Visiting David Morgan…

Visiting David Morgan…

On Monday I went on a little field trip up to visit with the folks at David Morgan and to pick up a kangaroo skin for an 8 foot bullwhip.  I like going up there because I get to chat whip making and I get to dig through their skins and pick out the perfect skin for the project I’m working on.  Here’s a bunch of strand sets for signal whips hanging at David Morgan:

david morgan whips
Since I’m making an 8 foot bullwhip I needed a skin that is in the upper 60 to lower 70 decimeter square range.  I picked out this 71 dm2 skin:

veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo

I also had to stop at my local Tandy Leather Factory to pick up another side of cow for bolsters and maybe a couple of 4 plait whips.

how to make a whip

Now it’s time to start cutting up leather and doing some plaiting!


Whip Trick on TV

Whip Trick on TV

Recently I was on a game show and they interviewed me as a whip maker  and  I did a quick whip trick for them.  Here’s a bit of my appearance on the TV game show Let’s Ask America:

I’m using an 8 plait signal whip (aka single tail) on the show. I chose that whip because
it’s shorter and would frame slightly better than a longer whip on the screen.

Some Unique Whips…

Some Unique Whips…

I’m shipping off one of the bullwhips that I’ve made that I feel is unique to me and making it made me feel like an artist.  I’m shipping out the bullwhip with the shark spine handle.

bull whip

When I decided to make this whip I had never attempted anything like it before and never really seen anything like it either.  I think I’d seen pictures of leg bone or horn handles, but not spine.  I had to figure out how to make it work and was very happy with the results!

The other two bullwhips that are unique to me are the bullwhip with the sting ray handle:

Kangaroo bullwhip

The big challenge when working with string ray is how to cut or punch holes in it!  I figured it out and have since made 2 or 3 of these whips.

The last whip that I made that I think was unique to me was the snake head signal whip:

snake whip

single tail snake whip

In the past people have put snake heads onto the fall hitch of the whip (see Ron Edwards book How To Make Whips).  The problem with putting a snake head on the fall hitch is that as a snake it doesn’t make sense.  A snake gets skinnier from the head to the tail, not the other way around.  So I put a snake head where at the base of the whip.  Shortly after making this whip some of the crappier whip makers on eBay started knocking off this design.   This is the  only one of these that I’ve made.  I was going to make more, but when I saw they were being copied I lost the desire to do that.  Maybe I should make a some more of the snake head whips…


Cyber Monday Bullwhip Deals!

Cyber Monday Bullwhip Deals!

Today I’m having a ONE DAY SALE!  From now until midnight tonight you’ll save a ton on whips and whip accessories!

bullwhips sale
Today you’ll save:

20% off in stock whips

10% off made to order whips

20% off whip accessories 

10% off whip DVD’s

25% off the Bullwhip Making For Beginners ebook

10% off the Make Your Own Stock Whip Kit

These discounts apply to NEW orders only and if you are ordering a custom whip it will arrive by Christmas (when delivered in the USA).


Different Types of Whips

Different Types of Whips

There are many different types of whips, from snake whips to floggers to bull whips.  This post is going to talk about the differences of the four of the main types of whips used by  whip crackers.  Notice I said whip crackers, that means I’ve narrowed it down to whips typically used by Sport Whip Crackers.  So I’m not going to get into things used by lifestyle whip community like floggers etc.

The four whips that I’m going to show are Snake Whips, Signal Whips, Stock Whips and Bullwhips.  Also a quick not to mention that quite often Signal Whips are called Single Tail Whips by people in the lifestyle whip community, however technically any whip with one lash is a single tail whip.  So a bullwhip is a Single Tail Whip, however most sport whip crackers don’t refer to them as single tail whip.

A little while ago I made what I’m calling a Whip Sampler Pack which was a snake whip, signal whip, bull whip and a stock whip.  All four whips are 4 feet long and made in 12 plait kangaroo.  Here are all four of them together:


Now lets talk about the qualities of each whip.

Bullwhip:  A bull whip has a rigid handle, plaited lash which is permanently attached to the  handle, fall and cracker. These are typically measured from the end of the butt of the handle to the end of the fall hitch.  So the fall and cracker are not included in its length


Signal Whip: A signal whip has a flexible handle, plaited lash that is permanently attached to the handle and a plaited cracker.  I’ve found there is a lot of variation in how these are measured.   Some whip makers measure the entire length from the butt of the handle to the end of the cracker.  Others only measure the braided leather portion.  This slight variation in measurement can give you a variation of 6 ish inches in the overall length of the whip.  So if the exact size is very important, talk to  you whip maker to see how they measure it.


Stock Whip:  A stock whip has a rigid handle, plaited lash that is NOT permanently attached to the handle, fall and cracker.  So you can remove the handle or lash and put a new one one when the old gets worn out. The longer handle gives you a lot more leverage than a shorter handle when whip cracking.  These are typically measures by the length of the lash only.  For example 4 foot signal whip is the 4 foot lash, plus the handle, fall and cracker giving you a whip with an overall length much longer than four feet!


Snake Whip:  A snake whip has a flexible handle, plaited lash that is permanently attached to the handle, fall and a cracker.  These are typically measured from the butt of the handle to the fall hitch.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of whips?  Mainly length and leverage.  For a example a stock whip is going to have a 20ish inch handle which will give  you a lot more leverage in your crack than the shorter bullwhip handle.  However the bullwhip’s shorter handle will give you more leverage than the non existent rigid handle in a snake or signal whip.  However if portability is a concern then the snake or signal whip with no handle will easily coil up and fit into a handbag.  If space is an issue,  like for lifestyle whip crackers then the shorter whip like a signal whip is a better choice than a something like a stock whip.

What does that all mean to you?

Honestly I don’t know what your goals with whip cracking are, so I don’t know what you want to use it for. If it’s for sport cracking and you have been bitten by the whip bug then at some point you will probably try all of these whips.  Since they are all different they will all give you different whip cracking challenges!


Whip Sampler Pack!

Whip Sampler Pack!

Well this project is almost finished!  I started it a long time ago and between whip orders and my performing schedule this has taken forever to finish.


They still aren’t finished yet, I’m currently shellacing them and once that is done they will be finished.  I don’t know if I’m going to sell them as a set or individually.  However before I make them available for sale I’m using them as an example for an article on the different kinds of whips.


Progress on Whip Sampler Pack!

Progress on Whip Sampler Pack!

Yesterday I made  a little bit of progress on the Whip Sampler Pack.  This is a fun little project I’m making that will consist of a 4 foot 12 plait bullwhip of several different types made as a set.  Currently I have the stock whip and signal whip finished and the overlay of the bullwhip completed:

whip sampler

Hopefully I’ll have time this week to finish work on the bullwhip.  After that all that’s left to work on is the Snake whip!



Whip Sampler (progress)

Whip Sampler (progress)

I’ve had a very full performing schedule lately that my personal (for fun) projects haven’t made much progress.  My current personal whip making project that I’m called the Whip Sampler has gotten a little bit of work done.


currently I have the signal whip and the stock whip finished.  I still need to do the bullwhip and the snake whip’s outer layers.



Whip Sampler Progress

Whip Sampler Progress

So far I’ve gotten all of the bellies finished on the four whips in the Whip Sampler.

kangaroo whips

I also have about half of the overlay of the stock whip finished (haven’t started on the handle).

While these are shorter whips I’m doing them at 12 plait and this is turning out to be a big project!