A couple of weeks ago Andy at my local Tandy Leather Factory mentioned to me that some kangaroo was going to come in soon. This morning I looked at their website and it appears that they are now selling kangaroo again:
It’s on sale now at $49.99 a skin, so I drove by my local Tandy Leather Factory to check it out. According to their website it’s veg tanned, but I found out it’s the “Italian” tanned which feels almost like a chrome tan. The flesh side has a suede like texture and they are dry.
I picked up a couple of skins to play with, I’ve currently got them soaking in grease. We’ll see if I can make them into anything?
Yesterday while I was out performing I drove by a Tandy Leather Factory store and popped in. Some Ostrich legs caught my eye. I’ve thought about making a bullwhip with an Ostrich leg handle before, but I finally bought a leg.
There should be enough of this Ostrich leg for me to get two handles from it. This stuff is very expensive at $50 retail, however I don’t pay that much, but it still isn’t cheap!
Now my next choice is what color to make the lash of the whip from. If I do the lash in black the Ostrich leg handle visually be lost in a sea of black, however there is something elegant about an all black whip.
Recently someone who had bought one of my Make Your Own Stock Whip Kits emailed me to let me know that they they so much fun making their first stock whip that they wanted to make another one. They had bought a kangaroo skin, but hadn’t cut it up yet. They asked if they could send it to me and if I could cut it up for an 8 plait stock whip and send it back. I agreed and this is what showed up in the mail yesterday:
This kangaroo skin is veg tanned and based on the finish I’m pretty sure it’s the stuff from Tandy Leather Factory. The kangaroo from Tandy isn’t drum stuffed (which means has dressing worked into it while spinning in a giant drum) so it need an even coat of dressing.
Putting dressing on kangaroo can be a bit tricky, if you put to much in one spot it can give you a darker more discolored patch. Since this skin has now been cut up I would put a bit of dressing on my hand and run the lace through my hand applying a light coat and let that soak in before applying more (if needed). By adding some dressing that will reduce a bit of stretch when plaiting and increase the life of the finished whip.
Yesterday I cut up the kangaroo skin into all the kangaroo parts for an 8 plait kangaroo stock whip:
And after cutting it out there was still a good chunk of kangaroo leftover (probably enough for a 3 or 4 foot signal whip) and this is getting shipped back along with the kangaroo stock whip kit.
I’m working on the knots on the white bullwhip that’s made with the matte white kangaroo. I figured it’d would save some lace if I tied the knots in the glazed white, then I’d have a bit more of the matte white to use for plaiting. After tying the transition knot I’ve realized the two whites don’t really look good together:
When I retie it and do the heel knot I think I’m going to do a red interweave into matte white kangaroo both knots.
The glazed white I can still use for other things…just not on a whip that’s the matte white.
This morning I’m going to run up to my local Tandy Leather Factory and pick up some of their #9157 cowhide that’s on sale for $39.99 a side (sale ends today!). This stuff is great for 4 plait bullwhips, but I wouldn’t use it for anything finer than that.
Years ago when I got my Osborne splitter I got an amazing deal, it was a year end sale and I got the splitter for less than $200 (which was an amazing deal!). I just got an email from Tandy Leather Factory that has a coupon for 50% off one item:
In the past I’ve had the cheaper leather splitter that tandy sells and wasn’t impressed with it…but the Professional Leather Splitter looks good…and you might be able to save $300!
If I was in the market for a splitter I’d give the coupon a try this weekend! Honestly I think using a leather splitter has helped improve my bullwhip making. Keep in mind it’s not a magic tool that will instantly turn crappy whips into good bullwhips. However having to ability to even out or thin down leather is very helpful!
Well I’m still waiting on my shipment of Natural Tan kangaroo, so I had time to finish the five foot bullwhip. I normally don’t put wrist loops on whips that I make for fun (Just ones that are made to order), because I don’t have them on the whips I personally use and I don’t think they are necessary. However with this whip I added a 6 plait wrist loop that has a different pattern than the usual checkerboard (over one, under one…):
And here’s the finished bullwhip:
I gave this whip a few cracks in my living room and it’s got a nice crack! I’ve listed this for sale on the IN STOCK whips page.
So once again my shipment of kangaroo didn’t show up yesterday, so I’m still doing busy work until it gets here and I can start work on a an order. Yesterday while I was at my local Tandy I picked up one of the kangaroo skins that they had just stared selling. It’s “Whiskey” colored, however when dry it looked more saddle tan, but after greasing it up it looks more whiskey.
I did the handle of this 12 plait whip with an Over two, under two, over two type pattern:
Yesterday I found time to make all the internal layers of the bullwhip, cut out the overlay and plait about 3 feet of it. I should be able to finish this today, unless something weird happens.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the whole skin before I started using it, so here’s a picture of it with the partially complete whip:
Once this bullwhip is finished I will try to find time to write up a review of Tandy’s kangaroo.
This afternoon I was at my local Tandy Leather Factory and they let me know that they now sell veg tanned kangaroo! I picked up a skin, it’s tanned by Packer, and it’s a good skin…but it’s a dry skin. So that means you’ll have to grease it before you can use it for whip making. It’s also expensive at about $20 a square foot, so the 5.6 foot skin would be over $100 (I get a slightly cheaper price, but it’s still expensive).
I don’t see them as my new supplier for kangaroo based on price alone, I’m currently getting veg tanned drum stuffed for less. However it’s nice to have a local supplier and if I need just one kangaroo skin after you factor in not having to pay shipping it’s not that much more.
Also today I was at my local Tandy Leather to pick up a side of kip and they had some stingray skins on the counter. I picked one up, I’m thinking of using it for the handle of a bullwhip. There will be a little bit of an engineering challenge to attaching and stitching the stingray to the handle, but I think it will end up looking pretty cool!