Today I made a miniature bullwhip…basically it’s a bullwhip that’s 1/8 the size of full size one. I’ve never really done a mini bullwhip aside from the odd bullwhip key chain, but the key chains weren’t made like whips (basically a tapered filler with the overlay on top of that).
I’ve wanted to make a miniature bullwhip ever since the first time I visited Joe Strain and saw one that he had made. Recently he posted pictures of a 1:4 scale bullwhip that he made and it’s amazing!
I figure’d it was time for me to try one, and I’ve learned a lot by making it, so if I ever try again, it will be much better. My miniature bullwhip is an 8 plait bullwhip one a core and one plaited belly.
Below are some pictures of making this miniature bullwhip (you can click on the pictures to view the larger versions of them):
One thing I’d do if I ever made one of these again is to use a thinner nail. That way I could have a second bolster over the plaited belly. I’d also make the wrist loop longer. After splitting every strand down I was worried about breaking strands while I braided…but I didn’t pull as tight as I normally would on a full size bullwhip, so I didn’t have any broken strands.
This was a fun project to do and maybe in the future I’ll make another one…maybe in 12 plait! For now I’m going to put a hook on the wrist loop and hang it on my Christmas tree.
Today’s Whip Deal of the Day (for 11/30/09 only) is every order of $20 will get 10 free polypro crackers. You don’t need to do anything special, I’ll just add the polypro crackers to orders over $20 when I’m packing up the order to ship it.
From now until December 18th, I’m going to be offering the Whip Deal of The Day. Every day I’ll post a different deal, and it could be something like a discount or something free with an order.
Whip Deal of the Day
(for 11/29/09 only)
Today’s deal of the day is a free DVD with every whip order (not accessories). As long as you place the order for any bullwhip (in stock, made to order or custom made) I’ll throw in Whip Cracking Made Easy Vol. 2 for free!
Just place an order for any whip (you don’t need to do anything extra) and I’ll just add the DVD to the box when I ship it out.
I don’t do a lot of plaited ring work on the handles of my bullwhips, probably because I do a lot of 12 plait bullwhips. You can do designs with a 12 plait handle, but you can do a lot more with a 16 plait bullwhip handle. I think another reason that I haven’t done a lot of designs into the handles of my bullwhips is that I don’t have a good eye for what looks good.
On my last visit with Joe Strain we talked a bit about what makes a plaited whip handle design. Joe mentioned to me that what makes a good handle isn’t complex patterns, it’s balance. There should be a visual balance to the bullwhip.
I’m working to achieve balance in my 16 plait two tone bullwhips. Here’s the bullwhip I’m working on right now:
One thing I’ve gotten better at is transitioning between plaiting pattern. It’s something that gave me a lot of trouble with my early attempts at doing different patterns (not designs) on bullwhip handles.
This particular bullwhip has about two more feet of plaiting to go, maybe I’ll be able to finish it today.
Here’s a bit of video of me presenting my “Crack Shot” routine at the Comedy Underground the other night. This short bit is a part of my longer show. Keep in mind before watching the clip below that this routine was written and designed for a comedy club audience, so if you are easily offended don’t watch it.
If you don’t know my full time job is as a professional magician. I do a lot of performing in Comedy Clubs and “one nighters”. You’ll notice that the Crack Shot is something that is designed specifically for those venues. While hopefully dialog looks very spontaneous, it’s in fact completely scripted…except for a few “planned ad libs”.
Basically what I consider a planned ad lib is when I have already written responses to things that might happen. For example quite often while I”m aiming the bullwhip someone will yell out something, and I have a set plan for when that happens.
This particular routine has about 6 laughs per minute, or on average one laugh every 10 seconds. That’s not including planned crowd reactions to where they “sponateously” do something like cheer or clap. If you include those reactions you get about 8 responses per minute. Which in my opinion is pretty good for using just the most basic bullwhip crack and a ton of personality.
Also you’ll notice that in the Crack Shot routine there’s no lame jokes. If you watch many performers that don’t spend time writing you’ll notice they all use a lot the same jokes. What separates the men from the boys is to be able to write you own scripts and come up with original dialog for you and your particular show or routine.
Now I’m not saying I”m the best bullwhip performer in the world (I’m not), but if you watch a lot of the videos on youtube of people performing with a bullwhip there’s not a lot of originality…however there are people that care about what they do and are doing very original stuff like Chris Camp or Robert Dante.
So I guess what I’m saying is that if you do any performing with your bullwhip, don’t steal other peoples material…Take the time to learn to write a joke, or write an interesting paragraph of dialog and learn to present it. I know it’s hard work, but if you are going to perform at all you will need to treat your show or routine as a job and put work into it.
It’s a long hard road to put together something original and something that suits you, but it’s worth taking the long journey!
Right now you can get an 8 foot 12 plait kangaroo Indiana Jones Style bullwhip for $58 off!! I just listed it on www.etsy.com. Etsy.com is place where people that make “handmade” things sell them. This is the same one that if you buy it from my IN STOCK page is $457, but you can get it for $399 (when you order off etsy.com).
Last week I was thinking it’s been a while since I’ve cut my thumb while paring kangaroo. Usually when that happens I’ll cut my thumb later that day. This time it was three days later.
Also a shipment of cowhide showed up, this will be used for heavier 4 plait cowhide bullwhips. I had three hide come in, one light brown, one medium brown and one back.
I was a little bit disappointed with the quality of these hides, the all have large brands on them. The impression I got when I ordered them was that they’d only have small scars. They hides are still usable, I’ll just have to cut around the brands or make sure that they are on a wide part of the lace…which shouldn’t be too much of a problem with a 4 plait bullwhip.
Tonight I’ m performing at the Seattle Comedy Underground at 8pm, if you are in the Seattle area come out and see me.
P.S. This holiday season you can save a few bucks when you order a bullwhip, DVD or whip accessories from me. Use Google Checkout for your payment and save $5 on orders over $30. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps!
One of the projects I’ve been working on is braiding over some rods, they will be part of a chandelier. Orignally the rods were supposed to be 10 feet each (4 rods), so I cut out 32 strands at about 18 feet each for a total of about 576 feet of 9mm lace!
When I got the rods they were only 6 feet, so the plaiting job ended up being much easier! However plaiting over a metal rod is much harder on your hands and arms than braiding a bullwhip.
This is the first wood handle bullwhip that I’ve made (that didn’t have plaiting over the entire handle):
This bullwhip has two plaited bellies, leather bolsters, and a 4 plait cowhide overlay. The handle for this bullwhip is a Muddler (used in bars for making mixed drinks), and I drilled it out, filled it with lead, and stuck the inner bellies inside it. I didn’t have a drill bit wide enough to have the overlay start inside it, so the overly starts on the outside (where it’s firmly tacked and bound in place).
Because the overlay starts on the outside the bullwhip has a heavier look to it. In the future (if I do one like this again), I’d find a bigger drill bit so I could have all the leather layers start from inside the handle.
I was very surprised at how well this bullwhip cracks…it’s a bit nose heavy…but when I was cracking it, it felt like all I had to do was point it forward and it took over and did all the work!
Personally I prefer the look of a plaited handle on my bullwhips, so I don’t know if I’ll do another one like this again.