Bullwhips – Handmade by Louie

Finished Morgan Style Bullwhip

October 10th, 2011

I’ve finished work on the 8 foot 12 plait bullwhip that was made with the same construction as David Morgan uses.  I think it came out well:

This Bullwhip is for sale on my IN STOCK whips page!

Morgan Style Indy Bullwhip!

October 9th, 2011

Currently I’m working on an Indiana Jones style bullwhip built with David Morgan’s construction.   You can find out more about David’s method in his book Whips and Whip Making.

whips and whip making

There are some differences between how they make bullwhips at David Morgan and how I normally make mine.  For example the lead load is one of the first thing they do at David Morgan and it’s one of the last things that I do.  Neither way is right or wrong, just how we do it.

Here’s the bullwhip with both bellies finished:

indiana jones style bullwhip

And here’s the bullwhip as it is currently:

bull whip

It still need to have the wrist loop added:

bullwhip for sale

The knots need to be tied and a few finishing touches. So far I’m happy with how this has turned out!  Next up I’ll be finishing up a 16 plait riding crop that I started a while ago.


Leaky Tar Snake Whip…

October 5th, 2011

A while ago a person who had ordered a snake whip about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago from me sent me an email saying the whip was leaking a tar like substance.  Here’s one of the pictures that he sent:

snake whip

He said the that he’d clean it up, but it’d just reappear again in the next day or two.  I’d never heard of anything like this before and set out to do a bit of research (calling my whip maker friends).

Pretty much everyone’s first reaction was that it was weather related.  However that was just everyone’s first guess.  No one had ever seen or heard of this except Paul Nolan!  One of the vintage Cecil Henderson whips that Paul has also does this, but he doesn’t know why.

At this point I became very curious…personally I like to know why things do things (not just how).  So I offered the snake whip’s owner a trade, I’d make them a new snake whip if I could take apart the old one to see what was happening.

Before I show you the inside of the snake whip, here’s a very good tip for any whip maker, You can learn a lot by taking apart one of your own whips! That’s right, I knew what was inside this snake whip, but I learned a lot about how my construction techniques hold up by taking apart a well used whip that was about 2  years old.

Here’s the whip dissection photos:

What was happening inside the snake whip was the tar was being formed at the core and because I plait very tightly it ran out of room in the core and had to go somewhere and that somewhere was outwards.  So it found the seam in shotbag and exited there.

Next up was finding its way through the plaiting, which wasn’t a big deal because the plating is all seams.  So it didn’t really stop there, it just sent straight out until it hit the bolster.  Now here’s where something that I already did helped, I put my bolster’s seam 180 degrees from the seam in the core.  So the direction it leaked from once it got through the belly hit the side of the bolster opposite the seam.

Unfortunately once it hit the bolster it started pooling there until there was enough of it to go all the way around the bolster and get to the seam where it finally made its exit through the plaiting where it finally emerged as the tar like substance.

Simply having my bolster seam 180 degrees from the seam of the core was almost enough to stop the leaking and in fact stopped it in several other spots on the whip.  However after taking apart this snake whip I still don’t know exactly what was causing the tar to be created in the first place.  I don’t know if it’s part of the natural breakdown of the lead, or environmental factors…but my money is on a combination of the two.

Hope you found this as interesting as I did!



Morgan Style Indy Bullwhip…

October 5th, 2011

Currently I’m working on an Indy bullwhip made the way that David Morgan makes them.  There are a several differences in construction in how David Morgan makes his whips and how I normally make mine.  The main ones are:

  • When the lead is put on the handle foundation.
  • How the wide end of the bolster is shaped.
  • How the filler strands are shaped.
  • Wear leather.
  • Core shape
  • How the lead is capped

Currently I’ve got the inner belly plaited:


Today at the very least I should be able to get the inner bolster finished.


Finished Snake Whip

September 30th, 2011

Here’s the finished snake whip:

snake whip

My next project is making an David Morgan style Indy bullwhip.  It’s been a while since I’ve made one.  I’m debating on making one that internally is exactly like how they make them over at David Morgan or one that just looks like a Morgan but with my internal construction.



