Indiana Jones Bullwhip Pics…

Indiana Jones Bullwhip Pics…

Here are pictures of the bullwhip used in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show at Disney World.

You can click on the pictures to see a bigger version of them.   This bullwhip was made by Joe Strain, and it’s takes a beating in the show, but it still works great!!!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Broken Strand

Broken Strand

Last night I was hoping to finish the 8 plait bullwhip that I started earlier in the week, but I broke strand and didn’t really feel like fixing it, so I stopped work early last night.

This morning I replaced the broken strand and continued braiding. I’m almost finished with the overlay and honestly I’m not too happy with how this bullwhip is turning out. I might end up selling it as a “second” for dirt cheap, however it’s not a good representation of my work, so I may end up giving it away to a friend.

After today I’m out of town until 2/1, so if you email me or call me don’t expect to hear back until 2/2.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Sport Bullwhip Cracking and Alzheimer’s…

Sport Bullwhip Cracking and Alzheimer’s…

Last week I was reading an article in Time Magazine about Alzheimer’s and all the software programs that are designed to hopefully prolong/prevent it.  You can read the article at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952329,00.html

Basically what the article said is that there are two easy things you can do to help prevent Alzheimer’s is to exercise:

One well-documented way to slow memory decline is through plain old aerobic exercise, says Art Kramer, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, who found that six months of walking for about an hour three times a week improved memory, attention and decision making among study participants, whose average age was 72. “Physical activity appears to be neuroprotective,” Kramer says.
– from Time.com

And to learn something new:

At least six weeks of sustained, intense learning generally results in increased brain thickness. This finding has fueled a hot theory in Alzheimer’s research: the more you work out your brain, the more you accumulate what is referred to as cognitive reserve
-from Time.com

While I was reading this article I realized that learning to crack a bullwhip get you out exercising and your brain is learning something new.  The cool thing about cracking bullwhip is that no matter how long you’ve been doing it, there is alway a new trick or combination or style of cracking to learn.  So sport bullwhip cracking is a great way to really engage your brain and muscles!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Paring

Paring

Right now I’m working on getting improving my paring when done to the top left side of the strand.  Normally I pare the top right side and I can do the top left…just not as quickly or accurately as the top right.  Here’s a little practice session:

When paring the top left side I generally need to do two passes to get the strand nice and straight, where when doing it on the top right I can get it in one pass.  Also when doing the top left I’m going at a snails pace, hopefully it’ll get as fast as the other side soon.

Also right now I’m working on an 8 plait kip bullwhip.   I’ve got about half of the overlay finished.  This one is built on a spring steel handle foundation.  I should be able to get it finished this week before I go on vacation.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Nylon Whips…

Nylon Whips…

Yesterday the book Making Nylon Whips by Shannon Reilly showed up in the mail.  I read it yesterday…and reread it last night.  I didn’t reread it because it’s a fantastic book, I reread it because I felt like I missed something the first time.  After the second read I feel like I didn’t miss anything, but the book did!

nylon whip making

There’s a lot of this book that to me was not included.  For example Shannon plaited whips from the point to the butt, but doesn’t say why this method was chosen over braiding from the butt?  I suspect that her reason for doing it this way is that it’s technically easier to do it that way (but that’s just my guess).

Does doing something the easy way make it a better way?  Sometimes it does…but sometimes it doesn’t.  Personally in my opinion in this case it doesn’t.  I don’t think you can control the taper as well when you work from the point of the whip.

Another thing that I feel got glossed over is the core of the whip.  She mentioned it’s the most important part, but doesn’t really go into it much.  She tells you have to put ball chain into, but that’s about it.

Now this might be my ignorance talking here, but why the hell would you want to use ball chain in a whip core? The point of adding it is to put weight into the thong and from what I’ve read a lot of nylon whip makers use it.  Once again I think that ball chain is easier to put in than lead shot or BB’s, so the technically easier method was chosen.

Once thing I’ve learned from making leather bullwhips is that you want a dense whip and one where the weight tapers evenly to the point.  If you know anything about ball chain (it’s what is used on Dog Tags or to keep your bathtub stopper from getting lost) it’s hollow!  and between each ball is the thin chain.  So you are losing a lot of density in the whip by having a hollow core!

Using something like BB’s will give you a more dense core.  Also because the ball chain all sits nicely in a row single file, the weight goes up and down through the core.  By using something like small BB’s or lead shot you can really pack it in and fill up more air space between the BB’s giving you a more dense core where the weight flows more evenly.

One thing to keep in mind about the author is that she makes whips for “lifestyle” whip crackers and not sport bullwhip crackers, so the level of performance expected from the whip isn’t the same.

Now keep in mind I’ve never made a nylon whip before, but I do have a pair of nylon whips from Steve Huntress (Steve makes whips for sport whip crackers).  I also have read Steve’s ebook on how to make nylon whips.  Steve’s book is great…and it’s sort of my foundation of my knowledge on how nylon whips are made.

If you are interested in learning to make a nylon whip I’d recommend Steve Huntress’s book: http://neawhips.com/WhipmakingKits.aspx over the one I just read.

Is there anything wrong with nylon whips?  Nope.  However just like leather whips with nylon whips there are people that just make whips and people that have a passion for making whips.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

SNAKEwhip

SNAKEwhip

Last night I finished plaiting the SNAKEwhip!  I’ve got one coat of shellac on it, and I want to do a couple coats more before it’s totally done.  Unfortunately today I have an early morning of gigs, so I’m not able to take pictures of it yet.  I’ll do that later today and post them tonight or tomorrow.

Also this SNAKEwhip isn’t a snake whip, but a signal whip that looks like a snake!  I decided to go with it as a signal whip because this is made in red kangaroo and I didn’t think that a white fall would have looked right on this particular project.  I do have some red dye and was considering dying the fall, but I really didn’t want to do that!

I gave this whip a few cracks in my living room last night and it cracks well.  When I was making it I was more concerned about the look than function.  The overlay has a very irregular plaiting pattern it went O2 – U1 – 01 – U1 -O1.  That gave me a checkerboard on the snake’s back, but over 2 on each half of the snakes belly.  I thought that would give it a more “snake” look.  It was a pain the the butt to do that plating pattern!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org