Finished Sting Ray Bullwhip

Finished Sting Ray Bullwhip

Last night I finished the bullwhip with the sting ray handle.  Here’s the final pics:

I gave this bullwhip a few cracks last night and it’s got a great crack.  It’s always amazing to see the difference in how the bullwhip cracks before and after I put the lead in the handle.  It’s a good thing I got a chance to crack this last night, it’s pouring down rain today!

Louie
P.S. I just listed this bullwhip for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Sting Ray Handle Bullwhip Progress…

Sting Ray Handle Bullwhip Progress…

Here’s the work that is completed on the bullwhip with the stingray handle in the last couple of days. I finished the outer belly:

Bullwhip

The outer belly was attached:

Bullwhip

One of the biggest challenges wasn’t the 20 plait lash, but figuring out a way to attach the stingray to the handle.  For the handle the lash’s overlay has a long yoke that covers the whole handle, so the 20 plait lash is well secured under the sting ray.  Then I cut the sting ray to size, put a bit of a “sealer” on the flesh side to give me a nice solid back to glue to the handle. Then I used contact cement to hold it place along with some stitching at the seam.  It seems to be pretty solid right now.  I also had to use my dremel to grind down some of the sting ray’s bumps at the seam so that there wouldn’t be any sharp edges.

Here’s the stingray cut to size:

sting ray

And here’s the back of the sting ray after I coated it with gum tragacanth:

bullwhip
sting ray handle on bullwhip

This bullwhip is my first whip that has a 20 plait lash (I’ve done some 24 plait handles before) and I was amazed at how easy…or how not super difficult it it.  In the past the plaiting that I’ve done above 16 had fancy patterns, while this whip just has 4 seam work, which is pretty easy.  And the strand drops aren’t too hard because the strands are soo thin there isn’t too much bulk you are dropping, however I am dropping 10 strands (or 5 drop points) in the last three feet of the bullwhip.

bullwhip 20 plait

For some reason I tied the transition knot before the lash has been finished.

bullwhip

I should be able to find time to finish the lash of this bullwhip today…but I need to make some falls before I can complete the lash.  So at some point today I’ll start cutting out falls.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Another Bosal

Another Bosal

Right now I’m working on a 20 plait kangaroo bosal.  This one is thicker than my first one.  I made the core out of twisted rawhide, then twisted another piece of rawhide over the top of it to build it up in size.  Here’s the bosal as it is right now:

bosal

I need to build up the area between the knots in the middle of it.  I’ve read in several places that a lot of people use tape to do it.  Personally I don’t think that tape belongs inside anything braided.  For example a lot of people use tape in the shotbags of their whips or to splice bolsters.  I’ve figured out other ways of making shortbags, etc so that I don’t have to use tape in my whips…it just doesn’t seem like it belongs in a quality whip.

In my first bosal I built the knot shape up by wrapping the bosal with waxed thread, similar to shaping or building up a bullwhips knot foundation.  That’s what I plan to do with this bosal.

I think the reason a lot of people use tape to shape the nose button of their bosal is that it’s faster or easier than building it up with thread or string.  Easier and faster doesn’t alway mean better…

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

8 foot Indy progress…

8 foot Indy progress…

I wasn’t going to do any work on this bullwhip today…but I managed to sneak in a bit of plaiting.

I also started a bit of work on another bosal.  It’s got a rawhide core and a 20 plait overlay.  Cutting out the 20 2mm kangaroo strands was a pain to do, but I’ve about about a foot of the bosal plaited and it looks good (so far!).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

24 plait stockwhip handle

24 plait stockwhip handle

For the last two days I’ve been working on making a stockwhip handle.  It starts as a 12 plait at the keeper end and ends at a 24 plait at the butt end.  I’ve got the overlay finished and just need to tie the knots on the handle…oh then I need to do make the thong.

Right now I’m reading the book Absinthe and Flamethrowers,  this book has tutorials on how to do a lot of things.  This book has a chapter on how to crack a bullwhip and that chapter’s expert is Robert Dante.  The book leaves lots to be desired (not Dante’s fault), but it does teach the forward crack and covers safety.

Also a couple of days ago I listed the 20 plait bullwhip on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220437911556

On Saturday I got a couple of books called the Turkshead Cookbook vol 1 and 2. These books have methods for tying all sorts of turksheads using a special “Turkshead Tool”.  I’ve tied a few knots with it with string, and I’m going to do one with some roo lace soon.  Once I try using it a bit I’ll write a litte review of the book.  So far I thinks its a good way to learn to tie complex knots.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

20 plait bullwhip pics

20 plait bullwhip pics

This is the first bullwhip I’ve made in a while that I’m not proud of…it’s not a bad whip, but I’m not going to enter it into any contest either.  I did take it out and it cracks fine…so at least it’s got one thing going for it (the most important thing!).

This was my first attempt at a 20 plait bullwhip, so I’m not surprised that it’s not the prettiest thing ever.  I learned a lot making it, and the next one I do will look a lot cleaner.

20 plait bullwhip

I don’t know what happened with the seam, it should have been straighter…

20 plait bullwhip handle

The edge of the white kangaroo makes it look like there are gaps in the plaiting on the handle (there aren’t).  If I ever use white roo again, I’m going to pare both flesh sides so that I don’t have that problem.

bullwhip handle

I made the patterns by drawing them on a piece of paper, then tried to recreate it while plaiting.  Next time I’m going to write out the strands path, that way I’ll have all the thinking done before I get to the plaiting and things will be easier to follow.

When all is said and done with this whip, it’s not a horrible first try at a 20 plait whip…or 3rd try at doing plaited designs on a handle.

I think I’m going to list this bullwhip on ebay and see what it sells for.  It’s something that’d be hard to price because a 20 plait is a lot of work and I put a lot of time into it (compared to a 12 plait), but it’s not worth what I should be charging for it.

Now to redeem myself, here’s another whip that I finished a few days ago, but didn’t shellac until today:

12 plait bullwhip

This bullwhip is 12 plait in black roo

8 foot bull whip
bullwhip 12 plait thong

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

20 plait bullwhip

20 plait bullwhip

I’ve got the two bellies and two bolsters of this 20 plait bullwhip finished:

long handle bullwhip

A little bit earlier I finished cutting out the two tone overlay.  I’m doing the overlay in black and white kangaroo.  This bullwhip is going to have some plaited designs on the handle.  I spent some time with a piece of graphpaper working out what I’m going to do on the handle.

I also found some carbon fiber rods that I had forgotten that I had, so I might be making more long handle bullwhips in the near future.

Last night I was using up some scrap leather by making the 8 plait dog lead that’s David Morgan’s book Braiding Fine Leather.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Working on a Long handle bullwhip

Working on a Long handle bullwhip

Last night I started working on bullwhip with a 12 inch handle.  The handle is made of a piece of carbon fiber with a piece of spring steel inside it.

Last night I got both bellies plaited, and today I’ll try to cut out and attach the outer bolster.  I’m planning on doing this whip with a 20 or 24 plait overlay.   It’s funny that I was thinking about doing a higher plait count bullwhip for a little while, then I got the APWA’s newletter and this month it features a lot of higher plait count bullwhips.

Seeing pictures of the Henderson bullwhips in 20 and 24 plait (not to mention Chris Barr’s bullwhip) really inspired me…but it’s also very intimidating at the same time.

Since this will be my first higher plait count bullwhip I don’t expect it to be as good as those whips…but hopefully it won’t be super horrible!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org