A while ago I was contacted to work on a custom project for a company that wanted me to make a lot of 4 plait braids with a lot of basic Spanish Ring Knots on them. While not a technically demanding or mentally challenging project this company would have ordered a lot of them. These would have been for resale so they’d be paying a wholesale/bulk rate. I started making a sample and got about an inch and a half into the knots and here’s what I turned up:
Here’s the thing based on my time with the first five knots and extrapolating that out the five inch sample would have cost them around $300 in labor alone! While nothing was hard on this the knots were just a time killer! Sure I could have cut some corners here and there like not properly anchoring the knots, but then over time they would loosen and slide around. I could also have simply tied the knots and not gone back to retighten them, but again over time the would become loose and slide around. So this project was abandoned and this little sample has been kicking around on my desk for a while. The main reason I’m posting this is that I’m cleaning off my desk and I’m throwing it away, but figured I’d take a picture before it goes in the trash.
The moral of this story is while simple knots aren’t hard they are time suckers!
Yesterday I got a bit more plaiting in on an 8 foot KotCS bullwhip. I didn’t think I’d get any of the overlay worked on during the weekend, but I got it all done and I also gave this bullwhip it’s first roll (I’ll roll it again after the knots are put on).
This bullwhip was given a few test flicks yesterday on my deck and it’s got a nice crack to it. Next step is for the knots and then a roll and finally shellac.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get it out in the mail today…but I have a ton of other work that needs to be done (for my performing business) so I may not get to the knots today.
Today I started cutting out the set for a 10 foot 12 plait bullwhip that is going to be in the KotCS style. I’ve got the two bellies cut out and a bit of the overlay started. A
I still need to stretch, cut and split the two bellies.
Also I’m plaiting the overlay of a 4 foot bullwhip. The four foot red kangaroo bullwhip has a spring steel handle and will have a much slimmer profile than most of my whips.
Earlier today I finished a 6 foot Indy Bullwhip (Morgan style) and I’ll try to take a picture of it tomorrow. Somehow my knots had declined in look compared to how David Morgan makes his. Then I got a couple of tips from Paul Nolan and now my knots look much better.
I think there was a combination of things that made my knots look “flat”, I was using a thinner sinew, and technique. So I switched to a thicker sinew and tweaked my technique and the knots are nice and indy shaped now.