I’m still making whips in my hotel room and I’ve learned to cut down a bit of clean up time. When paring my the strands initially I would pick up all the debris by hand, so that I didn’t leave a crazy mess for the housekeeper. This was a pain, and very time consuming, so I went to the Walmart and bought some plastic sheeting and taped it to the floor.
The plastic sheeting is very cheap and did an excellent job collecting all the scraps!
The nice thing about it is that I can reuse the sheet!
This weekend I’m having a sale on Made To Order Bullwhips. I classify a “Made To Order Bullwhip” as one that hasn’t been built yet. If you order one of these bullwhips now through Tuesday morning (11/27/12) you’ll save 20% off the base price of any Made To Order bullwhip!
Yesterday I put the knots on another five foot 8 plait bullwhip:
This bullwhip has a 10 inch handle and my goal with these is to make a nice entry level kangaroo bullwhip. These five foot bullwhips would be great for beginners to learn on. Normally I’ve got them price at about $240, but right now I have them on sale for $199.97 on my IN STOCK whips page.
Yesterday I also started work on two more 5 foot 8 plait bullwhips. I’m cutting them out at the same time, but making them one at a time. The one I’m currently making has all the internal layers finished and is waiting for me to cut out the overlay:
I should at least get the overlay cut out today and hopefully get all the strand prep finished as well with plaiting starting tomorrow.
There’s a strange myth that kangaroo leather is very delicate and if it gets wet it will immediately be ruined. In my opinion this is 100% not true…provided you properly take care of your whip. Water itself is not harmful to your whip. In fact plaiting soap is usually half water and your whip gets coated in this while it’s being made.
In regards to water after your whip gets wet (like if you use it in the rain) you want to dry it off and possibly give it a hit of leather dressing. Mainly this is to combat mold, the water itself in reasonable amounts won’t do anything to the leather. Now if you were to soak your whip in a bath tub for two weeks that’s a different story.
The other thing is people think they need to use a their whip only on a patch of grass with no debris whatsoever. While that’s the ideal situation in the real world that’s almost never the case. My leisure whip cracking happens at a local park and while it’s fairly clear there are sometimes small rocks twigs etc. If you crack your whips into the ground onto these you are risking damaging the strands of your whip. However keep in mind that pretty much every crack when properly executed happens in the air (except for things like the snake killer).
As a general rule concrete or gravel isn’t the best surface to crack your bullwhip on because it’s abrasive. Keep in mind that any abrasive surface isn’t good to crack a whip of any material on (kangaroo, cow, nylon) and that over time it will wear it a lot faster than if you only crack on a gym floor. Some materials like nylon handle it a bit better than leather, but it’s still going to wear it out.
Here’s one of my favorite whip crackers Chris Camp cracking his whip on WET CONCRETE:
Should your whip last a lifetime? With proper care the answer is YES…but then so should a car. Keep in mind that no one drives their car in ideal situations, you could park your car in climate controlled garage or you could actually use it. Sure maybe you’ll have to get a new whip every now and then, but isn’t new whip day fun, and you need at least a few of those during your life time!
So you need to decide what you want a whip for, hang on your wall to look at forever or to actually go out and use. If you pic the latter use it and have fun…just properly maintain it and try your best to minimize using it on abrasive surfaces.
Here’s a quick video of me performing my bullwhip act yesterday:
One thing you’ll notice is how the white bullwhip “pops” and it really visible with the background. Something you need to consider if you want to perform with a whip is how it contrasts with the background. For example a black whip in front of a black background will disappear…unless it’s properly lit by someone that knows what they are doing.
I typically travel with a black and a white whip and choose the one that I’ll use in the show after I get to the venue to see which will show better. Sometimes neither will be more visible, but it never hurts to be prepared!
The bullwhip that will have the ostrich leg handle has been making some progress. I’ve the the outer bolster attached:
And the overlay cut out:
I am having second thoughts about my choice to sue a thinner spring steel handle over a thicker steel spike. The main reason I’m doubting this is the thicker handle foundation will make a thicker handle and show off more of the grain of the ostrich handle.
I did just wrap the ostrich around the handle and it looks fine, you won’t miss out on any of it. If I do a whip like this again I’ll probably go with a thicker handle to see the difference.
Hopefully today I’ll manage to do the strand prep on the overlay (but not very likely that will happen).
Over the weekend the two Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips that needed knots got them.
After I finished them I found another Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhip that was the plaited belly with the overlay cut out and just need to be braided. So I started that and am about halfway finished with the overly. I wonder if I’ll ever get to the pair of whips that I’d like to make!
Right now I have two Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips in the works. They are almost finished, they just need turksheads and to be rolled.
I stared these whips a while ago and never got the knots on them. For some reason this morning I got a craving to make a pair of four or five foot whips, but I figure I should finish these first. Once they are finished they’ll be listed on my IN STOCK whips page.