Make Your Own Stock Whip Kit

Make Your Own Stock Whip Kit

Recently I put together a Stock Whip Kit that comes with precut leather so that a beginner can make their own stock whip.  I really haven’t promoted it yet, and have already sold a bunch of them!   This provides you with all the materials you need to make your own stock whip along with a DVD that teaches you how to plait it and put it all together!

stock whip kit

Here’s the “trailer” for the Stock Whip Kit:

Included in this Stock Whip Kit are:

  1. DVD
  2. Belly (with core attached)
  3. Overlay
  4. Grease
  5. Cane Stock
  6. Keeper
  7. Keeper Lashing String
  8. Loop (for finishing keeper lashing)
  9. Lace for handgrip
  10. Artificial Sinew (for tying off handle plaiting)
  11. Knot Foundation
  12. Tacks
  13. Lace for turkshead
  14. Cracker
  15. Fall

I’ve got these in stock and for sale at $70 plus shipping.  However I’m out of town from 1/28/12 to 2/8/12, so if you order during that time you’ll have to wait until 2/9/12 for me to ship it.  Because you’ll have to wait for me to get home before I can ship I’m going to knock 15% off of the Stock Whip Kits while I’m away!  That means you can get your own Stock Whip Kit for only $59.50 plus shipping.  This is a killer deal and only lasts until I get back home on 2/8/12 after that they go back up to $70.

For more information or to order your Stock Whip Kit visit:


The Leather Lace Bullwhip Book Review

The Leather Lace Bullwhip Book Review

The other day I stumbled upon a book about bullwhip making called The Leather Lace Bullwhip on  Since I’m such a whip nerd I ordered a copy.

The Leather Lace Bullwhip

Here’s the description of the book:

Geared mainly to the leather hobbyist with some braiding experiance, This book will show you how to make a cowhide bullwhip in my unique way. Also contains tips and tricks of leather braiding and cutting lace.

I like the idea of this book which is making a bullwhip from lace of a uniform width, instead of cutting it at a taper.  Also for a bit of full disclosure I’ve read this book two times, but haven’t made the bullwhip in this book.  The main reason for not making this bullwhip (yet) is time, however I plan to try it in the future.

In the book Paul cuts his lace with Craftool Lace Maker.

lace maker

This tool will give you uniform lace and while it it possible to cut at a taper with this tool, the way the author uses lace you are stuck with using uniform widths.  One clever thing the author does is converts one of these Lace Maker’s into a very inexpensive splitter to thin down the lace.

The construction is fairly simple, it’s a core, plaited belly and overlay.   The belly is 8 plait and the overlay is 12 plait all in 2mm thick cowhide.

There are a few things that I have some issues with in this book.

  • Paring: The way the author pares without any protection on his hands in my opinion is a fairly dangerous way to teach it to a beginner.
  • Knot Tying: The instructions for tying the knots are in the appendix in the back of the book.  And it uses a coded system, but the author doesn’t really explain how the codes work.  I could understand the codes, but I think someone just starting out would cause a bit of frustration.
  • Incorrect Information: The author says to make a handle like an Indy Bullwhip, you do an U2 O2 U2 pattern. That is 100% wrong.  Indy bullwhips have a checkerboard handle.
  • More Incorrect Information: The author specifically says the pattern he uses on the handle what Ron Edwards calls a Birds Eye Plait.  The Birds Eye Plait that Ron Teaches in his books is different from what Paul teaches in this book.
  • Goat Rawhide?: In the shopping list for supplies the author tells you to buy some goat rawhide.  However that’s never mentioned again in the book.  Leather isn’t cheap, so buying something that’s not used in the project is very wasteful on the beginners wallet.
  • Internet References: In the beginning of the book the author says you can learn to use the Lace Maker on YouTube, but doesn’t give any specific site.  The author should have provided a direct URL.  The author in the appendix offers some other websites, but just the websites name and no direct URL’s so I have to search them. It would have taken all of a minute to type them out, if not for the ease of the reader, but for the sake of completeness.

You might be thinking that I’m nit picking when I mention things like crediting thing wrong.  However crediting is something that’s very important.  When you specifically cite something  you better be right!

