In Australia, they have a saying: “A whip is like a man… no guts, no good.”
With that thought in mind, I’m pleased to announce that I have redesigned my bullwhips so that they have more in the “guts” department than what they did previously.
When I first started making bullwhips, I basically modified my cow whip thong design to accommodate the rigid steel bullwhip handle and I increased the diameter to a 16 plait. I also had to figure out a way to keep the handle/thong transition from being too floppy. I solved these challenges by making a kind of bolster out of two pieces of something called “mule tape.” I wrapped it real tight with nylon twine (around the shot loaded core coming off the handle) and then covered it with a 10 or 12 plait belly and then a 16 plait overlay.
This method worked for several years, but as I was talking shop with other nylon plaiters –especially Ron Allen– I discovered that some of these guys were actually plaiting 2 bellys and then an overlay. Because I was already making my snakewhips with two plaited bellys, I decided to give it a try on the bullwhips. I was pleased with the result.
Going forward, all my bullwhips will be constructed with the following “guts:”
- Shot loaded core for weight.
- 8 plait belly, reinforced with an artificial sinew wrap coming off the handle/thong transition.
- 12 plait belly. Again, reinforced with the sinew wrap at the transition and down the thong for a good distance.
- 16 plait final overlay.
It’s a bit more work, but in some ways, it’s less aggravating that my old method. This is really one of those things that I’m kicking myself for not having tried before! I guess that’s one thing about whipmaking: you never stop learning new and better ways to improve your craft. I think this new design will help make my bullwhips even better than before.
Stay tuned because I have another announcement to make concerning pricing. I will post that either tomorrow or Monday morning.
Have a blessed weekend!