Stock Whip Handles

Stock Whip Handles

Yesterday I finished up the handles on the pair of 4 plait cowhide stock whips I had in the works.  One thing I learned is when shaping the tips of the Toheti Canes I really should wear some sort of dust mask.  I still can taste the cane in the back of my mouth from all the dust I inhaled.

Here’s what the four canes looked like when I started:

Toheti Cane

Initially I notice that one of the handles was longer than the rest:

Stock whips

So I had to even them up:

Stock whips

Then the next step was to round the ends:

stock whips for sale

And finally sand in the shape of the tip:

Stock whip - how to make a stockwhip

I used a Dremel tool with a sanding attachment to shape them and it worked out pretty well.  I imagine something like a belt sander would work for shaping stock whip handles and be much faster!

Now the the handles were shaped I need to add the keepers at the top:

stock whip

At this point I put both lashes on the whips and took them to the park to try them out with unfinished handles.  The reason I didn’t want to wait was it wasn’t raining and it was still light out and if either of those things changed I wouldn’t get to crack them.

Also cracking them before the handles were finished let me know they needed a bit of lead in the handles.  It took a lot of effort to hold them while cracking and it made me realize a few things about handles:

  • The heel knot (butt knot) has a very function purpose besides having weight under it.  It actually makes the whip (of any type: bullwhip, snake whip, stock whip, etc) easier to hold on to while cracking!  Once that bulge is there you don’t need to really worry about the whip sliding out of your hand.
  • The plaited hand grip also contributes to making the whip easier to hold on it.  Bare cane is very slick!

Having to put a lot of effort into holding the bare cane handles really wore me out and after about seven minutes my hands were tired.  Here’s the whips being cracked:

So I got home and plaited the hand grips:

matched pair of stock whips

One thing about these whips is that all the leather is latigo.  A lot of half plait handles use kangaroo and I didn’t do that for these. The main reason is that I’m trying to finish up using this side of latigo!  So I cut lace for the handles and thinned it down and while not as pretty as kangaroo it matches the color of the lash!

And here are the completed pair of stock whips:

Stock whip pair

stock whips for sale

Stock whips

Stock whip pair

These were a fun project to make and I’ve got them listed on my IN STOCK whips page.  These would make a great first pair of stockwhips!

I think I have exactly enough latigo left to make one more pair of stock whips, so another pair will probably be my next project!


12 thoughts on “Stock Whip Handles

  1. Where did you get the cane for the handles?

    By the way, the whips turned out really nice IMO, I think the color of the cane mixed with the

    color of the latigo is really good looking.

    1. Jeremy,

      The canes I got from Mike Murphy a LONG TIME AGO back when the US Dollar was worth almost $2 AUD. They’ve been sitting for years! I might be getting a lot of them from Mike, I have to get 50 to get a wholesale rate. I’m on the fence about getting 50 because I don’t know if I want that many kicking around. If you are interested in some cane if I get 50 of them that might put me over the edge to buying that many.

      Let me know,


  2. JeremyM,
    For cane I would try Frank’s Cane and Rush Supply. Here’s another link for you:

    Frank’s has the rattan poles in 24″ lengths 5/8ths diameter. Cost is $2.40 with skin or $3.30 without. If you buy in bulk (26) it is discounted more. Much cheaper than the 4.95 AUD that Mike charges. Mike’s though are more consistent in shape. I’ve bought a batch from Franks and had 1 or 2 that wern’t usable – too thin or very crooked. If it is crooked heat the cane over boiling water and straighten it gradually. The cane is pretty strong with a slight flex. I’ve even been able to drill a length of spring steel into it.


  3. So would you suggest I get them with the skin or without? I would think with the skin, because

    on half plait handles it would look better, but that’s just me, and maybe there’s something

    I don’t know about it.

    Is the 21″ murphy sells them in good for stock whips? I would assume so since it’s from a

    whip maker, but I seem to recall seeing some stock whips with 24″ handles.

    What’s the standard?

    And Louie, if the stuff Jeff showed in that link doesn’t turn out to be as good as murphy’s

    stuff, I would like to go in on some of the cane with you. How many do you think you would

    want to keep?

    1. Jeremy,

      With stock whips I don’t think there is a standard. It’s whatever the maker wants…or more realistically whatever the maker has access to.

      If I end up getting them from Murphy you can have as many as you like!


  4. Depends on the stockwhip. If it was a redhide/latigo whip leave the skin on. I think it makes a rugged looking handle. Just clean up the bumps a little so there are no sharp edges. For a full plait handle I use the skin off cane. I drill a pilot hole into the cane and then drill a length of spring steel into it. As the steel is drilled into the cane the cane heats up. Sap inside the cane acts like glue holding the steel tight. I dont have a bench vise so I just hold the cane under my foot as I drill. I leave it in my drill chuck and then run the drill holding a piece of sandpaper over the cane. This way I can shape and narrow the cane. I cut and grind the end of the steel rod so it is smooth. Now it is ready for a full plait handle set!

    Obviously this is a lot of work for a handle. Half plait non-steel lined are easy. I almost want to buy a handle from Murpy that already has the steel in it. He makes so many that he splits the cane first, runs it over a router bit to create a channel for the steel, and then glues the halves together. I tried that once and had no luck.


  5. What do you do to the end of the spring steel to make it drill trough the cane?

    I’ll try some of the cane from the other place first louie, then decide. I’ll let you know after I


  6. JeremyM – I used thin spring steel for a stockwhip handle, .122 diam (was on sale cheap). I cut it about 2 inches too long. I cut a slightly larger hole in the end of the cane to start. I got my bench grinder out and ground down several edges on the end of the spring steel. Next time I’ll cut a few slots along the side near the end also so it acts more like a drill bit. If you have a vise wrap the cane in a piece of leather and put it into the vise. Then just drill the steel into the cane slowly. It will get hot! If you use too much force you run the risk of blowing out the side. If this happens try from the other side.


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