Cracking w/ James Maxwell

Cracking w/ James Maxwell

Last weekend James Maxwell was visiting town from Montana and we went to the park for a few hours.  Here’s him doing some arm wraps:

whip cracking trick

And a close up:

bullwhip trick

Here’s the pile of bullwhips we were cracking:

bullwhips

And here are some bullwhips that I made for James a bit over a year ago and they’ve held up well!

10 foot bullwhip

Above is a 10 foot bullwhip and below is a 4 foot bullwhip.

4 foot 12 plait bullwhip

The bullwhip below is a 6 foot “Maxwell Special” that was made to James’s specifications.

bullwhip

Originally he didn’t want a transition knot, that’s why there isn’t one.  But he asked me to add one in, so I put one in (changed the fall and tightened up the point).

bullwhip

It’s nice to see how my whips hold up over time.  I think the “Maxwell Special” bullwhip is almost 2 years old and is still cracking great!

Here’s James doing some target cracking:

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Two Bullwhip Videos

Two Bullwhip Videos

It’s finally dry enough outside to go out and test crack a couple of bullwhips.  Here’s a 8 foot 8 inch Indy bullwhip that’s not quite finished (I’ll post more about this bullwhip later):

Also here’s the 8 foot Young Indy bullwhip, the more I look at this bullwhip and have now cracked it the more I want to keep it…but I don’t have the space.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

Works in Progress…

Works in Progress…

I’ve been a busy boy lately, here’s some of what I’ve been working on:

Black Bullwhip

 

Black Bullwhip

This Black 12 lait bullwhip still need some finishing touches (rolling and shellac).

 10 foot KotCS

10 foot KotCS Bullwhip

Above is a picture of the bullwhip with about a foot and a half of the overlay plaited. Below the whip has about 5 feet (half) of the overlay finished.

 

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Style bullwhip
Below is a great picture of the strands below the work on the whip (on the floor).  As you plait on the thong, the ends of the strands also plait, so you end up with a tangle on the floor at your feet.  This is why its important to untangle them periodically.  If you look close at the tangle it’s got a nice loose braid.

 

Bullwhip Making

10 Foot Natural Tan Indy Bullwhip

I’ve got one and a half Morgan style Indy bullwhips cut out, they just need to be braided.

8 foot Young Indy Bullwhip

Everything is cut out for this bullwhip, it still needs to be dyed before being plaited.  

For the next few days I don’t have any shows, so I’m hopefully going to be able to get take a fairly large chunk out of my bullwhip backlog.  I should have the plaiting on the KotCS finished tomorrow and get a couple of bellies plaited for the 10 foots and the young Indy bullwhip.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

10 foot Pics

10 foot Pics

Here’s a 10 foot KotCS that shipped out today!

10 foot KotCS
10 foot KotCS

I think that the handle turned out well.

 

Handle close up
Handle close up

 My next project is a black 12 foot bullwhip (shot loaded).  I’m waiting on a shipment of Kangaroo to come in, so all I can do is cut out some cores an boslters right now then wait…

 

Louie

10 Foot KotCS Bullwhip

10 Foot KotCS Bullwhip

Last night I finished the plaiting on the thong of a 10 foot KotCS style bullwhip.  For some reason plaiting this bullwhip really killed my hands and my wrists are sore.  I think it’s because I’m pulling differently than I used to, but I’m getting a tighter braid.  

 

Plaiting the thong
Plaiting the thong

 I managed to have very little unnecessary waste when I was making this bullwhip and used up just about the entire hide!

 

Leftover Kangaroo hide
Leftover Kangaroo hide

People quite often complain about how expensive kangaroo bullwhips are.  Part of the reason that they aren’t cheap is that is takes a long time to aquire the skills necessary to make them and kangaroo is expensive and there is a  lot of waste.

Here’s all the wasted kangaroo from paring the overlay, that’s not including the waste from trimming the hides, paring the bellies and cutting out the set.  

