Making a Shot Bag

Making a Shot Bag

The other day I was making a shot bag for a whip.  If you don’t know what a shot bag is, essentially it’s a bag that holds lead shot (hence the name shot bag) inside the whip.  My shot bags are made out of a  tapered strip of leather that is rolled into a tube.

This tube is then filled with fine lead shot.

lead shot for whip making

Mmm…margarita and lead!

Here’s a quick video of me filling up a shot bag:

The main reason that I use a shot bag is to add weight to a whip.  This is mostly used (by me) on whips that have no handles like signal whips or snake whips.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Independence Day Whip Sale!

Independence Day Whip Sale!

From now until I wake up and update the prices on July 5th all IN STOCK whips are 17% off!

bullwhip

To see what I’ve got IN STOCK visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4 Currently I have several bullwhips in kangaroo and cow leather, a signal whip and a snake whip.

This is a great chance to get a new whip to crack this summer!

Louie
http://www.bullwhips.org

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips and a Bracelet

Deluxe Beginner’s Bullwhips and a Bracelet

Yesterday I started plaiting two six foot deluxe beginners bullwhips.  I got the bellies plaited:

Bullwhips

And one of the overlays finished:

bull whip

I’m out of falls, so I need to cut them out before I can finish either of these whips.  One thing I did because I couldn’t put a fall on the whip that’s overlay is finished is that I braided it an extra couple of inches and tied off the loose strands.  That way when it’s time to put the fall on I don’t have to undo  the point and replait it to make sure it’s tight.  This way I just unbraid about 2 inches and it should still be tight at that  point.

After these two Deluxe Beginners Bullwhips I’m going to start working on a few cowhide signal whips to use up the rest of this side of leather.

Here’s a bracelet that I made for myself a little while ago:

wrist band

plaited bracelet

The body of it is cowhide and the plaited portion is kangaroo.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip

Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip

Here’s the Deluxe Beginners Bullwhip that I finished a few days ago. bullwhip

I haven’t been doing as much plaiting as I would like the last few days. I’ve been busy working on other projects for my show.  For example I recently built a flea circus for my show:

seattle magic shows

And I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my shows that will tour around Washington and Oregon this summer (starting next week).

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

San Diego Whip Enthusiasts…

San Diego Whip Enthusiasts…

On my last day in San Diego, right before I started the 22ish hour drive home, I hit up the San Diego Whip Enthusiasts meeting.  Everyone there was very cool, and I had a lot of fun…plus it was nice to get a bit of exercise before sitting for almost a full day.

I always like meeting other whip crackers and getting to crack the wide range of whips from other makers was pretty cool!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Signal Whip

Signal Whip

Yesterday I finished work on a 4 foot 16 plait signal whip.  Here’s the beginning of the plaiting:

16 plait signal whip

I made this signal whip slightly differently than how I normally make them.  I added an extra short bolster to the whip to give it a slightly larger diameter by the turkhead knot.  Visually I think I like them thinner, but it’s good to know what they look like a bit wider.

signal whip

I’ve added this signal whip to my IN STOCK whips page.

This weekend I have a full performing schedule, so I don’t know how much plaiting I’ll be getting in.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Greasing a kangaroo skin

Greasing a kangaroo skin

Yesterday I did all the strand prep for the overlay for the kangaroo signal whip that I’m working on.   The roo hide that I’m using is brandy in color, but it was a dry hide (not drum stuffed) so I had to grease it up.

There are several ways to grease up a skin or hide.  Normally what I do is lay the whole skin flat on the floor and give it a coat of dubbin’.  However this time I cut the strands out and put a coat Fiebing’s Aussie Dressing on the strands.  Once that had soaked in I did all my strand prep.

The reason I think it’s important to grease before the strand prep is the strand will pare much easier and won’t break as easily when stretching.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Plugging a Shotbag

Plugging a Shotbag

One thing that I had a lot of trouble with when I first started making signal whips, snake whips or any whip that had a shotbag in it.  The first challenge was how to make the shotbag and  the second was how to plug that shotbag.

This will deal with plugging the shotbag.  There are basically three ways to do it:

  1. Fold over the top and bind it in place.
  2. Plug the top.
  3. Sew the top shut.

I’ve used the first two methods, but not the third.  The reason I’ve never sewn the shotbag shut is that my shotbags aren’t sewn, so sewing just the top doesn’t really make sense.

The first method works well, all you do if leave about 3/4 of an inch of the shotbag empty, then you fold over the top and bind it place.  I quite often use this method, but for the whip I’m making right now I used a plug.  Basically for the plug I roll up a piece of leather and shove it in the opening.  However before I put the plug in I put in a squirt of Gorilla Glue.

signal whip plug with gorilla glue

The cool thing about Gorilla Glue is that it as it dries it expands and really seals the opening.  Also the expanding fill in some of the space between the lead shot.

Once the Gorilla Glue is dry, some of it will have foamed up past the top of the shotbag.  Simply take a knife and trim off whatever overflowed.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Finished Bullwhip

Finished Bullwhip

Here’s the finished 12 foot bullwhip:

Indy Bullwhip
kangaroo bullwhip

Yesterday I also had time to put a knot on an 8 plait signal whip that I had made about a week ago:

signal whip

Also tomorrow night I’ll be performing at The Washington Center in Olympia, WA.  I’ll be opening for a comedian (whose name I don’t remember), the show is on 2/18/10 at 7:30pm.   For more details visit: http://www.washingtoncenter.org/season/season_detail.asp?event_id=990

Louie
http://bullwhips.org