Category Archives: leather

Dene Williams Leather Splitter on eBay

splitter

Click here to see the 10 day listing.

About 4 years ago, I thought I wanted to get into making leather whips and I started accumulating some things. Having already established my name widely as a maker of nylon whips, I soon found that I would just never have the time to pursue making leather whips because I’m always so backlogged with orders. I am now selling off the remaining supplies I had in order to reinvest the money in my apiary in order to fulfill my plans for moving into beekeeping as my full time profession.

The items I’m selling:

1. Dene Williams Handheld Leather Splitter:

This leather splitter was made in Australia. I bought it directly from Dene Williams himself. These sell new for $165.00 –if you can find them! As I understand, Mr. Williams has not made any in a while and won’t be making any more until sometime after the start of 2014. That means supplies are limited. I used it for probably for a grand total of 30 minutes splitting some lace and I haven’t touched it since. It has been sitting out on my work bench gathering dust in the shed. If you want to get one of these coveted leather splitters now rather than later, this is your chance.

2. David Morgan lace cutter.

These are readily available from David Morgan. This was a gift from another whipmaker and I hate to sell it just because of that, but I have no need of it and I’m tossing it in…

3. R.M. Williams Lace Cutter:

This is a very common lace cutter in most leather whip shops. I cannot remember where I got it, but it was lightly used as well. Will need new blades. Tossing it in too.

4. Kip hide from the UK

This piece of kip came from the UK. It’s about 1.7mm thick and I put the yard stick in the photo to give you an idea of the size. I cut a good bit off of it in a circular fashion to make some lace for a cow whip I was making so this is mostly the center part of the hide.It has some stains and such, but I’m not a “leather guy” so that’s about all I know.

5. Black Deer Leather from Australia

I got this piece from Simon Martin. It’s roughly 1.7mm or so thick (estimated) and Simon said the shoulders had been cut off and sold before I got it from him. All I really know for sure is that it’s black, deer, and it came from Oz. Again, not a “leather guy” so that’s about all I can say. Selling it as-is and the yard stick is in the picture to give you an idea of how large it is.

So there you have it. Win this auction and you will have purchased what remains of Rhett Kelley’s short lived experiment in making leather whips.

Rest assured, your purchase price (after eBay and Paypal fees) will go to support a good cause: Supporting the bees of Kelley Honeybee Farm!

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Truth in Advertising

Pinocchio The internet whip market is really one of the freest markets there is today. People can freely buy and sell all over the planet. Every whipmaker is free to market his or her wares in whatever way they see fit and charge whatever price the market will bear.

Thankfully, there’s no Federal or U.N. Whip Agency overseeing what we make or how we make it. In having such a free market, I think we have to police ourselves so others won’t have to.

With that idea in mind, I want to touch on the topic of truth in advertising.

For now, I’m withholding names to protect the guilty, but I’m hoping a few whip buyers will read this and be more alert.  Better still, maybe the guilty sellers out there will read this and have a change of heart.

I recently started keeping a small inventory of items on eBay. I hoped perhaps it would get me more established in a market I’ve not really taken advantage of over the years. To me, eBay is a real mixed bag when it comes to whips. Over the years I’ve seen hucksters succeed there, while a few really good whipmakers couldn’t seem to make a go of it. You’ve got some great stuff being sold right along side of rubbish, and unfortunately, lots of people can’t seem to tell the difference.

There’s nothing at all wrong with “talking up a product.” In marketing, sellers are supposed to do that. No whipmaker in their right mind is going to advertise a whip with a line like “Eh, they’re okay. I guess.” I could nick-pick about claims I see about whips sounding like cannons, but I think (hope) most customers recognize such things as the hyperbole that they are.

What I’m talking about are those who make claims that are plainly false in order to deceive unsuspecting customers. That’s what really irks me!

I’ve watched one eBay whip seller for a while. He’s on the 3rd seller I.D. that I know of… In a recent listing with his new seller I.D., he states that he’s new to selling whips eBay, which is flatly untrue. In addition to that, he can’t seem to figure out when he started making whips. At one point the date was coincidentally the same year as I started making whips. In another place, it says that he’s been making whips for “going on a decade.”

So which is it? 22 years or less than 10?? 1991? or 2003-2004?

I don’t expect someone to know the exact day they started a new hobby or craft, but there’s something fishy if they can’t decide which decade they started.

Another inconsistency I’ve seen is great swelling claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on one listing and then another “[insert random number] thousand” of nylon whips on another listing. An unsuspecting customer may not think anything of this, but it sets off all sorts of warning flags for me.

A while back I did some math with the claims I saw on one eBay listing. If I recall correctly, it came out that in order to support the claim, he had to be making something like 750 whips per year in order for it to be possible! That’s 2 whips per day. While I won’t say that’s totally impossible, I’d say it’s highly improbable. From other information I’m aware of, I’m almost certain our unscrupulous seller just picked a large, random number in order to fool people about his experience.

