A few months ago my friend and sideshow historian James Taylor had seen a mini bullwhip that I had made and wanted one for his collection. I finally had some time to make him one. This mini bullwhip construction had a core, plaited belly, bolster then overlay.
One of the challenges with making this type of whip is that you have to really thin down the leather, so it’s very fragile if you aren’t careful about going around the scars on the leather when you are cutting the lace.
The overlay of this whip is 12 plait.
Making these mini whips which are about a foot long are a lot of work, but fun to make and you can get little cracks out of them!
I specialize in making kangaroo leather bullwhips. However I have made several Paracord bullwhips in the past. I was contacted by a friend of mine who wanted a whip, but is vegan and they wanted a paracord whip. I had a roll of paracord that was just about enough for a bullwhip, so I agreed to make one to get the roll of nylon out of my closet.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of it in progress, here’s the whip without the heel knot:
And here’s the finished whip (before the final roll):
If you are looking for a paracord bullwhip, feel free to contact me and we can chat about making you one!
One of the services I offer is signal whip cracker replacement. These whips are also frequently called single tail whips, however that term applies to any whip with one lash. A bullwhip, stock whip, snake whip, etc are all single tailed whips.
Here’s one signal whip that recently came in for a new cracker. The new cracker is on the whip, but I haven’t given it a roll between two boards to smooth it out yet.
If you’ve got a whip that needs a new cracker or a repair you can contact me for a price quote!
One of the nice things about how I make my bullwhips is that I don’t need a fancy shop to do it. That’s a cool thing about doing free hand cutting, there are no tools, or jigs needed, aside from a sharp knife. Here’s a whip I made in a hotel room while I was travelling. The picture below is of the inner plaited belly and bolster:
This is the outer plaited belly of the whip:
And here’s the insides of the whip finished and ready for the overlay to be put on:
When making a whip in a hotel room, I put plastic on the floor so that I don’t make a huge mess. Here’s the lace for the overlay after it’s been pared and stretched:
Here’s the bullwhip which is almost finished. It still needs to be shellac’d and rolled between two boards.
Recently a bullwhip came in for a fall replacement. This is one of the ebay whips that are advertised implying they are much higher quality than they are. This one was made of kangaroo, but it was a pretty low grade kangaroo.
I had to move the retie the fall hitch due to damage on the strands.
Here’s the point of the whip with the new fall attached, and you can compare it to the old fall. You’ll notice the new fall is lake an extension of the point of the whips, where the old fall is wider than the old point and doesn’t really taper at all.
When you use cowhide to make an Aussie Bullwhip do you use 4oz for your bellies and/or the overlay?
I believe that I once read that you use 2-3oz. ‘kip’ (?) for the bolsters when crafting one in kangaroo leather..?
Basically the answer about what I’m using for bellies in all whips is pretty simple. I use the thinnest veg tanned cow leather I can find. Typically that’s going to be 2-3 ounce leather. However sometimes due to what’s available I have to use a thicker leather and run it through my leather splitter to thin it down.
As for overlays, I would use kangaroo and not kip. You can use kip, but it’s not something I’d do, unless I had some kip I was trying to get rid of. Also I think most Australian whip makers would tell you that for an Aussie Bullwhip, kangaroo for the overlay is a must!