Bullwhip Belly and Bolster

Bullwhip Belly and Bolster

One thing that I used to do and stopped doing when making whips was that I used to cut out all the internal layers at the same time, before I did any plaiting.  I don’t know why I stopped doing this, however recently I starting doing it again and it’s a huge time saver!  I also find it’s easier to do one task several times than to constantly switch my brain to doing different things.

So for the whip I’m currently working on I cut out the core, bellies and bolsters before I did any plaiting.  When I used to do this people would ask me how I knew how wide to cut everything.  It’s pretty easy since everything is going to be approximately the same thickness withing fractions of a millimeter.  I cut the bolsters a little bit wider, then tweak them when it’s time to put them onto the whip.

Here’s the whip I’m currently working on, this is the inner belly completed.

bullwhip

This whip has a spring steel handle.  With the handle I think spring steel is the way to go over just a steel rod. The reason is that normal steel can be bent and spring steel cannot (except under very extreme circumstances).

Today I’ll finish up the interior layers of this whip and then move on to the cutting out the overlay.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Six Bullwhips…

Six Bullwhips…

I’m currently working on making three bullwhips that will be six feet long and three bullwhips will be eight feet long.   Making them all at once, or at least doing parts of all six at the same that when it’s possible saves a lot of time.

I just cut out six cores and attached them to handles:

bullwhips_02

And I cut out six bolsters:

bullwhip-bolster_01

 

I cut them out a bit wider than they will need to be and when I get the bellies plaited I will trim them down so they are a custom fit for each whip.

Tomorrow I’ll start working on cutting out the bellies and doing the strand prep. cutting out the bellies are another part where I can save a lot of time working on them all at the same time.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Cowhide Bullwhips…

Cowhide Bullwhips…

The other day I had some time to kill and ended up buying a side of cow leather, so I’m making some cowhide bullwhips.  I’ve got the cores greased up and attached to the handle foundations:

bull whip cores
Next up I need to cut out the bellies, I still haven’t decided if I’m going to make them 4, 8, or 12 plait overlays yet.

One thing about making these cheaper cowhide bullwhips is that I need to make them in batches of more than  just one to cut down on the time it takes to make them.  For example cutting out three bellies at one time is much faster than cutting out three bellies at three different times.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip UnBuild Part 2

Bullwhip UnBuild Part 2

I’m still taking apart this bullwhip.  Here’s the last of the picture of the overlay:

nylon bull whip

Here’s the core without the overlay.  The entire thing is wrapped in electrical tape.

bullwhip core

Here’s a close up of the handle.  If you click on it you’ll get a larger picture and you can see the bottom  bit isn’t wrapped, it’s just the metal bar.

Bullwhip core

 

The bar had a hole in it, and I’m trying to figure out the purpose of the hole.  No strands were fed through the hole.  If the whip was braided from the tip like I think it was then the hole wasn’t used to hang it on a hook while braiding.

If it was used to hang from a hook while braiding from the tip it makes the whole process very awkward to braid.  Or maybe it’s used while they wrap it in electrical tape. It’s hung by the hole and the tip is secured someone and they simply run the tape around.  That’d be my best guess.

Now that I had the core out, since the whole thing was wrapped in tape and there were no loose strands I wondered if I could crack it.  Here’s a very quick video of me trying:

So the core cracked, and I think it cracked easier than the assembled whip did.  I think the reason is the nylon on the second half of the whip was slowing it down when I tried to crack it.

I’ve been thinking about the strand adds/drops and them being secured by tape. These go maybe an inch into the plaiting.  This is a horrible idea and the reason for that is over time the tape will lose its stickiness and not hold the end of the strand in place.  This will then give you a situation where the end can come loose and there’s not a lot holding it in place.

I’m curious as to how things are laid out under the electrical tape, but I probably won’t have a chance to keep taking this whip apart until next week.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

 

English Calf Bullwhip

English Calf Bullwhip

A couple of months ago I made a bullwhip from some English Calf Leather that I had come across:

bullwhip

When I made the bullwhip above I also cut out core and belly for another bullwhip.  Yesterday I started to make that bullwhip, first I attached the core to the handle:
bullwhip

Next up was fitting the yoke of the belly to the handle:

bullwhip
And attaching the 4 plait belly to the handle:
English Calf Bull Whip

Hopefully I’ll find time today to finish up all the internal parts of this bullwhip and maybe get started on the overlay.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Aussie Bullwhip…

Aussie Bullwhip…

I’ve started work on a bullwhip that will have a 12 inch handle.  Here’s the core attached to the handle:

bullwhip

 

The handle is a 12 inch piece of spring steel.  I currently have the inner belly braided, so  my next step will be putting the inner bolster on it.  My performing schedule is very full today, so that won’t happen today.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have time to get in a bit more work on this bull whip!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Miniature Bullwhip

Miniature Bullwhip

I just made a miniature bullwhip and shipped it out today.  It’s an 8 plait bullwhip.  It started with a finishing nail as a handle and a piece of kangaroo scrap as a core:

mini bullwhip

Here’s the core of attached to the handle:

bullwhip

And the bolster attached to the core:

bullwhip

And the finished miniature bullwhip:

This is also a reminder that I’m out of town from 2/2/13 to 2/13/13.  If you place an order during that period no work will be done on your whip until I return on 2/14/13.   As of today I’m 100% caught up on orders and everything has shipped!  So if you need a whip before I leave that’s not an IN STOCK whip I may still be able to make it for you before I leave.  However contact me before placing an order if you need a made to order whip to ship before I leave.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Whip Sampler

Whip Sampler

Right now I’ve started a little project that I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m making a four whips, each will be four feet long and of a different type.  So there will be a signal whip, snake whip, bull whip and a stock whip.  They all will be made with similar plaiting and look, however I haven’t decided if they will be 8 or 12 plait.

So far I have the cores cut out:

whips

And the cores have been assembled and are currently letting grease soak in:

bullwhip

I’ve also cut out all the bellies and sometime later today I should have a chance to at least do the strand prep…and maybe some plaiting.

Ideally I’d sell these as a set of four whips, but I don’t know if buying four whips at once would be cost prohibitive or not.  We’ll see…

Also this is a quick heads up that I’m leaving town on 2/1/13 for a couple of weeks, so if you are looking for a custom made whip you will need to order in the next day or two if you want it to ship out before I leave.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Finished 5 Foot Bullwhip

Finished 5 Foot Bullwhip

I’ve had this bullwhip hanging on my hook for a long time just waiting to get the heel knot put on it and I finally got around to doing it.

This bullwhip is available on my IN STOCK whips page.

Sorry that I haven’t been updating this blog as often as I normally do, I’ve been swamped with getting orders out and performing.  I’m staring work on one last 5 foot bullwhip and this one will be a 12 plait bullwhip.  Here’s the core attached to the handle and the kangaroo skin that I’m using for it:

Bullwhip

I’m going to do something that I’ve always wanted to do with a kangaroo skin when I make this bullwhip.  I’m going to weigh the skin and keep track of the weight used, thrown away and leftover.  I’ve always wondered what percentage of a skin ends up in the trash.  This particular skin might not be the best for this because it’s a 5 foot whip and a 46 dm skin which is way more than I’ll need to make the belly, overlay and knots for this whip.  Something like a 55dm and a 6 foot bullwhip would be better because there’d be a lot less leftover.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org