Knot to Easy…

Knot to Easy…

A while ago I was contacted to work on a custom project for a company that wanted me to make a lot of 4 plait braids with a lot of basic Spanish Ring Knots on them.  While not a technically demanding or mentally challenging project this company would have ordered a lot of them.  These would have been for resale so they’d be paying a wholesale/bulk rate.  I started making a sample and got about an inch and a half into the knots and here’s what I turned up:

braided necklace

Here’s the thing based on my time with the first five knots and extrapolating that out the five inch sample would have cost them around $300 in labor alone! While nothing was hard on this the knots were just a time killer!  Sure I could have cut some corners here and there like not properly anchoring the knots, but then over time they would loosen and slide around.  I could also have simply tied the knots and not gone back to retighten them, but again over time the would become loose and slide around.  So this project was abandoned and this little sample has been kicking around on my desk for a while.  The main reason I’m posting this is that I’m cleaning off my desk and I’m throwing it away, but figured I’d take a picture before it goes in the trash.

The moral of this story is while simple knots aren’t hard they are time suckers!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Free Kangaroo Leather

Free Kangaroo Leather

I’m cleaning up my office and I realized that I’ve got tons of scrap kangaroo and cowhide leather kicking around (mostly kangaroo).  Here’s a sample of what I have:

.  kangaroo for whip making

The pieces are in all shapes from and sizes.  There’s a ton of lace, which would be perfect for small braided goods like key chains.  In fact that’s how I used to use up my lace: making keychains, miniature bullwhips, etc

I’ll never use the amount of scrap I have because I generate a lot more than what I use.  This is a great chance to get some kangaroo corners, lace and cowhide corners and lace.  So here’s what I’m offering for $10.00 shipping and handling I’ll fill a 9 X 12 manila envelope full of kangaroo and leather scrap. That’s it, a flat $10.00, so if you’ve ever thought of braiding or maybe just need a bit of lace.

Click here to order some of this scrap kangaroo and cow leather!

Here’s a few of  examples of what I’ve made from my scrap:

plaited bracelet

plaited kangaroo bracelet

kangaroo

For this deal I can’t guarantee you’ll get any specific colors, shapes, lengths of lace, etc.  I’m just grabbing handfuls and putting it into an envelope.  This is limited to the amount of scrap I have and is available on a first come first served basis, so click here to get some of this scrap kangaroo and cow leather!

Oh, if you want more than one envelope of kangaroo and cow leather scrap, simply order more that one!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips and a Bracelet

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips and a Bracelet

Yesterday I started plaiting two six foot deluxe beginners bullwhips.  I got the bellies plaited:

Bullwhips

And one of the overlays finished:

bull whip

I’m out of falls, so I need to cut them out before I can finish either of these whips.  One thing I did because I couldn’t put a fall on the whip that’s overlay is finished is that I braided it an extra couple of inches and tied off the loose strands.  That way when it’s time to put the fall on I don’t have to undo  the point and replait it to make sure it’s tight.  This way I just unbraid about 2 inches and it should still be tight at that  point.

After these two Deluxe Beginners Bullwhips I’m going to start working on a few cowhide signal whips to use up the rest of this side of leather.

Here’s a bracelet that I made for myself a little while ago:

wrist band

plaited bracelet

The body of it is cowhide and the plaited portion is kangaroo.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished 8 Foot Bullwhip

Finished 8 Foot Bullwhip

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on the 8 foot 16 plait bullwhip.  First I built up the heel knot foundation:

bullwhip

The cap on the end of the whip (the leather that covers the lead or whatever makes the shape of the heel knot) was the best cap I’ve ever done!  Unfortunately no one will ever see it  unless they take the whip apart, so I took a picture because I’m very proud of it:

bullwhips

After putting the heel knot on it, rolling and shellacing it it was finished:

bull whips for sport bullwhip cracking

bull whips for sport bullwhip cracking

This bullwhip shipped out to its new owner yesterday evening!

One thing I’m always trying to do is come  up with things to do with my scrap lace.  I’ve got a ton of centers of kangaroo that’s too small for most of the lace I use for whips and pieces of kangaroo lace that’s about 5mm wide by 2 feet long.  I use these occasionally as fillers, but I don’t use anywhere near as many as I have (or generate).

Here’s my first attempt of  making a leather bracelet with a plaited center:

plaited bracelet

leather braided into a plaited bracelet

The whole thing is made from kangaroo.  It’s not bad for my first try, but there are a few things I’d change if I do another one.  The main change I do is that I’d use either a heavier leather or two layers of kangaroo stitched together for the body of the bracelet.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Not a whip…

Not a whip…

Yesterday I was messing around with my new lace cutter (I’ll post more on the lace cutter after I’ve used it a bit more) and I made this 16 plait bracelet:

plaited kangaroo bracelet
plaited kangaroo bracelet
plaited kangaroo bracelet

This striped pattern was a bit tricks to figure out how to do it off the 8 plait round, but I think it turned out pretty well.

In bullwhip news I’m working on a long handled bullwhip that will have  sharkskin handle…I’ve got the both bellies and bolsters finished and the overlay cut out.   So the next step will be plaiting.

Louie

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

6 foot bullwhip progress…

6 foot bullwhip progress…

Today was an exciting day, right after I had started plaiting the overlay for a six foot bullwhip there were two huge booms that shook my condo!  We didn’t know what they were, my wife thought someone had crashed a car into the building.  We noticed a lot of neighbors milling around outside, so we went out and chatted.  Turns out what we felt and heard were sonic booms from two military planes responding to someone entering the president’s airspace.

You’d think someone that makes whips, and cracks whips as part of his job and for fun would recognize a sonic boom?  I’ll tell you a whip cracking is way different from a fighter jet!

You can read about this sonic boom incident here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012647005_sonicbooms18m.html

With all that excitement I still managed to plait about 3 1/2 feet of this six foot whip.  Here it is in its current state:

bullwhip

Also here’s another bracelet that was made with other leftover parts from the pair of 7 foot bullwhips:

plaited bracelet
braclet  plaited
leather kangaroo plaited bracelet

This one was fun to make because of all the different elements in it.  One in is a loop of 4 plait round braid, that merges into an 8 plait flat braid, that turns into an 8 plait round braid, finally ending with a two tone turkshead.  Some day I should dig out all the keychain that I have made from scrap roo and take pics of them.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Plaited Bracelet

Plaited Bracelet

When I’m making a bullwhip frequently I end up with fairly long strands that end up being cut off.  I have a box full of the scrap, and instead of throwing it away, I figure I should start making things out of it.  Here’s a bracelet that was made from the trimmed off ends of the pair of seven foot bullwhips that I recently made:

plaited bracelet

You can adjust the size by pulling the ends through the turkshead in the middle.  Once I’m all caught up in orders I’ll probably start to use up my scrap to make things like this.  However I have no idea what to do with things like this once they are made…but they are much prettier than a box of scrap.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org