8 foot Bullwhip…

8 foot Bullwhip…

I’m still working on the 8 foot bullwhip, I’m hoping to have it finished by Thursday night because I’m leaving town Friday for five days and would like this bullwhip in the mail before I leave.  Here’s the handle with the lead attached:

Bullwhips

One thing about making whips is that sometimes it seems you do more  untangling of strands than you do braiding.  When you plait a whip you are plaiting where you are working, and you are also plaiting the ends of the strands as well, that’s what creates the tangles:

bullwhip

The bullwhip currently has about 22 inches of the overlay plaited:

 

I’ve still got over 6 feet of plaiting, and knots and shellacing before it can be shipped out.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Riding Crop

Riding Crop

I’m still working on the eight foot 16 plait bullwhip, however yesterday I had an order for a riding crop come in.  Normally the riding crop would have waited for the bullwhip to be finished but it was ordered off my IN STOCK page, however the problem was that the riding crop that was ordered had already sold.  For some wacky reason my cart didn’t list it as sold out, so I made another and it’s shipping out today like it would have if it was actually in stock.

I also did a double check to reconfirm that everything else currently listed on my IN STOCK page is actually in stock!

To make this riding crop I started with a cane centered rawhide riding crop center:

Riding Crop

Over the cane and rawhide center I put a leather bolster to thicken it up a bit:

Riding Crop

Then I plaited the 16 plait kangaroo overlay on top of that:

Riding Crop
Finally the knot and slapper were attached:

Riding Crop
And it’s ready to ship out this morning to its new owner!  Now it’s back to work on the eight foot 16 plait bullwhip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

8 Foot 16 Plait Bullwhip…

8 Foot 16 Plait Bullwhip…

Over the weekend I finished up a 6 foot 4 plait Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhip:

Bullwhip

I have another one of these that’s halfway finished on my hook and hopefully I’ll find time to get the second one finished soon!   I’ve got this bullwhip listed on my IN STOCK whips page.

My current project is working on an 8 foot 16 plait bullwhip.  This bullwhip will be done in natural tan kangaroo and when the order came in I was out of it, but I was also performing about 10 minutes away from David Morgan’s shop, so I stopped by to pick up a skin, here’s what I got:

Veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo

This skin is 57dm which is plenty large enough to do the overlay with.  While I was visiting David Morgan’s shop I have a nice little chat with Meagan and Alex!  Yesterday I got started on this whip and basically have the insides finished, here’s the core:

bullwhip core

This bullwhip is being built on a 10 inch spring steel rod.  Over the core is the inner plaited belly:

Inner Plaited Belly

And over the inner belly is the inner bolster:

Inner Bolster

And on top of that is the outer plaited belly:

Outer Plaited belly

You may notice that the outer plaited belly is braided over the entire handle unlike the inner belly.  That’s to add some bulk to the handle.  On top of the outer belly is the outer bolster:

Outer bolster

The way this bullwhip is constructed the first about 8.5 inches is thinner than the last 1.5 inches. That happens because the inner plaited belly has a yoke which is only one layer for the first 8.5 inches and once it starts being plaited it is two layers.  Then on top of that is the shorter bolster which only covers about 1.5 inches of the handle adding another layer to that part of the handle.  That means the last inch and a half of the whip is 2 layers thicker than the first inch and a half.

Having the thicker lash than handle is style thing, I could have just as easily made the inner belly so that it was plaited over the entire handle.  However I don’t want the lash drastically thicker than the handle either. So there’s something I do that I’m not aware of anyone else doing (however now that I write that I bet 30 guys will email me letting me know this is a standard technique going back hundreds of years).

What I do is when I split the leather for the core, inner belly and outer bolster I leave the first 8.5 inches of it at full thickness thinning down the leather from the 8.5 inch mark on.  That gives the layers at the beginning of the handle a bit more  bulk. Honestly it’s hardly much more, but  over three layers it adds up a bit.

I’m hoping to find time in my day to cut out the overlay for this bullwhip sometime in the second half of the day.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Whips!

Whips!

Yesterday I shipped out a bullwhip, a cat of nine tails and some handles.  Here’s the Cat of Nine Tails and extra handle:

cat of nine tails

And here’s the bullwhip:

bullwhip

Here’s a close up of the handle:

bullwhip

And  here are a couple of handle:

To make the handles I made them like a complete bullwhip so they have two bellies and two bolsters.  Here’s a rare look at the inside of a bullwhip:

bullwhip

These have shipped out to their new owner.

