Yesterday I started work on a snake whip that will have a sewn leather cover. This type of covering on a snake whip was more common a long time ago and has fallen out of fashion. I think the main reason it’s less common is that sewing the cover take a lot of time for not a lot of functional benefit.
I’ve got the insides of the whip finished and working on the plaited layer that will stick out from under the sewn cover right now. The whip is going to be 4 plait for most of its length, then it will transition into a 12 plait. Here’s the lace:
What I did was cut 4 strands as if this was going to be a 4 plait whip. Then at about where I wanted them to transition to a 12 plait, I simply cut each strand into three strands, giving me 12 strands. Here’s a close up of the 4 plait to 12 plait on the lace:
When braiding there will be some more adjustment needed, but it’s way easier to cut most of it now than when it’s on the whip.
This morning I’m packing up a 4 foot stock whip and shipping it out to its new owner. This whip is made from kangaroo and has a 12 plait handle and 12 plait lash.
This is a whip I made a long time ago for fun and didn’t list it for sale until a few weeks ago. I’m cleaning up and listing whips that I’ve made for fun over the years, and never used or listed for sale. Keep an eye out on my IN STOCK whips page for some sweet deals!
Recently I was contacted to make a Martinet Whip. I’d never made one of these whips before or knew what they were. You can learn about them by clicking here. Basically it’s a flogger with multiple lashes.
The customer wanted 10 lashes, so I had a plan. I did a six plait braid over a tapered rod, then at the end of the rod, I did a 4 plait section that the six plait when over. That gave me 10 lashes.
However these 10 lashes being kangaroo didn’t have much weight to them, making them ineffective at transferring energy. I didn’t like this. So I tied them off below the rebate in the rod that was the handle.
I took some five latigo strips and thinned them down in the middle. I folded them in half and bound them to the end of the handle. Doing it this way gave me very little bulge at the end where the lashes were attached and also gave the lashes a very firm foundation.
I braided the 12 plait overlay over the top of that and here’s the finished Martinet Whip.
It’s in the mail to its new owner.
Today I’ve finished the overlay and knots on this bullwhip:
Here’s a close up of the knots:
I still need to shellac it and roll it a couple more times before I ship it out to its new owner.
My current project is working on a 4 1/2 foot bullwhip with a 12 inch handle. I’m using a 57 dm veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo skin that I got from David Morgan:
This bullwhip will have a core, plaited belly, two bolsters and a 12 plait overlay. Here’s the first bolster sitting on the plaited belly:
And here’s the bolster after it has been tied onto the belly:
I then attached the 2nd bolster (not pictured) and cut out the 12 plait overlay:
Tomorrow I’ll get onto plaiting the overlay.
Here’s another signal whip that I made the other day:
This one has a loop on the end to make the cracker easily replaceable.
This signal whip is available on my IN STOCK whips page. I think I may pick up some more black kangaroo and make some more of these signal whips.
For fun I made a 3 1/2 foot signal whip (aka single tail whip).
This is made from 12 plait kangaroo with a shot loaded core. I put a loop at the end so that the cracker is easy to change.
This is my first signal whip that I’ve made with a loop for the cracker to attach to, instead of a cracker that’s braided to the whip. The advantage of the loop is that it makes changing a cracker easier for the user.
This whip is currently listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.
Right now I’m working on a six foot 12 plait bullwhip in natural tan kangaroo. I had some natural tan in stock, so I didn’t need to drive up to David Morgan to pick up a kangaroo skin. I’m using a 57dm skin, however I also found a belly that I had cut out a while ago for something else, but for whatever reason didn’t use in black kangaroo. Since this will be in the inside of the whip you won’t see it.
Currently I have both bellies and bolsters finished.
Next up is to put some lead on for the knot foundation on get to work on the overlay.
People always ask how I can cut out the overlay before I’ve got the inner layers finished. It’s pretty simple, I know about what the strand widths should be and cut them a smidge wider than that. I then will resize them once the inner layers are finished.
On the surface it sounds like it’s more work than cutting it later, however it actually saves me time. By doing all of one task at the same time (i.e. strand cutting) it saves time in set up and clean up. Regardless of what point I cut the strands they still need to pared which also accomplishes the resizing.
The more I make whips, the more I’m looking for ways to save time…not cut corners, but to save time by eliminating steps that are duplicate, like sweeping the floor twice or putting away the leather only to take it back out an hour later. While these are small amounts of time, when you add them all up they can add up to a decent chunk of time.
Yesterday I got some braiding done and cut out some of the lace for the whips. Here’s a couple of overlays and an inner and out belly:
I’m always amazed at how fast the inner layers of the whip get made, it’s the final layer that takes all the time, especially when I already have the bolsters cut out.
I’m currently working on a four foot 12 plait bullwhip in black kangaroo. I went up to David Morgan and picked out this skin for it:
This skin is a lot bigger than what I need, it’s 64dm, which would almost make an 8 foot whip. The amount of skin needed to make a 4 foot whip really isn’t that much and if I bought a smaller low 50’s dm skin, the leftover wouldn’t be enough to do anything meaningful with.
While I was up there the Meagan and Will showed me a bullwhip that came in for a repair. It was a black bullwhip made in the 1990’s at David Morgan. At 20 years old this whip was in great shape, no broken strands and the braiding was still very tight. It had been used, so it wasn’t something that someone used as a “wall hanger”. When you buy a well built whip (and you take care of it) you are buying something that will last for decades!