Steal of the Week!

Steal of the Week!

Every  now and then I pop by ebay and see what’s for sale.  Normally that leads me to writing a rant about someone selling junk for way to much money.

Not today.

This is potentially the best deal on a whip right now you can view the auction at http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Foot-12-Plait-Kangaroo-Bullwhip-/110974847072.  It’s for a 10 foot 12 plait Indy Bullwhip that the buyer got from Western Stage Props.  Here’s the rub the strands are all jacked up  and broken at the fall hitch.   Plus the fall is gone.

Here’s where it gets awesome, based on the picture the whip is in good looking shape aside from the broken strands at the fall hitch.  It also looks like a whip that was made by Joe Strain.  So for probably about $100 you can get the whip fixed by having the point replaited and a new fall put on.  Sure the whip will end up a few inches shorter, but that’s no bid deal.

Currently the bid is  at $280 and in my opinion if you can get this whip for $300-$350 you’ve gotten an awesome deal!  Especially if you know how to fix this yourself and don’t have to pay someone to fix it. I’m half tempted to bid on this fix it myself and resell it and make a quick hundred bucks!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Seeing a Whip / Gun / Knife Demo Tomorrow

Seeing a Whip / Gun / Knife Demo Tomorrow

I’ll be out of town this weekend and I saw this on Northern Whip Co’s facebook page:

I will be at Center Target Sports in Post Falls this Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm doing a whip/gun/knife throwing exhibition every hour on the 1/2 hour. Stop by and say “Hi” if you are in the area. There is a lot going on so check out the event!http://centertargetsports.com/ne_detail.cfm?news_id=82

Turns out by coincidence I’ll be driving through Post Falls Idaho tomorrow morning, so I’ll get to see one of the earlier demos that day.  I should come home with some fun pictures from it!

Also if you haven’t done it go to the Northern Whip Co facebook page and click the like button. Joe’s an amazing whip maker and he posts some pictures of amazing whips!

As for progress on the bullwhip with the ostrich leg handle goes, not much has gotten done.  Hoewever I did get some contact cement yesterday so when I get to the part where I need it I have it.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Ostrich Bullwhip, Nylon Whipmaker and an Ebay Rant…

Ostrich Bullwhip, Nylon Whipmaker and an Ebay Rant…

I’ve gotten some more work on the bullwhip that will have an ostrich leg handle.  Right now I have the two bellies completed:

bullwhip

Sometime today I’m hoping to at least the the final bolster on it.

Last weekend I met a whipmaker named Derek after a show:

bullwhip

He makes nylon whips, it’s always nice to chat with another whipmaker.  I had a lot of questions for him because I don’t do nylon whip and they are very different from leather in how they are made.

Last night I was looking on ebay at what people are selling for whips.  Obviously I saw the David Morgan whip that was “used in Raiders by Harrison Ford“.  In my opinion for $47,500 this bullwhip better come with more than a stuntman saying it was used in the movie to verify it’s authenticity.  The seller claims that it was used on screen, so how about a still of it?  If it was actually in the movie it wouldn’t be to hard to get one…and the handle on this bullwhip looks very different from the handles of the whips assoicated with the Raiders movie, so it shouldn’t be hard to spot.  Also the seller says the whip is made from calf leather and to me it looks like kangaroo (but I’m not 100% positive from the picture) For me if I had the 50K, I’d pass on this.

The “Raider’s Whip” isn’t what my little rant is about.  It’s about another bullwhip being auctioned which you can view here:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/bullwhip-6ft-12-plait-kangaroo-indy-IV-style-/271031619986

For what it is the seller has it priced about right at $225, but my issue with it is in the description:

…something i do to all my whips is bevel the corners on the underside of all the strands which makes the overall whip alot smoother and aerodynamic which if this isnt done you will reaally end up with a cheap looking whip that doesnt look or crack as good …

I’ve got no problem with the typo’s in the listing or the huge run on sentence.  My issue is with the seller is saying that a bullwhip that is pared on opposite corners will:

  • Look like crap
  • Not crack well

The general thinking from whip makers that I respect and had talked to about paring when I was starting out is there is no one specific way to bevel your lace.  I personally agree that there is no one right way to do it.  All it will do it affect the texture / look of the whip, however that is all cosmetic.