Up next I have a kangaroo stock whip kit, which is similar to my cowhide stock whip kit, but a bit more advanced and made from kangaroo.  Then I’ll be making an 8 foot 16 plait bullwhip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Cat of Nine Tails Progress…

Cat of Nine Tails Progress…

The Cat of Nine Tails are almost finished!  Yesterday I finished up the plaiting on one of them:

Cat of Nine Tails

And the plaiting on matching handle.  Here’s the two Cat of Nine Tails and the handle:

Cat of Nine Tails

And one of the completed Cat of Nine Tails and the handle:

Cat of Nine Tails

They still need to some finishing stuff done to them, but I’ll get them shipped out today.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Cat of Nine Tails Progress…

Cat of Nine Tails Progress…

I’m still working on the two Cat of Nine Tails, they are making some progress.  Here’s the pair with three tails each  completed:

Cat o Nine Tails

And here they are in their current state:

Cat of nine tails

One has six lashes complete  and the other has three complete with lace attached for three more lashes. The fun part of working on this is making cutting out the lace for the lashes at 3mm!  Here’s a close up of some of the lashes:

I still have a lot of work to go, but with nine lashes complete and three more cut out  and ready to be plaited I’m over halfway finished with the lashes (woo hoo!).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

 

Cat O’ Nine Tails

Cat O’ Nine Tails

Yesterday the kangaroo skin for the Cat O’ Nine Tails arrived:

Drum stuffed veg tanned kangaroo

I’m making a pair of these and normally in the past when I’ve made them they handle was make like a signal whip with a shot core and not rigid.  These are being made with a fiberglass handle which will be fairly rigid, but still have a bit of flex to them.

Here’s one of them with one of the tails plaited and the lace for two more attached:

cat o nine tails

Plaiting all the tails and tying all the knots is very time consuming!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Finished Bullwhip Pair…

Finished Bullwhip Pair…

The other day I started work on a pair of bullwhips and they are finished now.  The customer only ordered one bullwhip, but may need a backup for it in the near future.  So I figured why not make it as a pair so if they end up needing a second whip I’m not trying to match the bullwhip with a picture and my memory. As a bonus if they don’t need the second whip  it gives me one to have IN STOCK!

These are six foot eight plait bullwhips.  Here are the whips with the inner bolsters attached:

Bullwhip pair

One thing you might notice is the yoke of the whips doesn’t completely cover the handle at the base.  I did this on purpose to contribute to a bit of taper to the handles.

how to make a bullwhip

The yoke from the outer belly is cut in a similar fashion and attached 180 degrees opposite  to the first.  That will give the whip a slight bulge at opposite ends (as well as contributing to taper) which is the effect I’m going for.

Another thing I’ve recently started doing (again) is adding the lead before I do the overlay.  I used to add the lead after the overlay was finished, then would crack the whip and add what I thought the whip needed for weight in the handle.  Now I do add it before, then plait the overlay and crack the whip, if any weight adjustments are needed I do it then.

bullwhip

I also used a plaited pattern on the wrist loop that’s not used on many whips, I’ve used it before in the past.  It’s an N pattern I don’t know the official name of it, but I was goofing around with flat braiding and figured out how to do it.

bullwhips

I finished the first whip before the second one and technically the second one isn’t finished, it still needs to be shellac’d.  Here’s the one I shipped out yesterday:

bullwhips

bullwhip

bullwhip

I’ll finish shellacing the second whip and I should know later in the week if it’s needed or not.  If it’s not I’ll add it to my IN STOCK whips page.

Next up I still need to finish two of the Deluxe Beginner’s bullwhips that are almost finished (basically need knots) and I’m going to start work on a couple of Cat O’ Nine Tails (once the proper color of kangaroo arrives).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Kangaroo…

Kangaroo…

The other day shortly after I found out that Tandy Leather Factory has discontinued their kangaroo I got a call from the manager at my local Tandy offering to make a deal with me.  I went out and checked out what he had and he made me a deal I couldn’t turn down, so I came home with some kangaroo:

Veg Tanned Kangaroo

kangaroo for bullwhips

kangaroo

Veg Tanned Kangaroo for whip making

I had to get a lot of this (buy out his stock) to get a sweet deal.  I’ve got more than I need right now so if any one is interested in some kangaroo I can offer it to you at a pretty good deal at $15.50 per square foot with the average skin over 6 feet.  If you are interested feel free to contact me and let me know what you color you and I’ll let  you know what sizes I have.

My current project is working on a pair of 6 foot 8 plait bullwhips.  They should get finished up today, and I’ll post some pics later today or tomorrow.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Kangaroo Availability in the USA

Kangaroo Availability in the USA

This morning I took a peek at the pricing of kangaroo on Tandy Leather Factory’s website (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/9156-446.aspx) and it’s remained unchanged with a retail price at $19.99.  That is a good thing, however I did notice that they are now “Closeout – Limited to stock on hand. First come, first served. No Backorders.”  That means that once they are out they are out and that is one less place to get kangaroo.

Keep in mind that Tandy’s kangaroo $19.99 is more expensive than other sources and not as nice, the advantage for them (over mail order) is that you can go in and buy it in person where other sources unless you live near them you need to do it over mail order.

Having less competition in the kangaroo skin market could lead to higher kangaroo prices in the USA.  However having less places to buy the craft kangaroo will lead to forcing more whip makers (mostly amateur)  starting to use a higher quality kangaroo which is a good thing.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org