Currently I’m making an 8 foot 12 plait bullwhip. The overlay is 12 plait in tannery dyed whiskey colored kangaroo. Here’s the overlay after I did the strand prep:
In continuing with my production line style of making these six bullwhips, I put the inner bolsters on and then started to attach the outer bellies:
Here’s the outer bellies attached:
The next step will be plaiting the outer bellies.
This morning I’m packing up a 4 foot stock whip and shipping it out to its new owner. This whip is made from kangaroo and has a 12 plait handle and 12 plait lash.
This is a whip I made a long time ago for fun and didn’t list it for sale until a few weeks ago. I’m cleaning up and listing whips that I’ve made for fun over the years, and never used or listed for sale. Keep an eye out on my IN STOCK whips page for some sweet deals!
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.
These are for some whips I’ll be making ASAP!
I don’t think I ever posted the pictures of the dozen whips I made a little while ago. I made all twelve of them in less than 10 days and at the end of that my hands were hurting!
Here they are right before they went into the box:
Here are the six 4 foot stock whips:
And here are the six bullwhips each at six feet long:
Doing that many whips in a short amount of time is a challenge, however I always learn something that’s a time save for future projects!
Today I’m shipping out a couple of bullwhips:
One is a 6 foot 4 plait Beginner’s Bullwhip and the other is a 5 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip.
These both were IN STOCK, so they was no wait time for them to ship out to their new owner! What’s IN STOCK is changes frequently, so be sure to check out the IN STOCK Whips Page. I’ve got a few whips that just need a knot or two that I’ll be adding soon!
Here’s an email I got about whip making:
I am also a whip maker, though so far I have only made paracord whips. I am interested in getting started on leather whips but lack some of the tools. I am in the process of getting what I need, though, I don’t know the names of what I am supposed to be buying and I was wondering if you can point me in the right direction.
I am seeking the jig that is used to thin, cut and angle the lace.
I was wondering if you can lead me to a website, that would have the proper tools to get started on this craft.
If you are getting into leather whips I highly recommend getting David Morgan’s book Braiding Fine Leather.
It does a really good job of taking you through all the steps of how to prepare cut and prepare lace for braiding along with a few simple projects to work on. I also recommend reading David’s book Whips and Whip Making which gives a nice overview into what goes into a bullwhip including a how to make the famous Indiana Jones Bullwhip.
I recommend learning to cut and pare lace by hand with a knife instead of using a jig. Hand cutting is much faster to do and you will get better results because you can taper the lace much more easily. With paracord your lace doesn’t taper simply because it can’t, however being able to taper is one of the HUGE advantages to using leather.
I do own a lace cutter / beveler and occasionally use it, however that’s only for very specific project and usually after I’m done using it, I think to myself it would have been faster by hand. The guy that made mine I don’t think makes them anymore (his website is gone). If you have your mind set on getting a lace cutter / beveler there’s always something like: http://www.gfeller.us/lacemaster.html However for the price, personally I would (and did) put the time in and learned to do it free hand.
One of the huge disadvantages of only using a machine to cut and pare your leather is that you can’t easily resize it once you start braiding. For example lets say I’m making a whip and the strands are a bit too wide for where they are on the whip, but I don’t want to drop them yet. The simple solution is to simply grab a knife and resize them while the whip is on the hook. If you are using a machine logistically it gets complicated.
If you want something to cut there’s the Australian Stranders, however you won’t automatically be cutting great lace with them.
These do still have a bit of a learning curve and personally I think that time is better spent learning to do it by hand. The safety bar on these makes it hard to switch between pieces of lace as well. If you are making a whip you need to cut one piece for a little bit…disassemble the strander, reassemble it around the next piece and cut for a bit. You’ll be repeating this process over and over and over again. It’s really not a very good way to cut lace from a time stand point.
To sum it all up, if you are starting out as a leather braider I would recommend getting a box cutter and a box of blades. I’d then call the David Morgan Company or Midwest Whips to see if they had a lower grade kangaroo skins that I could buy hack up while I’m learning to cut lace. I know kangaroo costs more than cow, however kangaroo is easier to work with than cow. Cutting cow leather and braiding it is EXTREMELY difficult compared to kangaroo, especially if you are doing anything over 12 plait.
Hope that helps!
As luck would have it I happened to be passing by Los Angeles during the LA Whip Competition last week!
I showed up late, but I was there and it was nice to meet everyone. The count I heard was there were about a hundred people there!
Of course there were whips everywhere
And I ran into a whip I made about 5 years ago!
I have more pictures and video to post, so check back soon!
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:
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.
Here’s the skin I kept and it was my test skin to figure out how to make a whip in a hotel.
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!
Now it’s time to get to work!