Snake Whip Progress…

September 29th, 2011

My current project is a 12 plait snake whip made from kangaroo:

snake whip

This snake whip is going to be made with the look of the bullwhip used by Indiana Jones.  So it’s 12 plait in natural tan kangaroo with a checkerboard handle area and 4 seam lash.  It will have the same knots as the Indy Bullwhip.  That will give this the look of an Indy Bullwhip in a snake whip!


Bullwhip and a Snake Whip

September 28th, 2011

Here’s another 8 plait 5 foot kangaroo bullwhip that I finished a while ago:

bull whip

For some reason I haven’t listed this as IN STOCK until now!  You can find it on my IN STOCK whips page!

Currently I’m working on a 12 plait snake whip:




Get Ready…

September 26th, 2011

Recently I’ve talked to several whip makers about the price and availability of kangaroo in the USA.  Recently due to many factors including:

  • Export permits to get the kangaroo out of Australia
  • Import permits to get the kangaroo into the USA
  • Strong Australian dollar and weak USA dollar
  • Increased shipping costs
  • and other increased misc. charges (like bank fees on international purchases)

The price of kangaroo leather has gone up about 20% within the 6 -12  months!  While I’ve notice that the retail price for bullwhips has remained the same…guess what…they are going to change.  Right now most whip makers are eating the difference and haven’t raised their prices…yet.

All it’s going to take is one whip maker to raise their pricing and all the others will as well.  No one wants to be the first to do it, but it something that in my opinion will happen.  It not a matter of if but when price will go up.

I’m predicting you’ll see an increase by January.

What does that mean to the average whip cracker?  Well it depends on your needs.  If you don’t need a new bullwhip then it probably won’t matter, but if you are in the market for a new bullwhip sometime within the next 12 months it could mean a difference in price of about 20% or more!

Of course the price of Kangaroo Leather could drop, but honestly in my opinion it’s very unlikely that the Australian and United States governments really care that they are driving bullwhip prices up with their fees for permits to import or export kangaroo.  One thing that would help is if the USA dollar would make a miraculous comeback within the next year, however I’m not holding my breath for that to happen.

So what I’m saying is if you’ve been thinking about buying a bullwhip, or are planning on getting one in the near future now is probably a good time to buy, whip makers prices probably won’t go down anytime soon!


Free Kangaroo Leather

September 24th, 2011

I’m cleaning up my office and I realized that I’ve got tons of scrap kangaroo and cowhide leather kicking around (mostly kangaroo).  Here’s a sample of what I have:

.  kangaroo for whip making

The pieces are in all shapes from and sizes.  There’s a ton of lace, which would be perfect for small braided goods like key chains.  In fact that’s how I used to use up my lace: making keychains, miniature bullwhips, etc

I’ll never use the amount of scrap I have because I generate a lot more than what I use.  This is a great chance to get some kangaroo corners, lace and cowhide corners and lace.  So here’s what I’m offering for $10.00 shipping and handling I’ll fill a 9 X 12 manila envelope full of kangaroo and leather scrap. That’s it, a flat $10.00, so if you’ve ever thought of braiding or maybe just need a bit of lace.

Click here to order some of this scrap kangaroo and cow leather!

Here’s a few of  examples of what I’ve made from my scrap:

plaited bracelet

plaited kangaroo bracelet


For this deal I can’t guarantee you’ll get any specific colors, shapes, lengths of lace, etc.  I’m just grabbing handfuls and putting it into an envelope.  This is limited to the amount of scrap I have and is available on a first come first served basis, so click here to get some of this scrap kangaroo and cow leather!

Oh, if you want more than one envelope of kangaroo and cow leather scrap, simply order more that one!


Stock Whip Conversion

September 24th, 2011

Recently someone sent me a stockwhip thong that didn’t have a stock and they’d been cracking it like a snake whip.


They wanted to know if I could put a handle and wrist loop on it.  Of course I can:

Stock whip conversion to snake whip

It’s amazing how much difference the lighting makes to the color of the leather!


Copyright 2009 by Louie Foxx LLC http://bullwhips.org.