Dog Whip?

Dog Whip?

Someone had emailed me recently asking me if I could make them a French Dog Whip.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any info on a French Dog Whip, but I did find info on a German Dog Whip.  From my research I’ve learned that they really aren’t used in training dogs anymore because they don’t meet training standards for most competitions.   Currently from what I can tell they are mostly used for “Lifestyle Whip Cracking”.

I found the look interesting and decided to try to make one.  This was a bit of a challenge because aside from seeing a picture I have no idea how the thing is used.  Since it was a proof of concept type project I made this one in some leftover leather that I had kicking around.

Basically the whip consists of a long handle, lash and a slapper (loop of leather for a fall).  Also on the butt end there is a metal clip.  Here’s what I turned out:

dog whip

Apparently these whips used as slapping whips and were made by braiding from the slapper down towards the handle.  I didn’t do that.  From my research these whips are also to clip two or more dogs to the slapper.  Over time that would wear out the slapper and have it break in half.

For this whip the slapper is the filler for the lash of the whip.  However it if ever breaks, you can simply cut off the old one at the point add another slapper via the fall hitch without having to buy a whole new whip.

I gave the chair in my office a few good flicks with this and it was loud enough  for my wife to me in and see what the commotion was and she’s used to me cracking whips in the office.

This was a fun little project for me to make.  I just listed it for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Pair of Bullwhips – Still in Progress…

Pair of Bullwhips – Still in Progress…

I feel like I’ve been working on this pair of bullwhips forever!  Currently I have the overlays completed and the falls attached.  I still need to do the knots, rolling and shellacing.

bullwhips for sale

Also I might put on wrist loops and have these be a pair of Indy Bullwhips in saddle tan.  I haven’t decided yet.

These whips are being made as a matched pair, however I haven’t decided if I’m going to only sell them as a pair.   The main reason I made them the same was to make it more interesting / challenging for me.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Goat Bullwhip and Matched Pair of Roo Bullwhips

Goat Bullwhip and Matched Pair of Roo Bullwhips

I finally finished work on the 12 plait bullwhip made from goat leather that I started work on a long time ago!  Here’s it before the heel knot was put on:

bullwhip

and after the knot and wrist loop was put on:

bullwhips

This bullwhip is available on my IN STOCK whips page.

I’ve also started working on a matched pair of 6 foot bullwhips:

bullwhip

Not much has been done on this pair, basically I’ve got cores cut out:

bull whip

Later this week I’ll have more of a chance to get more work in on these.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Alligator Handled Bullwhip is Finished!

Alligator Handled Bullwhip is Finished!

This afternoon I redid the transition knot on the Alligator Handled Bullwhip.  I took out the red from the transition knot and now the whole knot is black, but I left the red in the heel knot:

bull whip for sale

Alligator Exotic Leather Handled Bullwhip

This bullwhip is 5 feet long and the lash is 12 plait.

Alligator Exotic Leather Handled Bullwhip

I just listed this for sale on my IN STOCK whips page along with a 16 plait Riding Crop and a 12 plait Cat of Nine Tails.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished (?) Alligator Handle Bullwhip

Finished (?) Alligator Handle Bullwhip

Yesterday finished working on the bullwhip with the alligator handle.  However I did the knots with a second color interweave and I’m not sure that I like it, so I might be redoing them.

The work that was done yesterday was finishing plaiting the point:

bull whip

This bullwhip is a 12 plait bullwhip and since it has an exotic leather handle I decided to give it a finer point than a usual 6 plait point and went with an 8 plait point.  Also I started doing a couple of newish things to this bullwhip and one old thing.

The old thing that I did was something that I used to do a long time ago and for some reason stopped.  What I’m going again is a little bit before strand drops I’m starting to taper the strands that will be dropped a little bit.  That seems to ease the lace into the drop a little bit better.

The two new things that I’m doing are:

  1. Different Angles of Paring: The lace that makes up this bullwhip starts out at the handle pared at an angle, but as you move toward the point the lace ends up more square.  My thinking on this is that when you use a whip if it’s pared at an angle the lace at that thinner spot is more susceptible to abrasion damage which can turn into a torn or broken lace on the thinner point strands.  By having them more square they should hold up to that a bit better.    However since the first half of the whip doesn’t normally contact the ground abrasive damage isn’t really an issue.
  2. Splitting By Hand: I’ve come up with my own technique for splitting lace by hand (no splitter).  I’ll make a little video of this some day, but it’s pretty easy and right now it’s fun to do…we’ll see if I keep it up once the novelty has worn off!

Yesterday I also put the knots on the bullwhip.  Here’s the transition knot before the interweave:

bullwhip

and after the interweave:

bullwhip

And here’s the heel knot foundation ready for a knot:

bullwhip

And here’s the finished heel knot:

Alligator bullwhip

Part of my “not sure if I like it” I think may come from the unbalanced look of the knots.  I need to do them in one solid color, add more red to the heel knot, or less red to the transition knot.
Here’s a full view of the whip:

bull whip

I still need to roll and shellac it after I come to a decision as to whether or not I like the knots.  The more I look a them the more I’m OK with them…but still not positive!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

economINDY bullwhip

economINDY bullwhip

I just finished making an economINDY bullwhip, that’s a 12 plait bullwhip made in the style of the Indiana Jones bullwhip, but made with calf.

bullwhip

I used to make these a long time ago, and while I was trying to hunt down some kip I found some great calf skins.  I picked up three skins which should be enough for at least 3 bullwhips (maybe 4 if all of them are shorter).

