White Bullwhip

White Bullwhip

Here’s a quick video of me performing my bullwhip act yesterday:


One thing you’ll notice is how the white bullwhip “pops” and it really visible with the background.  Something you need to consider if you want to perform with a whip is how it contrasts with the background.  For example a black whip in front of a black background will disappear…unless it’s properly lit by someone that knows what they are doing.

I typically travel with a black and a white whip and choose the one that I’ll use in the show after I get to the venue to see which will show better.  Sometimes neither will be more visible, but it never hurts to be prepared!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip with Ostrich Leg Handle Progress…

Bullwhip with Ostrich Leg Handle Progress…

The bullwhip that will have the ostrich leg handle has been making some progress.  I’ve the the outer bolster attached:

bullwhip

And the overlay cut out:

bullwhip

I am  having second thoughts about my choice to sue a thinner spring steel handle over a thicker steel spike.  The main reason I’m doubting this is the thicker handle foundation will make  a thicker handle and show off more of the grain of the ostrich handle.

I did just wrap the ostrich around the handle and it looks fine, you won’t miss out on any of it.  If I do a whip like this again I’ll probably go with a thicker handle to see the difference.

Hopefully today I’ll manage to do the strand prep on the overlay (but not very likely that will happen).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Ostrich Bullwhip, Nylon Whipmaker and an Ebay Rant…

Ostrich Bullwhip, Nylon Whipmaker and an Ebay Rant…

I’ve gotten some more work on the bullwhip that will have an ostrich leg handle.  Right now I have the two bellies completed:

bullwhip

Sometime today I’m hoping to at least the the final bolster on it.

Last weekend I met a whipmaker named Derek after a show:

bullwhip

He makes nylon whips, it’s always nice to chat with another whipmaker.  I had a lot of questions for him because I don’t do nylon whip and they are very different from leather in how they are made.

Last night I was looking on ebay at what people are selling for whips.  Obviously I saw the David Morgan whip that was “used in Raiders by Harrison Ford“.  In my opinion for $47,500 this bullwhip better come with more than a stuntman saying it was used in the movie to verify it’s authenticity.  The seller claims that it was used on screen, so how about a still of it?  If it was actually in the movie it wouldn’t be to hard to get one…and the handle on this bullwhip looks very different from the handles of the whips assoicated with the Raiders movie, so it shouldn’t be hard to spot.  Also the seller says the whip is made from calf leather and to me it looks like kangaroo (but I’m not 100% positive from the picture) For me if I had the 50K, I’d pass on this.

The “Raider’s Whip” isn’t what my little rant is about.  It’s about another bullwhip being auctioned which you can view here:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/bullwhip-6ft-12-plait-kangaroo-indy-IV-style-/271031619986

For what it is the seller has it priced about right at $225, but my issue with it is in the description:

…something i do to all my whips is bevel the corners on the underside of all the strands which makes the overall whip alot smoother and aerodynamic which if this isnt done you will reaally end up with a cheap looking whip that doesnt look or crack as good …

I’ve got no problem with the typo’s in the listing or the huge run on sentence.  My issue is with the seller is saying that a bullwhip that is pared on opposite corners will:

  • Look like crap
  • Not crack well

The general thinking from whip makers that I respect and had talked to about paring when I was starting out is there is no one specific way to bevel your lace.  I personally agree that there is no one right way to do it.  All it will do it affect the texture / look of the whip, however that is all cosmetic.

I wonder if the seller is aware that Jacka used to (I don’t know if he still does) pare his strands on the  Indy IV bullwhips on opposite corners?  So this whip seller is making a copy of a whip, but making it incorrectly and saying that the whip he’s copying looks like crap and doesn’t crack well.

Hmmm…to me it sounds like someone doesn’t know what they are talking about.  Now for me to support my theory that you can pare a strand any way other than both flesh sides and it will be an awesome whip in both function and looks:

  • David Morgan – He made the most famous movie bullwhip in the world and he pares top left and bottom right.  I don’t think anyone would say his iconic bullwhip looks like crap.
  • Joe Strain –  Joe’s also made some very well know movie whips, including some that were in the Indy IV movie (that the seller is copying) and he frequently pares top right and bottom left.  I think you be hard pressed to find a professional whip cracker that would say that any of Joe Strains whips don’t crack well.
  • Chris Barr – In the USA we don’t hear about Chris Barr as much as we should.  His 72 plait stock whip is simply amazing!  Chris  has mentioned that he frequently doesn’t pare his lace at an angle, but leaves it with squared corners.  I’d be willing to bet you can’t find someone that has seen or cracked one of Chris’s whips that will say they look like crap or don’t crack well.