Here’s an example of why crediting is important (a very nerdy example).  I’m involved in the world of soap bubble artists.  In a forum someone mentioned that they believe that crediting creators of different bubble tricks is very important and should be done even in a live performance.  Then his example was when he does the bubble carousel he credits it as being invented by Tom Noddy.  On the surface crediting is good, but only when it’s correct.  In Tom’s book he specifically says he learned it from someone else.  Now this person that wants credit to go to the right place is actually falsely giving credit to the wrong person.

I’m not saying Ron Edwards invented the Birds Eye Plait (he didn’t), but when you say it’s what in his book and are wrong you are making historical the waters murky.

One thing I like about the book is that the authors method is fairly simple.  It doesn’t use bolsters so it’s less intimidating for a beginner.  However if you intended to make more than one whip I would highly suggest learning how to make a bolster and incorporating it into your plan.  Also since there is no tapering the cutting out process is pretty easy.  But once again if you intend to make more than one whip in your life time you need to learn to cut at a taper.  Whether it’s simply using an Aussie Strander and turning the wheel a bit as you cut or learning to do it freehand.

I feel this book is intended more for someone that wants a leather working project and that’s just it.  They want to make one whip and then move on to the next thing, not for someone that actually wants to learn to make whips.

One big suggestion for this books author would be to have someone proof read and make the whip in the book that is his intended audience.  Someone that had some braiding experience, but never made a whip would have noticed a lot of things that weren’t very clear.  Also there are a lot of typos and missing letters in the text (i.e. the word USING being spelt USIN), which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s annoying because I paid for the whole book why not give me the last letter of the word?  I know times economically are tough, but adding in a G in the proper place doesn’t cut into profit margins to much.

So the big question is would I recommend this book?  Honestly I don’t know how I feel about it.  I guess I’d recommend it to someone that wants to make a whip, but not really progress any further than that one whip.  However if you want to try plaiting I’d recommend getting Ron Edwards book How To Make Whips and making the stock whip in that book, or a precut stock whip kit.  A 4 plait stock whip is a pretty simple project and you’ll get a feel for plaiting and see if you like it or not without getting involved in doing 8 and 12 plait patterns which can be very frustrating for a beginner.


Stock Whip Pair

Stock Whip Pair

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:


Kangaroo Stock Whip Progress…

Kangaroo Stock Whip Progress…

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:

stock whip

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:

stock whip handle

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.

kangaroo whip 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.


Stock Whip Cracking and a Roo Stock Whip Pair!

Stock Whip Cracking and a Roo Stock Whip Pair!

A few days ago I took the stock whip made with Veg Tanned Leather out to the park for some test cracking.  Here’s me swinging it around:

Also I’ve begun work on a pair of stock whips made from kangaroo. This pair of stock whips are going have 8 plait lashes.  The belly was cut from natural tan kangaroo.

Stock Whip

The overlay was cut from black and red kangaroo:

Stock Whips

stock whip

And I have put the keepers on the handles:

stock whip handles

I still need to do a lot of plaiting before these are finished.  Both lashes need another 2 and a half feet before they are done and the handles need their half plait handles done.

I’m excited to see how these two stock whips turn out!


Cane for Stock Whips

Cane for Stock Whips

So if you’ve been following my little blog you’ve noticed that recently I’ve been expanding from bullwhips to also include stock whips.  I’ve always made more than just bullwhips it’s just that I’ve been focusing a bit on really learning more about stock whips lately.  One thing that makes a stock whip a  stock whip is the stock of course.  In Australia it seems that most whip makers use Toheti Cane for the stock and that is also true for most  whip makers in the USA.  The makers in the USA import it from Australia.

I’d thought about using Rattan Cane for stock whip handles in the past, but never really did much investigation.  Recently Jeff Roseborough turned me onto a website that sells 24 inch Rattan Cane lengths for $2.10 – $3.15 each (depending on quantity).  These are a tad long for stock whip handle with most stock whip handles being in the 20 – 21 inch range, but could be any length.

I picked  up a few of these to try them out.  In fact I used Rattan Cane for this stock whip:

Stock whip

The main difference I notice between Rattan Cane and Toheti Cane is that Rattan seem to have just a bit more flex to it than Toheti Cane.  Also after looking at both I suspect that both types of cane might be the same thing grown in different places so have different names or are very closely related in the vine family.

