This weekend I got very little bullwhip work done, I was a busy boy. However I did manage to inch along the plaiting on the 8 foot bullwith with the rawhide core. I’ve got about 6 feet of the overlay finished:
I’m doing a new thing when I’m making a bullwhip when I have to stop and start it. Whenever I have to stop plaiting for an extened time I pull all the strands tight, then tie them off. Then when I start plaiting again I undo one full set of strands (so if it’s an 8 plait, I back up 8 hitches) then continue plaiting.
My thinking is that over time the last row of hitches will loosen up if the whip is just sitting around. So by pulling them tight, then backing up a set when I start braiding again it will help keep the plaiting evenly tight.
Hopefully today I’m going to have time to finish the plaiting on this bullwhip. Also I might sneak in an 8 foot budget bullwhip between this one and the 8 foot black kangaroo bullwhip that I was planning on making…I found a complete bullwhip set for a budget bullwhip, so all I’d have to do is braid it.
Last night I finished the plaiting on this 8 foot KotCS style bullwhip. It’s one of the best bullwhips that I’ve made so far…but I haven’t started the knots yet, so my opinion could change.
The picture above is the bullwhip about 1/2 finished. I’ve been doing my strand drops a bit differently lately and I’m liking the results a lot better. Instead of dropping the strands on the same side, I’m dropping one on the front and one from the back of the whip. That’s giving me less of a “kink” in the whip when it’s coiled.
Another thing that I’ve been doing lately when making my KotCS bullwhips is I’m ending them in an 8 plait, which is more screen accurate to the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie than the 6 plait. One of the advantages of the doing that is that I get to avoid the dreaded 8-6 plait strand drop. On one of my visits to Joe Strain I mentioned I was having trouble with the coiled whip kinking at that strand drop and Joe told me that everyone has trouble with that! Joe’s figured out how to make that drop’s kink virtually invisible, and that’s why he’s one of the top bullwhip makers!
One thing that Joe told me a long time ago is that you’ll never be able to make your strand drops invisible to another whipmaker because they are looking for them and they know where to look!
Here’s me giving this 8 foot bullwhip a couple of test cracks.
The whip sounds quiet in the video because I was cracking it at a little park on the Puget Sound and there wasn’t much for the sound to echo off.
Today I’m going to start work on my last “made to order” bullwhip of the year! It’s an 8 foot KotCS style bullwhip and it needs to make it to it’s new owner by Christmas. After that bullwhip is finished I’ve got a couple of bullwhips that I want to make for myself, including a pair of 4 foot two tone bullwhips.
I’ve been bad at adding posts and pictures to this blog lately, I’ve been very busy making bullwhips, performing and running a side business of mine that’s incredibly busy during the holidays (www.amazingmagickit.com).
After the Christmas I’ll be back to updating my blog almost daily again.
ere’s some pictures of the two 8 foot bullwhips that I was working on:
In the last picture you can see the differences in the handles of the two styles (how I make them). The KotCS has a thicker handle with very little taper to it and a more square knot. The Morgan style Indy has a thinner handle that tapers up towards the thong and a bigger and more round knot.
My hands are feeling better after getting a day of rest today and I’m ready to do some more plaiting tomorrow.
Right now I’m working on a 10 foot KotCS style bullwhip. I’m VERY happy with how it’s coming out. I’ve got about 2 1/2 feet of the overlay finished and hopefully I’ll be able to finish plaiting the overlay sometime tomorrow, then the knots and the shellacing on Thursday.
I’ll try to post some pictures later today.
Also here’s a heads up my current wait time has been bumped up to 4 weeks. If you are thinking of getting someone a bullwhip for christmas now is a good time to order. I’m anticipating a bump in orders and increase in wait times between now and November.