Right now I’m working on a 6 foot 8 plait bullwhip.  I’ve got the inner plaited bellies finished and just waiting on some grease to soak into the outer bolster.  One thing I’m doing with this whip that I used to do a long time ago, but stopped is I’m tapering the bolsters thickness.  So it starts out thick and gets skinnier towards the end, sort of like my weight when I’m getting ready for vacation.  Here’s a quick Q&A about this:

Question: How do you do this?

Answer: To do this while I’m running it through my splitter about 1/3 of the way down I simply deepen the cut about half turn.  Then about 2/3’s of the way I deepen the cut a little bit more.

Question:  Does this make a better whip?

Answer: Not necessarily.  The reduction of mass that I’m creating by tapering the bolster can done other ways like tapering the width of the filler strands.  Tapering the filler strands is an easier and equally effective way to do this.

Question: Why am I doing it this time?

Answer: Basically to make this whip more interesting for me the whip maker.

Before tapering the thickness of the bolster I had the super fun chore of sharpening my bench splitter’s blade!
bull whip

Normally I take my leather splitter to my local Tandy LeatherFactory and Andy will sharpen it for me (because he’s awesome!), however the last couple times I’ve been up there I’ve forgotten to bring it.  So I got to do it by hand (insert sad face here).


4 thoughts on “Bolster…

  1. I strop most if my “non-replaceable” blades in between every or every other use. Other than that, how do you sharpen your splitter blade?

    1. Jeremy,

      I strop it between uses. Also sometimes I strop razor blades for my box cutters if I happen to buy a bad batch of them and don’t want to go to the store to buy a new box.

      To sharpen it I normally I take the blade to Andy at my local Tandy and he does it for me. However this time I used my sharpening kit (


  2. Thanks , I may get one of those!
    Another question, do you know if that’s something Tandy people will usually do, or is it because te guy there knows you and he does it as a favor?
    Thanks again

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