I’m still working on the eight foot 16 plait bullwhip, however yesterday I had an order for a riding crop come in. Normally the riding crop would have waited for the bullwhip to be finished but it was ordered off my IN STOCK page, however the problem was that the riding crop that was ordered had already sold. For some wacky reason my cart didn’t list it as sold out, so I made another and it’s shipping out today like it would have if it was actually in stock.
I also did a double check to reconfirm that everything else currently listed on my IN STOCK page is actually in stock!
To make this riding crop I started with a cane centered rawhide riding crop center:
Over the cane and rawhide center I put a leather bolster to thicken it up a bit:
Then I plaited the 16 plait kangaroo overlay on top of that:
Finally the knot and slapper were attached:
And it’s ready to ship out this morning to its new owner! Now it’s back to work on the eight foot 16 plait bullwhip.
I was running out of leather for bolsters, so yesterday I stopped by my local Tandy Leather Factory. I was looking at their 2-3 oz which is $5.35 a square foot. Then I noticed that they had 3-4 oz on sale for $49.99 a side! Normally I run my bolsters through a splitter to knock off any high spots, so getting a slightly heavier leather isn’t really adding much more work.
My local Tandy had just gotten a batch of these in, so I got to dig through a lot of them! The skins I bought were on the thinner side of the 3-4 oz weight and they were huge! Both of them were just over 35 feet (the average skin they had were 25ish square feet)! One was a nice clear skin, the other has some holes on the belly, however they were in an area I normally cut of so they are no big deal.
The nice thing about getting these two sides was that I was already in the area of the Tandy and picked them up, so there was no shipping or extra gas spend on them. They were a total of just under 70 cents a square foot! If you need some bolster leather now’s the time to check out your local Tandy Leather Factory!
I almost feel like I need to make a long whip so that I can take advantage of using the longer skin to make a bullwhip with a longer bolster with no splices!
I was also finally out of plaiting soap, so I cooked up a batch:
A couple of nights ago I started working on a riding crop. For this one I decided to use an exotic leather for riding crop’s hand grip. The hand grip on this riding crop is sharkskin and the core is rawhide with a cane center.
The overlay on it is 12 plait kangaroo.
There are a couple of patterns on it, but for the most part it’s a 4 seam plait.
Here’s the almost finished riding crop:
I still need to roll and shellac this riding crop.
Today I finished a riding crop and made a stock whip. The stock whip is another 4 plait one and this one is made from veg tanned cowhide instead of the Latigo like the last few. This one is made with the same basic construction as the previous stock whips as well.
The riding crop I started working on last night is from kangaroo and it’s a 24 plait ending at 16 plait. The core is made from rawhide with a cane center. This one has a lot of fun plaiting in it.
My favorite part is the black band in the middle of the riding crop.
I also put a thinner slapper on this one than I’ve used in the past.
I originally made this as something I was was thinking of using to donate to a raffle…but part of me wants to keep it for myself! However I don’t know if I need more things in my closet that I’ve made. For now this riding crop and the stock whip are for sale on my IN STOCK page.
Currently I’m working on a 12 plait bullwhip. This bullwhip is made from goat skin instead of cow or kangaroo. I’m monkeying around with the idea of making a little video that shows how to make a bullwhip from materials that are cheaper than kangaroo.
One thing that I’m always amazed at is how most beginning whip makers want to make one from cow before moving to kangaroo. Their reasoning is that since cow is cheaper it’s good practice. I don’t necessarily believe that’s the best reason. While kangaroo is more expensive, it’s also much easier to use that cowhide which in frustration will save you headaches and time from dealing with broken strands, etc. Also with cowhide usually you have to buy a whole side which isn’t much cheaper than buying a kangaroo skin!
So depending on how the video turns out I may release it. I’ve basically put a camera on a trip pod and just recorded me making this whip. So it’s no Hollywood summer blockbuster, but once I get the bullwhip done and if the video turns out reasonable well I’ll start editing it.
Here’s the bullwhip so far:
This bullwhip has been plaited up to the 12 – 10 strand drop. Once I get a chance I’ll record the strand drop. It’s things like seeing someone do a strand drop that really helped me out. Not that I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t know if I was on the right track or not when I was starting out. Strand drops aren’t hard to do…but they take a lot of time “master”.
I also finally finished up a 16 plait riding crop that I’ve been working on for a while:
This still needs a few coats of shellac and some rolling before it’s finished.
And finally the Science Channel has put a clip of the episode of How It’s Made that has Midwest Whips making a bullwhip on it:
Speaking of Midwest Whips they have a 5 foot 8 plait bullwhip of mine for sale on their in stock page: http://www.midwestwhips.com/InStock.html If you are looking for a 5 foot bullwhip this is a great one, or it would make a great first kangaroo bullwhip for someone!
Last week I started working on a 7 foot Indiana Jones style bullwhip. This whip came out really well, here’s a picture before the heel knot was put on:
Here’s the finished seven foot Indy style bullwhip:
I always find it interesting the amount of color change that a coat of shellac gives the whip. If you look a the top picture and compare it to the next ones, you’ll see the difference. I gave this whip a few flicks in my living room and it’s got a great crack!
Yesterday I started working on a 16 plait riding crop. This whip was made with twisted rawhide core (with cane center) and has a two tone kangaroo overlay.
Honestly I don’t think there is much of market for a super fancy riding crop, but it was a fun project to make.
This riding crop isn’t finished, I still need to add another knot and a wrist loop at the end of the handgrip area.
The main reason I made this riding crop was to mess around with some plating patterns, and it’s easier to make things like riding crops and stockwhip handles than it is to make a full whip.
When I was on my road trip I found a Riding Crop at a junk shop. It’s 4 plait with a steel lined cane core.
This riding crop when I found it was severely dried out and missing the heel knot.
The wrist loop is about to fall off.
The slapper is securely attached.
When I got home yesterday I gave it a few coats of leather dressing and the riding crop drank it right up. It’s amazing at what a difference some dressing made:
I’m trying to decide how much I want to fix it up. I could probably get away with just putting on a heel knot and calling it done. However it really needs a new wrist loop, which will mean another new knot. Once I have those two new knots, they’ll be a lot darker than the rest of this whip (it’s dyed black)…so then do I go ahead and redye it?
I don’t think I’ve posted any pictures of the hair on rawhide that I picked up. Here it is:
I’m exciting to soak it and start stretching it, but that’s something that needs to happen outside and it’s supposed to rain off and on for the next week, so I’ll have to wait.
8 Foot Indy Bullwhip Progress
Yesterday I finished the overlay of the 8 foot Indy Bullwhip that I’ve been working on.
I also tied the wrist loop and finished the ring knot. All that’s left is to make the heel knot foundation, attach the wrist loop, tie the heel knot and shellac the whip.
This bullwhip should be able to ship out by the end of the day!
Last night I completed three plaiting projects, one six foot Indy Bullwhip, one six foot long handle bullwhip and one riding crop.
Here’s the long handle bullwhip:
Here is the Indy Bullwhip:
And here is the riding crop (8 plait kangaroo):
I wasn’t ever planning on making a riding crop, but I’m trying to learn about using rawhide. Mike Murphy used to sell a rawhide bullwhip core, but doesn’t anymore and he told me that David Morgan does. I visited David yesterday and the rawhide core he sells is for a riding crop, it has a cane center. Because of the cane center it’s very rigid and I don’t think it would work well for a bullwhip. But I did learn a little bit about using rawhide to make a bullwhip core from the rawhide riding crop core.