When you use cowhide to make an Aussie Bullwhip do you use 4oz for your bellies and/or the overlay?
I believe that I once read that you use 2-3oz. ‘kip’ (?) for the bolsters when crafting one in kangaroo leather..?
Basically the answer about what I’m using for bellies in all whips is pretty simple. I use the thinnest veg tanned cow leather I can find. Typically that’s going to be 2-3 ounce leather. However sometimes due to what’s available I have to use a thicker leather and run it through my leather splitter to thin it down.
As for overlays, I would use kangaroo and not kip. You can use kip, but it’s not something I’d do, unless I had some kip I was trying to get rid of. Also I think most Australian whip makers would tell you that for an Aussie Bullwhip, kangaroo for the overlay is a must!
My current project is working on a dozen whips! Six of them will be six foot 12 plait bullwhips and the other six will be four foot stockwhips. The most labor intensive will be the bullwhips, so I’m working on them first.
For me, when making a lot of whips that are the same, the easiest way to save time is to do the same layer of all of them at the same time. This is “production line” style, where you do only one task at a time. This way your brain isn’t constantly shifting gears. For example, I cut out all of the bellies at the same time:
Then I went through and attached all of the inner bellies at the same time. Once they were all attached I plaited all six of them.
This way works great, but when I’m doing the overlays will be really rough on my hands.
Currently I’m finishing up using a side of leather I bought for a custom project. Earlier I made three bullwhips that were five and a half feet. What was left of the leather was enough to make a seven foot bullwhip. I’ve got all of the leather cut out and the belly finished:
Hopefully I’ll have time to finish this bullwhip by Monday!