Greasing Strands

Greasing Strands

Today I did some work on a Deluxe Budget Bullwhip and after I cut out the strands for the belly and overlay I gave them a coat of grease.  That got me thinking about why I think it’s important to grease a lot of leather.  Most veg tanned cowhide that you see in leather shop (like a Tandy) is pretty dry.

When you are using a dry hide you really need to put some grease into it and let it soak in…not just plaiting soap before braiding.  If you braid a really dry hide you can tear the fibers by plaiting too tightly.  However if you grease them would might normally tear on a dry hide hopefully the fibers will stretch or bend a bit and not break.  Also by putting more oils into the the whip you are making a the beginning you will increase the life of the whip…and make the users not have to put multiple coats of grease on their new whip before they use it.

Another advantage of grease is that when it softens the fibers on an internal layer, you are able to get the whip a little more dense by plaiting over the top of it.

Also by adding grease early on you are adding a bit a weight of the leather in the bullwhip, and that little bit over all the strands adds up.

So all those reasons are why I always grease up a dry hide or skin.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

What to use to condition a bullwhip

What to use to condition a bullwhip

Bullwhips are made of leather and over time will naturally lose their oils and dry out.  That’s why there are leather conditioners and dressings that you can use on your whip to put oil back into it.  The main three that I use are:

Pecard: This is great on the thong, handle or fall of your bullwhip.

leather conditioner
bullwhip leather dressing

Feibings Aussie Conditioner: This is similar to pecards, but in my opinion not quite as good (don’t get me wrong it’s still good).  The upside is that it’s easy to find, most Tandy Leather Factory stores sell it as do a lot of saddle shops.

feibings leather
aussie leather conditioner

Pappy’s Dubbin: This will work on the handle or lash of the whip, and is fantastic on falls!

whip conditioner
pappys dubbin

Jay-El:  This stuff is great…but hard to find in the USA.

joseph liddy leather dresing

All of these three dressings / conditioners have a thick consistency and you don’t need much to put on you whip.  Stay away from leather dressing that has a liquid consistency because you will really run the risk of oversaturating  your whip and ruining it.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

P.S. I’ll be in Oregon from 4/30 to 5/2, so if you email me or call me I might not get back to you until 5/3.