Plaiting Goat Hide

Plaiting Goat Hide

My first attempt at an 8 plait Goat Hide overlay wasn’t successful, but I learned a lot!  For starters the whip ended up a bit too thin, so I added an additional bolster to thicken it up a tad.

Another (major) problem that I came across was how stretchy the goat is.  I have to cut the strands very wide to compensate for the stretch.  Also I broke several strands while trying to braid it.

One problem with my braiding that can be overcome is that I’m plaiting it like it’s kangaroo.  I need to pull a bit gentler…but the trade off is that the whip isn’t as tight.  I was thinking about that solution to breaking the strands last night and I can braid it fairly tight, but not as tight as a roo whip.  However when you consider that this is a cheaper bullwhip for someone starting out that wants to learn a few cracks, I think it’s alright.

Finished Goat Bullwhip!

Here’s the finished goat hide bullwhip:

bullwhip for beginners
bull whip
bullwhip picture

This 7 foot bullwhip was made with the Indiana Jones look to it.   I’ve got it listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

I’m not sure how many more of these I’m going to make, I have enough goat hide for one or two more.  The problem with making an 8 plait is that it just takes too long to make and I’m trying to keep the price below $200.  I’m offering this first one for $165, the normal price will be $197.  I might try to make one in 4 plait and see how long that takes me to make.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Goat Hide Bullwhip…

Goat Hide Bullwhip…

Last night I started working on a bullwhip made from Veg Tanned Goat Hide.  I’ve never worked with goat before, so this a fun project for me.  I’ve got enough goat hide to make three bullwhips that are entirely from the goat hide (core, belly, bolster, overlay).

The nice thing about the goat hides is that they are about the same size and a kangaroo skin (5-7 square feet), so for the most part I can look at the hide and know how much whip I can make out of it.

The one thing that I’ve notice about the goat so far (I’ve cut out the core, belly and boslter) is that the outside of the hide is very stretchy.  When I cut the belly I had to do the strands very wide to make up for the stretch.   I did like how the leather felt “softer” than cowhide, so I’m hoping that will translate into it braiding easily.

The goal with the goat hide is to be able to make an 8 plait beginners bullwhip that will sell for about $200.  Since the general length of bullwhip that’s suggested for beginners is between 6 and 8 feet, I’m planning on making these 7 foot bullwhips.

Also since the goat hide is natural tan in color these beginners bullwhips will have an Indiana Jones look to them.  I still need to finish braiding the 10 foot whip I’m working on, but with a bit of luck I might be able to get on of these beginners bullwhips finished.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

10 foot bullwhip…

10 foot bullwhip…

I’ve started work on the overlay of a 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip.  This bullwhips will be made from black kangaroo.  I’ve got about 2 feet of the whip braided.  Here’s a picture of about 2/3 of the finished handle:

bullwhip for sale

I also got my shipment of veg tanned goat hide in.  I orderd 4 hides and they are all about 5ish square feet.

veg tanned goat for bullwhip making

I’m hoping that they will braid well once I cut them up.  I’m planning on using them to make beginners bullwhips.  These will be a bit fancier than my previous  beginners bullwhips, as these will be 8 plait whips.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Signal Whip and Bullwhip

Signal Whip and Bullwhip

The four foot 12 plait signal whip is finished and I’ll be listing it on my IN STOCK Whips page shortly.  Here’s  a picture of the single tail signal whip:

Signal whip

I’ve also started work on a 10 foot 12 plait bullwhip.  Yesterday I finished the core, inner belly, inner bolster and braided about a foot of the outer belly.  Here’s a picture of the finished inner belly:

bullwhip 12 plait whip

I have no shows today and I’m hoping I’ll find time to get the overlay finished today (but something will probably come up and I won’t).

Here’s a  picture of my two main bullwhips that I perform with:

bullwhips

The top bullwhip (natural tan) is a four foot “lil Indy” bullwhip made by Paul Nolan.  I’ve had that whip forever!  The black bullwhip is a four foot 4 plait bullwhip that I made for a specific trick that I do where the thong takes a bit of abuse.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

See me perform this week…

See me perform this week…

This week I’m doing a few live performances that if you are in the area you can swing by and check out!   If you don’t know my “day job” is as a professional magician, I do about 300 shows a year.  Most of them are private functions, but I still do a ton of shows the public can come to.  Here are three that are coming up:

9/23 Clearwater Casino – Bainbridge Island, WA
Showtime is 8pm and I think this show is free, but it’s 21 and up. I’ll be opening for Mike Pace.

9/25 Portland Magic Jam – Portland OR
I’m a special guest performer on the Friday night show  for this magic convention.   Showtime is 8:45pm.  You can get a one day pass to this magic convention for $20.