Here’s a visual side by side comparison of the Toheti and Rattan Canes:

Stock whip

Another thing I notice is that the Rattan Cane was much easier to shape the keeper end than the Toheti Cane was.  I think that’s because the Toheti Cane is a bit more dense which is also probably why it’s has less flex to it.

The skin on the Toheti Cane also a bit harder.  However having a firmer skin doesn’t really matter much, I think the Toheti Cane’s skin might repel moisture a bit better, but that’s just a guess.

Another factor is price.  Rattan Cane much more easily available in the USA than Toheti Cane is. Rattan Cane at retail is $3.15 and Toheti at retail $4.95 or about $1.80 more.  But then you have to figure in shipping with one coming from the USA and one  from Australia.  The shipping on the Toheti Cane is about double the Rattan Cane.

What all that means to the end product of the stock whip…not much.  Because both types of cane are natural products and no two will be exactly the same you’ll probably find some Rattan Cane with the same or less flex than Toheti Cane.  For me I think I’m going to use the Rattan Cane for yard whips (cowhide leather stock whips) and the Toheti Cane for nicer kangaroo stock whips.  Going with a Toheti Cane handle for the price of a kangaroo stock whip is a drop in the bucket where on  a cheaper whip it makes a bit more difference in the margin.

Maybe I’ll offer a choice on cheaper yard whips where someone could upgrade to a Toheti Cane handle from the Rattan Cane for an extra few bucks.


Stock Whip and a Riding Crop…

Stock Whip and a Riding Crop…

Today I finished a riding crop and made a stock whip.  The stock whip is another 4 plait one and this one is made from veg tanned cowhide instead of the Latigo like the last few.  This one is made with the same basic construction as the previous stock whips as well.

Stock whip

The riding crop I started working on last night is from kangaroo and it’s a 24  plait ending at 16 plait.  The core is made from rawhide with a cane center.  This one has a lot of fun plaiting in it.

Riding Crop

My favorite part is the black band in the middle of the riding crop.

I also put a thinner slapper on this one than I’ve used in the past.

I originally made this as something I was was thinking of using to donate to a raffle…but part of me wants to keep it for myself!  However I don’t know if I need more things in my closet that I’ve made.  For now this riding crop and the stock whip are for sale on my IN STOCK page.



Spring Steel Bullwhip Handles and Stock Whip Lashes

Spring Steel Bullwhip Handles and Stock Whip Lashes

Recently someone asked me about what I use for spring steel in the handles of some of my whips.  Now first of all the main reason I use spring steel instead of a spike in some bullwhips is that it gives me a thinner diameter handle.  Also since the spring steel rods are custom made it allows me to have them be any diameter I want.   When using a spike you have very limited choices, I think 3/8 inch is pretty much the only size you can easily find 8 – 12 inch spikes in.

The reason I use spring steel and not a plain ol’ steel rod you get at the hardware store is spring steel won’t bend permanently.  For example if you were to go to your local hardware store and take a thinner diameter steel rod and bend it, you’d never get it straight again.  Where spring steel will always go back to it’s original shape…unless you heat it to something like 600 degrees and bend it while it’s that hot.

Spring steel rods are more expensive than regular steel rods, but I like the advantage of it always retaining its shape.  For example if you made a bullwhip with a regular steel handle and someone stepped on the handle it could bend and you’ve have a broken bullwhip.  Now with spring steel you could jump on the handle and afterwards it’s still be straight (as long as you didn’t put so much weight that it would snap the steel, however you’d have the same problem with a regular steel rod).

Here are two examples of the spring steel rods that I’ve used:

Bullwhip handles

The top one is 8 inches long and just over 4mm thick and the bottom one is 12 inches long by just shy of 6mm thick.  Also I refer to these as “rods” because to me that’s what they are…but if I recall right within the spring steel industry these are technically wire.

Generally I don’t use spring steel in bullwhips with 8 inch handles, however I have a few spring steel rods in that length for projects where I want a slimmer handle.

Right now I’m working on a pair of stock whips.  These have 5.5 foot lashes and so far only the lashes are finished (still need to roll them).

stock whip

Today I’m  planning on making the half plait handles and hopefully the weather will hold out and I’ll get to take them to the park!


Why Jrzjoe on ebay is up to Shifty Business!

Why Jrzjoe on ebay is up to Shifty Business!

