Beginners bullwhips…

Beginners bullwhips…

Yesterday morning I was on the phone with the company that supplies the leather that I use for my Beginners Bullwhips.  I was expecting a shipment of the cowhide last week, and it never showed up.  I’ve found out that the two kinds of leather that I’ve used are unavailable (of course they didn’t tell me that when they took my order!).

So I’m trying out a couple of different types of leather that are more expensive than what I was  using, but hopefully will make a decent whip.  I’m trying a few more sides of English Kip and some Veg Tanned Goat.  I’ve used English Kip to make bullwhips before, but honestly I think it was mislabeled because it was horrible.  Supposedly the English Kip braids well, what I had in the past didn’t.  As for the goat it’s something new to me, and I’m excited to try it out.

Since I’m paying more for these hides than was I was for the previous cowhide, the price of the beginners bullwhips will go up a bit.  I’m thinking I”m going to try make 8 plait bullwhips out of these hides, that way you get a little more value out of the price hike.

We’ll see how well  they braid an 8 plaits, if I keep breaking the English Kip or Veg Tanned Goat, I may go back to doing the bullwhips as 4 plait.

I’m expecting these hides to come in next week, so we’ll see what I think of them then.


4 thoughts on “Beginners bullwhips…

    1. I’ve done some braiding with Latigo (I made my 29 foot whip out of it). With these beginners bullwhips I have to consider with the beginners whips is cost of the hide and ease of making it. It might have just been the hide I was using, but the latigo really did a number on my hands.

      I got a great deal on the English Kip (cheaper than tandy’s kip!) and the veg tanned goat.

      since both of these should be a natural tan-ish color I’m going to hopefully make some Indy-esque 8 plait bullwhips from them.

      One thing I want to try next time I order whitehide for falls is to try to find a thin side of whitehide. A lot of people make a whitehide stockwhip, I figure I’d try to make some whitehide bullwhips!

      Now that I think of it, I might try calling the guy I get my whitehide from and ordering a side to try it out!


  1. I like whitehide for falls but unless you keep it fairly wide at the thinnest part of the whip (the point), I’ve found that whitehide has a lot of stretch in it once properly greased. This might change the shape of the thong with time and use…

    When I grease up a fall after skiving, I really work it in before running a loop of leather ’round it. I then hold the tip of the fall with what can only be best described as a very long cracker. That is to say that I twist a long length of nylon just like you would to make a cracker and tie it on the tip of the fall (just like a cracker). I then wrap this around a gloved hand a few times and pull on it as I’m running the loop of leather back and forth along the fall. This stretches (and naturally, thins out), the fall. So much so that I get a few more inches out of the leather this way, not to mention that the leather compacts itself and becomes smaller.

    This is great for falls because it stabilizes the leather and takes a lot of the stretch out of it, but I don’t know what this would do to a whip? I know some Australians use it for yard whips or simple 4 plait stockwhips, but I still have to wonder at how it would behave over time… Just thinking out loud here.


    1. I’m always amazed at how much whitehide falls stretch when I’m rounding them. Stretch will consideration while making a whitehide bullwhip. My idea for a whitehide bullwhip is from the aussie yard whips. A long time ago I was talking to Joe Strain about white hide for falls and I asked him is there is any reason why you couldn’t make a bullwhip from whitehide. He told me that you probably could, but we didn’t talk about the challenges with making it, like stretch.

      I’m figuring that because the whitehide is heavy enough and it’d be a beginners bullwhip I’d make it with just a core inside…and maybe a bolster. Since this would be for beginners whips it wouldn’t need to be super high performance…but it would have to be able to do the main cracks easily. To reinforce the transition a bit, I might try putting short plaited belly in there. That would hopefully keep the transition from handle to thong a bit stiffer for longer.

      Now I’m thinking out loud!

      One thing that I think I’d have to do to make a whitehide whip is give it a lot of grease! I’d probably have to grease the side of leather. Then grease the strands after I cut them to really give it a chance to soak in and soften the leather a bit so that I can really get the stretch out. I’d probably use Dubbin to do this because it more liquidy than pecards and would soak in better.

      I called my whitehide guy and the thinnest whitehide he has is 5-7 ounce. I ordered a side to try it out. If it doesn’t work I can always use the side for falls. I asked him to find the thinnest hide out of the 5-7 ounce bunch. We’ll see what I get!


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