Visit with David Morgan…

Visit with David Morgan…

It’s been a little while since I’ve visited David Morgan‘s shop, and yesterday I was in his area so I stopped by.  I had two shows one north of him and one south of him with an extra 30 minutes between them.  When I was doing my first show all I could think about was visiting him, showing him my current whip and the questions that I would ask him. 

The bullwhip that I showed hime was an 8 foot Indy bullwhip:



This bullwhip turned out really well, I liked how my strand drops turned out and the taper was great.  One thing I’ve learned is when I take a bullwhip to David Morgan, how he cracks it tells me if it’s good or bad.  If he cracks it a lot one way (the flick) then he’s trying to figure out how I can improve the weight.  If he cracks it using different cracks then I’ve passed the first test weight test and each crack he’s checking out the weight and taper differently.  

Yesterday he took the bullwhip gave it a few flicks, then some underhand cracks.  Then a Fast Figure Eight, some side arms, then a wierd crack when he rolls the whip on the floor and makes it crack. Finally he did a little three crack combination and handed me the whip back and said, “you’ve done very good”!  

Indiana jones style bullwhip

I about pooped my pants because usually he says “it’s good…but…”, then gives me things to work on. This time he just praised everything that I did right on the bullwhip!!!  That really made my day.


I wish I could keep this bullwhip, but it’s off to Italy today.

While I was visiting David we talked about bit about the balance (thong and handle weight) of a bullwhip.  There was an article in the APWA’s newletter about thong and handle weight that I didn’t agree with and asked David for his opinion on it.

The seams on my bullwhips are getting straighter (something I’ve very proud of, but can improve) and I asked David Morgan (and Joe Strain too) if having a wobbly seam affects how a bullwhip works.  They both said that a seam that isnt’ perfectly straight doesn’t, it just shows the whipmakers experience.  They both used almost the exact same words.  So I feel much better about my seams, but am trying to make them as straight as possible.  

New Board for Rolling

A few days ago I picked up a new board for rolling my bullwhips. Before I was using a piece of wood that was 1/2 by 3 inches, and that did an alright job, but when I put my weight into the board the wood bent a bit.  My new piece is 3 X 3 inches and I can really put my weight into it:


Bullwhip making

12 foot Bullwhip Set

I’m almost finished cutting out the set for a 12 foot 12 plait bullwhip in black kangaroo.  I’ve been doing a lot of cutting with my down time between shows when I’m away and can’t do any plaiting.  I’ve got the sets cut out for:

  • 8 foot Young Indy bullwhip
  • pair of 6 foot two tone bullwhips
  • 12 foot black bullwhip
  • 6 foot cowhide bullwhip
  • 6 foot cowhide Young Indy bullwhip
Once my performing schedule slows down (after Monday) I’m going to be doing a lot of plaiting!
I’ve got to get ready for my day, today is Halloween and it’s a busy day for me, 6 shows today!
8 foot Bullwhip

8 foot Bullwhip

Two days ago I got my flu shot, it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve gotten one.  The whole process took about 2 hour…about 10 minutes to fill out the forms, 2 minutes for the shot and the rest of the time I spent laying on the floor after I fainted!  

The nurse that gave me the shot told me it’s best for me to  use the arm they gave the shot in, so I finished the plaiting and knots on an 8 foot Indy bullwhip.  The turkshead on the butt didn’t turn out quite right the first time so I ended up redoing it.  


8 foot Indy Bullwhip


I’ve got a new source for polypro and I like the stuff I’m getting now more than the stuff I was using before.  It’s a little bit thinner and gives me a slightly lighter cracker.  You can see all the red polypro string on the right of the above picure.  It’s all measured and cut, it just needs to be tied.  

Young Indy Bullwhip

I’ve got the overlay cut out for the Young Indy Bullwhip that I’m making.  I’m going to plait the two bellies before I do any dying of the hide.  I’m very excited to do this because dying leather is something I don’t do very often.  From my previous leather dying experience it was a pain in the butt…but I’m looking forward to making this bullwhip.

Other Bullwhips in the Works

The other day I got a shipment of hides from Mike Murphy.  When I opened up the hides two of them were screaming “make us into a pair of six foot bullwhips!”  So I’m cutting out a pair of 6 foot bullwhips, one is in whiskey and one in natural tan.  I don’t know the pattern that I’l be using for it other than they will be two tone.  


bullwhip kangaroo lace

Once everthing is cut I’m going to split the hides down to the same thickness and start braiding.  


Bullwhips I’m working on…

Bullwhips I’m working on…

Right now my current bullwhip project is an 8 foot Indy Bullwhip (Morgan style).

Plaited bullwhip belly

The bullwhip above is with the 2nd belly attached.  Right now I have the overlay attached, I just need to start plaiting it (hopefully today).

