Works in Progress…

Works in Progress…

This week has been a very busy week for me between performing, shipping out orders and squeezing in some family time.  The 16 plait bullwhip has the overlay cut out, but no strand prep has happened.

bullwhip

And the nice thing about that is because it’s a two tone bullwhip I actually cut out two complete sets, so once the first one is finished I can make another one pretty quick!

Yesterday I started work on a pair of 4 plait cowhide bullwhips.  I normally don’t make these bullwhips to order, you have to get them when I have them in stock.  I do this for two reasons:

1.  I don’t make a lot of money on them and I don’t want to be backed up making these for not a lot of profit.

2. They aren’t particularly challenging to make, so they aren’t fun for me to make!

However the person I’m making these for called and wanted two of them and I had one in stock.  So I figured why not make two of them as a pair to make it more interesting.  So I agreed and right now I have the plaiting completed one of them and the other is about 3/4 of the way finished.

bullwhips

I should have time to finish them and ship them out today (hopefully) and then I can get back to work on the 16 plait bullwhip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Another Bullwhip

Another Bullwhip

Currently I’m working on a two tone bullwhip.  This bullwhip is going to be 16 plait in black and saddle tan with some patterns plaited on the 12 inch handle.   Yesterday I got all the internal plaiting done:

bullwhip

and both bellies attached:

For those of you keeping score at home you may notice that I’m doing something a bit differently that I normally do.  Look at the above picture…did you spot it?

The last few whips I’ve started adding the lead on before the overlay.   I used to do this a long time ago, but then switched to adding it after the overlay a year or two ago, but now I’m back to adding it before.  There’s no major reason why I’m doing this, it’s basically procedural…however I do have a reason why I switched back to doing it this way, it’s just not a major thing.

If I get a chance today I’ll cut out the overlay.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Dog Whip?

Dog Whip?

Someone had emailed me recently asking me if I could make them a French Dog Whip.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any info on a French Dog Whip, but I did find info on a German Dog Whip.  From my research I’ve learned that they really aren’t used in training dogs anymore because they don’t meet training standards for most competitions.   Currently from what I can tell they are mostly used for “Lifestyle Whip Cracking”.

I found the look interesting and decided to try to make one.  This was a bit of a challenge because aside from seeing a picture I have no idea how the thing is used.  Since it was a proof of concept type project I made this one in some leftover leather that I had kicking around.

Basically the whip consists of a long handle, lash and a slapper (loop of leather for a fall).  Also on the butt end there is a metal clip.  Here’s what I turned out:

dog whip

Apparently these whips used as slapping whips and were made by braiding from the slapper down towards the handle.  I didn’t do that.  From my research these whips are also to clip two or more dogs to the slapper.  Over time that would wear out the slapper and have it break in half.

For this whip the slapper is the filler for the lash of the whip.  However it if ever breaks, you can simply cut off the old one at the point add another slapper via the fall hitch without having to buy a whole new whip.

I gave the chair in my office a few good flicks with this and it was loud enough  for my wife to me in and see what the commotion was and she’s used to me cracking whips in the office.

This was a fun little project for me to make.  I just listed it for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Matched Pair of Bullwhip Pictures…

Matched Pair of Bullwhip Pictures…

The matched pair of bullwhips I was working on have been finished and someone has already bought them, so they are gone…but here are pictures of them being finished (knots and wrist loop).

First I made the foundations for the knots with waxed string and tie the knots over them.

One finished knot and one knot foundation

One thing about trying to get the “Indiana Jones” look to the bullwhip is to not have too much of a foundation…but not have the knots flat either.

Bull whip handle

The two knots came out pretty even is size, shape and location. I was happy with them!  Next up was making wrist loops.

wrist loops

I was on the fence about making these bullwhips with wrist loops and my main deciding factor was that I had enough scrap from these bullwhips to make the without cutting new strands.   After I made the wrist loops it was time to work on  the heel knots.

handles

This is the part of making a pair of bullwhips that really stresses me out.  Because I mainly build up my turkshead with thick waxed string I really have to pay attention to the amount I put on each whip.  I think that they turned out pretty close!

bullwhip

And here’s the finished whips:

matched pair of bullwhips

bull whips

I think they turned out pretty nice as a pair!

My next project is working on a two ton signal whip using up a few kangaroo skin centers that I have kicking around.

Louie
P.S. Don’t Forget I’m having a 20% off sale on all IN STOCK whips.   The person that bought the matched pair above saved over $170 on the pair of whips and you can save to! Simply go to http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4 and  place an order!

20% off IN STOCK whips!

20% off IN STOCK whips!