 

Whip making scrap
Whip making scrap

Some time I should save every bit of scrap that gets thrown away and put it next to a hide of simlar size so that you can see how much of the hide actually ends up in the bullwhip.

Here’s the bullwhip with some work into the thong:

 

2/3 finished bullwhip
2/3 finished bullwhip

 and here’s the bullwhip with the plaiting on the thong completed

 

Unrolled bullwhip
Unrolled bullwhip

It still needs a few rolling sessions, the wrist loop, knots and some shellac before it’s finished.  I’m hoping to be able to give it a good roll and plait the wrist loop before I have to head out to do a show this morning.  

My next project is a 10 foot shot loaded bullwhip in black kangaroo.  I’ll be starting that bullwhip as soon as the kangaroo hides for it show up (hopefully today).  

Louie

 

http://bullwhips.org

10 Footy…

10 Footy…

Right now I’m working on a 10 foot KotCS style bullwhip.  I’m VERY happy with how it’s coming out.  I’ve got about 2 1/2 feet of the overlay finished and hopefully I’ll be able to finish plaiting the overlay sometime tomorrow, then the knots and the shellacing on Thursday.

I’ll try to post some pictures later today.

Also here’s a heads up my current wait time has been bumped up to 4 weeks.  If you are thinking of getting someone a bullwhip for christmas now is a good time to order.  I’m anticipating a bump in orders and increase in wait times between now and November.

Louie

10 foot Indy Bullwhip…

10 foot Indy Bullwhip…

A few minutes ago I finished tying the knots on a 10 foot Indiana Jones (Morgan) Style bullwhip.

10 foot bullwhip

It still needs a coat of shellac, but I’ll give it a few test cracks first.

This morning I had a show about 10 minutes from David Morgan’s shop, so I chatted with him a little bit.  I told him about my new way of paring my strands and he confirmed that it will give me the desired results.  What I’m doing is paring the top right and bottom left of the odd numbered strandsof the set.  Then I’m doing the even numbered strands on the top left and bottom right.  What that does is has all the downward angled on the leading edge of the seam when the strands are plaited. That gives a slightly smoother look to the bullwhip.

My next project is an 8 foot 8 plait bullwhip with a long handle.  I’m enjoying making the long handle bullwhips and the hides for this bullwhip just showed up today, so I can get to work first thing monday.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org

The Devil is in the Details…

The Devil is in the Details…

One thing that I’m notice lately is what makes a good bullwhip a great bullwhip is the little things.  All the little things that a bullwhip maker does while constructing a bullwhip add up.  For example the  a little while ago I notice that if I pared the lace that I use on my turksheads the opposite way (top left and bottom right, instead of top right and bottom left) it would give me a tighter knot.  All the little things like that end up being the bullwhip maker’s style.

Right now I have three bullwhips in the works:

  • 18 inch 4 plait bullwhip: This bullwhip is finished except for shellac
  • 8 foot 16 plait bullwhip:  This bullwhip has a rawhide inner belly and has the 1st belly plaited.
  • 10 foot Indy Bullwhip:  This bullwhip has one belly plaited and the next belly and bolster cut out.

Also I’ve been learning a lot about rawhide lately.  One thing that I’ve learned is that I’ve been braiding with it too wet.  So I’ve been casing it and letting it air dry for a few hours before using.  I’ve been getting better results this way.

Once again what I love about making bullwhips is discovering things. For example just about everyone had told me that you get rawhide wet and braid it.  From what I’ve learned is you get the rawhide evenly damp (not wet) throughout the lace.  Now there’s not much difference between damp and wet, but the devil is in the details!

Today I have three shows one about 30 minutes from my house, then the next two are about 2 hours from the first show.  I’m hoping to find some time between shows to cut out  the overlay for the 10 foot Indy bullwhip.

Louie

http://bullwhips.org