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.
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.
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I originally made this as something I was was thinking of using to donate to a raffle…but part of me wants to keep it for myself!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.
I’m cleaning up my office and I realized that I’ve got tons of scrap kangaroo and cowhide leather kicking around (mostly kangaroo). Here’s a sample of what I have:
The pieces are in all shapes from and sizes. There’s a ton of lace, which would be perfect for small braided goods like key chains. In fact that’s how I used to use up my lace: making keychains, miniature bullwhips, etc
I’ll never use the amount of scrap I have because I generate a lot more than what I use. This is a great chance to get some kangaroo corners, lace and cowhide corners and lace. So here’s what I’m offering for $10.00 shipping and handling I’ll fill a 9 X 12 manila envelope full of kangaroo scrap. That’s it, a flat $10.00, so if you’ve ever thought of braiding or maybe just need a bit of lace click the buy now button:
Here’s a few of examples of what I’ve made from my scrap:
For this deal I can’t guarantee you’ll get any specific colors, shapes, lengths of lace, etc. I’m just grabbing handfuls and putting it into an envelope. This is limited to the amount of scrap I have and is available on a first come first served basis, so click the buy now button now!
Oh, if you want more than one envelope of kangaroo and cow leather scrap, simply order more that one!
I also got almost enough kangaroo for a plaiting project I’m working on:
Initially I thought these five skins would be enough kangaroo for 55 feet of 8 plait, but I think I’m going to need at least one more skin (probably two). I just ordered a couple more skins just in case. It would be enough, but with this project being eight plait, I have wider strands and can’t use as much of the middles of the skins.
Yesterday was an busy day over here. I had five kangaroo skins come in the mail from Mid West Whips:
I had two natural tan, two black and one red kangaroo skin come in. I was almost out of kangaroo, so I’m glad to have more in stock. Paul sent me some really good kangaroo skins. The last batch I had in from another source were about .75mm and these are about 1mm thick, so these will be great for Indy Bullwhips!
Before I could cut any of them up I needed to finish the 16 plait white bullwhip that I started. I had to tie the heel knot and redo the transition knot:
Now that that bullwhip was finish (It’s listed on my IN STOCK whips page) I could start cutting up my new batch of kangaroo skins. Since the skins were thicker I decided to make an Indy Bullwhip. Here’s the inner bolster attached and hanging out while grease soaks in:
Here’s the outer belly finished:
And finally here’s the finished handle:
The outer bolster for this whip is in four pieces, so I get to splice it three times (Boo!). I’m still using the goat for the boslters while I wait for more kip to show up. I did have a piece of kip long enough to make the core out, so the core is kip.
Another exciting thing about trying to split down the goat is because it’s spongy it’s hard to split with a blade that’s not super sharp. I had to sharpen my blade twice for the boslters in the whip. Once the blade loses its edge instead of cutting at the thickness you set the splitter to, it compresses the skin and shaves off a very thin layer. That is not desirable. When the blade is super sharp it properly cuts the goat.
Yesterday I finished up the strand prep for a 12 plait Indiana Jones style bullwhip. When I was stretching them strands before paring I broke one. This is probably the best time to break a strand because it was a simple matter to recut a strand and add it it. Once the plaiting has started if a strand breaks I’d need to do some splicing. Splicing strands doesn’t change how the whip handles, but it’s a pain in the butt!
Last night I had a show at the 7 Cedars casino in Sequim, so I didn’t have much time for plaiting. I have about a foot of the whip done:
When I got home late last night there was also a fresh shipment of kangaroo waiting for me. I had three veg tanned drum stuffed kangaroo skins come in. In the pics below my puppy Talia is inspecting them to make sure they pass her rigid quality standards:
Veg Tanned Drum stuffed kangaroo
The Black is 52 decimeters square, the red is 59 decimeters square and the natural tan is 49 decimeters square. So that you have a point of reference for the size of the kangaroo skins the dog .75 pup-imeters square.