9/26 Lincoln Theatre – Mt. Vernon, WA
I’m hosting this show at the Lincoln Theatre, showtime is 8:45pm and tickets are $15.   I’m doing a short set, probably just my whip act and handshadows (no magic).

If you are in the area and want to go to one of the shows on 9/23 or 9/26 let me know I think I have a few comp tickets you might be able to use.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip handle taper

Bullwhip handle taper

Recently someone emailed me to ask how I get the handles of my bullwhips to taper.  Mine taper over the length of the handle, going from thin at the butt to thicker at the transition knot.  Here’s an example:

bullwhip indiana jones style

My process for getting the handle to taper is exactly like the getting the thong to taper: Everything inside gets smaller or thinner.

That’s it.

No big secret, but it does take a bit of messing around to figure out the right proportions of the layers to get the look you want.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Beginners bullwhips…

Beginners bullwhips…

Yesterday morning I was on the phone with the company that supplies the leather that I use for my Beginners Bullwhips.  I was expecting a shipment of the cowhide last week, and it never showed up.  I’ve found out that the two kinds of leather that I’ve used are unavailable (of course they didn’t tell me that when they took my order!).

So I’m trying out a couple of different types of leather that are more expensive than what I was  using, but hopefully will make a decent whip.  I’m trying a few more sides of English Kip and some Veg Tanned Goat.  I’ve used English Kip to make bullwhips before, but honestly I think it was mislabeled because it was horrible.  Supposedly the English Kip braids well, what I had in the past didn’t.  As for the goat it’s something new to me, and I’m excited to try it out.

Since I’m paying more for these hides than was I was for the previous cowhide, the price of the beginners bullwhips will go up a bit.  I’m thinking I”m going to try make 8 plait bullwhips out of these hides, that way you get a little more value out of the price hike.

We’ll see how well  they braid an 8 plaits, if I keep breaking the English Kip or Veg Tanned Goat, I may go back to doing the bullwhips as 4 plait.

I’m expecting these hides to come in next week, so we’ll see what I think of them then.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Signal Whip in Progress…

Signal Whip in Progress…

Right now I’m working on a two 12 plait kangaroo signal whips.  They are both black and 4 feet long. I guess you could call them a pair because I’m making them the same way, at the same time from the same hide…except one is for an order and one will be listed for sale on my IN STOCK Whips page when it’s finished.

I’m making two signal whips instead of just one because it’s not too much extra work to do a second one at the same time.  Also I can get two 4 foot signal whips out of one kangaroo hide.  If I made one signal whip out of the 61dm kangaroo skin, the rest wouldn’t be enough for much more than another signal whip, so might as well make it.

Yesterday morning I filled the shot bags, plaited both bellies and attached the bolsters:

single tail singal whip's shot loaded core

Then I cut out the two 12 plait kangaroo overlays:

12 plait kangaroo strands for a signal whip

I also did all the strand prep for one of the whips and have about a foot of it braided.  I should be able to finish this whip today.

Thoughts on Preparing the Strands for Braiding

Yesterday while I was doing the strand prep on one of these 12 plait sets, I thought about everything that goes into getting the strands ready to braid.

To make a whips all you really need to do is cut out the strands and start braiding.  That will make a pretty rough looking whip, but you can do it.  All the other stuff will improve the tightness of the braid, and look of the whip.

Right now my process is:

  • Grease (optional): Some kangaroo hides are dryer than others, and strands cut from a dry hide will stretch better if you grease it and let the grease soak in before you do anything else.  If the hide is nice and greasy this step is unnecessary.
  • Stretch: The initial stretch takes most of the stretch out of the lace.   Also it will hopefully let you know of any weak spots before you start braiding.
  • Straighten: Since I cut by hand and cut stretchy parts a bit wider than they need to be, I straighten out my strands by running them through my David Morgan Lace Cutter.
  • Pare: Having two of the corners beveled will help me get a bit of a tighter braid and give the whip a smoother look.
  • Stretch: After straightening an paring, parts of the strands may not have been fully stretched because of the parts that were cut off.  For me this second stretch is more of a strand strength test, but will also take more of the stretch out of the lace.
  • Split:  This evens out the strand’s thickness and gives me a more uniform strand to work with.  Throughout the kangaroo skin, the thickness can vary a bit, maybe .1mm, but that 1.mm when braided will add .4 mm of extra thickenss to the whip at that point and could result in a small lump.

My strand prep has gotten a lot more involved than it was three years ago when I just stretched and pared.  In the end I think it helps

Louie
http://bullwhips.org