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…

Louie
http://bullwhips.0rg

Ren Faire Whips and Cutting Lace…

Ren Faire Whips and Cutting Lace…

Yesterday my family and I went to the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire to see a friend of mine who was performing there.  A couple of the vendors there were selling bullwhips and snake whips:

bullwhips for sale

bullwhips for sale

I also started cutting up lace for the four 9 foot rods that I’m plaiting over.  I’ve cut up over 200 dm of kangaroo for them:

kangaroo lace

Later today I’m going to start the plaiting.  The pain in the butt when plaiting over something long and rigid is that you have to untangle the lace after every pull or two.  Making the first six feet really labor intensive, but he last few feet got pretty quickly!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Three Whips

Three Whips

Yesterday I cut out a batch of falls and got them soaking in grease:

whitehide fall

I also finished  plaiting two Deluxe Beginners Bullwhips and one short snake whips.

bullwhips and snake whips

I made the bullwhips with the same knots and general look as David Morgan’s iconic bullwhip that was used by Indiana Jones.  The two main differences is that these are 4 plait cow instead of 12 plait kangaroo and these have four plait wrist loops instead of six plait wrist loops.

bullwhip

bullwhips

I still need to roll these bullwhips…and they are available on my IN STOCK WHIPS page.

The short snake whip isn’t for sale, it’s for a friend of mine.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Memorial Weekend Bullwhip SALE!

Memorial Weekend Bullwhip SALE!

I don’t do this very often so take advantage of this sale on all IN STOCK and MADE TO ORDER bullwhips.  From now until Tuesday 5/31/11 I’m having a Memorial Weekend 15% off sale!

bullwhip sale
To view the IN STOCK whips visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=4

To view your MADE TO ORDER whip options visit: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/viewcategory.php?groupid=0

Also here’s a picture of the finished 5 foot bullwhip:

bullwhip

This one is 5 feet long with an 8 plait kangaroo overlay and kangaroo rawhide highlights in the knots.

Louie

5 foot bullwhip times…

5 foot bullwhip times…

The times shown are the what is shown on my stopwatch.  These times include getting out whatever I need and cleaning up.

Cutting out the Bolsters:  7:44

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Cleaning up the spike: 8:34

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Attaching the core to the handle: 11:38

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Trimming the kangaroo and cutting  out the belly:  16:54

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Strand Prep and attaching the belly to the handle: 21:32

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Plaiting and rolling the belly: 32:58

bullwhip

Tweaking the size and attaching the bolsters: 40:57

bullwhip

At this point I’ve gotten everything internal finished, and all that’s left is basically what’s on the outside…but that’s the time consuming part!

Cutting out lace (knots, wristloop and overlay): 1:04:02

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

Strand prep for overlay, knots and wrist loop: 1:13:29

Right now I have about 45 minutes left to bring this in under 2 hours.  I’m thinking that I won’t be able to make it.  Lets say it takes me 30 minutes to do the overlay (which I think is unrealistic), that leaves me with about 15 minutes to do the wrist loop and two knots.  Oh, and I plan on plaiting an my normal pace, so I’m going to be going speedy…unless I start to get near the end and think I might be able to bring it in at 30 minutes.

Braiding the overlay and attaching the fall: 2:18:14

How to make a kangaroo bull whip

I don’t think I’ve ever tried to make a 5 foot 8 plait Indy bullwhip before, so this one had some taper issues, so it took a bit longer to make it than it should have.  Now that I’ve got one under my belt I bet I could save off at least 15 minutes of braiding time…and it’d look a bit better.

Plaiting the wrist loop: 2:23:13

Buildling the heel knot foundation and attaching he wrist loop: 2:29: 34

Tying the knots: 2:42:23

5 foot bullwhip

So here’s my wrap of this little experiment.  It took me just shy of 2 hours and 45 minutes to make this bullwhip.  I could have done a better job, I cut the taper of the strands like this was an eight plait snake whip (not the taper I’d normally cut a bullwhip’s overlay with) so the plaiting isn’t very pretty.  I spent a lot of time making that taper work for this whip and I’m pretty confident I could shave off at least 15 minutes by cutting the taper correctly.  Also If I were to make two of these bet I could save 10 minutes off each whip in clean up and set up time.  However most of the time I’ll be making only one.

I think I was able to keep the “Indiana Jones” look while cutting  a few corners.  Main visual difference between this and my Indy Style Bullwhips are:

  • Plait count: This one is 8 plait where the Indy Style Bullwhips that I make are 12 plait
  • Heel Knot: This one has two passes where the Indy Style Bullwhips that I make has three…but it’s the same knot.
  • Point: This has an 8 plait point where the Indy Style Bullwhips that I make has a six plait point.
  • Wrist loop: This has a 5 plait wrist loop where the Indy Style Bullwhips that I make has a 6 plait wrist loop.

