The last couple of days here in the Seattle we’ve gotten (for us) a lot of snow. I think our city normally averages something like 5ish inches a year and in one day we got about 9 inches of snow! Add that to the topography of the region which is mostly hills and you get a slippery mess!
Also this is a chance for me to point out that you can take kangaroo bullwhips and use them in the rain and snow. There’s this general misconception that if you take you kangaroo whips outside in the rain you’ll ruin them. That’s simply not true.
What is true is that if you do take your whips outside in the rain or snow you will need to maintain them properly and it’s not that hard to do. A coat of dressing before you take them out will help block the moisture from getting into your whip while you are cracking. When you are finished cracking your whips you dry them off and give them another light coat of dressing.
I put a coat on my whips and took them out in the snow:
One thing I noticed was that my whips didn’t really get wet! After cracking them in the snow they ended up very cold, but not wet. I gave them a rub down with a towel anyway and another light coat of dressing.
I expected the falls of the whips at the very least to pick up some moisture but they never felt like they picked up any additional water weight while cracking. Keep in mind that snow is a lot different from rain, where snow is basically a solid unlike rain which is a liquid.
Last night I performed at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, WA as part of an arts festival. This historic theater was built in 1918 and pretty much any Vaudeville act working on the Pantages Circuit performed at this theater.
Here’s my daughter, Miss Ella and I onstage working the bullwhip:
Right after this picture was taken I crack the bullwhip and Ella say, “It’s past my bed time” and then runs off stage.
Right now I’m having a little sale on all IN STOCK whips! From now until Tuesday morning 11/29/11 I’ve knocked 20% off all whips (bullwhips, snake whips, etc) that I have IN STOCK. Of course all of my IN STOCK whips are ready to ship out and if they are for delivery in the USA they will make it to you by Chirstmas!
My current project is a matched pair of bullwhips. These bullwhips are 12 plait kangaroo bullwhips that will be 6 feet long. One has been plaited to the 12 to 10 strand drop and the other has been plaited about halfway to the first strand drop.
I’m pretty happy with the look of the handles on these bullwhips:
It’s got a nice circumference measuring in at approx 65mm in the main part of the handle. I’m hoping to find time to finish these bullwhips later this week.
P.S. I just got mentioned in an article in London, England’s The Guardian newspaper! I’m at the end of the article.
Yesterday I was driving home and happened to pass by MacPherson Leather in Seattle. I decided to pop in and see if there was anything that caught my eye. In their scrap bin was a piece of alligator that was big enough for a bullwhip handle:
When I got home I started work on this bullwhip! First I cut out all the cowhide leather layers:
By cutting out all the bolsters and prepping them all at once it really shaves off a lot of time in the making process. I cut them out a bit wider than I need them and split them to the thickness that I want. Then when it comes time to put them on I tweak them to fit the whip.
I had originally planned on taking some more pictures of the making of the internal layers, but was talking to another whip maker on the phone while I was working and forgot to take more pictures.
I’ve got about half of the overlay cut out (it’s 12 plait in kangaroo) and I’m hoping to find time today to finish the entire bullwhip before I leave town tomorrow for a few days.
I recently started work on three signal whips. All three of them are going to be four feet long and made from kangaroo. First I made three shotbags:
Then I filled them and cutout bolsters. Here’s a picture of the progression of shotbags and attaching the bolsters:
And finally here’s the first completed signal whip:
This signal whip is 8 plait with a 5 plait wrist loop. This one is for sale on my IN STOCK whips page. The next one is going to be a 12 plait signal whip in black kangaroo with two white strands. The third signal whip will probably be a 16 plait signal whip.
Since my last post I’ve finished the six foot Indy Bullwhip and made two beginners bullwhips.
Here’s the finished six foot Indy style bullwhip:
This bullwhip’s got an awesome crack, it’s already shipped out to Nevada.
Here’s a six foot beginners bullwhip:
And here’s a seven foot beginners bullwhip:
I made both of these with and “Indiana Jones” type look in mind by giving them the 5 X 4 knots and wrist loops.
I have leather for one more of these bullwhips cut out and I’ll probably make it today before starting work on a kangaroo bullwhip…or maybe I’ll work on the last beginners bullwhip between layers of a kangaroo bullwhip.