How to make your first bullwhip

How to make your first bullwhip

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, what I’d like to do is make an easy tutorial to help people make their first bullwhip.  Basically what I’m thinking is a password protected website that would have an ebook and video that someone could watch online.

With this I’d probably cover everything needed to make a bullwhip from plaiting to turksheads to cutting.  I’d probably teach how to make an 8 foot 4 plait bullwhip.  And the cool thing about a password protected website is that I could fairly easily update it if I needed to.

This is a project I may get into in May, because my performing schedule isn’t very heavy that month…or this may just end up on the back burner for a while longer.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

What to use to condition a bullwhip

What to use to condition a bullwhip

Bullwhips are made of leather and over time will naturally lose their oils and dry out.  That’s why there are leather conditioners and dressings that you can use on your whip to put oil back into it.  The main three that I use are:

Pecard: This is great on the thong, handle or fall of your bullwhip.

leather conditioner
bullwhip leather dressing

Feibings Aussie Conditioner: This is similar to pecards, but in my opinion not quite as good (don’t get me wrong it’s still good).  The upside is that it’s easy to find, most Tandy Leather Factory stores sell it as do a lot of saddle shops.

feibings leather
aussie leather conditioner

Pappy’s Dubbin: This will work on the handle or lash of the whip, and is fantastic on falls!

whip conditioner
pappys dubbin

Jay-El:  This stuff is great…but hard to find in the USA.

joseph liddy leather dresing

All of these three dressings / conditioners have a thick consistency and you don’t need much to put on you whip.  Stay away from leather dressing that has a liquid consistency because you will really run the risk of oversaturating  your whip and ruining it.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

P.S. I’ll be in Oregon from 4/30 to 5/2, so if you email me or call me I might not get back to you until 5/3.

Budget Bullwhip

Budget Bullwhip

Right now I’m working on three budget bullwhips.  Two of them have the insides cut out and attached, and the overlays ready to plait.  The third is finished:

bullwhip

Hopefully I’ll have the time to get both of these done before friday when I head down to Oregon to perform and teach my original ideas at a convention for magicians.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

How to make a bullwhip fall

How to make a bullwhip fall

Here’s how I make my whitehide bullwhip falls in ten steps:

Step One:  cut out 5-12 falls leaving a yoke at the point end.

Step Two: Punch a hole in the yoke.

bullwhip fall

Step Three:  Hang the falls on a hook near your plaiting hook.

bullwhip falls

Step Four:  Pare the bottom right and top left sides of the falls.

Step Five:  Give them a coat of grease

Step Six:  Work on other plaiting projects and as I finish greasing those projects I rub the excess grease on my hands onto the falls that are hanging.

Step Seven:  When I need a fall I cut it off the yoke and cut a slit for the lash of the whip to go through

Step Eight:  hang it by the slit and pare the top left and bottom right sides (these are the unpared sides).

Step Nine:  Give it another coat of grease

Step Ten: Round the fall with a loop of leather.

That’s how I make my falls.  I’ve found that the extra grease they get by wiping my hands on them over time really lets the grease penetrate the fall.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip Belt Holders

Bullwhip Belt Holders

Last week I sold the last bullwhip belt holders from a batch that I picked up in a trade.  Well I figured I’d need some more, so I just make a batch of them from  the leftover leather that I use to make my budget bullwhips out of.

These are listed on my Whip Accessories page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Leather Rounder

Leather Rounder

About a week ago I found a leather rounder on ebay and managed to get a great deal on it!  I’ve used it already a couple of times, once on the rawhide hobbles and once for a keychain.

leather rounder
leather rounder

Basically how this works is you put the braid into one of the holes and pull it back and forth and it forms it to a round shape and polishes it up a bit.  I wouldn’t use this on a bullwhip because the braid will need to taper and I don’t think you’ll get as good results as board rolling…but on plaited items with no taper it will work great!

Here’s a key fob I made with some of the scrap from my 20 plait whip:

kangaroo

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished Sting Ray Bullwhip

Finished Sting Ray Bullwhip

Last night I finished the bullwhip with the sting ray handle.  Here’s the final pics:

I gave this bullwhip a few cracks last night and it’s got a great crack.  It’s always amazing to see the difference in how the bullwhip cracks before and after I put the lead in the handle.  It’s a good thing I got a chance to crack this last night, it’s pouring down rain today!

Louie
P.S. I just listed this bullwhip for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Sting Ray Handle Bullwhip Progress…

Sting Ray Handle Bullwhip Progress…

Here’s the work that is completed on the bullwhip with the stingray handle in the last couple of days. I finished the outer belly:

Bullwhip

The outer belly was attached:

Bullwhip

One of the biggest challenges wasn’t the 20 plait lash, but figuring out a way to attach the stingray to the handle.  For the handle the lash’s overlay has a long yoke that covers the whole handle, so the 20 plait lash is well secured under the sting ray.  Then I cut the sting ray to size, put a bit of a “sealer” on the flesh side to give me a nice solid back to glue to the handle. Then I used contact cement to hold it place along with some stitching at the seam.  It seems to be pretty solid right now.  I also had to use my dremel to grind down some of the sting ray’s bumps at the seam so that there wouldn’t be any sharp edges.

Here’s the stingray cut to size:

sting ray

And here’s the back of the sting ray after I coated it with gum tragacanth:

bullwhip
sting ray handle on bullwhip

This bullwhip is my first whip that has a 20 plait lash (I’ve done some 24 plait handles before) and I was amazed at how easy…or how not super difficult it it.  In the past the plaiting that I’ve done above 16 had fancy patterns, while this whip just has 4 seam work, which is pretty easy.  And the strand drops aren’t too hard because the strands are soo thin there isn’t too much bulk you are dropping, however I am dropping 10 strands (or 5 drop points) in the last three feet of the bullwhip.

bullwhip 20 plait

For some reason I tied the transition knot before the lash has been finished.

bullwhip

I should be able to find time to finish the lash of this bullwhip today…but I need to make some falls before I can complete the lash.  So at some point today I’ll start cutting out falls.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org