Last night I finally put the knot on the 12 plait signal whip that’s been hanging on my hook for what feels like forever. Here it is:
This signal whip is for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.
Yesterday I also started work on a 10 foot 16 plait bullwhip. This whip will be done in black kangaroo with red highlights on the knots. Here are the kangaroo skins I’m using:
Last night I also cut out the bellies, but still need to do all the strand prep:
My slightly ambitious goal today is to get all the bellies plaited, bolster attached and the overlay cut out. Today I have a few things competing for my time so I can’t just work on this whip straight through otherwise that’d be no problem. Also I’m hoping to meet up with a whip group in the Seattle area this evening.
Last week I started working on a 7 foot Indiana Jones style bullwhip. This whip came out really well, here’s a picture before the heel knot was put on:
Here’s the finished seven foot Indy style bullwhip:
I always find it interesting the amount of color change that a coat of shellac gives the whip. If you look a the top picture and compare it to the next ones, you’ll see the difference. I gave this whip a few flicks in my living room and it’s got a great crack!
Yesterday I started working on a 16 plait riding crop. This whip was made with twisted rawhide core (with cane center) and has a two tone kangaroo overlay.
Honestly I don’t think there is much of market for a super fancy riding crop, but it was a fun project to make.
This riding crop isn’t finished, I still need to add another knot and a wrist loop at the end of the handgrip area.
The main reason I made this riding crop was to mess around with some plating patterns, and it’s easier to make things like riding crops and stockwhip handles than it is to make a full whip.
Last night I finally finished reading the Luis Ortega book, and it was an interesting read. It’s a biography, not a technical book however every now and then if you read between the lines there are some tips on working with rawhide.
If you don’t know about Ortega he was/is considered on of the best American rawhide braiders. In the book there’s a story about how Frank Hansen who invented a string cutter (http://www.hansenstringcutter.com/) and sent one to Ortega. Ortega sent Hansen one of his own string cutters, which was a hammer handle with a couple of notched cut out.
And that sort of proves the point of something I’ve been saying for a long time, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make a whip. People email me all the time telling me they are planning on trying to make a whip, but they need to save up for a fancy strand cutter, and a splitter and a whatever. Really you don’t need anything fancy to get started..pretty much all you need is a box cutter to get started.
The strand cutting and prep while important, is a small portion of making a whip. I bet someone like Joe Strain or Paul Nolan could turn out great whip with uneven strands.
So if you are thinking about making a whip spend $1.00 on a box cutter and get started. Waiting until you have expensive equipment is giving yourself an excuse to put it off.
Also yesterday I got some plaiting in on the 16 foot bullwhip:
It’s been plaited past the first bolster splice and to where I’m going to make my first strand drops from 12 to 10 plait. It should be getting much easier to plait now that I’m over halfway finished, and the strands are much shorter so there will be less untangling.