Yesterday I listed the 16 plait kangaroo bullwhip on ebay. I figured it would make a great last minute Christmas present for someone (or yourself). I did a shorter auction so that it ends in time for it to be delivered in the USA by Christmas.
Today was a fun day at the mail box there was a box of kangaroo skins from Midwest Whips! There were four skins two natural tan, one black and one red:
These kangaroo skins had a long journey (time wise) from Nevada to Washington State. Normally it takes 2 days for me to get kangaroo skins from Paul and sometimes there get here the next day. This shipment took 6 days! Based on the tracking number they sat in a post office sorting center in Las Vegas for about 4 days. Good thing I didn’t need these for an custom whip I was trying to get out for someone’s Christmas present!
That said if you are thinking of getting a whip for someone for Christmas I still have a few IN STOCK whips page but don’t wait until the last minute and have a postal delay cause your whip to be a New Year’s present!
Yesterday I happened to be in Bothell and popped by David Morgan’s shop. It’s been a while since I’ve been there for more than a few minutes and the first time I’ve hung out in the braiding area since they remodeled. I have a great time talking to Meagan, Will, Mike and Alex while I was there.
I’m planning on making a plaited belt that will have plastic D’s instead of metal ones for going through metal detectors when I travel. So I picked up a few plastic D’s while I was there. Also about a year ago I cracked Will Morgan’s pair of SKT stockwhips and liked them and while chatting with Alex somehow the SKT stockwhips came up in the conversation and I ended up buying one.
Yesterday I also managed to get the handle plaited on the 16 plait bullwhip that I started a couple of days ago and today I should be able to get a bit more of the lash finished. I’ll post pics later today or tomorrow.
The 16 plait bullwhip is finished and it’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page. Here are a couple of pics of it:
My next project is another 16 plait bullwhip, however there will be a difference between the two. The bullwhip above has a 12 inch 3/8 spike for the handle and the next one will have a 12 inch spring steel rod. The spring steel is much light and thinner so besides being a bit lighter the whip will also have a thinner profile. Also spring steel of the diameter that I’m using has a very slight bit of flex which will enhance how this bullwhip cracks.
Here’s the bullwhip in its current state:
This bullwhip has it’s out belly plaited and at the very least today I’ll be able to get the outer bolster on.
P.S. Remember if you order an IN STOCK whip by 1pm Seattle time on 12/20/11 it will arrive by Christmas!
I have the overlay of the 16 plait bullwhip finished and the fall attached. All I have left to do is put on the knots, roll the bullwhip and do some shellacing. Here’s the bullwhip in it’s current state:
I plaited the handle on this bullwhip differently from how I normally do two tone handles and I’m not 100% happy with the results. It’s not bad…but you’ll notice there’s a slight twist to the pattern on the handle. That’s because I did this by wrapping all 8 strands one direction then weaving the other 8 through them to get the pattern. Normally I do two tone handles one strand at a time. While this twist is purely cosmetic and will have not affect on how the bullwhip performs I don’t think I’ll be using that method the next time I do a two tone handle.
I gave this bullwhip a couple of flicks yesterday and it’s got a great crack!
The other day I was going through all the junk mail that we get at home and I noticed a flyer for the Black Angus Steakhouse. Here’s the flyer:
Do you see the bullwhip in the bottom left corner? At first I thought it was a reata then I noticed it had taper to it. Here’s a close up:
However based on the size of the plates and the size of the lash of the whip I’m guessing that either that’s a very skinny whip, huge plates or there’s a bit of photoshop going on!
Christmas Delivery of Bullwhips
My cut off date for orders of IN STOCK bullwhips is 1pm Seattle time on 12/20/2011 if you want them to arrive at an address in the USA before Christmas. I’ve got a couple of bullwhips, a signal whip and a few odds and ends IN STOCK. I’ll be adding the 16 plait bullwhip to my IN STOCK page as soon as I get it finished.
Also I have time to make one or two more Made To Order whips that would ship out before the 20th. If you are interested in something that’s not in stock give me a call at 206-669-3928 or email me before ordering for what colors of kangaroo I have in stock.
On many of my kangaroo bullwhips I put a bit of lead in the handle of the whip. This is put under the heel knot to add weight into the palm of your hand when holding the whip. A lot of people think this is to make the handle the same weight as the lash giving you a balanced bullwhip. If you think that or want to know where I am coming from please read my *brilliant* post about Bullwhip Balance before continuing reading.
Okay, so now you know what I think of balance points on a bullwhip and why it doesn’t really matter if the handle weighs exactly what the lash weighs. So that brings me to the next question, “if it doesn’t matter, why bother putting lead in the handle?”
Good question. The main reason that I put weight in the handle of the bullwhip is to give you something secure to hold on to. That’s it. Simply to make the whip not want to jump out of your hand when you crack it.
Alright so now you know why I put lead into the handles of whips you might be curious as to how I determine how much to put in. When I make a bullwhip I always add lead towards the end of the process. If I’m adding lead before the overlay is put on then I can crack the belly and sort of get a feel for how the whip is going to end up to help me determine what it needs. If I am adding lead after the overlay is plaited I can crack the whip without lead to see what it needs then add the lead and crack the whip again and adjust if necessary.
One thing to consider is that I do not have a fixed amount of lead that I add. I have a starting point that I always use, but you need to keep in mind that you can have two 8 foot bullwhips that crack very differently without lead. However for the most part most whips of the same size and style will have the same amount of lead.
Another thing to consider is that lead isn’t added proportionally i.e. a 12 foot bullwhip doesn’t have double the amount of lead as a 6 foot bullwhip. If that were the case and everything scaled up proportionally then the diameter of the 12 foot bullwhip’s lash would be huge! However you can add more lead without adding much bulk. Because the lead is wrapped in a circle as the diameter of the lead on the handle gets larger you are getting more lead around it with only adding 2mm to the diameter of the lead load on the whip.
If you are trying to make a bullwhip the best way to figure out how much lead to put in is basically to experiment!
Currently I have three feet of the overlay of the 16 plait bullwhip I’m working on finished. When you are plaiting a bullwhip you are actually braiding in two places. One is on the bullwhip and the other is at the other end of the strand. That’s why making longer bullwhips is a pain in the butt, you are always untangling. Here’s a picture of the loose ends of the strands braided from braiding the bullwhip:
I learned about this leather conditioner on twitter and am curious how it will handle on kangaroo. The makers of the product have never used it on roo, so we’ll see how it does! If you are on twitter follow me @bullwhips
I finished and shipped out the pair of cowhide bullwhips that I started working on earlier this week.
These whips have a nice crack and a pair of cowhide bullwhips would make a nice intro to two handed bullwhip cracking! Unfortunately these were a pair that was made for someone so they aren’t available for sale. However it was fun making these and I might try to make another pair in the next week or two. First I need to finish work on the 16 plait bullwhip that I started last week.
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.
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.
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.