Accidental Whitehide Fall Experiment…

Accidental Whitehide Fall Experiment…

A week or so ago when I was cooking up a batch of plaiting soap I put some falls in it to soak up a bit.   I took them all out after letting them soak up the plaiting soapy goodness…or at least I thought I did.  One whitehide fall got left behind and I just found it a couple nights ago.  It became very spongy and was very moist.  So I hung it up to dry and when it was dry it became stiff, it didn’t want to bend.  When I forced it to bend it just snapped in two pieces.

So the moral of the story is too much of a good thing is bad.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip # 1 of 3

Bullwhip # 1 of 3

Here’s the first finished bullwhip (of the three I’m making for myself):

bullwhip

bullwhip

On thing that was fun for me when making this bullwhip was the heel knot.

turkshead knot on bullwhip

This knot is a  two pass 7 X 6 knot with a black interweave. I’ve always wanted to do a  knot like this, but until now I’ve only done it as a one pass 7 X 6  with interweave.  From a distance you really can’t tell the difference between a one and two pass with the inteweave, but close up you can see the two white strands (passes) between the black strands.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Matched Set of 3 Bullwhips…

Matched Set of 3 Bullwhips…

My current project is a matched set of three bullwhips.  All three of them are going to be for me.  It’s been a while since I’ve made any bullwhips for myself to use in my show.  I’m making three bullwhips that will be four feet long.

Why three bullwhips?  Simple a pair for two handed cracking and one for cutting targets.  I really don’t need to make them all as a matched set, but I figured  why not since I”m making them all at the same time.  Technically they won’t be a matched set, one will have a different skin for the overlay, but internally they all will be the same and the pair will have the same skin for the overlay.

All three bullwhips will be in white kangaroo, I really like how that color pops on stage.  Here are the bellies cut from the outside of a white kangaroo skin:

how to make a bullwhip

And here are the cores:

how to make a bullwhip

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the before or not, but recently I’ve added a bit to how I attach my cores to a spring steel handle (but not a spike) foundation.  Before I bind on the core, I coat the spring steel and the part of the core that will touch the spring steel with leather glue.  I let them set and the bind the core on with sinew.  For me when using spring steel it’s much skinnier and smoother than a spike and personally I have a hard time getting a super solid bind using just sinew.  Adding the glue really makes a difference!

And here’s a nice little picture showing the stages of the plaited belly being assembled:

bullwhip core

Today I’m hoping to be able to get all the bellies plaited and all the bolsters on these whips.  Then tomorrow will be overlay day!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Roo Skins, White Bullwhip and an Indy Bullwhip

Roo Skins, White Bullwhip and an Indy Bullwhip

Yesterday was an busy day over here.  I had five kangaroo skins come in the mail from Mid West Whips:

kangaroo skin

I had two natural tan, two black and one red kangaroo skin come in.  I was almost out of kangaroo, so I’m glad to have more in stock.  Paul sent me some really good kangaroo skins.  The last batch I had in from another source were about .75mm and these are about 1mm thick, so these will be great for Indy Bullwhips!

Before I could cut any of them up I needed to finish the 16 plait white bullwhip that I started.  I had to tie the heel knot and redo the transition knot:

bullwhip
White kangaroo bullwhip

Now that that bullwhip was finish (It’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page) I could start cutting up my new batch of kangaroo skins.  Since the skins were thicker I decided to make an Indy Bullwhip.  Here’s the inner bolster attached and hanging out while grease soaks in:

bullwhip

Here’s the outer belly finished:

bullwhips for sale

And finally here’s the finished handle:

indy bullwhip

The outer bolster for this whip is in four pieces, so I get to splice it three times (Boo!).  I’m still using the goat for the boslters while I wait for more kip to show up.  I did have a piece of kip long enough to make the core out, so the core is kip.

Another exciting thing about trying to split down the goat is because it’s spongy it’s hard to split with a blade that’s not super sharp.  I had to sharpen my blade twice for the boslters in the whip.  Once the blade loses its edge instead of cutting at the thickness you set the splitter to, it compresses the skin and shaves off a very thin layer.  That is not desirable.  When the blade is super sharp it properly cuts the goat.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

White and White don’t mix…

White and White don’t mix…

I’m working on the knots on the white bullwhip that’s made with the matte white kangaroo.  I figured it’d would save some lace if I tied the knots in the glazed white, then I’d have a bit more of the matte white to use for plaiting.  After tying the transition knot I’ve realized the two whites don’t really look good together:

bullwhips

When I retie it and do the heel knot I think I’m going to do a red interweave into matte white kangaroo both knots.

