More Kangaroo!

More Kangaroo!

I just went up to David Morgan to pick up some veg tanned, drum stuffed kangaroo!

kangaroo for whips
Personally when I get kangaroo, I prefer the drum stuffed kangaroo.  What drum stuffed means is that they have grease/oils worked into the skins in a large drum.  You get even penetration of the grease into the skin and it gets worked in deeper than when you buy a dry skin and have to work it in by hand.

These are for some whips I’ll be making ASAP!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

5 Foot Bullwhip

5 Foot Bullwhip

My next project is a 5 foot 12 plait bullwhip. I recently had two people buy the same “in stock”  bullwhip within a span of about 20 minutes.  I didn’t get a chance to delete it between orders, so I’m making a second one for the second buyer.

This is the whip I’m making duplicate of:

bull whip

Here’s the skin I’m making the whip with:

bullwhips_4_100416

This is 50dm kangaroo skin, and here’s what it looks like after the initial trim:

bullwhips_5_100416

Then I cut out the set for the belly:

how to make a bullwhip

Tomorrow I’ll get started on the plaiting the belly.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

from the mail bag…

from the mail bag…

Here’s an email I recently got:

have you ever made a whip from chrome tanned kangaroo leather or know anybody that has? I have made a bullwhip from chrome tanned cow hide its ok and it was my first one I made and I got a good deal on a side and figured if I mess up I wouldn’t be out much cash. but to my surprise it cracks pretty nice. I also made a small one from veg tanned cow hide which was much nicer to work with and a lot stronger then chrome tanned. with that being said how strong is the chrome tanned vs the veg tanned roo hide. the reason I ask this is because chrome tanned is cheaper and i’m not made of money but I would like a nice kangaroo whip if a chrome tanned one would be almost as good as a veg tanned one it might be worth it. and where would you suggest to buy good kangaroo hide? do you sell it? Thanks for the advice

My advice would be to save up for veg tanned kangaroo.  It’s a much better material for plaiting.  You could use chrome tanned for a belly where it doesn’t take the stress that the outer layer takes.

However keep in mind with any leather that’s not “drum stuffed” you will have to “hand grease” the skin.  That adds extra cost on top of the cost of leather and extra labor on your end.  Also the end result typically isn’t the same as a tannery doing the greasing for you.

Hope that helps…

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Visiting Midwest Whips!

Visiting Midwest Whips!

Recently I was performing about 90 minutes away from where Midwest Whips is located.  Where I live is about 15 hours away, so I jumped at the chance to visit my old friend Paul Nolan!

paul nolan

Paul showed me on of his Little Snapper whips and they are really cool!

little snapper whip

The Little Snappers are small whips that will fit in your back pocket and actually crack!  Here’s a quick video of Todd Rex using one:

Here’s a video of Paul teaching someone to crack a whip using one of the Little Snappers:

At $75 these are a great deal on a really cool and portable whip. I wish I had thought of it…but I didn’t, so order one from Paul!

I also picked up a kangaroo skin from him

veg tanned kangaroo

I had a fun trip to LA, now it’s back home and back to plaiting!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip Making in a Hotel…

Bullwhip Making in a Hotel…

I’m currently working on big order of whips and I’m also on the road performing, which makes working on the whips a bit more difficult and slower than if I was doing them at home.

Before I left I swung by David Morgan to pick up six kangaroo skins for the whips that I’m working on while I’m away.  Here are the skins I picked up:

veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo

 

Before I left for California for 10 days I was going to be at a hotel in WA for one night.  So I had 5 of the skins shipped to my hotel in California and kept one with me.

bullwhip_02

 

Here’s the skin I kept and it was my test skin to figure out how to make a whip in a hotel.

veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo

 

I’ll post more soon about some of the techniques I came up with to make a whip in a hotel without having to put a hole in their wall for a hook.

When I got to my hotel in California I had the five skins waiting for me!

veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo

 

Now it’s time to get to work!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

More Kangaroo!

More Kangaroo!

I’ve been very busy lately, and yesterday ran up to David Morgan bullwhips to pick up another kangaroo skin.

bullwhip leather

 

One of the very cool things living so close to David Morgan is that I don’t need to keep a huge stock of kangaroo.  I can go up and pick through their stock and find the exact skin I need!  It’s pretty awesome!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

eBay – Buyer Beware!

eBay – Buyer Beware!

It was recently brought to my attention that a seller is using a picture of mine to sell kangaroo leather.  I know many sellers use one picture to represent a batch of leather and I really don’t have a problem with that.  However this particular seller is selling a single kangaroo skin and using a picture that I took of 4 skins…and in this day with everyone having a camera on their phone how hard is it to take your own picture of the actual product you are selling?

