Economy Signal Whip and a Unique Bullwhip

Economy Signal Whip and a Unique Bullwhip

I was looking at what was left of a side of veg tanned cowhide that I had kicking around and realized it was just big enough to make a few signal whips.  So yesterday I made some shot bags and plaited up one of the signal whips (it still needs a turkshead):

signal whip

This Economy Signal Whip is 4 plait and four feet long.  I just gave it a few cracks in my living room and it’s got a great crack!

I’m trying to come up with interesting whip related content right now because I’m keeping all the updates for the current bullwhip that I’m working on for the Choose Your Own Bullwhip ebay auction exclusively on the auction listing.  You can view this whip’s progress at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220965764135

Here’s a video of a very unique bullwhip, it’s used by Mel B of the Spice Girls:

I had the same idea of putting a mic in a bullwhip while ago and I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t do it because it had already been done!

You can also see her rockin’ a bullwhip on Dancing with the Stars.  It’s at the 3:13 mark:

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

The Leather Lace Bullwhip Book Review

The Leather Lace Bullwhip Book Review

The other day I stumbled upon a book about bullwhip making called The Leather Lace Bullwhip on Amazon.com.  Since I’m such a whip nerd I ordered a copy.

The Leather Lace Bullwhip

Here’s the description of the book:

Geared mainly to the leather hobbyist with some braiding experiance, This book will show you how to make a cowhide bullwhip in my unique way. Also contains tips and tricks of leather braiding and cutting lace.

I like the idea of this book which is making a bullwhip from lace of a uniform width, instead of cutting it at a taper.  Also for a bit of full disclosure I’ve read this book two times, but haven’t made the bullwhip in this book.  The main reason for not making this bullwhip (yet) is time, however I plan to try it in the future.

In the book Paul cuts his lace with Craftool Lace Maker.

lace maker

This tool will give you uniform lace and while it it possible to cut at a taper with this tool, the way the author uses lace you are stuck with using uniform widths.  One clever thing the author does is converts one of these Lace Maker’s into a very inexpensive splitter to thin down the lace.

The construction is fairly simple, it’s a core, plaited belly and overlay.   The belly is 8 plait and the overlay is 12 plait all in 2mm thick cowhide.

There are a few things that I have some issues with in this book.

  • Paring: The way the author pares without any protection on his hands in my opinion is a fairly dangerous way to teach it to a beginner.
  • Knot Tying: The instructions for tying the knots are in the appendix in the back of the book.  And it uses a coded system, but the author doesn’t really explain how the codes work.  I could understand the codes, but I think someone just starting out would cause a bit of frustration.
  • Incorrect Information: The author says to make a handle like an Indy Bullwhip, you do an U2 O2 U2 pattern. That is 100% wrong.  Indy bullwhips have a checkerboard handle.
  • More Incorrect Information: The author specifically says the pattern he uses on the handle what Ron Edwards calls a Birds Eye Plait.  The Birds Eye Plait that Ron Teaches in his books is different from what Paul teaches in this book.
  • Goat Rawhide?: In the shopping list for supplies the author tells you to buy some goat rawhide.  However that’s never mentioned again in the book.  Leather isn’t cheap, so buying something that’s not used in the project is very wasteful on the beginners wallet.
  • Internet References: In the beginning of the book the author says you can learn to use the Lace Maker on YouTube, but doesn’t give any specific site.  The author should have provided a direct URL.  The author in the appendix offers some other websites, but just the websites name and no direct URL’s so I have to search them. It would have taken all of a minute to type them out, if not for the ease of the reader, but for the sake of completeness.

You might be thinking that I’m nit picking when I mention things like crediting thing wrong.  However crediting is something that’s very important.  When you specifically cite something  you better be right!

Here’s an example of why crediting is important (a very nerdy example).  I’m involved in the world of soap bubble artists.  In a forum someone mentioned that they believe that crediting creators of different bubble tricks is very important and should be done even in a live performance.  Then his example was when he does the bubble carousel he credits it as being invented by Tom Noddy.  On the surface crediting is good, but only when it’s correct.  In Tom’s book he specifically says he learned it from someone else.  Now this person that wants credit to go to the right place is actually falsely giving credit to the wrong person.

I’m not saying Ron Edwards invented the Birds Eye Plait (he didn’t), but when you say it’s what in his book and are wrong you are making historical the waters murky.

One thing I like about the book is that the authors method is fairly simple.  It doesn’t use bolsters so it’s less intimidating for a beginner.  However if you intended to make more than one whip I would highly suggest learning how to make a bolster and incorporating it into your plan.  Also since there is no tapering the cutting out process is pretty easy.  But once again if you intend to make more than one whip in your life time you need to learn to cut at a taper.  Whether it’s simply using an Aussie Strander and turning the wheel a bit as you cut or learning to do it freehand.

I feel this book is intended more for someone that wants a leather working project and that’s just it.  They want to make one whip and then move on to the next thing, not for someone that actually wants to learn to make whips.

One big suggestion for this books author would be to have someone proof read and make the whip in the book that is his intended audience.  Someone that had some braiding experience, but never made a whip would have noticed a lot of things that weren’t very clear.  Also there are a lot of typos and missing letters in the text (i.e. the word USING being spelt USIN), which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s annoying because I paid for the whole book why not give me the last letter of the word?  I know times economically are tough, but adding in a G in the proper place doesn’t cut into profit margins to much.

