Splicing a Bolster

Splicing a Bolster

When I first started making bullwhips the bolsters stressed me out the most.  I have to figure out how to correctly fit them around the whip, how splice them,  how long to make them, etc.  Now they are probably one of the easiest parts of the whip for me to make.  Before we get into showing you how to splice a bolster I want to give my opinion on why a bolster is necessary in a bullwhip.

A boslter (in case you don’t know) in a bull whip  is a piece of leather that is fit over the inner layer of the whip so that it wraps around it and cover the inner layer.  Typically a bolster is longer than the plaited layer below it…but not always.

The bolster has several function:

  • Adds weight
  • Adds taper
  • Fills up air pockets inside the whip
  • Holds dressing

Another thing that a bolster does which a lot of whip makers don’t think about is that it gives you a smooth surface to plait over.  That allows you to be able to get the bull whip plaited a bit tighter with a little less effort on  your part.  Plaiting over a smooth surface is much easier than plaiting over a surface with texture!

When putting a bolster on a longer whip quite often you’ll have to splice two smaller pieces together to get the length you want.  I do this using a diagonal splice which looks like this before it’s put on the whip:
bull whip bolster splice

I learned about doing a diagonal splice from David Morgan’s book Whips and Whip Making. If you want to make whips I highly recommend this book!

Here’s me doing a bolster splice:

Hope that helps!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bolster Splice

Bolster Splice

When making a longer bullwhip and  using bolsters quite often you’ll have to splice two pieces of leather to get one long enough for the outer bolster.  When splicing together bolsters I don’t doing them in a straight line cross the bolster.  I use a diagonal splice.

bull whip bolster splice

This makes the splice much easier on the whip maker and reduces any possible gap in anyone area to a very small amount.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

 

Busy Monday..

Busy Monday..

The 8 foot bullwhip I’m working on has now been plaited to just past the 5 foot mark.  I got the bolster splice in:

How to make a bullwhip

It’s turning out well and I should be able to finish the overlay today and attach the fall as well.

Yesterday I cut out and some more falls and got them soaking in grease.  Here they are drying off:

whitehide bullwhip falls

I also realized I was out of bullwhip  holders so I cut out a few more and made them up:

bull whip holder

In the past I’ve had a lot of test cracking type videos hosted by Google Video, which is being phased out this month. So I transfered a lot of videos to YouTube.  These are mostly test cracking type videos, but there are some videos of other whip crackers cracking and some whip making videos. To watch these visit:  http://www.youtube.com/bullwhipsorg

Louie
http://bullwhips.org