4 1/2 foot Bullwhip

4 1/2 foot Bullwhip

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:

How to make a bullwhip

However I wanted a two tone handle and I had several options for methods that I could think of:

  1. Hand dye the handle portion of six of the strands.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

bullwhip handle

And the handle with all the strands added:

Bullwhip handle

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:

Bullwhip

Bullwhip handle

This bullwhip is available on my IN STOCK whips page!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Another 16 plait bullwhip is finished!

Another 16 plait bullwhip is finished!

Yesterday I finished making the other 16 plait two tone bullwhip!  This bullwhip was cut out the same time as the last one, but I didn’t immediately bang it out.   This bullwhip is 6.5 feet long and made in black and saddle tan kangaroo.

bullwhip for sale

Here’s a close up of the handle:

Plaited pattern in handle

Another thing that I did with this bullwhip was putting a couple of plaited patterns in the lash.  I’ve never really don that aside from right off the end of the handle.  Here’s the birds eye plait:

Bullwhip for sale

And here’s the 2 X 2 squares:

Plaited pattern in whip's lash

With this bullwhip I took a lot of care as to how I got into and out of different patterns on the whip.  So that the plaiting flows well and symmetrically into and out of the different patterns on both the handle and the lash.

bullwhip

Here’s a close up of the coiled lash:

bullwhip for sale

This bullwhip is listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

The next few whips that I’m planning to make are going to be stock whips.  In the past I’ve only made a few stock whips and they are something that I’d like to make more of and eventually a pair for myself.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Snake Whip

Snake Whip

This morning I put the finishing touches on a 3 foot snake whip.   This snake whip is made in two tone kangaroo.  I plaited some patterns at the beginning of the whip (which is basically the same pattern as I used on the riding crop).

snake whip

Here’s the whip pre-shellac:

snake whip

And here it it after a couple of coats of shellac:

snakewhip

Every I put shellac on a whip I’m always amazed at how it changes the color.

I also just listed this snake whip for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org