Well I’m still working on the 16 foot bullwhip. I’ve begun the overlay and what a chore that has been! With a long whip like this the strands are 24-28 feet long and each pull they get tangled up. One solution to plaiting with long strands it to tie them up into tamales.
In the past I’ve tried this and wasn’t really happy with it. I had done it with a 10 or 12 foot whip and at that length it’s not too much work to untangle them. However with this whip at 16 feet, it ended up being a lot of work untangling, I was doing one pull, and then untangling the whole strand for its entire length. Now with the tamale I have to reach through the pattern, grab the tamale, pull it through the pattern, pull the strand in place (tight) and set the tamale on the other side. It’s still a lot of work, but much easier than untangling each strand after each pull.
Right now this whip is at the 31 inch mark:
I figure I will have to plait about 7 feet before tangling isn’t really an issue any more (so I’m almost halfway there!).
It seems like I’ve seen a lot of whip cracking this summer that I wasn’t expecting. It could be that I’ve been semi-seeking it out in most cases, however to day it came a as complete surprise when I was heading to a gig at the Tacoma Maritime Festival and ran into a guy cracking a bullwhip!
The guy cracking the bullwhip was part of the Puget Sound Pirates:
Between shows I chatted with the pirates and gave them some pointers on cracking whips. They used nylon whips:
Hopefully I now have some new whip cracking buddies!
I wonder if my noticing of a lot of whips around this summer part of whips becoming more “main stream”. I think the popularity of “pirate culture” inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies has helped whips become less shady (the popularity of the Indiana Jones movies also helped). Another thing that has made the general impression of whips become more positive has been TV shows like Time Warp which show the science behind whips.
Or I could just be noticing it more because I’m a whip nerd….
This morning I’m shipping out a 6 foot Indy Bullwhip to Ireland:
My current project is working on four snake whips. These will be six feet long and be four plait in cowhide. Last night I cut out six shot bags (I only need four), but the way the hide was I other two came out of part of it that I wouldn’t be able to use for anything else.
Today I’m performing in the Portland, Oregon area, so I probably won’t have much of a chance to get more work in on these.
Here’s the completed overlay of the six foot bullwhip that I’ve been working on:
I made this bullwhip slightly differently from how I normally do them. I think this has a more “vintage morgan” look to it with a slimmer profile at the transition. I’ve made them like this in the past, but I went through a phase where I was making my bullwhips with a tapered handle, but the whip was a tad thicker at the transition. This one’s got a nice sleek look!
Today was an exciting day, right after I had started plaiting the overlay for a six foot bullwhip there were two huge booms that shook my condo! We didn’t know what they were, my wife thought someone had crashed a car into the building. We noticed a lot of neighbors milling around outside, so we went out and chatted. Turns out what we felt and heard were sonic booms from two military planes responding to someone entering the president’s airspace.
You’d think someone that makes whips, and cracks whips as part of his job and for fun would recognize a sonic boom? I’ll tell you a whip cracking is way different from a fighter jet!
With all that excitement I still managed to plait about 3 1/2 feet of this six foot whip. Here it is in its current state:
Also here’s another bracelet that was made with other leftover parts from the pair of 7 foot bullwhips:
This one was fun to make because of all the different elements in it. One in is a loop of 4 plait round braid, that merges into an 8 plait flat braid, that turns into an 8 plait round braid, finally ending with a two tone turkshead. Some day I should dig out all the keychain that I have made from scrap roo and take pics of them.
When I’m making a bullwhip frequently I end up with fairly long strands that end up being cut off. I have a box full of the scrap, and instead of throwing it away, I figure I should start making things out of it. Here’s a bracelet that was made from the trimmed off ends of the pair of seven foot bullwhips that I recently made:
You can adjust the size by pulling the ends through the turkshead in the middle. Once I’m all caught up in orders I’ll probably start to use up my scrap to make things like this. However I have no idea what to do with things like this once they are made…but they are much prettier than a box of scrap.