Lead Loaded Bullwhip Handle

Lead Loaded Bullwhip Handle

My current project is working on an 8 foot Indiana Jones Style Bullwhip.  I’m trying something that I don’t normally do when I make these whips.   I’m trying to get a slightly lower profile on the heel knot.

Basically there are few ways to do this:

  1. Use thinner leather:  This option will change the entire whips profile, not just the heel knot.
  2. Use less lead:  This will also accomplish making the heel  knot smaller, but may potentially give the whip an undesirable “in the hands” feel.
  3. Put the lead on sooner: By putting the lead on a lower layer, I can use the same amount and it will stick out less.

I opted for adding the lead on a lower layer of the whip.  Normally the lead goes on top of the outer bolster.  My thinking all the layers give me some meat to attach the lead to.

bull whip

If you look at the picture above you will see the layer that’s cut short is the outer belly.  By attaching the lead in that space, the lead will not be on top of two layers (the outer belly and the outer bolster).  That’s going to reduce the profile of the  heel knot, however visually I won’t know how much until the whip is done.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Stock Whip Repair

Stock Whip Repair

I recently had this stock whip come in for a repair.

whip repair

It needed a new fall and point plaited onto the whip.  Quite often when a whip comes in for a repair they are very dry. One of the first things that I do is give it a coat of grease.  However many whips are beyond repair and will basically turn to dust if you try to move the strands.  This whip was on the edge, however I was able to get a new fall onto it!

whip repair

The  moral of the story is to make sure your whips don’t get dried out.   A light coat of Pecard’s Leather dressing a couple of times a year on a whip that you don’t use will help keep it in good shape.

 

 

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished 6

Finished 6

One of  my least favorite parts of any whip to make it to put on the heel knot.

bull whip

I think it’s because at that point all of the plaiting is finished and I just want to be done and making the heel knot isn’t fun. However it’s something that’s got to be done and in comparison to plaiting, or cutting out the leather it’s pretty quick!

bull whip

This bullwhip has shipped to its new owner.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Making a Six Foot Bullwhip

Making a Six Foot Bullwhip

Right now I’m working on a six foot 12 plait bullwhip in natural tan kangaroo.  I had some natural tan in stock, so I didn’t need to drive up to David Morgan to pick up a kangaroo skin.  I’m using a 57dm skin, however I also found a belly that I had cut out  a while ago for something else, but for whatever reason didn’t use in black kangaroo.  Since this will be in the inside of the whip you won’t see it.

bull whip

Currently I have both bellies and bolsters finished.

bull whip

Next up is to put some lead on for the knot foundation on get to work on the overlay.

People always ask how I can cut out the overlay before I’ve got the inner layers finished. It’s pretty simple, I know about what the strand widths should be and cut them a smidge wider than that.  I then will resize them once the inner layers are finished.

On the surface it sounds like it’s more work than cutting it later, however it actually saves me time.  By doing all of one task at the same time (i.e. strand cutting) it saves time in set up and clean up.  Regardless of what point I cut the strands they still need to pared which also accomplishes the resizing.

The more I make whips, the more I’m looking for ways to save time…not cut corners, but to save time by eliminating steps that are duplicate, like sweeping the floor twice or putting away the leather only to take it back out an hour later. While these are small amounts of time, when you add them all up they can add up to a decent chunk of time.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Bullwhip Belly and Bolster

Bullwhip Belly and Bolster

One thing that I used to do and stopped doing when making whips was that I used to cut out all the internal layers at the same time, before I did any plaiting.  I don’t know why I stopped doing this, however recently I starting doing it again and it’s a huge time saver!  I also find it’s easier to do one task several times than to constantly switch my brain to doing different things.

So for the whip I’m currently working on I cut out the core, bellies and bolsters before I did any plaiting.  When I used to do this people would ask me how I knew how wide to cut everything.  It’s pretty easy since everything is going to be approximately the same thickness withing fractions of a millimeter.  I cut the bolsters a little bit wider, then tweak them when it’s time to put them onto the whip.

Here’s the whip I’m currently working on, this is the inner belly completed.

bullwhip

This whip has a spring steel handle.  With the handle I think spring steel is the way to go over just a steel rod. The reason is that normal steel can be bent and spring steel cannot (except under very extreme circumstances).

Today I’ll finish up the interior layers of this whip and then move on to the cutting out the overlay.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip Repair

Bullwhip Repair

I recently  had this bullwhip come in:

whip repair

It’s an 8 plait bullwhip that was made by Bernie at EM Brands whips.  It had the end chewed off by a dog.  After chatting with the owner we decided to just put the fall where the whip was chewed off and to leave the wrist loop as it is.

bull whip repair

I had to unbraid about a foot of the whip to create a little bit of taper to the point of the whip.

bullwhip repair

I tied a new fall hitch at that point and we’re good to go!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org