolster and overlay.  Also this morning I’ll probably be able to sneak in some whipcracking at the park after I walk my daughter to school.

Louie

P.S. If you are looking for a indy whip to be made a shipped to you before the movie opens, I offer both the new style (jacka) and the  morgan style indy bullwhips.  Click here for my made to order whips page!

8 foot indy bullwhip

8 foot indy bullwhip

This morning I started an 8 foot indiana Jones stye bullwhip.  I’ve got the two bellies cut out, the core, wear leather and 1st bolster cut out as well.  Actually the 1st belly is finished being plaited.  I’ll probably have the 2nd belly finished tonight.

I’ve become fond of using wear leather on my whips.  I think it helps smooth out the transistion from the handle to the thong.  I still bind the transition a bit to make sure it doesn’t break down.

As for that 4 foot whip, I finished it this morning and it’s definately not a good example of my work.  I’ll probably give it away to a friend.  It’s not a bad whip, it’s just UGLY!  It does have a hell of a crack.

Louie

www.bullwhips.org