Snake Whip Progress…

Snake Whip Progress…

Yesterday I got a bit of work in on the snake whip that I’m working on.  I braided the 4 plait kangaroo belly and cut out and attached the bolster:

snake whip plaited belly, core and bolster

If you look a the belly in the picture above you will see that I have a little extra wrapping of string around the handle end of the snake whip.  I do that area will take a lot of stress and in my mind it add just a bit mor reinforcement.

kangaroo snake whip

Another thing that I do on snake whips that I don’t do on bullwhips is bind the bolster down the thong of the whip.  I do this over the plaited part of the belly.  Inside a (most of my) bullwhips I don’t use a shot bag, so I don’t have to worry about the bag breaking over time, while it’s a very unlikely thing to happen in a shot loaded whip, it’s still something that could happen.

I do my best to reduce the possibility of this happening.  With a braided belly in the whip, even if the shotbag breaks, the shot isn’t going to go anywhere because the braided belly is holding it in.  Then you have the bolster on top of that being held in by the plaited overlay.  So realistically even if the shotbag was to magicially disappear with the braided belly, bolster and overlay in place the lead shot isn’t going anywhere.

So my binding of the bolster is pretty much just extra insurance and to give me a bit of peace of mind.  It’s something that doesn’t take that long to do, so why not?

Yesterday I also cut out the overlay for this snake whip:

12 plait kangaroo for a snakewhip

Today at the very least I’ll get the strand prep done on this snake whip.  I’ve got two shows today and a ton of phone calls to return, so I probably won’t get any actual braiding in until tomorrow.


Snake Whip Progress…

Snake Whip Progress…

Right now my project is a 12 plait 5 foot snake whip.  Last night I got more work done that I thought I was going to do.  I made and filled the shot bag, cut out the wrist loop, cut out the belly and did all the strand prep.

snake whips shot loaded core

A while ago I used to make my shot bags with the grain side of the leather out.  After talking to a lot of people and experimenting I switched to making them with the grain side of the leather inside.  There are a few of reasons for making the switch:

1. The grain side is smoother and you can pack the shot in tighter.  I got this tip from David Morgan.

2. Since the grain side of the leather is less stretchy than the flesh side, by rolling it inside you get a better fit to the bag.

3.  I think the binding will hold in place better when wrapped around the flesh side of the  shot bag because of the texture giving it more grip.  In theory that will reduce the chance of the shot bag breaking inside the whip over time.

Later today hopefully I’ll find the time today to plait the belly and put on the bolster to the snakewhip.


Snake whip, Signal whips and a bullwhip

Snake whip, Signal whips and a bullwhip

My current line up of projects are a 5 foot 12 plait snake whip,  two 4 foot 12 plait signal whips, and a 10 foot 12 plait bullwhip.  Somewhere in that line up I’ll probably bang out a few more of the beginners bullwhips.

Tonight I made the shot bags for the snake whips and signal whips.  Tomorrow I’ll be filling them and start working on the snakewhip.

shot bags for signal whips and snake whips

Here’s a picture of the four beginners bullwhips:

4 beginners bullwhips


Enviormentally Friendly Bullwhips??

Enviormentally Friendly Bullwhips??

One of the companies I get leather from sent out an email about what leather they have that’s “Enviormentally Friendly”.  Basically they said that any veg tanned leather is tanned through an eviromentally friendly process.

In my kangaroo bullwhips I use veg tanned kangaroo and veg tanned kip, so those leathers are eco friendly.  I did some checking and for the most part it looks like steel is enviromentally friendly as well, so my handle foundations check out.

I’ve had a hard time finding information about lead and it’s enviormental impact in solid form.  I’m guessing that while lead can be hazardous to humans (like from eating it), it is a naturally occouring material.  Because it’s found naturally on earth it’s eco friendly.

Shellac is made from the Laccifera lacca insect, so it’s a naturally made product.

Now all that’s left are the fall and crackers.  The falls are use are alum tanned, and I don’t think that process is eco friendly.  Nylon crackers can be made from recycled nylon, but I don’t think mine is.  And polypropylene is recyclable (, so those crackers would be enviromentally friendly.

S0 based on all of that I think I could call my kanagroo whips enviromentally friendly, since the only part that isn’t “eco friendly” is the fall and that makes a small part of the whole whip.

As for my beginners bullwhips, well they aren’t eco friendly due to the type of leather used.