Recently in the mail I got a flyer from Tandy Leather Factory in the mail with their February sale items. One thing that caught my eye was that they had Ostrich Leg Skins on sale.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ve probably noticed that I love making whips with handles from unique leathers. In the past I’ve made bullwhips with handles made from:
and Sting Ray Skin
That got me thinking that making one from ostrich leg skin would be a fun project. The description on Tandy’s website says the average size is about 5 x 22 inches. That would give me enough leather for at least two handles, but more more likes in the ballpark of 4 handles!
Unfortunately I’ve got a few more things I want to do before I get around to making an ostrich handle bullwhip.
Here’s the pair of stock whips that I started last week now that they are finished:
It’s amazing the different in the amount of energy your body saves once lead is put in the handles! A bit of lead makes the whips much easier to hold on to. Also I tried out these whips with kangaroo and with white hide falls (one on each lash) and cracked them on the same handles.
After trying it with both types of falls I was surprised to find out that I preferred a kangaroo fall over the whitehide. Keep in mind this is on a pair of stock whips which quite often have a finer point than a bullwhip. Here’s the two stock whips being test cracked once I put a kangaroo fall on the second lash:
The pair of stock whips that I’ve been working on have been having some slow progress. Right now I have one of the lashes finished:
If you look at the keeper you can tell I used a natural tan kangaroo inside. In the future I’ll be sure to use a belly that matches the outside. On this pair I may simply dye the part that’s showing black and then it won’t show.
I also have starting plaiting one of the handles:
Before I started plaiting the handle I put the lash on it and took it outside to crack it. As a test I tried making a kangaroo fall.
This kangaroo fall was cut around the tail of the kangaroo skin where it’s typically the thickest. I’m not 100% positive that I’m on board with the roo fall. On the other stock whip of this pair I’ll put a whitehide fall and see which that I like better.
Today is Friday the 13th which is considered to be an unlucky day…but if you are shopping for a whip it just might be your lucky day! From today 1/13/12 until midnight on Sunday 1/15/12 all IN STOCK whips are 13% off! This sale is limited to stock on hand and it’s first come first served.
Here are a couple of examples of deals you can get today:
After the first half we broke into two groups and taught the basic cattleman’s crack to everyone and then the last few minute we regrouped and chatted about everyone’s whip cracking experience.
Here are the pictures that I took:
Here’s a video of Will doing a comedy body wrap, John doing some bullwhip cracking ending with a body wrap on me:
One piece of advice that was shared in this Bullwhip Demo was that if you are new to whip cracking or even a more experienced whip cracker you should try to find a whip group to crack whips with. You can learn a lot and one of the best things is that you can try whips from all sorts of different makers! Most major cities have some sort of whip enthusiasts group or western group.
Yesterday I made the lash for a cowhide stock whip. This one is 5 feet long has a core, plaited belly and 4 plait overlay. Also FYI if I recall correctly technically this is a yard whip not a stock whip.
For this stock whip I cut out the core at 2.5 feet and it flares out to approx 35mm at the 6 inch point then tapering to a point at 2.5 feet.
Next I cut out the set for the belly:
These started at about 9mm and tapered to a point at about 6.5 feet. Next I braided the belly:
After braiding the belly I cut a hole in the yoke and trimmed it to make it attached to the stock whip handle. Next I cut out the overlay:
These were initially cut at about 19 mm tapering to a point at about 7.5 feet. However in paring I took a good 2 mm off of each strand. Finally I plaited the overlay, attached the fall and stuck it on an SKT Stock Whip handle:
I still need to make my own handle for this stock whip. I put my lash on the SKT stock whip handle was that I wanted to crack it right away! This whip has a good crack, but I think it can be improved. I’m going to have a bit more weight out in the point of it. That will give it a bit more oomph!
Currently I have something like 5 heavy cane handles and 3 slightly lighter cane handles. So that means my I’ll get a handle for this stock whip, then two pairs of stock whips. After that I’ll try to make one half plait handle with a kangaroo lash and finally a pair of kangaroo stock whips with half plait handles.
I was sort of amazed at how quickly I was able to make this stock whip lash. Honestly I really shouldn’t be that amazed because there’s not much to it (compared to a bullwhip with two bellies, two bolsters and a higher plait count).
Yesterday I finished making the other 16 plait two tone bullwhip! This bullwhip was cut out the same time as the last one, but I didn’t immediately bang it out. This bullwhip is 6.5 feet long and made in black and saddle tan kangaroo.
Here’s a close up of the handle:
Another thing that I did with this bullwhip was putting a couple of plaited patterns in the lash. I’ve never really don that aside from right off the end of the handle. Here’s the birds eye plait:
And here’s the 2 X 2 squares:
With this bullwhip I took a lot of care as to how I got into and out of different patterns on the whip. So that the plaiting flows well and symmetrically into and out of the different patterns on both the handle and the lash.
The next few whips that I’m planning to make are going to be stock whips. In the past I’ve only made a few stock whips and they are something that I’d like to make more of and eventually a pair for myself.