KotCS bullwhip finished!

KotCS bullwhip finished!

Last night I put the final coat of shellac on this 8 foot Kingdom of the Crystal Skull style bullwhip.  It’s 12 plait made with whiskey and brandy colored kangaroo skins.

 

12 plait bullwhip

This bullwhip is 12 plait and it drops to an 8 plait point.  

 

bullwhip

The knots are the same kind that Terry Jacka used on the bullwhip used in the latest Indiana Jones movie.  

bullwhip coiled

I think that this is one of the best bullwhips that I’ve made so far.  It’s got a nice taper and a great crack!  The only thing I don’t like about this bullwhip is that it was made for someone else, and I can’t keep it for myself!

Once this bullwhip ships out on Monday I will have offically cleared out my waiting list of bullwhips!  It’s a nice feeling to be able to work on what  I want to work on.  I’d like to make a pair of 4 or 4 1/2 foot bullwhips for myself.  

I also want to do some more signal whips, I’m facinated by the braided cracker on them.  I don’t know why, but I think they look cool with the braided cracker.    Also I need to shoot some video of a new trick shot I’m doing with a signal whip (turning off and on a lamp with it!).

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Beware on Ebay!!!

Beware on Ebay!!!

I’m always amazed at the number of whips that people are selling on ebay where the seller is NOT HONEST!  Here’s the latest example:

crappy bullwhip

Now early on I’ve made bullwhips like this, but here’s what the seller says:

I don’t do many whips and when I put one up for sale on ebay!  It represents my company and you can rest assure!  it’s not going to be any kind of cheap whip!  I only make the best!

So this seller is saying his 6 foot bullwhip is “the best!”.  Look at his bullwhip above (it has more sharp angles in it than a box of broken glass!) and compare it with one of the best (here’s a Joe Strain for comparison):

Joe Strain bullwhip

According to this seller they are on the same level!

The seller of the sh*tty bullwhip is a scumbag!  Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere, but saying that you “only make the best” when it’s clear that the bullwhip maker doesn’t have many bullwhips under their belt or is in serious denial of their abilities, in my opinion if its either case the maker is a scumbag by pimping their bullwhip and it will probably be bought by an uninformed buyer that actually thinks they are getting “the best”.

When you are selling a bullwhip and are new at making them it’s important to tell people that.  Usually the people that buy from new makers are people who are just getting into whip cracking and need/want a cheaper bullwhip.  But selling a bullwhip that’s not “the best” and passing it off as “the best” will only do end up  hurting the whipcracking industry in the long run.

Here’s how I see it, when someone get’s a whip that they are told is “the best” but is lacking in quality, they will think it’s the best because they’ve never tried a better bullwhip.  Now I’ve never handled the bullwhip in question, but if it’s poorly weighted then the person buying it will have limited success with it and give up on whip cracking.   The more people who are into sport whipcracking the better, with a bigger field of people cracking whips you get more innovations and it’ll take away some of the negative sterotypes of whips.

In the interest of full disclosure I’m not the best bullwhip maker in the world, but no one can argue that I’m not honest with my abilities.  I don’t say that my bullwhips are comparable to guys like Paul Nolan, Joe Strain, Bernardo Del Carpio, David Morgan, who make fantastic bullwhips.

So to sum it all up, if you making bullwhips and selling them take an honest look at your bullwhips and try to stand on the other side of the counter (the customer’s side) and do the right thing, BE HONEST!!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

8 foot KotCS Test Cracking…

8 foot KotCS Test Cracking…

Last night I finished the plaiting on this 8 foot KotCS style bullwhip.  It’s one of the best bullwhips that I’ve made so far…but I  haven’t started the knots yet, so my opinion could change.

How to make a bullwhip

The picture above is the bullwhip about 1/2 finished.  I’ve been doing my strand drops a bit differently lately and I’m liking the results a lot better.  Instead of dropping the strands on the same side, I’m dropping one on the front and one from the back of the whip.  That’s giving me less of a “kink” in the whip when it’s coiled.

12 plait bullwhip

Another thing that I’ve been doing lately when making my KotCS bullwhips is I’m ending them in an 8 plait, which is more screen accurate to the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie than the 6 plait.  One of the advantages of the doing that is that I get to avoid the dreaded 8-6 plait strand drop.  On one of  my visits to Joe Strain I mentioned I was having trouble with the coiled whip kinking at that strand drop and Joe told me that everyone has trouble with that!  Joe’s figured out how to make that drop’s kink virtually invisible, and that’s why he’s one of the top bullwhip makers!

One thing that Joe told me a long time ago is that you’ll never be able to make your strand drops invisible to another whipmaker because they are looking for them and they know where to look!

