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.
For this being a budget signal whip it’s got a really nice crack! The construction is very simple it’s a leather shot bag (filled with lead shot of course) and a 4 plait overlay. The overlay is veg tanned cowhide leather and the cracker is plaited nylon.
The big difference between something like this signal whip and a standard one that I would make from kangaroo will be longevity. This Budget Signal Whip is an entry level signal whip and one that’s not intended for someone to still have 10 years from now. Hopefully if you get this one and crack it for a year or so and after that you’ll decide whether or not a signal whip is for you. If they are something you like you’ll invest a bit more money in a nicer whip
Here’s a picture of three of them in various states on construction:
The bottom is just a core, the middle is with the overlay plaited and the top is a completed signal whip.
I’m still working on the bullwhip for my Choose Your Own Bullwhip auction on ebay and I just posted an updated photo of the handle on the auction listing. Currently I’m working on plaiting the lash of the bullwhip and one thing that I’ve already done is plaited over the splice in bolster:
The picture above is about 1/4 of the way into plaiting over the bolster splice. I splice my bolsters at an angle which is how David Morgan taught me how to do it. I think this is the best way to do it because you aren’t adding any thing to the bolster like tape or string so it’s a nice, clean splice. Also the angle splice is very fast to cut out and to put into the bullwhip.
When I make my bolsters the completely encircle the plaited part belly below them. I also try to have them completely surround the filler strands that extend past the plaited part of the belly for as long as possible.
I was looking at what was left of a side of veg tanned cowhide that I had kicking around and realized it was just big enough to make a few signal whips. So yesterday I made some shot bags and plaited up one of the signal whips (it still needs a turkshead):
This Economy Signal Whip is 4 plait and four feet long. I just gave it a few cracks in my living room and it’s got a great crack!
I’m trying to come up with interesting whip related content right now because I’m keeping all the updates for the current bullwhip that I’m working on for the Choose Your Own Bullwhip ebay auction exclusively on the auction listing. You can view this whip’s progress at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220965764135
Here’s a video of a very unique bullwhip, it’s used by Mel B of the Spice Girls:
I had the same idea of putting a mic in a bullwhip while ago and I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t do it because it had already been done!
You can also see her rockin’ a bullwhip on Dancing with the Stars. It’s at the 3:13 mark:
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.
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.
Yesterday I started plaiting two six foot deluxe beginners bullwhips. I got the bellies plaited:
And one of the overlays finished:
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:
The body of it is cowhide and the plaited portion is kangaroo.