Cutting Leather…

Cutting Leather…

Yesterday I got some braiding done and cut out some of the lace for the whips.  Here’s a couple of overlays and an inner and out belly:

bullwhip

I’m always amazed at how fast the inner layers of the whip get made, it’s the final layer that takes all the time, especially when I already have the bolsters cut out.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Honesty in Condition of Whips for Sale…

Honesty in Condition of Whips for Sale…

Recently this ad for bullwhip someone is trying to sell crossed my path:

Vintage Braided Leather Bullwhip$25 (Madison)

bullwhip

Vintage Braided Leather Bullwhip
Great Condition, A little wear
60″ Long

This was a Craigslist ad (view it here) and I’m hoping the person has never seen a whip before in their life if they think it’s in “Great Condition” and that the end being blown off is “A little wear”.

However the plus side is that it’s only $25 bucks.  If it was in my local area, I’d probably try to get it for $15 – $20 and take it apart to see how it was built.  There’s probably no surprises in there, but I’d drop $20 on it as a learning experience.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

8 Foot Bullwhip

8 Foot Bullwhip

Here’s a bullwhip that’s 8 feet long with a 12 plait two tone overlay:

bull whip

I’ve been working on this bullwhip off and on for a little bit.  It’s an order for a friend of mine that needed it mid-January, so I worked on it in between other projects.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a two tone whip with a plaited pattern.  It was fun to do!

It’s shipping out today, almost a month ahead of schedule!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Tightening Up a Bull Whip Point

Tightening Up a Bull Whip Point

Recently I was performing at a festival and ran into Henrik Bothe.  He’s a juggler and many years ago he had gotten a 4 foot bullwhip from me.  He had the whip that I made with his show and still uses it in the show.

Here’s the whip:

bull whip

When I saw it I notice it could use a bit of a tune up.  The point over the years had loosened.

bullwhip

I replaited the point of the whip:

bull whip

Now Henrik has a whip that’s good as new! If you need a  whip that needs a bit of a tune up, let me know!

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Whip Repairs…

Whip Repairs…

Recently I’ve had a bunch of whips come in for new falls and repairs.  I think it’s due to the weather getting better and people are going out to crack whips and remembering that fall they forgot to change in September.

If you have a whip that needs a new fall or repair you can get more info on those services by clicking here.

 

These three lashes needed new falls:

 

Stock Whip

Stock Whip

Here they are after the falls were put on:

Stock Whip

Stock Whip

This handle needed the keeper replaced:

hunt whip

fox hunting whip

Unfortunately I can’t find the picture of it with new keeper. When I find it I’ll post it.

Louie

 

From the Mailbag…

From the Mailbag…

Here’s an email I got recently:

I have a 10′ snake whip I just finished, came out beautiful, my first one. I have tried it and can only get little pops from it intermittently, I was wondering if it might be the length of the fall or cracker or both, could you tell me what the lengths should be for both of these and how many strands should I use in the cracker?

Thanks for the email and when a whip doesn’t crack right, there are basically two things that will cause that:

#1 Operator Error

#2 Equipment Error

I’m going to assume the person knows how to crack a whip properly and isn’t trying to “dish rag” it.  So that brings us to #2 equipment error.   In my opinion there is no one length for a fall or number of strands for the cracker that is correct.  You can get a great crack with a whip that has an extremely short or long fall, and you can get a great crack out of a whip that has a very heavy or light fall.  Heck you can even get a decent crack from a whip that has no fall.

Every whip will like slightly different fall.  When I started I would cut my falls at 3 feet and put them on the whip. I’d take it to the park and start cracking it.  I would then cut the fall shorter and shorter to find the length that I liked.  Pretty simple…just trial and error.  If what is failing is the fall, you’ll quickly find the perfect fall length for the whip.

As for the cracker for simply getting a good crack, this probably isn’t the problem.  As for how many strands, it depends on what you are using.  Right now I have a spool of lighter nylon and it takes twice the number of strands that I use when I use heavier nylon.  The easy way to find what is right for what you are using is to make three crackers.   Make one that’s what you think you should have, then make one that’s heavier and one that’s lighter.   Put the middle one on the whip and crack it a bit.  Then try the other two…which cracked the best?  Use that one.  You can take it a step further if the one that cracked the best was the light or heavy one.  You can then make another cracker a step further in that direction and see if that works even better!

After experimenting with different falls and crackers and the whip’s performance doesn’t improve, then you need to look at the internal construction of your whip.   Is it efficiently moving energy down the lash of the whip?  A couple places to think about are:

Is it braided tightly?  If the braid isn’t tight on all the braided layers, the energy travelling down the whip is hitting speed bumps slowing it down and making it hard to crack.

Is your core dense?  Since the question relates to a snake whip, you are using mass instead of the leverage a handle would give you to put the initial energy into the whip.  If you core is lead, but not well packed, or of a huge diameter, then the energy is once again hitting speed bumps.

Is your core something other than lead?  For example ball chain is something popular for a core with many amateur nylon whip makers.  I don’t understand why you’d use ball chain as it’s hollow and doesn’t contribute weight or density to the core of the whip (but I don’t make many nylon whips), however in my opinion for a leather whip it’s useless for adding weight.

Those are just a few things to consider if the problem is beyond the fall and cracker.

Hope that helps!

Louie