10 foot bullwhip

10 foot bullwhip

Yesterday I started work on a 10 foot 12 plait Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Style Bullwhip.  Here’s what I’ve done so far:


Whiskey and Brandy colored kangaroo hides

Then I prepared the handle foundation and attached the core.


Bullwhip core

After the core I stared working on the 4 plait kangaroo belly.  First I cut out the sets for the two plaited bellies, then attached the inner belly set to the handle:


4 plait kangaroo sets for double plaited bellies



Plaited belly

Then I put a bolster over the top of that belly:


bullwhip making

After the inner bolster I attached the outer 4 plait kangaroo belly:

Bullwhip 10 foot 12 plait kangaroo

That belly gets braided:


double plaited belly in a bullwhip

And a bolster gets put on top of that:


Bullwhip with two bellies and two bolsters

In the above picture you can see a lot of the tools that I use to make my bolster.  I use a straight edge, caliper, and a pen.  After the boslter gets attached it’s time to cut the strands for the overlay and do all the strand prep:


12 plait kangaroo set for a bullwhip

The picture above is of the 12 plait overlay set after I’ve done all the strand prep.  Now it’s time to start working on plaiting the overlay:


12 plait kangaroo bullwhip

While working on this bullwhip’s overlay I was about 24 inches into the when I noticed a mispliat about 2 inches past the checkerboard plaiting.  If the misplait was further down the thong I’d leave it because it’s a cosmetic issue  and won’t change how the whip works.  But since the misplait was right after the checkerboard it really stood out…so I got to undo the whip and back it up to to just past the handle to fix it, then replait the whip.  

I’m hoping that I will have time to get a good chunk of the overlay finished today, I’m going out of town for the long weekend, and dont’ want a half finished overlay hanging around that long.  



How I Make my Bullwhips…

How I Make my Bullwhips…


Here’s the process that I currently go through when making my bullwhips. 
First I cut out the bellies and overlay from a veg tanned kangaroo hide:

Kangaroo for bullwhip

Then I stretch and pare the strands:


Kangaroo skin for making a bullwhip

Next I split the kangaroo strands so that they are the same thickness:


how to make a bull whip

 The picture below is of all the kangaroo strands that are ready to braid (except for plaiting soap).

Kangaroo belly and overlay sets

At this point I’ve done a lot of work and probably put in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of work and the the strands pretty much look like when the did when I first cut them out.  In reality the strands in the first picture aren’t very straight. Then in the second picture they are straight, but the thickness is wavy.  And the third picture’s strands are straight and of an even thickness. 

Now for the core, it’s attached to a handle:


bullwhip core

Then I attach the belly to the handle:


bull whip core with belly

Finally it’s time to start some braiding!  So I plait the inner belly:


bull whip plaited belly

After I plait that inner belly it gets rolled between two boards to smooth it out and make it round:


bullwhip plaited inner belly

The bullwhip that has been rollled doesn’t look much different in pictures, but the texture of the bullwhip has changed (for the better!).  

Now I add a bolster:


bullwhip boslter

After the bolster I add the set for the second plaited belly:


bullwhip and double plaited bellies

Below is a good picture of the two bellies and the bolster between them:


double plaited bellies on a bull whip

I finish plaited the 2nd belly:


bullwhip double plaited bellies


Then I roll it between two boards to smooth out this layer.  It’s very important to roll every plaited layer or you will end up with a funny shaped whip.


rolling a bull whip

After rolling the whip I add the final bolster:


bullwhip bolster

When that bolster is attached I make the butt knot foundation:


bullwhip making

Then I add the overlay and plait it.  I consider attaching the fall part of plaiting the  overlay.


12 plait bullwhip

Next I make the transition knot foundation a tie the transition knot:


bull whip transition knot

Then I finish the butt knot and attach the 6 plait wrist loop:


indiana jones style bullwhip

Now I tie the butt knot:


6 foot 12 plait bullwhip

Next I roll and shellac the bullwhip, and here’s the finished whip:


kangaroo bullwhip


bullwhips for sale


12 plait kangaroo bullwhip 6 feet in lenght

I didn’t go into depth into measurements or how I make the bolsters, fillers, etc because I’ve covered that here.  

I hope you enjoyed seeing how a bullwhip is made.