This afternoon I was at my local Tandy Leather Factory and they let me know that they now sell veg tanned kangaroo! I picked up a skin, it’s tanned by Packer, and it’s a good skin…but it’s a dry skin. So that means you’ll have to grease it before you can use it for whip making. It’s also expensive at about $20 a square foot, so the 5.6 foot skin would be over $100 (I get a slightly cheaper price, but it’s still expensive).
I don’t see them as my new supplier for kangaroo based on price alone, I’m currently getting veg tanned drum stuffed for less. However it’s nice to have a local supplier and if I need just one kangaroo skin after you factor in not having to pay shipping it’s not that much more.
About half an hour ago FedEx dropped off a shipment of four whiskey colored Veg Tanned Drum Stuffed Kangaroo skins.
Our new puppy was very interested in the package…she had to inspect the skins to make sure they were good enough to turn into whips:
The kangaroo skins were a bit smaller than I had requested. I asked at least three of the four to be a minimum of 60dm, however what I got was a 52dm, 55dm and two 56dm skins. From what I’ve heard the kangaroo supply over the years has been slowly dwindling and this may be a result of that. Based on the “industry gossip” I’ve heard it’s not because of any lack of kangaroo, but lack of people who will go out and get them.
This morning I also finished the strand prep for the 16 foot bullwhip:
Today I’m going to probably trim up the kangaroo skins that came in today and maybe cut out some bellies before I have to get ready for my evening gig.
Right now I’m working on an 8 foot Indy bullwhip. I had a couple of hides show up yesterday morning from Paul Nolan:
The natural tan one is 66dm and that’s the one that I’m using for this Indy Bullwhip. I trimmed the hide:
The core and wear leather are attached to the handle foundation:
Then I cut out the bellies and wrist loop:
You’ll see that I have all three parts being cut at the same time, I do that to use up the “ears” of the hide which are very stretchy in one direction and it’s a part I’d usually trim off. But cutting this way allows me to use the for the yoke of sets.
Here’s all the internal kangaroo parts cut out:
With Easter tomorrow and a full performing schedule today, I don’t think any more work will be done on this bullwhip until Monday.
Yesterday was package day, and FedEx brought me a couple of kangaroo skins:
The black kangaroo skin has a bit of funny shape to it. If you look at the bottom of the picture you will see the big “scallop” taken out of it. A lot of the right side of the scallop will probably end up being cut off as I use the kangaroo skin. So it’s more waste that I’m paying for.
These two kangaroo skins are for an 8 plait bullwhip that will be 6 feet long and two tone. Then with the leftover roo I’ll probably make a 16 plait bullwhip 6 feet long.
Last night I started work on the 8 plait bullwhip. I cut out the core:
And I attached it to the handle foundation. This bullwhip is being built on a 12 inch spring steel rod.
Today I should at the very least get both bellies plaited (unless something comes up).
I’ve got all my kangaroo rawhide cut into even strips that are ready to be resized whenever I need them:
I also learned a lesson about rawhide while working on my quirt. At one point my strands had dried out and I had stopped work for the day. So the next day I took the whole quirt and cased it for a little while. When I started work the core had also taken in moisture and swelled.
Well when the plaiting was finished and dried the core shrunk more than the plaiting, so now the plaiting is loose! Next time I’ll have to rewet the strands with a spray bottle, and carefully case just the strands and not the core.
One thing I did learn is the type of plaiting that I like best with rawhide. I like the chevron pattern going down the handle. On the quirt I did several patterns and the chevron’s look the best. Having made that determination and then looking at a lot of rawhide work I’ve noticed it’s a fairly common pattern with rawhide.
One of the projects I’ve been working on is braiding over some rods, they will be part of a chandelier. Orignally the rods were supposed to be 10 feet each (4 rods), so I cut out 32 strands at about 18 feet each for a total of about 576 feet of 9mm lace!
When I got the rods they were only 6 feet, so the plaiting job ended up being much easier! However plaiting over a metal rod is much harder on your hands and arms than braiding a bullwhip.