This one was made with only one plaited belly, but still has two bolsters and a core.  The next couple of these that I make will have two plaited bellies to help me get the lash a bit heavier…or maybe I’ll put in a light lead shot loaded core to get it a tad heavier??

This bullwhip has a good crack, but it’s a lighter lash than I normally put on a Indy style bullwhip.  There’s nothing wrong with a lighter lash, it’s just different from what I normally do.  I’ve got it listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.  If you are interested in this bullwhip I say get it now because the next ones will either have another belly or a shot loaded core, and either of those will bump up the price about $25.

Louie

How to Make a Young Indy Bullwhip…

How to Make a Young Indy Bullwhip…

Right now I’m making a Young Indy Style bullwhip.  This is basically a David Morgan style bullwhip that’s all black except for a red handle.  Here’s a picture of one that I’ve made in the past:

The Young Indy bullwhip above isn’t screen accurate.  The handle is too long and it has a wrist loop.  The one in the Last Crusade movie was one of David Morgan’s 450 bullwhips that was painted black and red.

I’ve made several Young Indy Bullwhips and what I’ve always done the coloring was to get a natural tan skin and dye it red and black.  There are some problems with dying any bullwhip,  the mains one are (which are similar, but different):

  1. Dye Wearing Off: Over time the dye on the point of the bullwhip will wear off from it touching the ground during whip cracking.
  2. Dye rubbing Off: The dye on the handle can rub off onto you hand where you hold the bullwhip.  This will cause the dye on the knots and handle to fade and can discolor your hands.
  3. Dye Bleeding: Over time the dye from the black knots can bleed onto the red handle from the simply touching each other.

There’s a great little article on dyed kangaroo on whips at: http://whips.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/hand-dyed-kangaroo-leather/

What makes the Young Indy Bulllwhip different from most two tone bullwhips is that the two colors are on the same strand.  Where most two tone whip’s strands are one solid color.  So there are two ways to get the two colors for a Young Indy Bullwhip:

  1. Dye the strands
  2. Use a different set of strands for the handle and lash

Both methods are good, but have their own advantages and disadvantages.  Personally I like the dyed method for how I make whips to do a Young Indy.  However I wanted to try to reduce the amount of places the dye could rub off.

What I decided to do is make the bullwhip from tannery dyed red kangaroo.  That will be the red for the handle and  use tannery dyed black kangaroo for the knots.  That will pretty much solve the problem of the dye rubbing off on your hands.  It also solves potential bleeding because where the black knots touch the red handle are tannery dyed, the dye will be locked in much better by the tannery dying process.

As for the dye wearing off the point, that’s a much harder problem to solve.  By using a kangaroo that’s darker in color than natural tan kangaroo the dye should  last longer on the point simply because the color under it is fairly dark.  That should make mild rubbing off of the color much harder to see.

Also having the whole bullwhip’s overlay made with one set of strands will be much quicker to make than using two…and only having to dye part of the overlay’s strands will save time from  having to independently dye the handle and lash.  Also it will reduce the time consuming part of trying to figure out how far out to dye the whip red and where to start the black.

As far as I know no other whip makers that do Young Indy Bullwhips are doing them this way.

Now here’s the construction of this bullwhip:

When I make my bullwhips I usually start by cutting out the two bellies and the core before I attach anything:

Six Foot Bullwhip

For the core I’m using an 8 inch spring steel rod.  This is different from how I’d normally make a David Morgan style bullwhip which uses a spike.  Visually I wanted this bullwhip a little bit thinner in diameter than I’d normally make my Morgan style bullwhips.  It will have the same visual characteristics internally it will be slightly different.

Young Indy Bullwhip

Another thing that I’ve started doing lately with my cores that cover the whole handle is putting a layer of glue on  the handle and the part of the core that covers the handle, then binding it in place.  This gives me a very solid foundation to build over.  I don’t do this on most bullwhips that have a steel spike as the handle.

Young Indy Bullwhip

After the core is attached and greased I add the inner belly:

Young Indy Bullwhip

The inner belly is 4 plait and it’s bound tightly to the handle, but aside from the core I don’t use glue on any layers.  I guess you could, but once you have a solid foundation that won’t move on the handle as long as everything else is tightly bound on glue isn’t necessary.

Young Indy Bullwhip

The inner belly is braided and the strands are cut to the desired length and tapered.  This taper will help contribute to the taper of the first half or so of the bullwhip.  After tapering them I tie them off.

Young Indy Bullwhip

Next is the inner bolster and this is once again just bound to the end of the handle:

Young Indy Bullwhip

After the bolster is in place and greased I braid the outer belly over the whole whip.  The I cut and taper the strands extending past the belly and tie them off.

