Doesn’t Look Right…

Doesn’t Look Right…

This morning I was looking at what bullwhips were being offered on ebay (besides my current auction) and I noticed something that doesn’t look right.  Some is selling a “Joe Strain” bullwhip…but honestly I don’t think it was made by Joe Strain.

Below is a picture of the bullwhip that’s being auctioned:


There are a couple of things wrong with this bullwhip based on the seller’s description:

1.  It was only used once: It very well may have only been used once by the seller…if the seller had gotten it used.  The transition on Joe’s whips don’t get that limp after one cracking session.

2. The Turkshead: If you look a the turks head on the bullwhip it’s not the one that Joe usually uses on his Indy style bullwhip.  You can only get taht knot as a special order from Joe.  From having seen and handled several of Joe Strain’s bullwhips and watched him tie a turkshead before, I’d bet money that Joe didn’t tie that one…it’s not neat enough for Joe’s work (unless it’s an OLD Strain whip).

3. It just doesn’t look right: Right now there are two bullwhips on ebay that were made by Joe Strain and this one makes the 3rd.  Compare the way this bullwhip coils to the other ones currently listed on ebay and it just doesn’t look right.

I’m not accusing the seller if intentionally trying to mislead anyone about the maker of it.  Whoever gave/sold this whip to them could have told them it was made by Joe Strain.

So that said, would I spend $499.98 on that particular whip…NO…especially when there are two other Joe Strain whips currently on ebay.  But that’s just my opinion.


Plaited Rawhide Belly…

Plaited Rawhide Belly…

I’m almost finished making an experimental bullwhip that has a plaited rawhide (goat) belly, then the 2nd belly is the usual veg tanned, drum stuffed kangaroo layer.  The whip looks fine, but the test will be how it handles when I take it out for some test cracking (hopefully tomorrow).

Today I ordered a kangaroo rawhide skin and I’ll try using that. It’s much more expensive than the goat rawhide, so I’ll have to see if I like it.

From what I’ve heard and read about rawhide it’s normally soaked in water to loosen it up, then it’s plaited.  When it dries it will harden up and give the whip a  more “springy” action.  From seeing the inside of a whip that I’ve taken apart I have a hard time thinking the rawhide will dry, I think it would soak up the leather dressing and become softer than dry rawhide.  Using that notion instead of soaking the rawhide in water I soaked it in grease to make it soft.  It got nice and soft and it braided easily, but it never really dried out and got hard.

I don’t know if that is good or not.

I may have to make a bullwhip with the rawhide layer out of rawhide that’s soaked in water to see if there’s a difference…I think that after all the grease that goes into making a bullwhip the rawhide will soak up enough grease and it won’t become rigid again.

One thing that about using the greased rawhide is that it seems to be much more dense than kangaroo, so it’s adding more weight to the thong…which can be good.