Steal of the Week!

Steal of the Week!

Every  now and then I pop by ebay and see what’s for sale.  Normally that leads me to writing a rant about someone selling junk for way to much money.

Not today.

This is potentially the best deal on a whip right now you can view the auction at http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Foot-12-Plait-Kangaroo-Bullwhip-/110974847072.  It’s for a 10 foot 12 plait Indy Bullwhip that the buyer got from Western Stage Props.  Here’s the rub the strands are all jacked up  and broken at the fall hitch.   Plus the fall is gone.

Here’s where it gets awesome, based on the picture the whip is in good looking shape aside from the broken strands at the fall hitch.  It also looks like a whip that was made by Joe Strain.  So for probably about $100 you can get the whip fixed by having the point replaited and a new fall put on.  Sure the whip will end up a few inches shorter, but that’s no bid deal.

Currently the bid is  at $280 and in my opinion if you can get this whip for $300-$350 you’ve gotten an awesome deal!  Especially if you know how to fix this yourself and don’t have to pay someone to fix it. I’m half tempted to bid on this fix it myself and resell it and make a quick hundred bucks!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Knot to Easy…

Knot to Easy…

A while ago I was contacted to work on a custom project for a company that wanted me to make a lot of 4 plait braids with a lot of basic Spanish Ring Knots on them.  While not a technically demanding or mentally challenging project this company would have ordered a lot of them.  These would have been for resale so they’d be paying a wholesale/bulk rate.  I started making a sample and got about an inch and a half into the knots and here’s what I turned up:

braided necklace

Here’s the thing based on my time with the first five knots and extrapolating that out the five inch sample would have cost them around $300 in labor alone! While nothing was hard on this the knots were just a time killer!  Sure I could have cut some corners here and there like not properly anchoring the knots, but then over time they would loosen and slide around.  I could also have simply tied the knots and not gone back to retighten them, but again over time the would become loose and slide around.  So this project was abandoned and this little sample has been kicking around on my desk for a while.  The main reason I’m posting this is that I’m cleaning off my desk and I’m throwing it away, but figured I’d take a picture before it goes in the trash.

The moral of this story is while simple knots aren’t hard they are time suckers!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Stock Whip Kit

Stock Whip Kit

Yesterday I had an  order come in for a Make Your Own Stock Whip Kit. This kit takes you step by step into making a stock whip and comes with all the precut leather to do that as well as a DVD that takes you through the braiding and how to assemble everything.

This kit is designed for someone who wants to try to learn how to make a whip without all the trial and error that will go into your first whip.  Now most people in the USA want to make a bullwhip, so why don’t I make a bullwhip kit?  Well the simple answer is that a stock whip is much easier to make than an bullwhip and is a great gateway to a more complex project like a bullwhip.  However once you have basic plaiting skills and are ready to try a  harder project I do offer an ebook I wrote called  Bullwhip Making for the Beginner.

Since I was out of these Make Your Own Stock Whip Kits when the order came in I cut out several of these sets and have a couple of the kits ready to go.  If you’ve thought about trying to make a whip now’s a good time to try.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Whitehide Bullwhip Falls

Whitehide Bullwhip Falls

I realized this morning that I was out of whitehide bullwhip falls so I cut out a batch of them:

whitehide bullwhips falls

Then I knocked off the corners, soaked them in grease for several hours, took them out and rounded them:

white hide bullwhip fall

I’m glad I figured out a long time ago to soak the falls in grease instead of simply rubbing it on.  By soaking you get much better penetration into the fall.

If you need a whitehide fall for your bullwhip you can get them on the Whip Accessories page!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Loves me some old tyme bullwhip acts!

Loves me some old tyme bullwhip acts!

I love old variety acts, they could be magic, juggling, western or whatever.  What I love is how simple most of these acts are compared to what we are doing today, but at the same time they are doing things that most acts still do today.

Here’s a video I came across:

There’s not much to it, a couple of cuts and wraps and that’s it…but the audience loves it! I’ve never heard of them before, but clearly it’s not their first show.

A quick google search found another video:

The google search also found mentions of their act in the Billboard Magazine, so I get the impression they were a pro act. Anyway there’s a lot any modern act can learn from watching classic acts!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Cutting out a Bullwhip

Cutting out a Bullwhip

Yesterday I cut out the strands for an 8 plait bullwhip.  Here’s what the process looks like:

It looks like my schedule should allow me to do most of the plaiting today and with a bit of luck probably get the whole bullwhip finished.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Finished Bullwhip and Bullwhip in Progress!

Finished Bullwhip and Bullwhip in Progress!

Yesterday I put the knots on another five foot 8 plait bullwhip:

bullwhip

This bullwhip has a 10 inch handle and my goal with these is to make a nice entry level kangaroo bullwhip. These five foot bullwhips would be great for beginners to learn on. Normally I’ve got them price at about $240, but right now I have them on sale for $199.97 on my IN STOCK whips page.

Yesterday I also started work on two more 5 foot 8 plait bullwhips.  I’m cutting them out at the same time, but making them one at a time.  The one I’m currently making has all the internal layers finished and is waiting for me to cut out the overlay:

bullwhip

I should at least get the overlay cut out today and hopefully get all the strand prep finished as well with plaiting starting tomorrow.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

You Can’t Believe Everything on the Internet!

You Can’t Believe Everything on the Internet!

Every now and then I post links to youtube videos of people cracking whips.  Some are good videos, but mostly I post links to the less than good ones to point out misconceptions about whips and whip cracking.  The person in today’s video sure thinks he knows a lot about whips, and is doing whip cracking a disservice by spreading these inaccurate “facts”.

