Signal Whip

Signal Whip

I just finished a 3 foot signal whip (AKA single tail whip).

signal whip

A signal whip is different from a bullwhip in several ways.  A signal whip doesn’t have a rigid handle, it’s flexible.  It doesn’t have a fall and the popper is braided into the end of the whip. They are also measured differently, a signal whip that is 3 feet long, is actually 3 feet long. Where with a bullwhip the fall and cracker isn’t included in the measurement, so a 6 foot bullwhip is closer to 8 feet long.

These differences make signal whips ideal for indoor use.

I don’t have a category for signal whips to order simply because most people want something fairly specific and I would say most of the signal whips I’ve made were custom orders. If you’d like a signal whip, feel free to contact me with what you want and I’ll send you out a price quote.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Braiding Project…

Braiding Project…

Currently I’m working on a plaiting project.  I’m braiding over copper tubes.  This is the second time I’ve done this specific project.  Basically I have 95ish copper tubes of various diameters and lengths (2 inches to 15 inches).  I then do an 8 plait braid of the top of them.

The key to this is finding the most efficient way to do plait them.  I’ve found that I first sort them by size and leather color.  Then I work with them as a batch of that color.  If I was cutting out and braiding them one at a time, it would take forever.

Once I have a group of the same width and color I cut the lace and start plaiting:

leather braiding

When I get to the end of the first tube, I put the second tube end to end with it and keep braiding.  The goal is to not really stop braiding.  Every time I stop, or change tasks I slow down, and as they say “time is money”.

Once I have all of the tubes braided over, I then use tape to mark off where the ends are:

leather braiding

Then cut the leather through the tape to leave some of the tube exposed.

leather braiding

The final step is tying the knots.  Unfortunately the knots are very labor intensive and I really haven’t found a way to speed them up. As Lauren Wickline once told me, “Knots are a time suck”.  And fully agree!

The best way I’ve found is to cut the lace I’ll need for the knots, so it’s one long strand.  The I tied the first knot and tighten it, then using the other end of the lace I tie the second knot and tighten it.  Finally I cut the knot off the lace and trim the loose end.

Doing the cutting two at a time instead of after each knot save me about 10 seconds per tube.  While not a ton of time, when you multiply it by 95+ knots it will save me about 15 minutes over the course of the project.

Once this is finished the next project will be a bullwhip!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Plaited Straps…

Plaited Straps…

Right now I’m finished up my last project before I head out of town for a couple of weeks to perform my show in California.  I am helping out someone that is restoring a bag and needed someone to recreate the plaited straps.  Here’s what one of the straps look like:

plaited strap

This was an unusual pattern, where it over two on opposite sides and checkerboard on the other two opposite sides.  Also this strap didn’t have a core.   Between it being hollow and the pattern it gave the original strap a rectangle like profile.

 

plaited strap

My version of it has a core and is much more round looking.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Mini Bullwhip

Mini Bullwhip

Every now and then when I have some time and enough leftover kangaroo I make a mini bullwhip.  Here’s one I made a few months ago:

bull whip

It measures approx 14 inches excluding the fall and cracker and has an 8 plait kangaroo overlay.  I’ve gotten little cracks out of it, but it’s primarily a display piece.

Normally these start at $75, however I just listed this one at $50 on my IN STOCK page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Mini Bullwhip

Mini Bullwhip

I love making these mini bullwhips.  This one was made with a kangaroo core or and bolster and an 8 plait kangaroo overlay.  Here’s the overlay being braided:
mini bullwhip

And here’s the finished mini bullwhip:

mini bullwhip

 

This bullwhip is heading out to its new owner in the morning.

Also my cut off date for Christmas delivery for IN STOCK items is midnight on 12/20/13.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

English Calf Bullwhip

English Calf Bullwhip

I finally finished the bullwhip that was made with English Calf.  It’s a 5 foot 8 plait bullwhip. This particular bullwhip has a 10 inch handle and was made with a core, plaited belly, bolster and overlay.

bull whip

bullwhip

Using only one belly and bolster gave this whip a slimmer profile and I like that look on a shorter whip.

After making and cracking a bullwhip made from English Calf I love the material…but I don’t love the  price.  It comes in pretty close in price to kangaroo.  If the kangaroo supply in the USA ever dries  up this is the material that I will switch to!

This bullwhip is available for sale on my IN STOCK WHIPS page!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished 5 foot Bullwhip

Finished 5 foot Bullwhip

I finished the 5 foot bullwhip and shipped it out to its new owner a couple of days ago, I just haven’t had time to post a picture of it yet.

Bull whip

I was dumping rain when I finished this bullwhip, so instead of taking it to the park I got to do some cracking in my living room!

Also it’s getting closer to Halloween, so these whips are popping up:

cheap bullwhip
This is one of the uber junky whips that costume stores sell this time of year.  I wonder how many people smack themselves in the face with these trying to “dish rag” crack them?  If you are a whip person, you know these aren’t good whips.  If you aren’t a whip person and thinking of getting one of these usually they are around $20, simply take that $20 and burn it, it’ll be more exciting watching it burn than the enjoyment you’d get out of one of these whips.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

5 Foot Bullwhip Progress…

5 Foot Bullwhip Progress…

Yesterday I got some work in on the 5 foot 8 plait bullwhip.  I plaited and rolled the plaited kangaroo belly:

Plaited belly in a bull whip

Then I attached the bolster and knot foundation:

bull whip bolster

Here’s the kangaroo skin that the overlay will be cut from:

veg tanned kangaroo

Here are the 8 plait strands cut out and prepped for plaiting:

veg tanned kangaroo lace

This is about halfway though the plaiting process:

make a bull whip

The finished overlay with whitehide fall attached:

8 plait bull whip

Today I’m going to put on the knots an shellac the whip and it should go out in the mail today!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

5 Foot Bullwhip

5 Foot Bullwhip

Today I started work on a 5 foot 8 plait bullwhip in black kangaroo.  Not much got done today, I simply cut out the core, attached it to the handle:

bull whip

And I put a coat of grease onto the core to soak in:

bullwhip
This afternoon I’ll get to work on the cutting out the belly, bolster and overlay.  This should ship out in the mail to it’s new owner tomorrow!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org