I just timed myself while cutting out a 12 plait overlay for a 6 foot bullwhip. It took me just over 26 minutes to cut the overlay and that’s with all the distractions like answering the door and pouring beers included in the time.
I think my first bullwhip’s overlay took all day to cut out and that was and 8 plait whip too. I’ve come a long way!!
Here are some pictures of a 4 foot bullwhip that I made a while ago and has been hanging on a hook:
and here are a couple pictures of the 8 foot whip I made a few days ago, I don’t remember if I posted them:
I made it back from the accountant better than I expected, but I won’t know for sure for about a week…but it looks like a vacation is in the works for me!
This afternoon I’m cutting out the bellies and overlay for a 6 foot whip and the overlay for another 6 foot whip. I’ve got my system down for making 6 foot whips, so I’m not constantly having to come up with measurements, I have a template that I look at.
Today or tomorrow I should have some spring steel rods showing up. I’m very excited to try them out, but they may have to wait a bit. I have a 6 foot bullwhip in the works and then I plan on doing a copy or my 6 foot morgan bullwhip. So the spring steel may have to wait until those are done.
I’m hoping to do a pair of either 10 or 12 inch handled bullwhips probaby between 6 and six and a half feet in length. That would be a pair of whips for me to keep and use for myself.
Here’s a quick video of me doing opposite (balanced) volleys:
I did my gig today that was near David Morgan’s shop and popped by to see him. He’s getting around well after his fall and really I wouldn’t have noticed any difference in him if I hadn’t heard about it.
Today he invited me into the back of his workshop and from visiting joe strain I didn’t expect to see much…but it was very exciting…there were pots full of grease everywhere, sets for whips, tubs of lead shot, half finished whips, tons of finished whip (both by morgan and other makers) on the walls. It was really like Willy Wonka’s factory for whips.
I got my best comment from him on my whips, and that’s “pretty good” with nothing negative to say about my latest bullwhip. We talked a bit about binding the transition and it’s morgan’s belief that it contributes nothing to the longevity of the whip. I’m on the fence with my whips about binding transitions. In my head I think it will keep the whip from getting a floppy transition like morgans get…but then many whips get that, so maybe the binding is sort of a band-aid and it just prolongs the transition getting soft. I haven’t decided what what to go with in my whips, I’m doing it both ways now and dont have a preference yet.
Morgan also saw one of my snake whips and it got an “acceptable grade”, by that I mean he didn’t tell me it sucked. I still don’t have a great job from him on any of my whips, but I think that’s going to be hard to earn!
Tomorrow morning I’m heading off to visit the accountant to see how much I owe the government. Personally I have no problem paying my taxes because paying them allows me to comlain about things that are wrong with our country. If someone cheats on thier taxes, or does “under the counter” deals and don’t pay in thier fairshare then honestly they can’t complain about a pot hole not getting filled, etc because they aren’t paying into get it fixed. But it’s a hard hit for me sometimes because I pay my taxes once a year (because I”m self employed) so it doesn’t get taken out of every paycheck. I have to guess how much to save. So I’m hoping I have enough put away to pay the man and go to disneyworld with my wife and dauther.
Today I’ve got a busy performing day, but one of my gigs is about 4 blocks from David Morgan’s shop. So I’ll pop by and see if he’s there and how he’s doing. I’m bringing a few whips that I’ve made to show him if he’s there. I really would like him to see the 8 foot, but that’s already shipped out to Kansas.
I’m going to pick up one of Morgan’s thick kangaroo hides and work on making a copy of the 6 foot that I took apart.
Here’s another picture of the 8 foot whip that I made:
That whip had a 10 inch handle, so that’s why the handle looks longer than most of the whips that I’ve made.
Also I’ve started reassembling the 6 foot morgan whip and have the 1st belly plaited. I’m curious if my reassembling it will give it “new life”. the only change in the construction that I’ve made (and plan on making) is using the artifical sinew to bind yoke instead of smaller sewing thread. The reason for this is that I don’t have any sewing thread. Now that I think about it, I may get some thread today and redo the belly and re-tie it with that to keep it accurate.
The 8 foot bullwhip that I’m working on has about 7 feet of the plaiting finished, but I noticed that the taper was to sharp at my 10 plait to 8 plait drop. I really should have fixed it when I noticed it shortly after I did the strand drop. But anyway it needs to be fixed, so I’m going to have to unplait about a foot and a half and try toadd some filler. This will be the first time I’ve put filler into a whip, so it’s sorta exciting.
A long time ago I would have left it how it is, but one time Morgan scolded me for doing it. Now I try to be much better at keeping the taper of my bullwhip’s thongs even.
I still need to post pictures of my last few whips, but I’ve been soo busy lately performing. Also it’s the time of year where I’m booking up my schedule for the summer, so I’m spending a lot of time with the markeing aspect of filling up my schedule.
Lately I’ve emailed with a couple of makers who use “lead foil tape” to load the butts of thier whips.
I’ve never used the lead foil, but from what I can tell it’s pretty thin, so you have to wrap it around the butt a lot to build up bulk and weight. I may go out and find some of the lead tape and try it out to see what its like.
Right now I use “pure soft lead” that comes in a roll and cut that up. It’s about 1mm thick and very soft so it’s easy to wrap and shape. I did a little reasearch yesterday and found that the “pure soft lead” is the heaviest kind of lead because it doesn’t have other stuff mixed in with it.
So any way a lot of people have been asking me where I get mine and my source is a small chain of mom and pop hardware stores called Mclendons. Well I didn’t know that they had a website, but you can order the lead sheets from thier site: http://www.mclendons.com/item.asp?sku=10448750&from=search
Last night I cut out and pared the overlay on the 8 foot bullwhip I’m working on. So today with a bit of luck I’ll be able to get 1/2 of the bullwhips 12 plait overlay finished. Then tomorrow I’ll finish the other half and do the knots sometime over the weekend and have it ready to ship on monday. That’s if my phone doesn’t start ringing off the hook with people trying to book gigs with me.
Also I’ve been hearing about how hard lead is getting to find from other whipmakers, so today I’m probably going to head out to the place I got mine last time and buy them out. Right now I’ve got enough lead for 4-6 more bullwhips, but having more in back up would be nice.
I’ve got three whips to shellac as well, but I’ll probably wait until the 8 foot is finished and do all 4 bullwhips at once.
This afternoon I made it to the park and got to do some cracking with my bullwhips. I continued my work on two handed cracking. I’m getting the Queensland Crossover figured out, and today I started monkeying with Breakaways.
One thing that I picked up recently was volley’s with both hands in balanced time. I actually found doing volleys in balanced time easier than doing them in together time.
I also got some work done on the 8 foot bullwhip that I’m currently plaiting. I finished the 2nd belly today, so tomorrow I’ll cut out the bolster and overlay, and pare the overlay. Then on Thursday I should be able to get some of the overlay’s plaiting done. I’ve incorporated some of what I learned from Morgan’s bullwhip into this bullwhip, but it’s not a copy.