Here’s a new ending to the whip trick where you knock a small cup out from under a bigger cup without sending the bigger cup flying across the room.
This idea has been in my head for a long time and I’ve finally gotten around to building it. I think it adds a bit more punch when you get the confetti flying out at the end. I know it’s not super visible in the video due to the light colored wall behind me, but onstage it will look pretty cool!
On Saturday I was performing in a variety arts festival called the Moisture Festival in Seattle. One of the acts that I was working with called Comedy Industries who are a juggling team used a bullwhip in their show. Here’s the bullwhip:
I’m on the road for the next few days so unless I run into some whips while I’m on tour you probably won’t hear from me until early next week.
Sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I normally do, I’ve been very busy performing, practicing a couple of new things for the show and finishing up scheduling my summer show tours.
Yesterday I had a show in the early evening that was about a block from David Morgan. Traffic was good and I got there about 20 minutes before I needed to set up so I popped by and visited will and Meagan and Will. I don’t normally run into a lot of whip people when I pop in there, but yesterday there was a father and son buying a pair of Karaka Whips.
I also met a two guys from Salt Lake City who had just gotten in the mail a couple of bullwhips from EM Brands Bullwhips:
The engraved silver bands look really cool in person. These whips also have an engraved plaque a the base of the handle which also look really great. They are a neat interesting touch that Bernie puts into the whips.
Before I had to run out the door to set up my show yesterday Meagan showed me something that they are reviving from old David Morgan catalog. I don’t know how much of a secret it is yet (or if it’s a secret at all) so I’m going to be a bit vague. It’s a whip they used to sell but stopped a while ago and they are starting them up again. The one I saw looks great, so all you David Morgan fans start saving up! Meagan said it’d be on their website before it’s in the catalog, so if you check their blog at www.davidmorgan.biz they’ll probably mention it there when they begin selling them on their website www.davidmorgan.com.
Right now is a very cool time in Seattle, there’s a variety arts festival called the Moisture Festival happening now until Easter. They say this is the biggest variety arts festival in the USA, and there are three acts in the festival that use whips in their show:
Leapin’ Louie says he’s doing whips in his act today and I don’t know if AJ silver will be doing whips or not in his act at the festival. As for me I won’t be doing whips in my act when I’m in the festival, they booked me to do my hand shadow act.
Earlier today I met up with Leapin’ Louie and we cracked whips a bit and had a cup of coffee:
Leapin’ Louie has a pair of Performance Hybrids from MidWest Whips and he says he loves them!
Here he is swinging around my pair of long handle bullwhips:
I had a great but short time with Leapin’ Louie before I had to head out to do a show.
I was running out of leather for bolsters, so yesterday I stopped by my local Tandy Leather Factory. I was looking at their 2-3 oz which is $5.35 a square foot. Then I noticed that they had 3-4 oz on sale for $49.99 a side! Normally I run my bolsters through a splitter to knock off any high spots, so getting a slightly heavier leather isn’t really adding much more work.
My local Tandy had just gotten a batch of these in, so I got to dig through a lot of them! The skins I bought were on the thinner side of the 3-4 oz weight and they were huge! Both of them were just over 35 feet (the average skin they had were 25ish square feet)! One was a nice clear skin, the other has some holes on the belly, however they were in an area I normally cut of so they are no big deal.
The nice thing about getting these two sides was that I was already in the area of the Tandy and picked them up, so there was no shipping or extra gas spend on them. They were a total of just under 70 cents a square foot! If you need some bolster leather now’s the time to check out your local Tandy Leather Factory!
I almost feel like I need to make a long whip so that I can take advantage of using the longer skin to make a bullwhip with a longer bolster with no splices!
I was also finally out of plaiting soap, so I cooked up a batch:
A couple of nights ago I started working on a riding crop. For this one I decided to use an exotic leather for riding crop’s hand grip. The hand grip on this riding crop is sharkskin and the core is rawhide with a cane center.
The overlay on it is 12 plait kangaroo.
There are a couple of patterns on it, but for the most part it’s a 4 seam plait.
Here’s the almost finished riding crop:
I still need to roll and shellac this riding crop.
This morning I put the knots on and test cracked a 5 foot budget bullwhip.
This has a 4 plait leather overlay, red latigo fall and polypro cracker. I had some fun this morning swinging the bullwhip around in my living room, this bullwhip has a great crack! It’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page.
