Bullwhips on my Vacation!

Bullwhips on my Vacation!

For the last 11 days I’ve been on vacation and sure enough I managed to run into a bunch of bullwhips along the way.  Whips are fairly common to see when you are visiting unfamiliar places, you just need to know where to look.  The first place I looked for whips were in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and found a really tiny three foot bullwhip:

bullwhip

The next batch of whips I found in a street market in Cabo San Lucas.

Mexican Bullwhips

Then I found some a whip, quirt and bosal in a museum in Cabo San Lucas.

Plaited rawhide

And then a couple of days later I was at Disneyland and got to see the whips they sell outside the Indiana Jones ride.

Indiana Jones Bullwhips

One thing that amazed me was that they sell these bullwhips to kids and there is no disclaimer of any kind with them.

Here’s a the Indiana Jones Role Play Set that comes with a bullwhip:

Indiana Jones Bullwhips

One thing I remember from my last visit to Disneyland (probably 4 or 5 years ago) was that at least one of the Indiana Jones’s on the ride used to hold one of the cheapo pitch whips they sell outside the ride.  Now all of the bullwhips they Indiana Jones has on the ride look much more screen accurate.  Unfortunately because of low lighting and the ride being bumpy I couldn’t get any pictures of the whip that Indiana Jones has on it.

Also during my vacation I made a new friend named Sideshow Bert.  Bert does juggling and stunts and one of the things that he features in his show is a bullwhip!  Here’s Sideshow Bert’s demo reel and at the 2:04 mark you can see parts of his bullwhip routine.

His bit with the “Visor Cam” is very funny and very original.  I think it’s a brilliant idea to show the audience another view of the newspaper trick!

Now that I’m back home and back to work all the orders of in stock whip will ship out today!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Hamley’s

Hamley’s

Last week I was on the road performing and I drove through Pendleton Oregon.  One of the cool things about Pendleton is that Hamley’s is there.  They have some of the top rawhide braider’s working there.  It’s always fun to stop by!

Every time I stop by there it makes me wish I have a years to devote to really learn  how to braid rawhide.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip, Bosal and Bracelet…

Bullwhip, Bosal and Bracelet…

Lately I’ve been busy around the “shop” working on plaiting projects.  My current bullwhip project is an 8 foot, 12 plait bullwhip.  For this bullwhip I didn’t have a natural tan skin in stock that was big enough, so the inner belly was made from a whiskey colored roo skin and other belly and overlay is from the natural tan skin:

kangaroo

I probably could have gotten the whole whip from the natural tan skin, I like to  have my skins for an 8 foot  at about 62dm and this one was 59dm.  I really didn’t want to run out of kangaroo a few inches short of an 8 foot whip.

Here are the cut out bellies:

bull whips

The whiskey skin was 56dm, and I think I might use the leftover for a 5 foot 8 plait bullwhip.  Here’s the 8 foot bullwhip as it is right now (with both bellies and bolsters completed):

how to make a bullwhip

And here’s the 12 plait overlay that has been stretched and split, but still needs to be pared:

12 plait bullwhip

I should be able to get the paring finished and plaiting started later today…depending on how I feel, I’ve got a bit of a cold and have to fake my way through a gig this afternoon.

Also a few months ago I started work on a 24 plait bosal and did a bit of work here and there.  Well it’s finally finsihed:

24 plait bosal
24 plait bosal

And the other  night I did some messing around with doing a ridge plait:

14 plait bracelet

This bracelet was interesting, it’s 6 plait at the loop, then 14 plait at the main body and 12 plait at the end with the turkshead.

plaited bracelet

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Some new books…

Some new books…

Today I got an email that Ubraidit was having a 10% off sale, and there were a couple of books that I’ve wanted for a while and this gave me a reason to order them.  The books I ordered are:

Art of Braiding Bosal I
Art of Braiding Bosal I
Art of Braiding Bosal II
Art of Braiding Bosal II

The sale is good until 8/29, just enter the promo code AUG2010 on Ubraidit’s website.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Budget Bullwhip

Budget Bullwhip

Yesterday I did the overlay for another budget bullwhip.  I’ve got enough leather for 2 or three more of these, the I probably won’t be making many more of them until the fall.

bullwhip

I’ve made this budget bullwhip a “Beginners Whip Kit” and it comes with the Whip Cracking Made Easy DVD #1.  It’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page.

My next project (besides finding time to finish that bosal) is to work on  a signal whip.  I made the shot bag a week or two ago but that’s all:

signal whip

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Works in progress…

Works in progress…

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately, I’ve been busy performing, fishing and living life.  today I did a bit of work on the bosal that I’ve been working on:

bosal nose button

The nose button is finished and I’m debating whether to leave the black knots black or to cover them with red knots to match the rest of the bosal.  I think I’m going to leave them black (I guess I’m lazy).  If you compare this bosal to other bosals you can see how being a whipmaker and an urban whipmaker has influenced the look of this bosal.

Up next for me is to work on a 6ish foot bullwhip.  I already have the bellies cut out so until I get to the overlay it’s not too much work.   Also sometime I’m supposed to start work on a 5 foot bullwhip for underground magic legend and friend of mine Steve Dobson!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

More on the Nose Button

More on the Nose Button

I’m still working on the nose button of the bosal.  I’ve redone it three times and haven’t been happy with how it turned out.  Then it hit me…why don’t I just braid over the knots foundation?  Honestly I can’t think of a good reason why not, so that’s what I’m doing.  For me braiding is faster than tying a knot, and I have a lot more freedom in patterns by braiding versus doing a turkshead.

I wish I had taken pictures of my attempts at the nose button knots.  Here’s what it currently looks like:

24 plait nose button

I’m braiding the nose button as a 24 plait with an under three – over three – under three – over three pattern.  I thought about doing it U2 O2 type pattern to match the rest of the bosal, but I like the slightly wider look of the U3 O3 pattern.  Hopefully I can find a bit of time today to finish this part of the bosal.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Long Nose Button Knot

Long Nose Button Knot

Lately I’ve been working on the nose button knot of a bosal that I started making a while ago.  These long knots are a lot of work to make, this will have 12 bights when I’m finished.

Bosal

I found that while tying the knot using twist ties to hold the strands in place really helped while I was doing the beginning the knot.

While rereading Whips and Whipmaking by David Morgan, he mentions that the long knot can be used to strengthen the transition of a bullwhip.  The knot was used for that in traditional Argentine whips.  Most modern bullwhip makers don’t use a knot to build up the transition of a bullwhip…however Joe Strain in the past has made a couple of unique whips with different plaiting styles at the transition.

Also a few days ago someone posted an article from an old Popular Science magazine about how to make a plaited snake.  You can read the article here.  I happened to have some scrap kicking around that was about the right size so I banged out a quick snake:

plaited snake

And about a week ago I got a new strop in the mail:

oak strop

Hopefully this will help me keep the edge on my blades!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org