I wonder if the seller is aware that Jacka used to (I don’t know if he still does) pare his strands on the  Indy IV bullwhips on opposite corners?  So this whip seller is making a copy of a whip, but making it incorrectly and saying that the whip he’s copying looks like crap and doesn’t crack well.

Hmmm…to me it sounds like someone doesn’t know what they are talking about.  Now for me to support my theory that you can pare a strand any way other than both flesh sides and it will be an awesome whip in both function and looks:

  • David Morgan – He made the most famous movie bullwhip in the world and he pares top left and bottom right.  I don’t think anyone would say his iconic bullwhip looks like crap.
  • Joe Strain –  Joe’s also made some very well know movie whips, including some that were in the Indy IV movie (that the seller is copying) and he frequently pares top right and bottom left.  I think you be hard pressed to find a professional whip cracker that would say that any of Joe Strains whips don’t crack well.
  • Chris Barr – In the USA we don’t hear about Chris Barr as much as we should.  His 72 plait stock whip is simply amazing!  Chris  has mentioned that he frequently doesn’t pare his lace at an angle, but leaves it with squared corners.  I’d be willing to bet you can’t find someone that has seen or cracked one of Chris’s whips that will say they look like crap or don’t crack well.

 

If those three people don’t support the theory that you can pare other than flesh side and end up with an awesome whip then you haven’t seen or cracked their whips.

The seller also says his whip is “…identical to the original whip even the knots are exactly the same …” .  This is one of those statement where the seller isn’t honestly looking  at their whip.  They knot shape is totally different from the shape on a Jacka Indy IV Bullwhip.

In my opinion when you are selling a movie copy bullwhip it should be an actual copy, not just something that matches the general color scheme.  Personally in principle I wouldn’t buy this bullwhip.  Here’s a tip when you are getting started in whip making be honest about what you are selling instead of hyping it up.  Oh and in your description don’t use one long sentence, break it up into multiple sentences it makes it so much easier to read.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

More Whips I’ve Recently Met

More Whips I’ve Recently Met

Lately I’ve been running into a lot of bullwhips in my travels.  In the last 3-4 weeks I’ve come across four bullwhips (two were a pair).  The first I ran into on Saturday at a junk shop outside of Yakima WA:

The lovely bullwhip above was for sale for $19!

The next bullwhip someone brought to a show that I was performing at to show me.

bullwhip

I think the leather bullwhip above was purchased from this ebay seller: http://stores.ebay.com/Eaton-Ranchco-Saddle-Shop. For a whip with a long handle and a wide point it was amazingly light in the lash.  Personally I prefer more weight in the lash than this whip had, but its owner was happy with it.

And finally about a  month ago I ran into these two whips:

These whips are used the Bindlestiff Family Circus.  I was told they are about 15ish years old and they got them from Western Stage Props who told the Bindlestiff’s that the whips were Lil’ Indys and not made by Joe Strain.  However I don’t believe that to be the case.  First the whips are 5 feet long and WSP’s Lil’ Indy’s are 4 feet.  Also the knots and plaiting look very much like Joe Strain to me.

This summer I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling and hopefully I’ll run into a lot more whips during my summer performing tours.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Out of Town…

Out of Town…

Here’s a  heads up  that I’ll be out of town for a few days, so if you email or call don’t expect me to get back to you until after the Memorial Day holiday.

Congrats to Joe Strain for winning the Braided Leather award at the World Leather Debut with an amazing 24 plait 10 foot bullwhip!  You can see the whip here: www.northernwhipco.com

Also yesterday I listed the 20 plait bullwhip with the stingray handle on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220612766341 if you are looking for a cool one of a kind whip here’s your chance to get an amazing deal on one!

Louie
http;//bullwhips.org

6 foot bullwhip

6 foot bullwhip

Right now I’m working on a 6 foot bullwhip.

Currently I have both plaited bellies finished.  Today I have some morning shows and should be able to at least get the outer bolster cut out and attached.  Realistically I’ll probably be able to get the overlay cut out today.

While I was making the bellies of the bullwhip I kept hearing in my head something that Joe Strain told me years ago when I visited him the first time:  “I like a hard hitting whip, so I…”  Well it’s not my place to say how Joe makes his whips, but it’s something that he told me years ago and it’s only started to make sense to me in the last 9-12 months.