The most prolific whipmaker I know of in the USA is Krist King. He has many retail outlets selling his nylon whips and they are literally everywhere. He tells me he produces an average of 12 or 13 whips per week, depending on what kind he’s making. I believe that claim because I’ve seen evidence of it over the years. With the particular eBay seller I have in mind, I’ve seen no evidence to support the outrageous claims that have been made.

Personally, I see nothing to be gained from making boastful claims of having made “[insert random number] thousand” whips or something when I know it’s not true. I’d rather be known for quality instead of quantity anyway.

I don’t understand why some people can’t just be real. What’s wrong with being honest about your experience and doing your best to make a good product? Why not be proud of what you’ve actually accomplished instead of trying to deceive people into thinking you’re something you’re not?

In closing, I hope whip buyers will take time to evaluate some of the claims they see. Compare listings and see if the seller is being consistent in the stories he or she is telling. If a seller won’t put his real name on his product, that should be a red flag right there.

If you see claims of thousands of whips having been made in a certain period of time, break out a calculator and see if the numbers look realistic. There’s far too many good sellers out there for you to be doing business with shysters.


2009 in Review

As 2009 now comes to a close, we witness the passing of what will be remembered as a tough year for lots of people. But even in a difficult economy, I’ve seen that people continue to buy whips; thus 2009 was a great year for my business. I had many wonderful customers who provided me with plenty of whip orders to fill even when the hours at my job were lacking. In this final post of the year, I would like to highlight some accomplishments and say thanks.

Here’s some highlights from 2009:

  1. Cowwhips.com got a long overdue makeover.
  2. Developed my own line of Australian stockwhips.
  3. Saw all-time record ordering volume in April and July.
  4. Redesigned the bellies and fall hitches on my bullwhips.
  5. Successfully entered the nylon Indiana Jones bullwhip market.
  6. Started this blog!
  7. Added new options for cow whip handles: Stratabond and exotic woods
  8. Affiliated with the Whip Basics Project: WBSR Whipmaking Team and DVD distribution.
  9. Began making deer leather and experimenting with leather work.
  10. Resurrected my line of wood handled bullwhips.
  11. Saw my son begin his journey as a whipmaker.
  12. Made lots of new friends!

As you can see, 2009 was a busy year. I’m looking forward to what 2010 has in store.  I appreciate all the customers who helped make it possible. Thank you so much! You’re the best!

Happy New Year!

-Rhett

Cowwhips.com


Hanging out with Joe Driver

Yesterday I was very blessed to have Joe Driver come over for a visit. Joe is one of my best friends as well as a fellow preacher and maker of nylon whips.

Joe drove over and preached at our church Sunday. After lunch, we got together for a little whip cracking.  After that, I showed him my leather making projects and how I turn handles on the lathe. The great time of fellowship seemed to come to an end much too soon as Joe had to leave around 3:30pm in order to make it home at a decent hour.

Joe’s website is Joescustomwhips.com. If you need a nice nylon whip without waiting very long to get it, I highly recommend you give Joe a try. His prices are the same as mine and he backs his work with a guarantee that’s hard to beat.

Here’s Joe with my 6ft Aussie stockwhip made by Simon Martin. Joe was really excited about getting to crack this whip as he and Simon are friends as well.

Here is Joe and I throwing a couple of bullwhips. Joe has my 6ft latigo woody bull made by Skip SanSoucie. I’m cracking a 7ft woody bull made by Drew Schrag. (The Schrag whip is on loan to me from one of my customers.)


It was really great to get to see Joe again today. Getting to hear him preach was icing on the cake. We don’t get to hang out nearly enough. I look forward to doing it again soon.


The Quest Ends!

I finished the quest for homemade bark tanned deer leather this weekend. Here’s a picture of me with the hide. After I finish tanning the next one, I will start trying to make a cow whip out them.


The Quest for Deer Leather: Almost there!

Today I started on the 2nd hide that I have. I fleshed it and now it’s in the lime bath for a couple of days.

My son and I took the first hide out of the tanning solution and rinsed it. After that we hung in on the stretching rack to dry. After I’ve greased it, it will be ready to be made into a cow whip.

Here’s the pic:

Bark Tanned Deer Leather

Bark Tanned Deer Leather


Deer Leather Pictures

If you’re keeping track of the days, today is day 10 of the project. I took the hide out of the tanning bath and snapped a couple of quick photos to record the progress. I sliced off a strip from the edge yesterday and it looks like it’s almost tanned through and through. I plan on taking it out of the solution over the weekend and finish it up.The chestnut extract has given this hide a really nice color. The best part: no foul smell anymore!