Category Archives: whip handles

Tying on a Cow Whip Handle

My method of tying on a cow whip handle. I get questions in this because it’s something I left out of my whipmaking DVD. I hope it helps.

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New bullwhip designs on the horizon

I’m not sure why, but I’ve noted recently that a plain black bullwhip will garner many more “likes” and attention on Facebook than something more flashy looking. That being said, I’ve decided to start promoting my fancier work a bit more than in the past.

Whipmaker Tony Layzell in the U.K. was the man who was graciously helped me with learning a more simple way of doing the designs around four years ago. I’ve done this sort of work when requested in the past, but I never really advertised it much as I always preferred doing the simpler designs.  My personality type likes “comfort zones,” so that’s where I tended to remain.

Now that I’m full time making whips, it does get somewhat dull doing the same old patterns all the time. I also figure my Facebook fans will eventually tire of seeing the same things over and over again when I post whip photos. I will be updating my main website soon to make these options easier to select without having to contact me to make a special request. Here are photos of a couple of recent examples:


Bullwhip grip change method

Today I received a question in an email about  how I made the bullwhips with the grip portion of the handle in a different color than the thong as seen on the Young Indy style bullwhips and on many of the 12 plait bullwhips I have posted on my website.Young Indy

I agreed to help out and took a few snap shots of the process on a 12 plait bullwhip I was working on at the time. I’m posting them here to maybe help others who wonder what to do. This is probably not the only way, or even the best way, but it’s my way and it has worked for me so far.

From here, I just build my transition knot foundation as normal and cover it with a turkshead knot.

That’s all there is to it!

-Rhett

Cowwhips.com


“Your handles are High Priced!”

Top to bottom: Zebrawood, Redheart, and Bocote

For a while now on my main website, I have not advertised that I sell custom cow whip handles. Though I do make custom handles on request, I don’t really want to get bogged down with orders for them.

The reason:

Cow whip handles are one of the least profitable items I sell given the time they take me to make them.

Yet, I was recently told by someone that my handles are “high priced”.

Steven Huntress recently posted a great article on his blog addressing the erroneous idea that the value of a product should be based solely upon the cost of the materials used to make it. I commend it to you as I share his point of view on the subject.

In my article, I just want to touch on how my handle prices are figured and the rationale behind it.

My wife would probably tell you I’m the King of Wasting Time, but I do value my time and I like to spend my productive hours in a profitable way.

In general, making whips is probably the best paying job I’ve ever had on an hour per hour basis. However, that doesn’t mean that every facet of whip making is profitable alone. That’s sort of the situation with making cow whip handles.

I normally charge a base price of $25.00 to make a standard ash cow whip handle. On exotic wood handles, I charge roughly what it costs me to get the handle blank being used, plus $25.00 per handle for turning and finishing it on the lathe. In the photo, you’re looking at roughly $140.00 worth of handles. That may sound like lots of money, but when I deduct the expense for materials and figure in my time, I could’ve made much better money working on a 12 or 16 plait bullwhip instead.

The price I charge for making a custom handle is really the minimum amount I will accept for the time it takes me to do it. I would ask for more, but I’m making a conscious effort to keep the price low. Unlike many markets today, the “whip market” is free and unregulated. Buyers are free to buy, or not to buy a product, and there is a growing number of sellers from which to choose.

Are there other, less expensive options out there? Sure. There’s Eli’s in Florida that sells handles cheap. I suspect these are mass produced because all the ones I’ve seen are all clones. What you see is what you get. It’s not a bad handle, but when I sold them as part of my whipmaking kits last year, people didn’t really like them as much as my standard handles. After you figure in UPS shipping rates, the cost of a plain Eli’s handle isn’t much less than one of mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind making handles. If you want one, please get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to take care of you. Just know that even though the price may sound a little steep from your view, from my view, I’m offering a real bargain.


The Tool Whip

A few weeks ago I was working on my truck. I picked up a Craftsman screwdriver and got to looking at it’s classic, almost iconic grip. All of a sudden the idea hit me: This would be an interesting grip for a bullwhip. That is, in a “novelty” sort of way. I had never seen anything like it before.  This prototype is built to the same standard as all of my 16 plait  woody bullwhips, but with a Craftsman handle.

It is now for sale on eBay.


Guided Tour of the New Cowwhips.com

Cowwhips.com has a new look, new products, and a new way to order!

The first new tab you’ll notice on the navigation tab is the new online store. There you will find all of the nylon whips and other products that are available. Under the store tab you will find a FAQ page where I have attempted to post most of the common questions people ask me as well as a few hypothetical questions I think may arise from time to time.

As far as products, we have a few new additions to the site:

  1. The FCE stockwhip.
  2. 12 plait nylon bullwhips.
  3. Nylon Indiana Jones bullwhips.
  4. Paracord Survival Bracelets.
  5. Whip Basics DVDs.
  6. Whipmaking Kits.
  7. Rhett Kelley Whips t-shirts.
  8. Coreless Nylon Paracord
  9. How to Make Whips, by Ron Edwards

 

The 2nd tab is all “About,” there you will find a drop down that contains lots of information about myself and the business.

The 3rd tab is the Gallery. There you can find lots if pictures of whips I’ve made. I intend to keep this updated with new pictures on a regular basis.
The 4th is the Contact page. Please note the new business hours and email address.

The final tab is a link back to this blog.

And that’s about it for the tour. I hope it helps.
Rhett Kelley

Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC

Cowwhips.com

 


Cowwhips.com Relaunch

Stop by and see the newly remodeled Cowwhips.com!
New look, new products, and new lower prices on standard 16 plait bullwhips!

 

Rhett