A while ago I bought the last Lace Cutter that David Morgan had. After being unavailable they’ve just had a new batch made up and they are available again!
Personally I love this lace cutter and get a ton of mileage out of mine. I use it for cutting out lace for knots and wrist loops.
It’s also great for making 8 plait bullwhips that finish in an 8 plait point. Usually when I make whips like that I cut the point a bit wide then as I’m making the bullwhip I taper it. The David Morgan Lace cutter is a great tool to do that evenly with. What I do when I need the width of the strand to get a bit thinner is I set the Lace cutter a bit thinner and run the lace through it, then pare the side I just cut. It’s a pretty fast operation and works well for me.
This size of this lace cutter made it very easy to hold comfortably in your hand while cutting, and your hand won’t cramp up if you are cutting a mountain of lace. It’s light weight and because of it’s simple design it’s very durable!
You can get them at: http://www.davidmorgan.com/product_info.php?products_id=1139
Last night I put the knots on the Australian Bullwhip that I was working on. I broke a strand near the point of the whip, so I shortened it from six feet to 5 1/2 feet. I didn’t want to add in a strand right at the fall hitch. I still need to give it a coat of shellac.
I threw this bullwhip a couple of times on my deck and it cracks well. I’m hoping for better weather so I can take it to the park and give it a workout later today.
I really am liking how the 16 plait looks and hopefully I’ll be doing more work in 16 plait in the future!
Right now I’m at about the five foot mark of this six foot bullwhip:
I’m getting ready to do the final strand drops from 10 plait to 8 plait. One thing about a 16 plait bullwhip is that the strand drops seem a bit easier because you aren’t adding much bulk to the inside of the bullwhip because of the strands are a bit thinner.
I really like doing the 16 plait, even if it feels like a lot more work than 12 plait. I think it gives the whip a sleeker look with the thinner strands. My next project is going to be a pair of bullwhips in red kangaroo and I’ll probably do those in 16 plait!
This week is a busy performing week for me (the week before Halloween), so this bullwhip has taken a lot longer to make than it would normally take me.
Right now I’m working on a six foot 16 plait Australian style bullwhip. It’s got a 12 inch spring steel handle, I’m using a thicker spring steel than I used to use, so there is less flex to the handle and more weight.
I’ve got the insides of the bullwhip finished and I’m working on the overlay now. Here’s the finished handle:
Currently I have about 2 feet of this bullwhip. It has the zig zag plaiting on the handle, then it goes to a six seam (chevrons) at the transition and regular four seam (whip maker’s plait) for the thong.
Doing different patterns feels like a lot more work than doing 12 plait…but I think it just feels that way. My hands have the muscle memory for 12 plait work, with this bullwhip I have to keep going back to fix misplaits from my hands wanting to braid it like a 12 plait bullwhip.
Today I finished this 6 foot bullwhip. Here’s the beginning of the 12 plait overlay:
Currently I’m starting my braid by doing about 2 inches of the overlay without the rest of the whip inside it. I braid just enough so that I the underside of the braid is built up, then I stick in the handle of the bullwhip and tighten up the braid.
Below is the finished overlay (not rolled and no heel knot):
And here’s the finished bullwhip:
I just boxed up this bullwhip and it’s going out to its new owner tomorrow.
Currently I’m working on a six foot 12 plait bullwhip in whiskey colored kangaroo. Yesterday I got in insides of the bullwhip finished.
The picture above is the core and inner belly and below is the finished inner belly with the inner bolster attached.
I use the two belly two bolster construction for my kangaroo bullwhips. Below is a picture of the finished outer (second) plaited kangaroo belly.
And last night I managed to find time to cut out the overlay. This morning I’ll do the strand prep and maybe some braiding.
This morning I got an email from someone asking about when to load the butt of a bullwhip. There are two ways that I’ve done it:
- Add the lead directly to the handle foundation (so it’s the first thing you do before adding any leather)
- Add the lead after you’ve finished the overlay (so it’s the last thing you do before the knots)
Of these two times to load the butt of a bullwhip, I started out adding it directly to the handle foundation. The advantage of doing it this way is that it makes it easy to build a nice looking knot over it.
Currently I’m adding it after I finish braiding the thong. The advantage of this is that you can feel the whip and add the amount of lead it needs, instead of guessing like when you add it directly to the handle. The disadvantage of doing it this way is that it takes a bit more work to build up the knot foundation, unless you are doing a more “can” shaped knot.
I don’t know if I’d say one way is right and one is wrong, just about every bullwhip maker does things their way and they have their reasons for doing it that way. Personally I like the idea of being able to see and feel how heavy the whip is before I add the lead. Honestly I’ve rarely changed the amount of lead that I was planning on adding based on the finished bullwhip.
I get the sheet lead that I use from a local hardware store called McLendon Hardware. It’s a locally owned hardware store, the big chain hardware stores like Home Depot don’t sell lead. You can also get sheet lead on Amazon.com. I’ve always bought my lead locally from McLendon’s because it saves me shipping and while I’m there I can pick up 8 inch spikes.
Yesterday I was expecting a shipment of Kangaroo from FedEx. Yesterday they stopped by but delivered some other packages, but no kangaroo. Then later that evening (about 8pm) I happened to go outside and when I opened the door there was a nice surprise waiting for me!
I had seven veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo hides (by Packer) come in. In the shipment were three natural:
The three natural tan kangaroo skins aren’t for bullwhips, they are for another braiding project (that’s top secret).
I also had a Whiskey colored kangaroo skin:
A Saddle Tan kangaroo skin:
And two Red kangaroo skins:
I’ve never had Drum Stuffed kangaroo in the color red before. I’ve had dry kangaroo skins in red before…I’m very excited to get to work with this stuff! My original plan with them was to make a pair of 6 foot bullwhips. I figured they’d be in the mid 50dm size, but these are 64dm each! So I could easily get an 8 foot bullwhip out of each kangaroo skin. I might still do the pair of 6 foot bullwhips and use the leftover for signal whips.
Today I shellac’d a 4 foot 12 plait kangaroo pocket snake whip and a 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo bullwhip. The bullwhip’s overlay had been made a while ago, I just did the knot today and the pocket snake was made today.
Here’s the pocket snake:
This Pocket Snake Whip has a great crack to it!
Here’s the 10 foot 12 plait bullwhip:
I intentionally left the transition knot off the bullwhip. I thought the bullwhip looked fine without it. I haven’t had a chance to test crack this bullwhip, it’s been too wet out lately. Hopefully the weather will be dry tomorrow and I can give it a few throws at the park.