Before I get to the video, here’s what’s in the description of the youtube listing:

A bullwhip is a single-tailed whip, usually made of braided leather, which was originally used as a tool for working with livestock.

Bullwhips are pastoral tools, traditionally used to control livestock in open country. A bullwhip’s length, flexibility, and tapered design allows it to be thrown in such a way that, toward the end of the throw, part of the whip exceeds the speed of sound—thereby creating a small sonic boom.[1] Many modern “sport” whip crackers claim that the bullwhip was rarely, if ever, used to strike cattle, but this is a matter for debate.

All those faces make it seem like the person in the video will know what they are talking about.  The video is under 3 minutes, but it feels much longer than that when you are watching it.  Here’s the video:

Here’s what is way wrong in my opinion:

1.  Length:  He says it’s a 6 foot whip that’s worn down to 4 foot.  Well in total length yes…but how a bullwhip is typically measured it’s started a 4 foot whip and is still a 4 foot whip.

2. Durability:  He says a leather bullwhip will “destroy itself the more you use it”.  This is 100% false, a poorly maintained bullwhip will get ruined…but that’s not the bullwhips fault.  Also keep in  mind that a bullwhip like anything, you car, your home, your pants, your body, pretty much anything will wear itself out the more it’s used.  That’s where proper care comes in.

3.  Cracker:  He says “it’s been reduced to one cracker”, I don’t even  know what the heck that means.  Typically the highest number of crackers a bullwhip can have is ONE!   Also he’s referring to the bullwhip’s fall as a cracker and the whip has no cracker, so technically this bullwhip has been reduced to ZERO crackers.

4. Practice Makes Perfect:  He says, “practice makes perfect and you can see I’ve been practicing”.  Here’s the thing about the saying practice makes perfect, it’s wrong.  There’s a better saying, “perfect practice makes perfect” which means you have to be practicing correctly.  If I want to practice my golf swing and I swing the club like it’s a baseball bat.  I can practice that all day long, but it’s not going to help me once I get out on the golf course and put the ball on a tee on the ground.

Also do you think me mentioning this now before the demo might be foreshadowing some awesome technique later?

5. Safety:  Tells how dangerous it is and uses no safety equipment!

6. Technique:  No wonder he’s hit himself in the face, in fact it’s a wonder he’s only done that once!  He’s “dishragging” the whip which is the least safe way you can use a whip and the least practical.  Also there’s really only one or two actual cracks he’s getting with the whip, the rest are the whip hitting the floor.

7. His closing statement:  It cracks me up when he says, “there’s nothing like the sound of a whip cracking…”, if he like how his sounds now can you imagine how jazzed he’d be if he actually learned to crack it!

That’s the end of my little rant and here’s the moral, don’t take lessons from idiots on youtube to learn to crack a whip.  It’s unsafe and will lead you to hurt yourself or your whip.  Invest $10-$30 on a book or DVD to learn the actual foundations of whip cracking.  $30 for a DVD might sound expensive, but it’s cheaper than losing an eye because you didn’t follow proper safety procedures or whip technique.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

 

Bullwhip and a whip holder…

Bullwhip and a whip holder…

Here’s a 5 foot bullwhip that I finished recently:

bullwhip

This bullwhip is 8 plait kangaroo with a 10 inch handle.  This bullwhip is for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

I also made some whip holders today:

bullwhip holder

These are the two that were left after I sent out the rest to the people that ordered them.

Currently I’ve got another 5 foot bullwhip in the works.  I’m planning on making a 5 or 6 of these 5 foot bullwhips in the next month or so.  I think at 5 foot 8 plait I can keep these at a fairly cheap rate and that they’re a great entry level kangaroo bullwhip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Fall Cutting Trick!

Fall Cutting Trick!

I love figuring out new things!  While this is new to me, I’m sure someone else has thought of it before.  I was cutting out falls and  I’ve got a pretty simple process for cutting falls, but it’s fairly time consuming and a pain in the butt.

Here’s the old process:

1. Score a line with a straight edge and box cutter on the side of fall leather.  I make lines for the amount of falls I’m going to cut out.  So basically I draw out the falls with a blade using the straight edge as a guide.

2. Cut the falls out of the side of fall leather as a block.

3. One at a time cut the falls off the block using the score line as a guide.

4. Pare them.

5. Grease and round them.

The part I hated was the cutting them off the block of scored falls.  This was a pain because I had to hold the box cutter very firmly and work pretty slowly.  I also had to make sure the blade was as close to a 90 degree angle to the fall leather as possible.

Here’s my new process:

1. Score a line with a straight edge and box cutter on the side of fall leather.  I make lines for the amount of falls I’m going to cut out.  So basically I draw out the falls with a blade using the straight edge as a guide.

2. Cut the falls out of the side of fall leather as a block.

3. Cut the individual falls out of the block using my Lace Cutter

Latigo Bullwhip Falls

This made the cutting out process really easy for a few reasons.  First the blade is fixed at a 90 degree angle, so I don’t have to worry about keeping that angle.

Second I normally hold the blade with my right hand, but with the lace cutter I could pull with  my right hand and guide with my left instead of pulling and guiding with only my left hand.

Finally I have the blade set so it’s at an angle so the top end is further forward from the bottom.  What that does is have the blade grab the score and ride it through the leather keeping it lined up with the score.

Here’s the cut out latigo falls:

Latigo Bullwhip Falls

4. Pare them.
Latigo Bullwhip Falls

5. Grease and round them.

Latigo Bullwhip Falls

I’m always amazed at how much the falls stretch and shrink during the rounding process.  These stretched about 2 1/2 inches!   If you need a latigo fall you can get them on my Whip Accessories Page!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org