Plaiting I’ve Run Into…

Plaiting I’ve Run Into…

I haven’t posted much recently because I was on the road travelling with my show, so I haven’t been doing much plaiting.  However one day I got into an invitation only museum in Fresno, CA and they had some really cool plaited rawhide (maker unknown)!

First is a set of rawhide reins:

plaited rawhide

 

Then a rawhide Reata:
plaited rawhide

Finally a rawhide quirt:

plaited rawhide

It’s always fun to run into plaited stuff when I’m travelling!

Currently I’m working on some beginners bullwhips that are 4 plait cowhide with plaited bellies.  I’m hoping to get some of them done and listed on my IN STOCK page in the next few days.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Braided Leather…

Braided Leather…

I’m travelling this week and here are some braided pieces that I’ve run into.  The first is a synthetic whip which is made out of a similar material as the Karaka whips.

whip

The next is a bullwhip and the picture turned out blurry…but that’s probably for the best, this one hurt my eyes.

bull whip

The last is a little rawhide quirt.

quirt

 

We’ll see what turns up on my next road trip in a couple of weeks…

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Braided Rawhide!

Braided Rawhide!

I’m back from performing last week at the Main Street Show at the Pendleton Round Up!  One of my favorite things to do while in Pendleton, Oregon is to check out the braided rawhide at Hamley’s!  Here’s some of what they had:

If you are passing through Pendleton it’s worth a stop at Hamley’s to check it out!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhips on my Vacation!

Bullwhips on my Vacation!

For the last 11 days I’ve been on vacation and sure enough I managed to run into a bunch of bullwhips along the way.  Whips are fairly common to see when you are visiting unfamiliar places, you just need to know where to look.  The first place I looked for whips were in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and found a really tiny three foot bullwhip:

bullwhip

The next batch of whips I found in a street market in Cabo San Lucas.

Mexican Bullwhips

Then I found some a whip, quirt and bosal in a museum in Cabo San Lucas.

Plaited rawhide

And then a couple of days later I was at Disneyland and got to see the whips they sell outside the Indiana Jones ride.

Indiana Jones Bullwhips

One thing that amazed me was that they sell these bullwhips to kids and there is no disclaimer of any kind with them.

Here’s a the Indiana Jones Role Play Set that comes with a bullwhip:

Indiana Jones Bullwhips

One thing I remember from my last visit to Disneyland (probably 4 or 5 years ago) was that at least one of the Indiana Jones’s on the ride used to hold one of the cheapo pitch whips they sell outside the ride.  Now all of the bullwhips they Indiana Jones has on the ride look much more screen accurate.  Unfortunately because of low lighting and the ride being bumpy I couldn’t get any pictures of the whip that Indiana Jones has on it.

Also during my vacation I made a new friend named Sideshow Bert.  Bert does juggling and stunts and one of the things that he features in his show is a bullwhip!  Here’s Sideshow Bert’s demo reel and at the 2:04 mark you can see parts of his bullwhip routine.

His bit with the “Visor Cam” is very funny and very original.  I think it’s a brilliant idea to show the audience another view of the newspaper trick!

Now that I’m back home and back to work all the orders of in stock whip will ship out today!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Oregon Leather

Oregon Leather

Yesterday I was in Oregon performing and visited the Oregon Leather Co:

Oregon leather co

Aside from sides of leather they also had a lot of braided goods:

oregon leather co, bullwhip
romel reins
rawhide

The braided stuff they had was made in India and pretty cheap.  From talking to the lady there the quality of the imported rawhide tack from India has improved greatly in the last year or so.

The rawhide looked much better than the bullwhips did.

Now that’s got me thinking about imported bullwhips.   There’s a company in India that is making “Indiana Jones” style bullwhips and selling them to resellers in the USA.  The bullwhips they are selling are bone dry, and people buying are having to put multiple coats of leather dressing on the whip when they get them.  In my opinion if you have to spend a week putting grease into a new bullwhip before you can use it should come with leather dressing, and I’m not aware of a reseller in the USA that includes dressing with their imported whips.

A bullwhip from a good maker will have grease / leather dressing  in it from making the bullwhip, so you shouldn’t have to put any dressing on your new whip before you use it.

Today I’m planning on making at least one 4 plait bullwhip…

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Rawhide Road Trip

Rawhide Road Trip

Right now in a hotel room in Walla Walla , WA relaxing after a long day of driving, learning and having fun!  Today I was out on the road to visit the 7J Saddlery in Starbuck, WA.  I was taking with Dave Jones about working with rawhide…and I took home a full hide of rawhide (hair on) that I’ll get to work with when I get back home.

I learned a lot about rawhide and I’m exciting to get this rawhide stretched out and ready to cut.

My partner for this trip is my 5 and a half year old daughter who is currently on spring break.  We stopped to pick up a snack at a fruit stand that also had junk shop (antique shop) attached to it.  I found an old jockey whip in this junk shop for $10 and I think with a bit of love it could restore nicely.

Here’s the photo album from the trip:

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

4 foot 4 plait bullwhip

4 foot 4 plait bullwhip

Here’s some pictures of me making a four foot four plait bullwhip in kip:

bullwhip

bullwhip

This four foot bullwhip shipped out a few days ago.  I do have two more of these in the works.  I’ve got the cores and bellies cut out.

Yesterday I managed to case some of the kangaroo rawhide and cut it into strips.  A year or so ago I was messing around with rawhide, but now I have a much better understanding of the process of preparing rawhide.  That comes from having more leather experience, having read more (and understanding more of what I’d previously read) and talking to several experienced rawhide braiders.

I made a couple of key fobs, and one of them has rawhide in a knot:

leather key fob with kangaroo turkshead

plaited kangaroo

Yesterday I also bought a side of rawhide and cut out a strip for a bosal core. It’s been drying overnight and I think it came out pretty good for my first try:

bosal core

To make this core I punched a hole in each end of the rawhide strip and hung one end over my plaiting hook.  I put a hook into my drill and put the hook through the hole in the other end of the rawhide.  Then I used the drill to twist the rawhide.  I left the drill hanging over the edge of a chair to keep tension on the twisted rawhide.  Every now and then I gave the rawhide a extra twist to tighten it up.

Having made this core, it’s given me an idea for making a bullwhip core.  I could split down 8-12 inches of it and have that part cover a spring steel core  Then twist it around the spring steet and then extend out as the core of the whip.  I might have to give that a try.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Davey Jones’s Saddlery

Davey Jones’s Saddlery

Last week when I was on the road I was performing in the town of Starbuck WA.

Starbuck WA

Despite what the name would lead you to believe, Starbuck is the only city in the USA that doesn’t have a Starbucks!  Starbuck has a population of 130, so it’s a small town.  One of the businesses in town is Davey Jones’s Saddlery.

I was lucky to get to spend about an hour poking around Dave’s workshop and chatting leather work and plaiting with him.  He renewed my interest in plaiting rawhide, I might be ordering some kangaroo rawhide shortly.

Here’s some of his work:

plaited leather
horse tack
rawhide bosal
bosal
rawhide turkshead
reins
holser

I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten to visit Dave and spend a some time with him!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org