I’ve been thinking a lot about the look of the handle of bullwhips. Specificially the way the handle transitions to the thong. There are bascially three looks to this transition:
Aside from style, I don’t think it really makes a difference in how the bullwhips handles or will last. I’ve experimented with making all three types of handles in the past and personally I like the Slow Taper look to whips. I’m sure at some point in the future my opinion will change.
Also the length of the handle willl affect how the good the transition looks. For example I think the Bump that David Morgan uses looks great on an 8 inch handle, but it would look pretty strange on a 12 inch handle.
I finished off the side of oil tanned cowhide on a 4 foot and a 7 1/2 foot bullwhip. I did the 4 foot bullwhip in 8 plait, and the 8 foot bullwhip in 4 plait.
Here’s the 7 and a half foot:
and here’s the 4 foot bullwhip:
I’m planning on making a few 4 or 5 foot 4 plait bullwhips in the near future…and a few more 8 foot ones.
P.S. I have both of these whips listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.
Here’s a few pictures of the 12 foot 12 plait bullwhip that I finished the other day.
It’s been too wet out for me to take this whip to the park to throw it, and it’s too long to throw on my deck. So I’ll have to wait patiently for the weather to improve before I get to crack it.
This morning I’ve got gig, and some other work to do, on my way home I’m going to pick up a couple more hides for budget whips. I’m trying to get a bunch of them made up to take to a Juggling Convention at the end of next month. The budget whips are selling as fast as I can make them…I’m not complaining that they are selling fast, I’d just like to have a few to sell at the Juggling Convention.
Later today I’m going to be tying knots on two budget bullwhips (an 8 foot and a 4 foot), and I’ll list those on my IN STOCK page once they are finished.
A few nights ago I finished a 12 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip. In this bullwhip I’ve changed the taper of it a little bit to give me a slightly heavier thong from the 6 foot mark to the point of the bullwhip.
I’m not sure why I took pictures of the handle, but here’s the inside of the handle:
And here’s the handle with the overlay being plaited:
This bullwhip was made with the Indiana Jones (David Morgan) look, but it has a 10 inch handle instead of an 8 inch handle.
When I was tying the knot of this bullwhip I remembered something that I used to do, but for some reason (that I don’t know) stopped. I got the knot wet then rolled it between two boards (thanks Franco for that tip!) and it gave me a very good looking knot.
There are a couple of things about this bullwhip that I’m proud of. I’m most proud of my 8 plait to 6 plait drop/transition. Many bullwhips have a bit of a kink at the 8 to 6 plait drop, but this bullwhip doesn’t have a kink. I’ve done a couple things using tips from many whipmakers and it’s all finally come together to give me a smoother coil at that point.
I still need to shellac this bullwhip before it’s finished.
My next project is going to be cutting out some more falls and making some more budget bullwhips. I have a side of oil tanned leather that I picked up. I’ve made a 6 foot snake whip out of it and it’s a good strong leather, so I’m excited to make a bullwhip out of it.
Here’s a couple more pictures of Bink and I cracking some bullwhips:
Bullwhip’s in Progess
Right now I’m working on a 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip, I have about 2 feet of it finished. It’s going to be an Indiana Jones style bullwhip, but with a 10 inch handle. I really like the extra bit of leverage that the 10 inch handle gives you (over an 8 inch handle). I’ll post some pictures of this bullwhip when I get a chance.
I also need to start working on some more budget whips for an Juggling Convention that I’ll be performing and selling whips at the last weekend in March.
I’ve got a side of Oil Tanned Cowhide that I’m going to try to use for the overlay to see how it turns out. I might also try making an 8 plait budget whip…going with an 8 plait requires about double the work that a 4 plait does, so I’m not too sure how “budget” that whip will be.
P.S. I still have a few budget bullwhips for sale on my IN STOCK whips page.
On Friday I went over to the Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering in Ellensburg, Washington (about 2 hours drive) to see a Bullwhip demo by a guy named Bink Picard. Here’s Bink cracking whips:
He’s using a pair of 8 foot nylon Florida Whips. Bink and I had a good time cracking whips and he really liked cracking my 29 foot whip!
Today I got the two bellies of a kangaroo whip finished. I really missed working with kangaroo when I was making all the budget whips. Kangaroo is soo much easier to work with and at the end of the day much easier on the hands.
However since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve worked with roo, I’d almost forgotten how much more work goes into a nice kangaro whip (compared to a budget cowhide bull whip). With a kangaroo bullwhip I split all the layers to an even thickness, and spend a lot more time on getting a firm handle foundation than I would on the budget whips…also cutting out a 12 plait overlay is a bit more work than a 4 plait!!
This morning I started work on a 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip. I was attaching the core to the handle foundation and it got me thinking about methods I’ve used in the past. Currently when I make my kangaroo bullwhips I make the handle so that there is no wobble in butt of the whip. I attached the knob as firmly as I can, and using techniques that I picked up from Joe Strain awhile ago, I think I’ve got it down.
In the past I used to take a layer of leather glue (contact cement) and put it on the handle foundation and between all the leather layers on the whip. That gave me a pretty firm handle with no wobble or twist. The problem with that is with the addition of glue you are adding a substance that doesn’t need to be in the whip. Also I don’t know how glue would effect the longevity of the whip’s handle.
My current method is basically just correctly binding or tacking everything in place. It seems to work out just fine! It’s been a while since I’ve done a kangaroo bullwhip, so I’m excited to get back to work on the roo (it’s soo much nicer to work with!).
Here are two more bullwhips that I finished:
My next whip that I’m going to be making will probably be an 8 or 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo whip. It’s been a while (a few weeks) since I’ve done a bullwhip in kangaroo.
I haven’t done a ton of shot loading of the thongs in my bullwhips (except for signal whips and snake whips). I’ve talked with David Morgan several times about the advantages of shot loading the thong of a bullwhip.
Now a shot loaded thong is different from a lead loaded butt. With a shot loaded thong there will be lead shot for the core of the bullwhip. So that will move weight out of the handle and into the beginning of the whip, making the bullwhip a bit more nose heavy.
A lead loaded butt has a sheet of lead wrapped around the end of the handle to form the butt knot foundation. That will put the more weight at the base of the handle in your hand.
I made the bullwhip below with a shot loaded core.
This bullwhip (not shot loaded) shipped out to it’s owner in Texas earlier today.
Here’s a budget snake whip that I finished last night:
And here’s the 7 foot bullwhip that I finished as well:
Both of these whips are available on the IN STOCK Whips part of this website. I’ve also added a feature to the online store part of my website that will allow you to use the following methods to pay:
- Visa, MasterCard, AmEx or Discover Card
- Google Checkout
You can use any of those to pay for a bullwhip, snake whip, signal whip, etc.
The next whip I’m working on is a 4 plait budget bullwhip, but this whip will be shot loaded!