The glazed white I can still use for other things…just not on a  whip that’s the matte white.

This morning I’m going to run up to my local Tandy Leather Factory and pick up some of their #9157 cowhide that’s on sale for $39.99 a side (sale ends today!).   This stuff is great for 4 plait bullwhips, but I wouldn’t use it for anything finer than that.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Bullwhip’s overlay is finished…

Bullwhip’s overlay is finished…

My current project is working on a six foot 16 plait bullwhip in white kangaroo.  Yesterday I finished the overlay:

bullwhip

While I was working on this bullwhip I had a part that wasn’t as round as I’d like it.   Usually if there’s a part that’s more oval  than I’d like I can correct it when I give it a  board roll, or in extreme situations I can whack it with a rubber mallet and then roll it to get it round.   What typically gives the whip a round (or non round) shape is  how the insides of the whip end up piling up when you plait over them.  So rolling or whacking it with a hammer move those strands around inside the whip.

What I did differently was right after I  noticed the oval part I ran my rein rounder over it:

rein Rounder

This tool normally sits in a vise and you find the  hole closes to the size you want to round and pull the work through it.  Since the whip was still on the hook at the time I closed the rein rounder over the lash of the whip and pulled it over the oval area.  Not only did this make the trouble area nice and round it also smooths out the plaiting (like board rolling does).

What was really interested was being able to watch the lash go in one side and come out the other round and smooth.  Normally when I board roll I can’t see this process (because it’s under a board).   One of the surprising things that happened was the angle of the plaiting changed.  I’m guessing because the pulling action pulled any slack towards me. So an area that I thought would be to thick for the lace size to do  strand drop might have worked to drop at that point.

Now pulling it through a rein rounder has a different effect on the whip that board rolling.  When pulling the lash through the rounder I”m PULLING the lash…so I’m guessing there is more stretch than with just board rolling.  However when I do my board rolls I start at the thick end and work my way to the point, so there is a downhill pulling action to the board roll, but it’s probably not as much as pulling the rein rounder over it.

A long time ago I had a theory to get a tighter whip by board rolling it every few feet as you are plaiting.  Logistically it was a lot of work and I gave up on it.  However now I see the idea had some merit, but probably wasn’t worth the amount of work it took.  Now knowing how it stretches a bit, I might change the order I do things a bit.

Normally I plait the whip’s overlay and tie the fall hitch, then roll it.  I’m thing I might plait the overlay, then board roll it and finally tie the fall hitch…possibly backing up a hitch to two before tying the fall hitch to compensate for any stretch.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

White Bullwhip

White Bullwhip

The current bullwhip that I’m working on is a 16 plait bullwhip that’s made with white kangaroo. The first one I did (http://bullwhips.org/?p=4018) was made with glazed kangaroo and the current one is being made with matte white kangaroo.  The main difference is the glazed has a coating on top of the kangaroo where the matte doesn’t.

Personally I like the matte kangaroo skin, the coating on the glazed skins cracks when you plait it where the matte doesn’t (because there is no coating).  I have one more white glazed kangaroo skin and I”m going to use it for lace for knots.  I’ve got about 18-20 inches of the overlay of this bullwhip finished:

bullwhips

I should be able to finish the plaiting on this bullwhip today.  After I finish this bullwhip I still have one more Beginners Bullwhip that’s cut out and ready for me to start plaiting.

I also have a bunch of kangaroo skins coming in the mail soon from Paul Nolan!

Louie
P.S. I added three bullwhips to my IN STOCK whips page.

More Kangaroo Arrives!

More Kangaroo Arrives!

Yesterday at my mailbox was my shipment of kangaroo skins from Midwest Whips.  It had two natural tan, two glazed white and two matte white skins.

I’m very excited to make something out of the white kangaroo.  I’ve never used good kangaroo that was white.  I’ve used the chrome tanned stuff that got a coating over the top, but never the veg tanned stuff.  The chrome tanned was horrible!

Also at my mailbox yesterday was the Luis Ortega book:

Luis Ortega rawhide artistry

I’ve just flipped through this book and taking a peek at a few of the pictures and it’s amazing to see Ortega’s work!

Yesterday I started work on a six foot Indy Style Bullwhip.  I cut out the two bellies, but that’s all.  I’ve got a full day of performing today, so I don’t expect much more work to get done on it until Monday.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org