So the big question is would I recommend this book?  Honestly I don’t know how I feel about it.  I guess I’d recommend it to someone that wants to make a whip, but not really progress any further than that one whip.  However if you want to try plaiting I’d recommend getting Ron Edwards book How To Make Whips and making the stock whip in that book, or a precut stock whip kit.  A 4 plait stock whip is a pretty simple project and you’ll get a feel for plaiting and see if you like it or not without getting involved in doing 8 and 12 plait patterns which can be very frustrating for a beginner.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Another 16 plait bullwhip is finished!

Another 16 plait bullwhip is finished!

Yesterday I finished making the other 16 plait two tone bullwhip!  This bullwhip was cut out the same time as the last one, but I didn’t immediately bang it out.   This bullwhip is 6.5 feet long and made in black and saddle tan kangaroo.

bullwhip for sale

Here’s a close up of the handle:

Plaited pattern in handle

Another thing that I did with this bullwhip was putting a couple of plaited patterns in the lash.  I’ve never really don that aside from right off the end of the handle.  Here’s the birds eye plait:

Bullwhip for sale

And here’s the 2 X 2 squares:

Plaited pattern in whip's lash

With this bullwhip I took a lot of care as to how I got into and out of different patterns on the whip.  So that the plaiting flows well and symmetrically into and out of the different patterns on both the handle and the lash.

bullwhip

Here’s a close up of the coiled lash:

bullwhip for sale

This bullwhip is listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

The next few whips that I’m planning to make are going to be stock whips.  In the past I’ve only made a few stock whips and they are something that I’d like to make more of and eventually a pair for myself.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Pair of Cowhide Bullwhips…

Pair of Cowhide Bullwhips…

I finished and shipped out the pair of cowhide bullwhips that I started working on earlier this week.

These whips have a nice crack and a pair of cowhide bullwhips would make a nice intro to two handed bullwhip cracking!  Unfortunately these were a pair that was made for someone so they aren’t available for sale.  However it was fun making these and I might try to make another pair in the next week or two.  First I need to finish work on the 16 plait bullwhip that I started last week.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Works in Progress…

Works in Progress…

This week has been a very busy week for me between performing, shipping out orders and squeezing in some family time.  The 16 plait bullwhip has the overlay cut out, but no strand prep has happened.

bullwhip

And the nice thing about that is because it’s a two tone bullwhip I actually cut out two complete sets, so once the first one is finished I can make another one pretty quick!

Yesterday I started work on a pair of 4 plait cowhide bullwhips.  I normally don’t make these bullwhips to order, you have to get them when I have them in stock.  I do this for two reasons:

1.  I don’t make a lot of money on them and I don’t want to be backed up making these for not a lot of profit.

2. They aren’t particularly challenging to make, so they aren’t fun for me to make!

However the person I’m making these for called and wanted two of them and I had one in stock.  So I figured why not make two of them as a pair to make it more interesting.  So I agreed and right now I have the plaiting completed one of them and the other is about 3/4 of the way finished.

bullwhips

I should have time to finish them and ship them out today (hopefully) and then I can get back to work on the 16 plait bullwhip.

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

Another Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip

Another Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip

Here’s another six foot Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip that I finished yesterday:

bullwhip

This bullwhip has leather core, plaited belly, leather bolster and 4 plait overlay.  The fall is whitehide and the handle in 10 inches long.

This bullwhip would be an excellent bullwhip for a beginner!  I’ve got it listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Currently I have two more cores attached to handles, so I’ll be making a couple more of these beginners bullwhips in the next week or two!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Tourist Bullwhips…

Tourist Bullwhips…

The other day I was in Virgina City, Nevada which is a “frontier” town.  Several of the shops there sold bullwhips:

These whips really ranged in quality, the lowest quality sold for $2.99.  These are good for making the shopkeeper money and that’s about it!   I was actually in a store when someone was buying two to the crappy ones and the guy mentioned he was getting them for his kids to learn to crack.  He’s going to be very disapp0inted…but then they were only $2.99.

Tomorrow I’m back at home and Tuesday 5/31/11  the 15% off whip sale ends, so it’s your last chance to save on a new whip!

Also I have a 16 plait bullwhip on ebay right now: http://cgi.ebay.com/6-ft16-plait-WHITE-kangaroo-bullwhip-bull-whip-Louie-/220790044200

Sometime the first couple of weeks of June I”m going to try to find time to make 6 or 8 Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips.  These will probably be 6 feet long.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Memorial Weekend Bullwhip SALE!

Memorial Weekend Bullwhip SALE!

I don’t do this very often so take advantage of this sale on all IN STOCK and MADE TO ORDER bullwhips.  From now until Tuesday 5/31/11 I’m having a Memorial Weekend 15% off sale!

bullwhip sale
To view the IN STOCK whips visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4

To view your MADE TO ORDER whip options visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=0

Also here’s a picture of the finished 5 foot bullwhip:

bullwhip

This one is 5 feet long with an 8 plait kangaroo overlay and kangaroo rawhide highlights in the knots.

Louie

16 plait bullwhip…

16 plait bullwhip…

Yesterday I started working on an eight foot 16 plait bullwhip.  This bullwhip is going to be all black kangaroo.  Here’s the kangaroo skin I’m using:

veg tanned kangaroo skin for bullwhip making

Yesterday I cut out the two bellies:

kangaroo bullwhip

That’s as far as this bullwhip has gotten.  I still need to prep the belly strands for braiding.  I do have the core cut out and attached to the handle.

Before I could really get to work on the 8 foot 16 plait bullwhip I needed to finish off a whip that was on my hook.  So yesterday I put the fall on and tied the knots on a five foot 4 plait cowhide beginners bullwhip:

bullwhips

This bullwhip has a great crack and it’s available on my IN STOCK whip page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org