I’m still working on two signal whips, which are frequently referred to as single tail whips. Technically any whip with one lash is a single tail, so that could be a bull whip, stock whip, snake whip, etc. However when someone calls or emails me asking for a single tail whip they’ve always been talking about a signal whip.
Here’s one of them almost finished:
This one just needs the wrist loop and knot put on.
Currently on my plaiting hook are two signal whips. These are both going to be four feet long with 12 plait overlays. I drove up to David Morgan to pick out a kangaroo skin. Here’s the skin I decided to make them out of:
This skin was 58 decimeters, and I thought it would be plenty. I was able to cut out both bellies and overlays, and there’s probably enough left over for either both wrist loops, or one of knots. Hopefully I’ll have enough black scrap kicking around in my scrap bin to finish these whips. Otherwise I’ll have to buy a whole skin for a tiny bit of lace.
I made both of the internal layers that are built with a shotbag, plaited belly and bolster. In the picture below the overlays are cut out, however no strand prep has been done.
Today I’ll get started on the overlays, and hopefully with some luck these whips will be finished on Friday.
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:
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:
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.
Now it’s time to start cutting up leather and doing some plaiting!
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.
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:
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:
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…
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.