Now that all of my in progress projects have been completed I can start some new projects. I’m planning on starting a few 5 foot 8 plait kangaroo bullwhips.
I recently remembered a source I have locally for kangaroo skins. They only have a couple in stock and they’ve had the same skins for years. These skins were expensive at $22.69 a square foot and that’s the price they’ve been at for several years. Lucky for me I remember this place had them and I bought them all them out and got them for $18 a square foot.
These are nice clear skins from packer and all are in the upper 70dm size range. It’s funny when they first got them in stock and priced them at $22.69 I thought that was insanely expensive (at the time I was paying in the ballpark of $11-$13 a square foot) and back then I wouldn’t believe that now I’d be excited to pay $18 a square foot for them!
Here’s one of them:
These kangaroo skins are a great size, shape and thickness for making Indy style bullwhips! This particular skin’s thickness is in the 1.25 mm range. David Morgan used to sell skins this thick, but no longer does and I’m exciting to have some again!
On Friday I make new dog leash for my dog, it’s 4 plait in kangaroo with a 10 plait wrist loop. One thing that I tend to do with the dog leads that I make for my dog is that they are 4 plait, for regular dog walking we don’t need anything fancier than 4 plait. However to make them fancier I usually do an 8 plait flat braided wrist loop and put on a two tone knot.
Dog leads are a pretty easy little plaiting project if you are getting into plaiting. Also if you are trying to learn how to cut kangaroo lace freehand like I do a 4 plait dog lead is a very forgiving project. Even if it’s your first time cutting free hand you’re going to have to try really hard to mess this up!
Here’s how how I made the dog lead a few days ago:
I started with two pieces of kangaroo lace that I had cut out from a kangaroo center that was leftover making an 8 foot bullwhip. I cut one piece of lace that was 22 feet 5 inches long by 6.25.mm wide and another piece that was 12 feet long and 4mm wide. I pared both of these on both flesh sides and split them to an even thickness. The longer piece of lace will be the overlay and the smaller piece will be the core.
You will also need a clip for the end:
Take the core and thread it through the clip so the middle of the lace is hanging from the clip.
Then cut the the longer piece of lace in half, so that you have two pieces. I thread those through the clip (over the core) so the middles are on top of the middle of the core:
Start a 4 plait round braid.
I plaited the dog lead until about the 3 foot mark.
Once I had the body of this finished I would normally roll it between two boards. However recently someone had emailed me asking me how to use a leather rounder. They aren’t that hard to use, you simple put the leather into it, lock it in place and pull:
The 3 foot mark is where I wanted to put my wrist loop. For this to be a 10 plait wrist loop I had to cut each of the 4 plait strands in half and pare the edges on the flesh side that need to be beveled. I also thinned down the two core strands so they were about the same width as the strands that will be the wrist loop. By added the two core strands to the (now) eight strands from the body of the leash will give me ten strands for the wrist loop.
For the wrist loop I did what Ron Edwards calls a Goanna Neck pattern in 10 plait. Once the wrist loop was long enough I folded it in half and back braided it into the body of the dog lead and wrapped it with string.
Then I tied the first pass of a long button knot in natural tan.
And added a second pass in black kangaroo.
Then I put a turkshead on the other end of the dog lead:
Finally I gave it another board roll and a coat of shellac.
If it wasn’t raining today I’d put it on the dog and take her out!
In a leather working forum someone who is new to braiding mentioned that the tools for splitting, cutting and beveling were expensive. You don’t need any expensive tools to get into braiding. If you were to buy a decent quality splitter, cutter and beveler you’d probably spend at least $500 in tools. And these tools still have a bit of a learning curve.
You can do the same doing it “freehand” with a $1 box cutter and a bit of practice…plus when doing it free hand you can do cut at a taper much easier (which is a must if you want to make whips!) than with a strand cutter.
Here’s some video of cutting, paring and splitting kangaroo by hand. The first is an old video of me cutting freehand:
I no longer use the caliper to mark out widths, except to see how wide my starting point should be. The next video is an old video of me paring the kangaroo lace:
And finally recent video of me splitting the kangaroo lace by hand:
Pretty much the only time I use my bench splitter anymore is when I’m thinning down leather that’s an inch or so wide (like for bolsters).