That’s one of the things that I think makes whip making an art.  Someone can tell you something simple, but you may not really understand it until years later.  Where for something like changing the oil in you car, it’s step one, step two, etc.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Indiana Jones Bullwhip Pics…

Indiana Jones Bullwhip Pics…

Here are pictures of the bullwhip used in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show at Disney World.

You can click on the pictures to see a bigger version of them.   This bullwhip was made by Joe Strain, and it’s takes a beating in the show, but it still works great!!!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Plaiting Patterns on Bullwhip Handles

Plaiting Patterns on Bullwhip Handles

I don’t do a lot of plaited ring work on the handles of my bullwhips, probably because I do a lot of 12 plait bullwhips.  You can do designs with a 12 plait handle, but you can do a lot more with a 16 plait bullwhip handle.  I think another reason that I haven’t done a lot of designs into the handles of my bullwhips is that I don’t have a good eye for what looks good.

On my last visit with Joe Strain we talked a bit about what makes a plaited whip handle design.  Joe mentioned to me that what makes a good handle isn’t complex patterns, it’s balance.  There should be a visual balance to the bullwhip.

I think there is beauty in the simplicity and balanced look in Joe’s bullwhip handle designs.  Here’s one of Joe’s bullwhip handles:  http://northernwhipco.com/images/16%20Plait%202-tone%20handle%20detail.jpg.

I’m working to achieve balance in my 16 plait two tone bullwhips.  Here’s the bullwhip I’m working on right now:

bullwhip 16 plait handle

One thing I’ve gotten better at is transitioning between plaiting pattern.  It’s something that gave me a lot of trouble with my early attempts at doing different patterns (not designs) on bullwhip handles.

This particular bullwhip has about two more feet of plaiting to go, maybe I’ll be able to finish it today.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

bullwhips for sale
Bullwhip making on the Road

Bullwhip making on the Road

Currently I’m on the road performing in Spokane, Washington, which is about 4 1/2 hours from home.  I’ll be back home around midnight tonight (makes for a looong day!).

Yesterday I got to visit Joe Strain and as always I’m amazed at how beautiful his work is!  If you are on the fence about ordering a bullwhip from Joe, get one…his whips are amazing!

In the near future I should be having more cowhides come in for the beginners bullwhips that I make.  I have some of the cowhides that I use for the belly in my beginners bullwhips in stock and took one side with me on the road.  This morning I cut out the sets for 6 or 7 bellies:

bullwhip for beginners

Hopefully that will give me a bit of a jump start on those bullwhips when the cowhides that I use for the overlay arrive.  I’m hoping to have time this week to braid a bunch of the insides for the beginners bullwhips so all I have to do it the overlays when the other cowhide shows up.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Doesn’t Look Right…

Doesn’t Look Right…

This morning I was looking at what bullwhips were being offered on ebay (besides my current auction) and I noticed something that doesn’t look right.  Some is selling a “Joe Strain” bullwhip…but honestly I don’t think it was made by Joe Strain.

Below is a picture of the bullwhip that’s being auctioned:

Bullwhip

There are a couple of things wrong with this bullwhip based on the seller’s description:

1.  It was only used once: It very well may have only been used once by the seller…if the seller had gotten it used.  The transition on Joe’s whips don’t get that limp after one cracking session.

2. The Turkshead: If you look a the turks head on the bullwhip it’s not the one that Joe usually uses on his Indy style bullwhip.  You can only get taht knot as a special order from Joe.  From having seen and handled several of Joe Strain’s bullwhips and watched him tie a turkshead before, I’d bet money that Joe didn’t tie that one…it’s not neat enough for Joe’s work (unless it’s an OLD Strain whip).

3. It just doesn’t look right: Right now there are two bullwhips on ebay that were made by Joe Strain and this one makes the 3rd.  Compare the way this bullwhip coils to the other ones currently listed on ebay and it just doesn’t look right.

I’m not accusing the seller if intentionally trying to mislead anyone about the maker of it.  Whoever gave/sold this whip to them could have told them it was made by Joe Strain.

So that said, would I spend $499.98 on that particular whip…NO…especially when there are two other Joe Strain whips currently on ebay.  But that’s just my opinion.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org