Even with those differences I think I’ve stayed true to the look.  I’ve listed this one for sale at $150 on my IN STOCK whips page.  I ever make another one of these I’d charge $200.

The  5 foot length is a great size for indoor cracking during the winter.  I was just doing arrowheads with this bullwhip in my living room (which isn’t that big)!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Snake Whip’s wrist loop

Snake Whip’s wrist loop

Yesterday in addition to finishing up plaiting projects that I had started a while ago, I also added a wrist loop to the snake whip that I made a couple of days ago.  It’s owner had emailed me and asked if I could add it.

Here’s the whip before the wrist loop was added:

snake whip

So I had to take off the turkshead and braid a wrist loop:

16 plait kangaroo snake whip

Then I had to attach the wrist loop and redo the turks head:

snake whip

When adding this wrist loop I couldn’t have reused the turkshead’s lace for the same knot again because once they are tied and trimmed I’d have a very difficult time retying it and due to the added bulk (not much, but enough) of the wrist loop the lace probably wouldn’t fit.  So I cut the lace down the middle to make two thin strands, then folded each in the middle and flat braided them to make the wrist loop.  Finally I cut a new piece of lace for the turkshead knot.

Today I’ve got a busy performing schedule so I probably wont’ get any plaiting in.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Making a snake whip

Making a snake whip

Over the last couple of days I made a three foot 16 plait kangaroo snake whip.  Recently I’ve changed how I make my shot bags and I’m liking the results, they are a bit heavier and that weight goes just a tad further out.

how to make a snake whip

Here’s the overlay:

kangaroo

The customer wanted it in all black including the fall…that meant I had to dye the fall.  Here’s it before dying (you can see it after dying in the finished picture):

white hide fall

To dye it I gave it several coats of black leather dye and while it did a great job on the sides and flesh side it really didn’t do much to the grain side.  It beaded up and wouldn’t soak in.  So I remembered I had a jar of Edge Kote which is slightly different from leather dye, it’s more of a cover than a thing that penetrates.  I added a coat of Edge Kote and it did a great job of covering it.  If some of the edge coat does wear off, it’s still for the most part dyed underneath it.

Here’s the finished snake whip:

snake whip

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhips, fids and lace cutting

Bullwhips, fids and lace cutting

Yesterday I shipped out this pair of 8 plait bullwhips:

bullwhip

I think they came out really well and at 8 plait look pretty cool!

Now my current project is to work on two 4 plait snake whips  using the extra two shotbags that I had cut out for an order of four snake whips a few weeks ago.  The piece of leather I cut the four shotbags from was bit enough to cut six, so I had two surplus ones.

snake whip

When I was filling the shot bags I learned that on one of them I didn’t tie off the tip tight enough.  When I started to fill it the lead shot just dumped all over the floor.   It sucked to clean that up!

snake whips

A couple of days ago I stopped by a leather place in Seattle to pick up a couple of Osborne Fids (I keep setting mine down and losing them).  While I was there I noticed they had an Osborne Lace Cutter:

Osborne lace cutter

I’d only seen the picture above and was curious to see it in real life.  It was interesting, but not something that I could use.  It’s one of the lace cutters where you start with a hole in the middle of the skin and it cuts outward.  I guess if you had a perfect skin with no scars and you were cutting lace without any taper it might be useful, but it’s not for me.

While I was there the kid working the counter tried to sell me on an Aussie Strander

strand cutter

I told him that I cut by eye with a box cutter and didn’t need one.  His reply was my lace would be neater if I used a strand cutter.  I told him I cut plenty straight freehand, but he didn’t believe me.  We had a little contest with some scrap.  I cut and pared a  piece of lace about 2 feet long in the time it took him to just cut and my was much straighter than his!

But cutting free hand is a skill and not everyone wants to spend time to learn the skills made in whip making…which is fine, but by taking short cuts you will only get so far. There’s nothing wrong with using a lace cutter and I’m not saying I’m a “master whip maker” or any thing  like that, but by having a level of competency with doing things the hard way has made me more aware of the art of whip making, not just the manufacturing process of a whip.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Snake Whips

Snake Whips

This morning I’m shipping out a 6 foot Indy Bullwhip to Ireland:

12 plait bullwhip
bull whips
Indy Bullwhip

My current project is working on four snake whips.  These will be six feet long and be four plait in cowhide.  Last night I cut out six shot bags (I only need four), but the way the hide was I other two came out of part of it that I wouldn’t be able to use for anything else.

snake whip

Today I’m performing in the Portland, Oregon area, so I probably won’t have much of a chance to get more work in on these.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org