Over the weekend I started work on a shorter bullwhip which was originally intended to be 4 feet long, but I ended up making 4 1/2 feet long. The inspiration for this bullwhip internally was the Terry Jacka bullwhip that came in for repair. I was thinking about how he uses a split leather for the internal layers of his bullwhips and how that’s one of the reasons why his whips can get so heavy.
So this bullwhip that I made has a core, belly and bolster from split leather, however the 2nd bolster is veg tanned cowhide with a kangaroo overlay. The reason the last internal layer wasn’t split was that I wanted a smooth surface to plait over to allow me to pull a bit tighter when making this whip, while still getting the “rough on rough” effect on all the internal layers.
This bullwhip has a slightly thicker profile than my shorter bullwhips normally have, but it’s not that thick. I think this bullwhip’s in the hand weight feels closer to a 6 foot whip, however it’s actual weight is no where near a 6 foot bullwhip.
It’s got a great crack as well:
I also wanted to do some patterns on the handle of this bullwhip:
However I wanted a two tone handle and I had several options for methods that I could think of:
- Hand dye the handle portion of six of the strands.
- Braid the handle with 6 red and 6 black strands, then secure the 6 black at the end of the handle and add in 6 additional red strands at the end of the handle for the 12 plait overlay.
- Add black strands on top of some of the red strands on the handle.
I chose to go with the last option mainly because it’s something that I hadn’t done before. I cut 6 pieces of lace and using a fid I followed the pattern going one way. Here’s a pic of adding the black after a few strands were added:
And the handle with all the strands added:
I did learn a few things that I didn’t anticipate when I started adding the second color to the handle. Mainly that I should have cut everything a hair wider to deal with the slightly increased diameter of the handle once the extra layer was added. Also that adding lace over something that is already plaited is a pain in the butt, and it probably would have been easier to plait two piece of lace on top of each other from the beginning.
Here’s the finished bullwhip:
This bullwhip is available on my IN STOCK whips page!