I’m starting work on an 8 foot, 12 plait bullwhip. It’s going to be made with whiskey colored veg tanned, drum stuffed kangaroo. I ran up to David Morgan this morning and picked up this skin.
One great thing about buying my kangaroo skins from them is they always have great skins. Right now with the current COVID restrictions is that while I couldn’t go in to pick out my own skin, the crew there knows what a whip maker wants in a skin.
The largest they had was a 58 dm skin and for an 8 foot whip, ideally I’d have at least a 65dm skin. That means that I’ll have to cut up a leftover kangaroo center for one of the bellies. I really hate wasting prime kangaroo skin on a belly, but sometimes that’s what has to happen.
I just went up to David Morgan to pick up some veg tanned, drum stuffed kangaroo!
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.
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:
Here’s the skin I’m making the whip with:
This is 50dm kangaroo skin, and here’s what it looks like after the initial trim:
Then I cut out the set for the belly:
Tomorrow I’ll get started on the plaiting the belly.
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.
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!