Yesterday I was about to cut out a core for a 6 foot bullwhip from a side of kip, when I had an idea. In my head I want to have the core of my bullwhips as desnse as possible. That’s why I my cores (currently) are more than just a tapered piece of kip, then flare out then taper to a point. That’s gives me a firm core off the handle foundation which will hopefully make the transition last longer.
If you’ve never handled kip before it’s a the leather from a teenage cow and it’s very flexible compared to a grown up cow’s hide. Because kip if fairly flexible you can really get it into a tight dense core. The problem I”ve run into in the past when using cowhide for the core is that because it’s a bit heavier it’s also less bendy, and hard to get a tight core from.
Not too long ago I found a really neat cowhide that’s been split down fairly thin, so it’s not much thicker than a side of kip. I’m using this in the core of the bullwhip, but I’m rolling it differently. Usually I have the core (and bolsters) grain side of the leather out. The reason for that is becuase it makes it easier to braid over. If you have two layers of the whip with the flesh sides touching it like pulling against sandpaper (muhc harder than it needs to be). However you can roll the core much tighter with the flesh side out.
Now my problem is how to get a tight belly over the top of the inside out core. The easiest and probably the best solution will be to apply dressing to the core, let it soak in then grease it again right before braiding. Since I’ll only be braiding a short distance, I’m hoping it won’t kill my hands braiding this way.
We’ll see how it turns out.