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!
When I’m binding layers on the handle of my bullwhips I use Artificial Sinew. I’ve found that there are a lot of different kinds of it. Some is more round, some is more plasticy, some is more flat.
When using the Artificial Sinew inside of the handle of thong of the whip you need it to lay flat, so you’d need either a very thin round Artifical Sinew or for it to be flat. Personally I use the flat kind (I don’t know it’s technical name, so I’m calling it flat). The problem with using a thin round sinew is that you’d sacrifice strength for thinness.
I just had a roll of Artificial sinew show up in the mail today:
I don’t like the stuff that my local Tandy leatherfactory sells, it’s very yellow in color and not very strong. I think the stuff that I just got is 70# and it holds up well to how tightly I bind my handles. In the past I’ve used the stuff from tandy and I was breaking it a lot. The stuff I currently use I have to order over the internet…so I have to pay attention to when I’m running low.
In the past I’ve used the thicker round artificial sinew for building up knots. In my opinion that’s all it’s good for, if you use it to bind down a bolster it will add texture or bulk to the whip.
I found this cool picture of Reb Russell today on the internet:
I don’t know much about him, but it’s a cool picture. I found this picture on Dick Dykes website.
And one last thing, today’s Whip Deal of The Day (for 12/16/09 only) is $75 off any Matched Pair of Bullwhips. The in stock matched pair is discounted on my online store, for a custom made matched pair you’ll have to contact me.
The current batch of leather that I’m using for the overlay of the 4 plait cowhide bullwhips is from Tandy Leather Factory. Right now they have a 3-4 ounce cowhide for sale for just under $50 a side (these are over 20 square feet). Normally these sides are just over $100, so the sale price is really good!
Yesterday I went up and bought two more sides. The thing about this cowhide is that it’s very dry and if you want to plait bullwhips out of it you need to grease it up before you cut it. One of the reasons that leather breaks while you are braiding it is that it’s too dry. When you are pulling on the leather you want the nice and flexible. If it’s dry the fibers will break instead of bend, weakening the leather at a spot, leading to a broken strand.
when I get these hides I give them a coat of grease and roll them back up until I need them. Then I cut the strands and give them another coat of grease and let that soak in before I do any strand prep. Then when braiding I use plaiting soap to help give me a nice tight braid. This process seems to give me good results (but I’ve only made two bullwhips with this stuff so far).