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.