Yesterday I had a busy day. In the morning I got the insides of the bullwhip that I’m making with a Jacka-like transition. I think this one is the closest that I’ve come to replicating it (without taking apart a Jacka). I’ve picked up bits and pieces about how he makes his and this is what I’ve come up with:
One big difference you’ll notice in my is what I’m binding the transition with…twine! It gives a very different result than binding with sinew and I think that the secret to Jacka’s transition is using something twine like to bind it combined with the split leather.
This transition is an experiment and I don’t know how putting an overlay over it will change it. The main reason I’m doing this is that when I went to buy some kip, they have veg splits on sale and I found a small hide to buy…that and I have enough kangaroo in the right colors to do a whip like the one in the movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I don’t plan on doing another whip like this again.
I was hoping to get the overlay for this bullwhip done yesterday, but my order of Natural Tan kangaroo finally showed up (a week late!). These kangaroo skins were for a plaiting project that I was hoping to have done a week ago:
So I put a little hustle into the project and finished it last night. I really don’t like having unfinished projects kicking around that someone has ordered, so I worked hard to get these finished and ready to ship!
However this plaited project has left me with about enough kangaroo skin left to make a signal whip…so I might do that right after I finish the Jacka-like bullwhip.
Yesterday I finished putting the knots on the pair of 4 plait cowhide bullwhips and they are finished:
I’m selling these two bullwhips as a pair and they come as a set with the Fundamental Whip Cracking Techniques DVD. You can get this Two Handed Whip Cracking Kit on my IN STOCK whips page.
Yesterday I started working on a pair of 6 foot bullwhips. These are 4 plait cowhide bullwhips with one plaited belly. I did do one thing different with these whips while making them, I used veg tanned split leather for the bellies. If you don’t know what split leather is, it’s leather that has no grain. Basicially it’s the flesh side of a piece of leather after then split it to thin it down.
I’ve been told that Terry Jacka uses split chrome tanned leather for his bellies, so this isn’t completely new territory for whip making. However after doing a bit of plaiting with it, I’m starting to realize why his whips are the way they are. As far as I know most whip makers (me included) just bind the heck out of the transitions of their whips when trying to make a “jacka-like” transition. That will give you a stiff transition, but it’s still not like Jacka’s transition. I think the combination of materials and binding are what make it so unique…not just the binding which is the common thinking.
I do have enough of the split cowhide to make the insides of an 8-ish foot bullwhip and I do have kangaroo in the correct colors to make an Indy IV style bullwhip…
Here are the two 4 plait bullwhips that I started yesterday:
I should have time to finish the heel knots on these later today. My idea for them is to have a pair of whips that are inexpensive that someone could use to learn two handed whip cracking…without spending $700-$800 for a pair of roo whips.
I made them as a pair…but not a matched pair. What I mean by that is that the core, belly, filler and overall lengths are the same and they were cut from the same hide right next to each other. However there are a couple of things that I didn’t do like make sure the strand are exactly the same width at every spot or split them to the same thickness.
The goal for these whips is to have whips that are close enough but keep the cost low so that they are affordable for someone to try out two handed cracking…however if you want and exact pair, spend the extra money and get a nice kangaroo set.
Well I’m still waiting on my shipment of Natural Tan kangaroo, so I had time to finish the five foot bullwhip. I normally don’t put wrist loops on whips that I make for fun (Just ones that are made to order), because I don’t have them on the whips I personally use and I don’t think they are necessary. However with this whip I added a 6 plait wrist loop that has a different pattern than the usual checkerboard (over one, under one…):
And here’s the finished bullwhip:
I gave this whip a few cracks in my living room and it’s got a nice crack! I’ve listed this for sale on the IN STOCK whips page.
So once again my shipment of kangaroo didn’t show up yesterday, so I’m still doing busy work until it gets here and I can start work on a an order. Yesterday while I was at my local Tandy I picked up one of the kangaroo skins that they had just stared selling. It’s “Whiskey” colored, however when dry it looked more saddle tan, but after greasing it up it looks more whiskey.
I did the handle of this 12 plait whip with an Over two, under two, over two type pattern:
Yesterday I found time to make all the internal layers of the bullwhip, cut out the overlay and plait about 3 feet of it. I should be able to finish this today, unless something weird happens.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of the whole skin before I started using it, so here’s a picture of it with the partially complete whip:
Once this bullwhip is finished I will try to find time to write up a review of Tandy’s kangaroo.
This afternoon I was at my local Tandy Leather Factory and they let me know that they now sell veg tanned kangaroo! I picked up a skin, it’s tanned by Packer, and it’s a good skin…but it’s a dry skin. So that means you’ll have to grease it before you can use it for whip making. It’s also expensive at about $20 a square foot, so the 5.6 foot skin would be over $100 (I get a slightly cheaper price, but it’s still expensive).
I don’t see them as my new supplier for kangaroo based on price alone, I’m currently getting veg tanned drum stuffed for less. However it’s nice to have a local supplier and if I need just one kangaroo skin after you factor in not having to pay shipping it’s not that much more.
This afternoon I made a 4 foot signal whip in 12 plait kangaroo. It’s been a little while since I’ve done a signal whip, so this was a fun little project to kill time while I’m waiting on kangaroo for another project.
This signal whip is listed on my IN STOCK whips page.
Hopefully my next shipment of kangaroo will arrive today, so I can get my next project started and finished so it’s off my “to do list.
Yesterday I started plaiting one of my Deluxe Beginners Bullwhips, these are a 4 plait cowhide whip with a plaited belly. Yesterday I got all the plaiting finished:
This morning I tied the knots:
I gave this a couple of quick cracks on my deck this morning and it’s got a great crack!
My next project is plaiting over some rods for a chandelier, but I’m still waiting on the kangaroo for that to show up, so I might try to bang out a signal whip while I’m waiting.
P.S. This bullwhip is listed for sale on my IN STOCK whips page:
This morning I put the finishing touches on the 8 foot bullwhip that I started at the end of last week:
This whip shipped out to it’s new owner in California this morning!
Yesterday I got exactly three feet of the eight foot bullwhip I’m working on plaited:
Today I’m heading down to the Portland Oregon area to perform, so I probably won’t get any plaiting in today. Tomorrow and Monday Robert Dante will be in Oregon and I’m bummed that I will miss him by a day…unless I can come up with a reason to stay over down there (hmmmm….). I did make several efforts for a local whip group to bring him to the Seattle area but it didn’t work out.
This afternoon before my show I get to visit with a pair of whips that I made (and their owner).