Also with leather, this is veg tanned and these are pretty good looking skins, no scars, etc.  They are also kangaroo skins from Packer which are  drum stuffed.  If I was expecting a good looking skin and they ended up sending  me a chrome tanned skin that had tons or scars or holes I’d be very mad.  This is why it’s important to deal with a reputable seller of kangaroo.  They are going to pull you a good skin.  For example when I need natural tan kangaroo I drive up to visit David Morgan and I always get an awesome skin from them.  In fact I was just up there on Monday getting a kangaroo skin for an 8 foot bullwhip.

Here’s the picture they used:

bullwhip making  kangaroo

Here’s a screen shot of the ebay listing and you can view the auction by clicking here.
kangaroo leather

What get’s me is that the slug with my website is still at the bottom.  What that does is if whoever buys this ends up getting the skin and it’s junk they may think it’s from me and then it reflects poorly on me.  Honestly I have no problem if someone has a bad opinion about me…as long as it’s based on ME, not someone representing something as mine through pure laziness on their part.

While I was on ebay I did a quick search for the term “Kangaroo Leather” and the listing below came up:

kangaroo leather

 

 

 

So based on the picture I’m 99.9999% sure that’s not a kangaroo skin.   I’ve never seen a kangaroo skin shaped like that, but I have seen every side of cow leather I’ve ever bought shaped like that.  The description part of the listing is below:

kangaroo leather

As if my mind wasn’t made up before reading the description my opinion that this isn’t kangaroo was confirmed by the dimensions being 96 inches long!  That’s 9 feel long (and there’s no tail on that piece of leather)!  Can you imagine coming across a kangaroo that’s almost 9 feet tall!

So what I’m saying is when it comes to buying kangaroo for a whip be sure to deal with a known seller you’ll end up with a better skin and a better whip!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

 

Weaver Leather and New (?) Hand Greasing Technique!

Weaver Leather and New (?) Hand Greasing Technique!

The other day the kangaroo skin that I ordered from Weaver Leather showed up!

veg tanned kangaroo leather

 

They said the skins average 6 square feet and this one is 6.4 square feet.  The skin didn’t really have much in the way or scars, but it was a dry skin.  For whip making drum stuffed skins are much better and normally cost about the same as non-drum stuffed skins.  Drum stuffing is when the skins have grease worked into them while at the tannery in a big drum.  It gets a nice even coat of grease and the grease penetrates to the inside of the skin.

When you get a dry skin you have to Hand Stuff  it with grease.  Basically to do this you rub grease onto the kangaroo skin and let it soak in.  Once it has soaked in you buff off any excess.  Repeat if (or as) necessary. Hand stuffing a skin is a pain in the butt and doesn’t get results that are as good as drum stuffing.  Using the rub on, buff off method in my opinion won’t get the grease to penetrate as deeply or as evenly as a drum stuffed skin.

Part of the reason you don’t get as good penetration of grease into the skin is that the grease is semi solid, so it won’t get every little pore all the way down.  When this skin from Weaver came in and it was dry, I just happened to be working on project (non whip releated) that used  a heat gun.  I was going to put a coat of grease on it and saw the heat gun out of  the corner of my eye and hand a little brainstorm to melt the grease with the heat gun.

Here’s a little video of me doing it:

I don’t know if anyone has done this before, but it was an AH HA moment for me when it worked!  Now you might be worried that the heat might dry out the skin…but you are using the heat to melt grease into the skin, so I don’t think that’s a concern.  I had my heat gun at about 3/4 power and kept it moving so there wouldn’t be any danger of scorching the skin.  I was amazed at the results, the skin had a nice feel to it, almost like a drum stuffed skin!  I haven’t cut into it yet and cone I start to use it that will be the real test.  But for now whenever I get a dry skin this is how I’m going to grease it!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

New Kangaroo Skin Day!

New Kangaroo Skin Day!

Yesterday I got a couple of kangaroo skins in the mail from Paul Nolan.  One is a red kangaroo skin that will be used for a dog lead:

bull whip

The other is a black kangaroo skin.

bull whip

The black skin and the remainder of the red skin don’t have a specific project that they are for.  I think I’ll probably make some sort of two tone whip out of them…or several two tone whips!

My performing schedule is very full today and then I leave for Los Angeles for a couple of days, so these skins will sit until next week when I can get to work on on them!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

Bullwhip Progress…

Bullwhip Progress…

I had a chance to get a little bit of work in on the 6 foot 12 plait bullwhip that has kangaroo bellies and kangaroo bolsters.

bullwhip

I’ve got it braided to about the four foot mark which on this whip is also the 12 to 10 plait strand drop.  Unfortunately I’m not going to have a lot of time to work on it over the weekend due to my heavy performing schedule.  Hopefully it will get finished monday.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org