Yesterday I happened to be in Bothell and popped by David Morgan’s shop. It’s been a while since I’ve been there for more than a few minutes and the first time I’ve hung out in the braiding area since they remodeled. I have a great time talking to Meagan, Will, Mike and Alex while I was there.
I’m planning on making a plaited belt that will have plastic D’s instead of metal ones for going through metal detectors when I travel. So I picked up a few plastic D’s while I was there. Also about a year ago I cracked Will Morgan’s pair of SKT stockwhips and liked them and while chatting with Alex somehow the SKT stockwhips came up in the conversation and I ended up buying one.
Yesterday I also managed to get the handle plaited on the 16 plait bullwhip that I started a couple of days ago and today I should be able to get a bit more of the lash finished. I’ll post pics later today or tomorrow.
Ever since I visiting Paul and Lauren at Midwest Whips and got to crack some stockwhips, I’ve wanted one…and when Adam Winrich was in town it reinforced it!
This evening I made a simple stock whip from Red Latigo.
The plan of this whip was pretty simple, a 4 plait latigo overlay and with tear drop shaped piece of veg tanned cowhide as the core. One thing that I did do to the overlay in addition to tapering and paring the strand was I split them at at taper. So the thickness of each leather strand at the keeper end is thicker than the point.
Another thing you’ll notice is that there is no plaited handle. There are a couple of reasons for this. The main one is that I didn’t have any kangaroo lace kicking around that was thick enough to do a 4 plait handle. Also with this being a whip for sport cracking and a whip that I don’t plan on using for too long, I’m not too worried about it slipping out of my hand. If it was a whip that was to be used by an actual cowboy, I would have put in a handgrip.
I gave it a few flicks before I put the heel knot foundation on it and determined it needed a bit of lead. I added a one by six inch strip of lead and then put the knot over that and I think it handles much better!
Last night I started working on an Red Latigo bullwhip that is 8 plait. I’ve got the overlay cut out and it’s already had one trip through the splitter.
I’m thinking because this started at 4mm thick and after the first round of splitting it’s about 3.2 mm, it will still need to be thinned down a bit more. I’m hoping to get it into the 2.25mm to 2.5mm range.
As an 8 plait whip if the leather is very thick it will be hard to drop strands or do it as a “straight eight”. In a perfect world I’d like to do this whip with an 8 plait point without dropping any strands, but I don’t think that is realistic. The leather probably won’t be strong enough if I thinned it down that much.
I might try tapering the thickness of whip’s overlay as it moves towards the point. So run just the last half through the splitter, then the last third, and finally the last couple of feet. That might let me get the strands thin enough to do an 8 plait point and not have too much trouble with breakage while plaiting.
Currently I have a Red Latigo bullwhip in the works. This stuff is fairly thick at about 3.8 mm and very dense when compared to something like kip. Here’s the bullwhip I’m currently working on:
I made one whip where I only thinned down the leather near the point so that I could get a nice tight braid at the end. However for the whip that I’m working on now I thinned down the entire length of all the strands. I split them down to 3mm thick.
By thinning down the strands I’m able to get a tighter braid without killing my hands. The thinner strands bend a bit easier than the thicker, so I have to use less energy plaiting to get the whip braided to about the same tightness.
I don’t think the whip is losing any “toughness” because the strands are still 3mm thick! So far this bullwhip is turning out well, I should at the very least have the overlay finished today.
Yesterday I braided the overlay of a bullwhip made from Red Latigo:
The hide that I made this out of was a bit thicker than I wanted. I had ordered 8 / 10 ounce and the invoice is marked 9 / 11 ounce. While they are basically the same thickness, the slight bit thinner would have been nice.
While making this whip I thinned down the leather on the last about half of the whip, then thinned the last quarter a bit more. That let me get a tighter and smoother braid near the point.
The next one of these that I do I will probably thin down the entire lengths of all the strands. That will give me a smoother profile on the whip. However all that splitting will add to the cost, since I intended to use this side of red latigo for budget bullwhips.
Later today I’ll probably do the knots on this bullwhip.
Finally here are pictures of six stockwhip handles that I got last week from David Morgan.
I had gotten a few of them a few years ago, and tried to get them between then and now, but they were sold out. While they were going through some old boxed they found some and I took them…They were his last six!
Now I’m off to go sit in traffic on my way to my morning show today.
Today I did a fall replacement on a bullwhip that I made awhile ago. It’s one that was made with no bolsters, but 4 plaited bellies (I think it was four…but it might have been three). Here’s the bullwhip with the old fall:
And the new fall:
This bullwhip already on its way back to South Carolina to it’s owner.