 

If those three people don’t support the theory that you can pare other than flesh side and end up with an awesome whip then you haven’t seen or cracked their whips.

The seller also says his whip is “…identical to the original whip even the knots are exactly the same …” .  This is one of those statement where the seller isn’t honestly looking  at their whip.  They knot shape is totally different from the shape on a Jacka Indy IV Bullwhip.

In my opinion when you are selling a movie copy bullwhip it should be an actual copy, not just something that matches the general color scheme.  Personally in principle I wouldn’t buy this bullwhip.  Here’s a tip when you are getting started in whip making be honest about what you are selling instead of hyping it up.  Oh and in your description don’t use one long sentence, break it up into multiple sentences it makes it so much easier to read.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Finally Finished…

Finally Finished…

This bullwhips has been in various states of construction for about a month and I finally found time to put the knots on it:

bullwhip

This is a Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhip and probably the last one of these I make for a little while.  I’ve got enough leather for 2 or 3 more, but want to work on some more interesting projects.

This bullwhip is for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

I was in Portland, Oregon over the weekend and found this bullwhip in a junk shop:

bullwhip

This is a cheap-o bullwhip and was dry as hell and it was missing a fall and cracker.  Can you guess the asking price?

A whopping forty nine dollars…FIRM!

This exact same bullwhips is selling for $6.54 and it’s brand new on Amazon.com.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Ostrich Leg Bullwhip Handle

Ostrich Leg Bullwhip Handle

Yesterday while I was out performing I drove by a Tandy Leather Factory store and popped in.  Some Ostrich legs caught my eye.  I’ve thought about making a bullwhip with an Ostrich leg handle before, but I finally bought a leg.

bullwhip handle

There should be enough of this Ostrich leg for me to get two handles from it. This stuff is very expensive at $50 retail, however I don’t pay that much, but it still isn’t cheap!

Now my next choice is what color to make the lash of the whip from.  If I do the lash in black the Ostrich leg handle visually be lost in a sea of black, however there is something elegant about an all black whip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

A Few More PNWJC Pics…

A Few More PNWJC Pics…

Here a some more whip pictures from last month when I was at the Pacific Northwest Juggling Convention.  Here’s my booth at the Juggling Convention.

While I was there these whips showed up along with their owner Curt Carlyle.

bullwhips

I made this pair for Curt a while ago.  It’s always nice to get to crack whips that you’ve made after they’ve been used for a while to see how they are holding up.

It may be hard to tell what’s going on, this is Curt doing some tosses with the whips:

bullwhip

Today I’ve got three shows, but hopefully I’ll be able to find time to finish the Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip that’s on my hook right now.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Machete Kills Bullwhip

Machete Kills Bullwhip

I just saw a little behind the scenes video of the upcoming Robert Rodriguez movie Machete Kills and it looks like there’s a bullwhip that’s going to be in the movie:


If that whip looks familiar it’s because I made it a little while ago.  Also at about the 52 second mark you can see Sofia Vegara holding one of the handles that I made (the lash will be CGI’d in later).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

More Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips….

More Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips….

Over the weekend the two Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips that needed knots got them.

bullwhips

After I finished them I found another Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhip that was the plaited belly with the overlay cut out and just need to be braided.  So I started that and am about halfway finished with the overly.  I wonder if I’ll ever get to the pair of whips that I’d like to make!

Louie
P.S. These bullwhips are listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips

Right now I have two Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips in the works.  They are almost finished, they just need turksheads and to be rolled.

bullwhips

I stared these whips a while ago and never got the  knots on them.  For some reason this morning I got a craving to make a pair of four or five foot whips, but I figure I should finish these first.  Once they are finished they’ll be listed on my IN STOCK whips page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Back home!

Back home!

Sorry I haven’t haven’t been posting recently, I’ve been on the road performing for most of the last two weeks and haven’t had a chance to do any whip making, or had much free time to even write up a post.

Here’s a couple of pictures from the whip workshop that I did in Corvallis Oregon a couple weeks:

bullwhips

bullwhip

I also found this video about whipmaking with Adam Savage where he talks about making a bullwhip.

It’s interesting how passionately he explains how he did things and how much incorrect information he gives.  Like saying an 11 foot bullwhip is “insanely long” and that “no whip cracker would use a whip that long” is downright wrong.  He does a good job at explaining how much work goes into making a bullwhip, and anyone that wonders why a good whip costs so much should watch this.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org