The pair of stock whips that I’ve been working on have been having some slow progress. Right now I have one of the lashes finished:
If you look at the keeper you can tell I used a natural tan kangaroo inside. In the future I’ll be sure to use a belly that matches the outside. On this pair I may simply dye the part that’s showing black and then it won’t show.
I also have starting plaiting one of the handles:
Before I started plaiting the handle I put the lash on it and took it outside to crack it. As a test I tried making a kangaroo fall.
This kangaroo fall was cut around the tail of the kangaroo skin where it’s typically the thickest. I’m not 100% positive that I’m on board with the roo fall. On the other stock whip of this pair I’ll put a whitehide fall and see which that I like better.
Over the last couple of days I made a three foot 16 plait kangaroo snake whip. Recently I’ve changed how I make my shot bags and I’m liking the results, they are a bit heavier and that weight goes just a tad further out.
Here’s the overlay:
The customer wanted it in all black including the fall…that meant I had to dye the fall. Here’s it before dying (you can see it after dying in the finished picture):
To dye it I gave it several coats of black leather dye and while it did a great job on the sides and flesh side it really didn’t do much to the grain side. It beaded up and wouldn’t soak in. So I remembered I had a jar of Edge Kote which is slightly different from leather dye, it’s more of a cover than a thing that penetrates. I added a coat of Edge Kote and it did a great job of covering it. If some of the edge coat does wear off, it’s still for the most part dyed underneath it.
Today I made a miniature bullwhip…basically it’s a bullwhip that’s 1/8 the size of full size one. I’ve never really done a mini bullwhip aside from the odd bullwhip key chain, but the key chains weren’t made like whips (basically a tapered filler with the overlay on top of that).
I’ve wanted to make a miniature bullwhip ever since the first time I visited Joe Strain and saw one that he had made. Recently he posted pictures of a 1:4 scale bullwhip that he made and it’s amazing!
I figure’d it was time for me to try one, and I’ve learned a lot by making it, so if I ever try again, it will be much better. My miniature bullwhip is an 8 plait bullwhip one a core and one plaited belly.
Below are some pictures of making this miniature bullwhip (you can click on the pictures to view the larger versions of them):
One thing I’d do if I ever made one of these again is to use a thinner nail. That way I could have a second bolster over the plaited belly. I’d also make the wrist loop longer. After splitting every strand down I was worried about breaking strands while I braided…but I didn’t pull as tight as I normally would on a full size bullwhip, so I didn’t have any broken strands.
This was a fun project to do and maybe in the future I’ll make another one…maybe in 12 plait! For now I’m going to put a hook on the wrist loop and hang it on my Christmas tree.
I thought the plaiting on this bullwhip could be tighter, so I unbraided it and split down the strands. Unfortunately while thinning down the strands, I broke two of them. So this bullwhip no longer exists. It did have a nice crack, and if in the future I could find a slightly lighter whitehide, I’d try making it again. For now the rest of this hide is going to become falls.
16 plait Bullwhip Picture
Here’s a picture of the completed 16 plait two tone bullwhip:
Right now I’m working on an experiment that I’ve been thinking about for about a year. I’ve wanted to try to make a 4 plait bullwhip out of whitehide. A lot of aussie whipmakers use whitehide to make durable stockwhips, so I figured why not a bullwhip? About a year ago I talked to Joe Strain and asked if there was a reason why no one made a whitehide bullwhip, and he told me that he couldn’t think of a reason why you can’t make one from whitehide.
So I’ve had the idea in the back of my head for about a year. I’ve had some latigo that’s fairly greasy, but the thing about whitehide is that it’s soo dry when you get it. I had a side of 5-7 ounce whitehide come in yesterday and I out a 4 plait set for the bullwhip.
When I first tried to pare the strands (they were dry) it was almost impossible. Then I gave them a coat of dubbin, and let it soak in and it was a bit easier to cut. So I gave it a second coat of dubbin and it pared fairly well.
My next challenge was braiding it. Braiding heavy leather is a pain the the butt and I did about 14 inches last night and wasn’t happy with how tight it was. This morning I was surprised to see that the leather has tightened up overnight and my braiding was much tighter!
Hopefully today I will find the time to finish braiding it. It’s been a busy few days for me (as far as performing goes), but thing slow down a little bit on Tuesday.
I just finished rounding a batch of falls. I still don’t like making them, but I’m getting much faster at it.
So far I’m liking the new side of whitehide I got from my new supplier. I still need to start cutting up the Indian Tan Latigo side.
The thing about matching my falls to a bullwhip that took a long time for me to learn is that the fall should be an extenstion of the point of the bullwhip…not just something you tied on to the end of it. What I didn’t believe was that someone (the whipmaker) would compare the point of a bullwhip to a stack of falls to find the perfect fit. It just seemed like a lot of work. What I used to do long ago was if the point was light, I’d put a ligher fall on and if it was heavier I’d put a heavier fall on. Now what I do is compare the point of the whip with several falls of the same weight to find an even better match.
One of the things that I don’t like doing is making falls. Not too long ago I saw that on Mike Murphy’s website he mentions that a head knife is good for cutting thick leather (like falls).
Yesterday I picked up an Osborne Head Knife:
Last night I cut out about a dozen falls and I was amazed at how easy it made it! Theres a little bit of a learning curve to using a head knife and they aren’t cheap…but it definately makes a job like cutting out falls super easy!
Today I’m going to get started on making the 9 foot Indy Style bullwhip.