Young Indy Bullwhip

Now I attach the final bolster.  I don’t have a piece of kip long enough for the whole length, so this bolster will have to be splice from two shorter pieces.  I’ve found that splicing bolsters is easier to do over a belly, so I try to cut the two pieces so that way.  I could have gotten the splice further down the whip, but then it’d be much harder to do a nice clean splice.

Young Indy Bullwhip

Now it’s time for the overlay.  The general rule I use is to cut my strands a bit wider than I think that I’ll need in case there is any surprise stretch.  Then while doing all the strand prep I can resize them to a more correct width.  Also I no longer split the overlays for my Morgan style bullwhips.  I think one of the characteristics that visually give  David’s whip the look they have is the thicker kangaroo.   Some of that is lost when you split the overlay.

After the overlay’s strand were ready I braided the handle and then I wrapped the handle with electrical tape.

Bullwhip

Once the handle was safely covered I hit the strands with Deglazer and then I gave them a coat of black leather dye. After three coats of dye I gave the strands a coat of leather dressing to put back any moisture that was lost in the dying process.

Some of you might be thinking why don’t I just braid the whip, then dye the finished lash.  You could do that if you want the finished product to look like crap.  The problem with dying the finished lash is that you can’t get complete coverage because of how the strands are on top of each other and move a bit when the whip is flexed…or as they stretch as the whip is broken in.  The last thing you want is  a bullwhip where a month or two after someone buys it to have all these undyed spots start to appear on the lash.

After the lash is braided dyed I took off the electrical tape to start braiding the lash.  I could have left the tape on but then the transition from a diamond to 4 seam plaiting pattern wouldn’t look very good (this really doesn’t matter because it’s covered by a knot).

How to make a bullwhip

And a close up of the strands going from red to black:

How to make a bullwhip

Then I rewrapped the handle it tape to shellac the lash of the whip.  The reason I rewrapped it was to ensure that no dye go loosened and smeared from the alcohol in the shellac.

How to make a bullwhip

As for a fall on this bullwhip I chose to go with a Red Latigo Fall.  Based on the pictures of the Young Indy Bullwhip from the movie it looks like it has a very well used whitehide fall which from use had turned brown-ish.  Also I think the fall had turned the color it was more from abuse or neglect than actual use, so the fall turning that color probably wouldn’t happen if the whip was properly cared for.  So going with the Red Latigo gives it a more accurate look.

bullwhip red latigo fall

Finally built up the knot foundations

Young INdy Bullwhip

and tied the knots:

Young INdy Bullwhip

This was a fun bullwhip to make and I”ve got it listed on my IN STOCK whips page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Six Foot Indiana Jones sytle Bullwhip

Six Foot Indiana Jones sytle Bullwhip

Here’s the almost finished six foot Indy Style bullwhip:

Bullwhip

This bullwhip has a couple more finishing type things to be done to it before it’s done.

One thing I really don’t like when making a bullwhips is having to go back and redo things because I didn’t something wrong.  With this bullwhip I had a misplait in the thong and didn’t notice it until about 4 inches later and had to undo 4 inches of work to fix it.  Sometimes with misplaits you know right away because something just doesn’t feel right after the misplait.

The other stupid thing I had to redo was the heel knot foundation.  I had added the lead, build it up, capped it and was tying the heel knot when I realized that I hadn’t  put the wrist loop on!  So I had to undo a lot of the knot foundation to put it in.   I had a brief thought that I’d just make the whip without the wrist loop, but the wrist loop is one of the things that makes and Indy whip and Indy whip.

Now the whips almost finished and I’m glad I went back to correct those two mistakes.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Two Bullwhips

Two Bullwhips

Right now I’m working on two bullwhips: A six foot beginner’s bullwhip and a four foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip.

The six foot bullwhip’s lash is finished, I just need to do the knots.

The four foot bullwhip is almost finished.  In need to cut some more falls before I can call the overlay done. t feels like it’s  been a while since I’ve made a four foot bullwhip and this one is turning out well (so far), I’ll post pictures later today.

One question I’ve seen a lot in a forums about braiding is how to determine how thick you need the strands to be to cover a core.  I use a pretty simple formula that I think for me has its roots in a Ron Edwards book.  With a whip I take a piece of scrap lace and wrap it around the thickest part of the whip.  Usually that is near the tip of the handle, and where I”m going to put the transition knot.  I wrap the lace around the thickest part and mark it and then measure it to get the circumference.  Then I multiply that by 1.5.  Then I divide that by the number number of strands to get the width of the strand.

There are some other formulas that people use to get the strand width, like taking the diameter and multiplying it by 4.5 then dividing it by the number of strands.  Which for the most part gives you the same number as the formula I use.  The main reason I prefer the circumference multiply’d by 1.5 is that is easy math to do in my head (it makes me feel smarter) and it’s one less thing I’d need to plug into a calculator.

When it the time comes to cut them out, I start a bit wider in case there is any stretch and taper by eye as I cut.  Of course I’m aware of the stretchy spots and make the strands wider as needed when I get to them.  Then after they are cut out I resize them to the correct size while I pare them.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org