Yesterday I finished a10 foot Indy Style Bullwhip. Normally I’d do the overlay for a longer whip like this over two days, however I did the overlay for this bullwhip in one day…and my hands are killing me this morning!
This 10 foot bullwhip is listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.
Here’s something that I do when I’m making longer bullwhips like the one above. At some point I need to get the part of the bullwhip that I’m plaiting closer to the hook. So what I do is I have a loop of leather (it’s a fall) that’s hitched around the lash. Then I run it through the middle of an old piece of cowhide:
What the tube of cowhide does is soften the angle of the turn of the whip. If I just had that lash of the bullwhip going through the loop of fall leather then it would turn at almost a 90 degree angle and put a kink in the whip. This kink can be rolled out of it during the board rolling phase. However by not putting a kink (or at least a less severe one) into the bullwhip saves me a bit of work later.
This 10 foot bullwhip was made using goat for the two bolsters and since goat skin is smaller than a side of kip I had to do a lot more splicing. Normally for a 10 foot whip a kip bolster would be in two parts and I’d only have to splice once. However this whip’s boslter was in four pieces, so that meant four splices! Here’s a picture of a splice about to happen:
I do my splices by cutting the end of the bolster at an angle, lining up that angle and using the layer of plaiting on top of it to hold it in place. This method doesn’t use anything extra to hold the two pieces of bolster together and is very quick to do…but takes a bit of practice to learn to do it correctly and quickly.
There are a lot of other ways to artificially hold a bolster together so that you can easily plait over them. You could using a thin masking tape, thin them down at the edges and glue them, or you could even stitch them like Aldo does here: http://elasticrods.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/first-kangaroo-hide-american-style-bullwhip-v/.
One method I used to use a long time ago was to put a very short piece of tape on edge of the bolster seam that’s closest to you. This will hold the bolster together while you get it under the plait. Once you’ve braided to your tape, pull all the strands tight, then remove the tape and keep plaiting. This method gives you a nice seam with nothing extra added once it’s finished, but it’s slower (for me) than just braiding straight over the seam.
Honestly there’s no specific right way to splice a bolster in a bullwhip ,but try to avoid anything that adds too much bulk, like more than one layer of tape (you don’t need to tape both sides of the splice).
P.S. My one day 20% off IN STOCK whips sale is going on now and ends at midnight tonight! To see what’s on sale visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4