Yesterday I finished up the handles on the pair of 4 plait cowhide stock whips I had in the works. One thing I learned is when shaping the tips of the Toheti Canes I really should wear some sort of dust mask. I still can taste the cane in the back of my mouth from all the dust I inhaled.
Here’s what the four canes looked like when I started:
Initially I notice that one of the handles was longer than the rest:
So I had to even them up:
Then the next step was to round the ends:
And finally sand in the shape of the tip:
I used a Dremel tool with a sanding attachment to shape them and it worked out pretty well. I imagine something like a belt sander would work for shaping stock whip handles and be much faster!
Now the the handles were shaped I need to add the keepers at the top:
At this point I put both lashes on the whips and took them to the park to try them out with unfinished handles. The reason I didn’t want to wait was it wasn’t raining and it was still light out and if either of those things changed I wouldn’t get to crack them.
Also cracking them before the handles were finished let me know they needed a bit of lead in the handles. It took a lot of effort to hold them while cracking and it made me realize a few things about handles:
- The heel knot (butt knot) has a very function purpose besides having weight under it. It actually makes the whip (of any type: bullwhip, snake whip, stock whip, etc) easier to hold on to while cracking! Once that bulge is there you don’t need to really worry about the whip sliding out of your hand.
- The plaited hand grip also contributes to making the whip easier to hold on it. Bare cane is very slick!
Having to put a lot of effort into holding the bare cane handles really wore me out and after about seven minutes my hands were tired. Here’s the whips being cracked:
So I got home and plaited the hand grips:
One thing about these whips is that all the leather is latigo. A lot of half plait handles use kangaroo and I didn’t do that for these. The main reason is that I’m trying to finish up using this side of latigo! So I cut lace for the handles and thinned it down and while not as pretty as kangaroo it matches the color of the lash!
And here are the completed pair of stock whips:
These were a fun project to make and I’ve got them listed on my IN STOCK whips page. These would make a great first pair of stockwhips!
I think I have exactly enough latigo left to make one more pair of stock whips, so another pair will probably be my next project!