Here’s me giving this 8 foot bullwhip a couple of test cracks.

The whip sounds quiet in the video because I was cracking it at a little park on the Puget Sound and there wasn’t much for the sound to echo off.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Last Custom Bullwhip of ’08!

Last Custom Bullwhip of ’08!

Today I’m going to start work on my last “made to order” bullwhip of the year! It’s an 8 foot KotCS style bullwhip and it needs to make it to it’s new owner by Christmas. After that bullwhip is finished I’ve got a couple of bullwhips that I want to make for myself, including a pair of 4 foot two tone bullwhips.

I’ve been bad at adding posts and pictures to this blog lately, I’ve been very busy making bullwhips, performing and running a side business of mine that’s incredibly busy during the holidays (www.amazingmagickit.com).

After the Christmas I’ll be back to updating my blog almost daily again.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Kangaroo Bullwhips and Water…

Kangaroo Bullwhips and Water…

I’ve had several people repeat to me something that I think is a common misconception about kangaroo bullwhip, and that’s the belief that you can’t get them wet.  Personally I think that’s not true, kangaroo whips can get wet, but if the do get wet there is more care that you need to give them.

I never crack my bullwhips in the rain, it’s just not fun to stand outside in the pouring rain.  Also when your crackers get wet they will tangle more and when your falls get wet they behave differently (do to the added weight of the moisture).

It’s not the water that’s bad for your bullwhip, it’s the potential for mold that you want to avoid.  When most bullwhips are plaited the maker uses some sort of plaiting soap to get a tight braid and many of these are water based, so the bullwhip has water in it from the start.  However most of this water evaporates while making the whip.

Quite often I crack my whips in the morning and it’s a bit “dewy” outside.  Because leather is porous, water fills up the little holes in the water.   So in the winter time use a leather conditioner with beeswax.  The beeswax has some water repelling abilities and any dressing will fill in those holes so that water can’t.

Another this that I have in my whip bag is a washcloth and I dry off my whips frequently during a practice session when the bullwhips are being used over wet ground.  Then when I dry them again with a washcloth and set them out in the open to dry.  

Again it’s not the water that’s bad, it’s the potential for mold that you want to avoid. The water will evaporate on it’s own, but you want it to do it fairly quickly so you don’t give mold a chance to grow.  Also the deeper the penetration of the water into the bullwhip the harder it will be to get it out.  For example leaving your whips out all night in the pouring rain will soak them to the core and you might never get them fully dry.  The outer layers may feel dry, but the core could still be wet and rotting from the inside out.

A lot of people recommend putting dressing on your whips after using them in the rain.  I don’t agree with this.  I think that if your bullwhip is wet and your put dressing on it, you are sealing in the water and it will take longer for it to evaporate.  Instead let your whip dry THEN add some dressing, so you aren’t locking in the dressing, but are still replacing the oils/grease that may have been lost when the whip was wet.

That’s my opinion on getting your bullwhip wet, and how I personally treat mine when it’s wet out.  Use your whips wet conditions at your own risk!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Two Bullwhip Videos

Two Bullwhip Videos

It’s finally dry enough outside to go out and test crack a couple of bullwhips.  Here’s a 8 foot 8 inch Indy bullwhip that’s not quite finished (I’ll post more about this bullwhip later):

Also here’s the 8 foot Young Indy bullwhip, the more I look at this bullwhip and have now cracked it the more I want to keep it…but I don’t have the space.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Young Indy Bullwhip is Finally finished

Young Indy Bullwhip is Finally finished

I started this bullwhip a long time ago, but shortly after I started it the buyer backed out.  So it kinda put it on the back burner and worked a bit on it here and there.  The main reason I still made it after the buyer backed out was that I had already bought the dye, and wanted to try my hand at hand dying again.

Hand dying is a pain in the butt and I hope it’s a long time before I do any of it again.  I’m very happy with how this bullwhip turned out!   I’ve gotten to crack it a bit outside on my deck, but the weather has been horrible, so it hasn’t gotten to visit the park yet.

 

8 foot Young Indiana Jones Style bullwhip

Here’s a close up of the handle:

 

Young Indy bullwhip handle

After all the work that went into this whip I debated with myself about keeping it and decided that I have enough bullwhips I don’t need another, so I’ve added this whip to the IN STOCK whips page on this website.  

It’s priced at a bit more than my normal 8 foot bullwhips, that because of the effort that went into making this bullwhip.  Normally for a two tone the colors run the whole lenght of the bullwhip, but for this one I had to plait the handle, then unplait it to figure out how far up the strands to dye them for the handle…and where to start the black for the thong.  

Louie

http://bullwhips.org