Right now I’m having a little sale on all IN STOCK whips!  From now until Tuesday morning 11/29/11 I’ve knocked 20% off all whips (bullwhips, snake whips, etc) that I have IN STOCK.  Of course all of my IN STOCK whips are ready to ship out and if they are for delivery in the USA they will make it to you by Chirstmas!

bullwhips for sale
bullwhips 20% off

To see what I have IN STOCK visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4

Don’t delay place your order now!  This sale is limited to the stock on hand and it’s first come first served!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Pair of Bullwhips – Still in Progress…

Pair of Bullwhips – Still in Progress…

I feel like I’ve been working on this pair of bullwhips forever!  Currently I have the overlays completed and the falls attached.  I still need to do the knots, rolling and shellacing.

bullwhips for sale

Also I might put on wrist loops and have these be a pair of Indy Bullwhips in saddle tan.  I haven’t decided yet.

These whips are being made as a matched pair, however I haven’t decided if I’m going to only sell them as a pair.   The main reason I made them the same was to make it more interesting / challenging for me.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Matched Pair of Bullwhips

Matched Pair of Bullwhips

My current project is a matched pair of bullwhips.  These bullwhips are 12 plait kangaroo bullwhips that will be 6 feet long.  One has been plaited to the 12 to 10  strand drop and the other has been plaited about halfway to the first strand drop.

bullwhip matched pair

I’m pretty happy with the look of the handles on these bullwhips:

bullwhip handle

It’s got a nice circumference measuring in at approx 65mm in the main part of the handle.  I’m hoping to find time to finish these bullwhips later this week.

Louie
P.S. I just got mentioned in an article in London, England’s The Guardian newspaper!  I’m at the end of the article.

Splitting Leather for Whip Making

Splitting Leather for Whip Making

One interesting area of whip making is splitting leather.  Some whip makers split everything, some nothing, some just bolsters, some just the bellies, some just the overlay or pretty much any combination of those.

If you don’t know what splitting is it’s when you run leather under a blade/knife to make it a more uniform thickness.  You can do this by hand with a knife or through a splitting machine:

As I understand it pretty much all leather leaves the tannery after going through some sort of splitting process to even out the leather.  So if  you buy leather it’s probably already been split.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the leather is the same thickness throughout.  It means it’s been evened out a bit.

Here’s a good example if you take a side of any time of leather off a cow (kip, calf or adult cow) there are firmer parts and stretchier parts.  So if you are cutting a bolster across the hide your bolster may be mostly firmer leather, but at some point have a bit of stretch.  That stretch is going to give you a thinner spot once you stretch the leather (yes I stretch my bolsters).  So a trip through a splitter after the bolster is cut out will make sure everything is more even.

Is this 100% necessary?

Nope.

It comes down to a matter of preference to the whip makers. Some makers like everything 100% uniform some like the the natural variance in leather.  No one way is right or wrong.  In theory if everything is uniform you’ll get more consistent whip…but since leather is a natural product that’s next to impossible because you have things like density of the leather that you can’t control.  Sure you can get pretty close, but not exact.  For example even if you cut a strand from the tail section of a kangaroo skin it’s going to be more dense than a strand from somewhere else.

Currently My thinking on splitting is I pretty much always split the core and bolsters.  The exception is on cheaper whips.  I split the bellies and overlays on a case by case basis.  That’s how I currently do it and that will probably change over time.

Here’s a quick splitting tip:  Keep you blade sharp!

osborne 86 splitter

I strop mine before and after every time I use it (or at least I try to)!

Right now I’m working on a matched pair of bullwhips.  These are going to be six feet long and because there are two bullwhips made from two different kangaroo skins I need to split them to get the the matched effect.

So for these bullwhips every layer will be split down to the same thickness.  This helps me match them as best as I can.

Here’s some in progress pictures of the pair of bullwhips:

matched bullwhip pair

bullwhip

matched bullwhip pair

Right now both inner bellies are finished and the next step will be cutting out and attaching the inner bolsters.  I also have already cut out a prepared the outer bellies, so hopefully today I’ll have the time to both out bellies plaited!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Goat Bullwhip and Matched Pair of Roo Bullwhips

Goat Bullwhip and Matched Pair of Roo Bullwhips

I finally finished work on the 12 plait bullwhip made from goat leather that I started work on a long time ago!  Here’s it before the heel knot was put on:

bullwhip

and after the knot and wrist loop was put on:

bullwhips

This bullwhip is available on my IN STOCK whips page.

I’ve also started working on a matched pair of 6 foot bullwhips:

bullwhip

Not much has been done on this pair, basically I’ve got cores cut out:

bull whip

Later this week I’ll have more of a chance to get more work in on these.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org