Ok it’s time for me to go on another one of my fun rants about people selling whips on ebay.  Well, this specific person I don’t think I’ve ever written about or really given a crap about until last night.  Every now and then I look at the whips being sold on ebay to see if there is anything interesting being sold.

Last  night I found this auction: cache:

The problem with the auction is not that he’s selling a Peter Jack Whip Kit, but he’s using a picture of mine to sell it!  If you look at the first picture which is of the stock whip on a black table top (that’s also the picture that was used to promote the auction in the search results).

Doesn’t that stock whip look an awful lot like the stock whip I made from a Peter Jack kit that I showed in this post from 8/31/10: or below:

stockmans whip

Now I’ll admit the pictures aren’t exactly the same because Jrzjoe intentionally cut off the slug with my website at the bottom of the picture!  So it is in fact the same picture only cropped!  That means that not only are they illegally using my image, but they intentionally removed an identifying mark!

Alright now that I’ve established it’s a picture of a whip that I took.  According to US Copyright Laws it’s my picture and I own all rights to it.  Now this is where is copyright can get tricky because if I had used something like flickr to upload it I may have lost some ownership in it.  I don’t know flickr’s policies because I don’t use them, but many online photo sharing websites in their terms and conditions when you check that box you lose some of your exclusivity / rights to your image.  Fortunately for me the only place that picture has ever been published is on my blog.  I 100% own that photo and only I get to decide how it’s used (well technically my wife owns it as well because I live in a community property state).

I contacted Jrzjoe directly and asked him to take it down as well as contacted ebay’s Verified Rights Owner Program to let them know he was illegally using my picture.  Well I guess the system works because ebay not only took down the the picture, they took down the whole auction!

Now a few questions that popped into my head

I was wondering why he was using my photo to sell the Peter Jack Whip Kit.  Surely Peter Jack the maker of the whip kit has a  picture of one of the stock whips.  Or if Jrzjoe makes such great whips, then why would he use a picture of one that I made?

Or why wouldn’t he make one from the kit and use that for a picture to illustrate it and sell the completed whip?

And finally why would you pay $99.85 for a Peter Jack stock whip kit from Jrzjoe when you can get one from Peter Jack for $77 (That’s what I paid when I bought mine) with shipping to the USA included?  That’s a 23% discount from Jrzjoe’s price!

Jrzjoe’s Response to Me After ebay Shut Down his Listing

This morning I got an email from Jrzjoe after ebay closed his listing.  Here’s his email:

Why? I guess if you have a listing that is similar I could have had it removed, since I have this listed for years. Joe

Here’s why he is so dumb and his email to me simply proves it:

“Why?” Umm, because it’s the law?

“I guess if you have a listing that is similar I could have had it removed, since I have this listed for years” Really he’s had it listed for years?  According the the listing it was updated on 4/23/11 and there were no other revisions.  So this listing is just over 8 month old, so by “years” he could be talking about .8 years.  I think if you were to say Point eight years, that would using correct grammar, but he didn’t include the .8 so he’s meaning multiple years.

Ok let’s give Jrzjoe the benefit of the doubt and say he’s had this listing up before and this is a re-listing that took place in April.  Fine…but the picture didn’t exist until 8/30/10 and wasn’t published until the next day, so at most the listing with my image is just over 1 year and 4 months old.  While technically the listing is over a year old I think the average person would agree that calling it “years” would be a bit of a stretch.

The Whip Industry Shouldn’t Tolerate This!

One thing that the entire whip industry (buyers, sellers and makers) should do is not let Jrzjoe or anyone get away with using someone else’s pictures to sell their wares without permission.  There have been at least two “known” whip makers that have used pictures of Joe Strain‘s whips and tried to pass them off as their own.  In both those instances the whip maker has been called out on it and the pictures removed from their sites.

The whip industry is small enough someone like Jrzjoe infringing on my copyrighted image, that’s what they call in marketing Industry Incest and he’s making his gene pool much dumber by engaging in it!

For someone not in the whip industry it’s hard to know who belongs to what, however most whip makers can recognize their own work from a picture.  When I saw my picture on Jrzjoe’s listing the first familiar thing I noticed wasn’t the whip, but the table it was photographed on, then the whip. Whip makers as a whole do a good job of letting each other know when we see someone using a picture of theirs without permission.

What can you as the consumer of whips do?  It’s simple don’t give business to people like Jrzjoe.