I still need to post pictures of this whip in progress…but I just haven’t had time. Today I got the lead for the knot foundation on and the first part of the last boster attached. Also I’ve started on the overlay for the hande (12 plait in red kangaroo). I need to cut out the thong which will be 12 plait black kangaroo.
found this video and it’s very interesting. He’s using a large whip in a very small space. The can grab off the floor is interesting as well (how he uses the whip).
From a whipmaking view, that whip look very THICK and heavy. From a performer’s viewpoint look at how he works the crowd. Also each target he hits he does a practice shot that get’s close, but builds tension with the audienc.
My current project is a 10 foot bullwhip. The whip has an 11 inch handle and right now I’ve got the 2 plaited bellies finished and the last bolster cut out and lubed up. Next step is to attach the bolster and cut out the overlay.
Yesterday I saw a picture of a whip that Paul Nolan made, it was the “young indy” style (blackwhip with a red handle). I thought it looked pretty cool and I’m making this whip with that look. I just happened to get some red kangaroo yesterday as well and ewas thinking of what I wanted to use it for. It think that this will end up looking pretty good.
Today I’m heading out to Battle Ground, Washington to do some gigs. Hopefully it will be dry down there and I can get a bit of whipcracking in.
I get a lot of emails from people who are wanting to try to make a bullwhip for the first time. Here’s one thing that I’ve notice from a lot of the people that email me…they fear failure and learning new things!
Here’s how I came to that notion: People email me and asks lots of questions…I’m not sure if I’m the best person to answer them because I”m still new to whipmaking, but I try to help out. One of the first questions that I ask people that email me is “have you tried making a bullwhip yet?” 95% of the time their answer is no.
Then for days or weeks I get emails with questions and they still haven’t tried making a whip yet. I ask them why they haven’t tried it yet and there’s always some excuse:
I got the ron edwards book and I’m waiting for morgans
My strand cutter hasn’t arrived yet
A side of leather is alot of money
I dont’ have a good knife
I dont have a digital caliper
I don’t have a leather splitter
All you really need to make a whip is a box cutter, leather, nail, string and a ruler. The box cutter, nail and string are under $10 at the hardware store. The leather for your first whip doesn’t have to be a whole hide. You can find scrap hide at leather places, or look on the internet for closeout or sale prices. I think the leather for my first bullwhip was something like $10 from a scrap bin.
Sure it wasn’t the best leather and really sucked to work with compared to kangaroo, but I learned a lot by cutting up scrap leather. But most of all it got me doing it. If I kept delaying until I have everything I thought I needed I would never get started.
You can read every whipmaker’s website for each one you read you’ll think you need something new, like a fiberglass handle, or a leather splitter or whatever. If you are thinking of trying to make a whip get a side of leather and start cutting that bad boy up!
My wife asked me if there was any tool that I wanted for christmas that would make making my whips easier and I told her there wasn’t. The only fancy tool upgrade I have is when I went from using a ruler to measure my strands to using a digital caliper that I found on ebay for something like $7!
So if you are thinking of trying to make a whip no more excuses and get to work!
I’ve finally taken pictures of the Latigo bullwhip that I made:
I broke a strand while making this whip and you can see the splice on the whip at about 8 o’clock. I did some cracking at a park next to a small airport. It was fun cracking this whip (it cracks like a champ) while watching planes take off and land.
The latigo hide I have probably has enough leather left for one more 8 foot and maybe a 6 foot whip, then it’s gone (yippee!). After that I’m probably not going to be doing much in cowhide anymore.
My next project is a 10 foot bullwhip with an 11 inch fiberglass handle. I’ve cut out the core and 1st belly.
(Nick, if you’re reading this, the picture shows the “doubled core” that I was telling you about)
Tomorrow I’m going to hopefully plait the belly and get the bolster and next belly cut out. My schedule is soo crazy this time of year with performing and my magic kit business that I don’t have the time to work on whips that I do the rest of the year…but most days (weather permitting) I have time between shows or after trips to the post office to go to the park and do some whip cracking.
Today I had a nice little chat with Paul Nolan at midwestwhips and with this next whip I’m going to try something he mentioned to me about how to shape the knob of the whip. Paul makes kick ass whips and if you are looking for a great whips that will last get one from him!
P.S. I still have one indy style whip left in my “whips – ready to ship” section of my online bullwhip store.
If you are just starting out with whipcracking one thing to remember it to always follow through with your crack. And by that after the whip cracks, drop your arm and guide the whip behind you. I found a video on youtube of some guy cracking a stock whip and not following through and you will see the whip basically comes back and hits him in the “pills”.
I’m almost finished with the Latigo Bullwhip that I started yesterday. Honestly I don’t like making bullwhips from anything but Kangaroo, but I had this hide leftover from a special order and I figured I should use it up (rather than throw it away).
This whip is 8 feet long and has a shot loaded core and a lead loaded handle. It’s very heavy in the hand. All that is left for me to do is put the butt knot on it and it’s good to go. This whip was somewhat of an experiment with shot loading the core. I may make a 2nd one the same way without the loaded core and handle to see the difference in how they crack.
I’m not home until later today, and I’ll take a picture and upload it eventually. I did give this whip a crack last night on my deck and it cracked. I think this whip would be a decent beginners whip to learn a crack or two on.