Bullwhips – Handmade by Louie

How I Make my Bullwhips…

December 27th, 2008

 

Here’s the process that I currently go through when making my bullwhips. 
First I cut out the bellies and overlay from a veg tanned kangaroo hide:

Kangaroo for bullwhip

Then I stretch and pare the strands:

 

Kangaroo skin for making a bullwhip

Next I split the kangaroo strands so that they are the same thickness:

 

how to make a bull whip

 The picture below is of all the kangaroo strands that are ready to braid (except for plaiting soap).

Kangaroo belly and overlay sets

At this point I’ve done a lot of work and probably put in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of work and the the strands pretty much look like when the did when I first cut them out.  In reality the strands in the first picture aren’t very straight. Then in the second picture they are straight, but the thickness is wavy.  And the third picture’s strands are straight and of an even thickness. 

Now for the core, it’s attached to a handle:

 

bullwhip core

Then I attach the belly to the handle:

 

bull whip core with belly

Finally it’s time to start some braiding!  So I plait the inner belly:

 

bull whip plaited belly

After I plait that inner belly it gets rolled between two boards to smooth it out and make it round:

 

bullwhip plaited inner belly

The bullwhip that has been rollled doesn’t look much different in pictures, but the texture of the bullwhip has changed (for the better!).  

Now I add a bolster:

 

bullwhip boslter

After the bolster I add the set for the second plaited belly:

 

bullwhip and double plaited bellies

Below is a good picture of the two bellies and the bolster between them:

 

double plaited bellies on a bull whip

I finish plaited the 2nd belly:

 

bullwhip double plaited bellies

 

Then I roll it between two boards to smooth out this layer.  It’s very important to roll every plaited layer or you will end up with a funny shaped whip.

 

rolling a bull whip

After rolling the whip I add the final bolster:

 

bullwhip bolster

When that bolster is attached I make the butt knot foundation:

 

bullwhip making

Then I add the overlay and plait it.  I consider attaching the fall part of plaiting the  overlay.

 

12 plait bullwhip

Next I make the transition knot foundation a tie the transition knot:

 

bull whip transition knot

Then I finish the butt knot and attach the 6 plait wrist loop:

 

indiana jones style bullwhip

Now I tie the butt knot:

 

6 foot 12 plait bullwhip

Next I roll and shellac the bullwhip, and here’s the finished whip:

 

kangaroo bullwhip

 

bullwhips for sale

 

12 plait kangaroo bullwhip 6 feet in lenght

I didn’t go into depth into measurements or how I make the bolsters, fillers, etc because I’ve covered that here.  

I hope you enjoyed seeing how a bullwhip is made.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

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Copyright 2009 by Louie Foxx LLC http://bullwhips.org.