I was cleaning up yesterday and I found a bunch of dog leads that I had made about a year ago. All of these are cowhide leather except for one that’s kangaroo. I had originally made about two dozen or so of these and sold them at a craft fair that benefited the preschool my daughter used to go to. These are the ones that were unsold after the craft fair and I put them away and forgot about them.
These dog leads are made from veg tanned leather which is an environmentally friendly tanning process. That’s something important to look for in any dog lead, something that’s not made with potentially poisonous chemicals that could potentially lead to health problems down the road for your dog. So many of the leather dog leads that are mass produced and imported from places like India don’t tell you how the leather was tanned and you don’t know what you are getting.
Making dog leads is a good way to get use up smaller bits of leather that are left over from whip making. I’ve listed these on my Dog Leads page. All of these are in stock and ready to ship out!
One day I’ll make an in stock page for all the little odds and ends that I make with my left over kangaroo lace. These are things like key fobs, bracelets, mini-horse tack, etc.
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.
Yesterday I made some progress on the 8 plait signal whip.
The overlay is basically finished. I’m at the part where I need to start adding in the plaited cracker. That’s probably my least favorite part of making signal whips. Braiding the cracker really makes my hands sore. However I’m pretty sure this signal whip will get finished today, then I can get back to work on the five foot bullwhip!
Right now my current project is working on two six foot dog leads. Both of them will be in eight plait kangaroo, one will be red and the other natural tan. Below is the lace cut out:
Then I stretched it and split it down to the same thickness:
And finally I resized it and pared it:
I like the pictures of the process of the strand prep happening, because it really looks like nothing has changed…but a lot has happened!
Also with these dog leads I put a core in the middle:
Normally with something like a 4 plait dog lead I wouldn’t do a core, but at 8 plait it needs one to be round shape. If I didn’t put a core in the leash would have a square cross section.
Here’s the brass hardware that will go on these:
Also on the navigation bar to the left I’ve added a section of my online store called Plaited Goods for Sale. Right now the main part of that is dog leads, I’ve got a bunch in stock, but only a couple listed. I’ll try to find some time to list more when I get a chance. I’m also planning on adding some more categories to that for the other things I make like Bosals, Rommel Reins, bracelets, etc.
Once these two dog leads are done I’m going to try to find some time to bang out a few more of my Beginners Bullwhips.
This morning I put the finishing touches on a 3 foot snake whip. This snake whip is made in two tone kangaroo. I plaited some patterns at the beginning of the whip (which is basically the same pattern as I used on the riding crop).
Here’s the whip pre-shellac:
And here it it after a couple of coats of shellac:
Every I put shellac on a whip I’m always amazed at how it changes the color.
Yesterday I started work on an Indy style bullwhip.
This veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo skin was 57 dm, so it’s big enough for a six or seven foot bullwhip. I’m trying something of an experiment with the first three layers of this bullwhip. A couple of weeks ago I made a bullwhip with a Jacka-like transition. The key to his transition is the combination of what you bind it with and the use of split cowhide for the insides.
If you’ve never felt split cowhide it has no grain side, so it’s rough on both sides, instead of having a rough and a smooth side. What I did with this whip is I rolled my core with the grain side in, so the rough side it out. Then I braided my inner belly with split cowhide and finally put the bolster on with the grain side out. What that has done is put rough sides touching each other for the first three layers. That is going to (in theory) give me a slightly more durable transition (and first 1/4 of the lash).
The worst case scenario is that this whip will handle handle like if I made it how I normally do…and the best is that it will be slightly stiffer. That’s the goal, slightly stiffer at the transition from the handle to lash. I don’t want a Jacka transition, just something a hair stiffer than what mine normally are.
Also for what it’s worth it’s much harder on my hands plaiting an inner belly that’s split cowhide. Because there’s soo much more friction from the rough sides you have to pull a lot harder.
After the first two layers were finished I did the next belly and bolster how I normally do (out of kangaroo and kip).
Last night I also got the overlay cut out, but still need to stretch, split, and pare it.
Yesterday I finished making the final two bullwhips of the four that I had cut out. These are four plait cowhide bullwhips that have a plaited belly.
Currently I have four of these beginners bullwhips in stock. It’s pretty rare that I have a chance to make that many at one time…so it’s kinda exciting. Here’s a family portrait:
They all have 10 inch handles, except for the one the left which has an 8 inch handle.
In a post a few days ago I said my next project was going to be an Indy style bullwhip, but I’m thinking I might make a long handle bullwhip next. This is a project that’s I’ve wanted to make for a while, it will be a six foot aussie style bullwhip with a handle that’s sharkskin!
Yesterday I started working some four plait cowhide bullwhips. These will be my Deluxe Beginners Bullwhips, so they have a plaited belly. Last night I got three of the four bellies finished and this morning I finished the last belly…and completed two of the bullwhips.
I gave both of them a few cracks in my living room and they crack well.
Later today or tomorrow I’ll try to finish the other two whips…then after that I think I’m going to make an Indy style bullwhip.