I’m also working on an 8 foot 12 plait “Young Indy” style bullwhip, with a 10 inch handle.  I’m going to be hand dying the leather for that bullwhip.  It’s been a while since I’ve done any hand dying, so I’m doing some experimenting with it on some kangaroo lace.

I did a test to see if it was easier to dye the leather after I finished the whip.  I banged out a 6 foot cowhide whip and dyed the finished bullwhip.  The problem dying a finished bullwhip is that it’s hard to get all the areas that would be visible when the whip flexes or is coiled.  So I’m going to be dying the leather laces before I braid them.


Cracker Holder/Organizer

Cracker Holder/Organizer


Yesterday I was cleaning out the pocket of my whipbag and was amazed at how messy the pocket was.  In this pocket I carry a small container of dressing, a fid, fall, crackers, and small knife.  

Usually I throw a handfull of crackers in there and when it starts getting empty I throw another handfull in.  It can be hard to find things in the pocket with the crackers everywhere, so I braided a little “Cracker Holder”.

These are 4 plait and made for kangaroo hide!  


Whip cracker holder

Here’s a close up picture of the Cracker Holder in its open position.


Close up of bullwhip cracker holder (open)

You thread your crackers over the loop (the 12 o’clock postition in the picture) then close it by putting the turkshead through the loop.


Bull whip popper holder (closed)

This makes finding things in my whipbag much easier if all my crackers are attached.  

If you are interested in a Bullwhip Cracker Holder they are available in the “Bullwhip Accessories” page for $9.00 with shipping included.  I’ll also throw in a couple of crackers for FREE!!


Wet Weather…

Wet Weather…

Lately it’s been very wet out here in Seattle and  because of that my bullwhips haven’t gotten much use.  I don’t mind using my bullwhips when the grass is a bit “dewy”, I just dry them off with a small towel I carry in my whipbag and hit them up with some pecards when I get home.  However it’s hard to go out when it’s been raining a bit every day.

I have some bullwhip holders that I picked up in a trade with Andy at

Bullwhip Holder

And here’s a picture of one of them with a bullwhip in it:

bullwhip holder w/ bullwhip

You can find these in my “bullwhip accessories” page.

As part of the trade I got something that I’ve alwasy wanted ever since I was a kid:

bullwhip maker

He made this viking helmet custom for me, and right now I use it in my show (I balance things on the horns) and I love it!

My current whip project is finishing up a snake whip and a batch of falls that have been soaking overnight.


Inexpensive bullwhips…

Inexpensive bullwhips…

Today I made a pair of inexpensive bullwhips.  They are 4 plait cowhide and 6 feet long. The knots on them are made from kangaroo and the falls are whitehide.

inexpenive bullwhips - pair

These bullwhips aren’t horrible, but not as nice as my kangaroo bullwhips.  These are for someone that wants a bullwhip to crack, but doesn’t intend to do anything too fancy with them.  I took them out today and they cracked.


Bullwhip #1 close up
Bullwhip #2 close up

These bullwhips are for sale for $75 each or both for $110 (with FREE SHIPPING).  Visit my “bullwhips INSTOCK” page by clicking the link below:

Pair of 8 foot Bullwhips

Pair of 8 foot Bullwhips

ere’s some pictures of the two 8 foot bullwhips that I was working on:

In the last picture you can see the differences in the handles of the two styles (how I make them).  The KotCS has a thicker handle with very little taper to it and a more square knot.  The Morgan style Indy has a thinner handle that tapers up towards the thong and a bigger and more round knot.  

My hands are feeling better after getting a day of rest today and I’m ready to do some more plaiting tomorrow.


New Hook Location…

New Hook Location…

Up until recently I pared my lace inside my condo, but last week I hung a hook in my carport.  It’s very handy to have out there, I only pare on that hook (no braiding).  The reason I put the hook outside was that paring inside the house left little bits of leather on the floor (that somehow escaped my sweeping).  It was driving my wife nuts, so I tried the hook outside and I like it!!

I’m still working on two 8 foot bullwhips and hopefully they will be finished tomorrow.  I’ve got the plaiting finished on one and almost finished on the other.  I’m planning doing the rest of the plaiting today and getting the wrist loops done.  Then tomorrow I’ll tie the knots and do the shellacing.


Finished Bullwhip

Finished Bullwhip

I’ve finished shellacing the 12 foot bullwhip and today I’ll deliver it to it’s new owner.

coiled bullwhip
bullwhip loose coil

I ended up changing the transition knot from a smaller Indy like knot to a larger turkshead.

handle close up

Next in my bullwhip making line are two 8 foot bullwhips.  One has it’s core cut out and the other has the core and first belly plaited and all the kangaroo layers cut out.