Tag Archives: whipmaker

Whip Basics Ring of Trust

I am honored to be among the 1st group of whipmakers included of the Whip Basics Ring of Trust.

In the following video, Robby Amper discusses why he created the group.

 

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Proceed with caution, but let’s proceed!

Just as I figured, Tuesday’s post A Plea for Integrity made some waves.RK Brand

Judging from the number of views and visits to this blog, it was probably the first “semi-viral” thing I’ve ever posted here. I received a number of emails and Facebook messages asking about the identity of the whipmaker I wrote about in the article. Whip crackers wanted to make sure they did not (or do not) buy from the person and whipmakers were assuring me that they weren’t the ones doing anything unethical. Everyone was seemingly as upset as I was when I wrote it.

It would have been easier for me to have kept quiet, but I’ve often found that doing the the easy thing is seldom the same as doing the right thing. One major concern I had about writing that article was the possibility that it could hurt all of us who make synthetic whips. Another concern was that some might see the article as some tacit advertising campaign; that myself and Noreast Whips are the “safe guys” to buy from and all other should be viewed as suspect. I want to assure you that neither of those things was my goal.

The goal was to let folks know that there was an allegation of dishonesty in the ranks and maybe, hopefully, the offender would read it and decide to do the right thing from now on. By now, I’m certain the offender has seen the article and knows that someone out there is on to him. Judging by the reaction I’ve seen, the offender can rest assured that if his identity is revealed, it would almost certainly be a career-ender.

Thinking optimistically, perhaps it was just an isolated incident; a momentary lapse in judgement on the part of an individual trying something new.

We can only hope.

At this point, I want to call for calm within our whip making and whipcracking community. I believe that most of my peers are honest and committed to making the best products they can. As I look around at the craftsmen I know personally, I can’t imagine any of them being willing to sacrifice their name and integrity for a quick buck.

What I hope for most of all is that the plaiter in question –and any others who might be tempted to do the same– will realize that such dishonesty is not acceptable in this small community of craftsmen/women.

We don’t have government bureaucracies regulating whipmakers and telling us how we should do things or handling quality control. I’m a big believer in free markets, so I love that I get to make my living doing business in one of the freest, most unregulated markets on the planet. Being such a small niche market, I think chances are slim we’ll ever see much bureaucratic oversight, but I still think we have to police ourselves so someone else doesn’t have to do it for us. (I’d rather not see Obama create a Federal Bureau of Whipmaking Integrity.)

To the whip buyers reading this:

Here where I live, the Health Department inspects restaurants and gives them a grades either “A, B, C, or U” based on their findings. At times, we have driven by and saw a “B” or “C” placard on the window of restaurants where we have eaten in the past, occasionally even on ones we really like.

My wife’s reaction is to say “Oh, no! Gross! We better not go there.”

My reaction is different: I happen to be a Nationally Registered Food Safety Manager, so I know that once the inspector has come through, most of the problems are corrected on-sight. So in reality, it’s probably better to eat at an establishment the day after it gets a “B” or “C” and made corrections, rather than the day before it’s inspected and still has an “A” on the sign from the last inspection.

My point is this:

If I was ibuyer bewaren the market for a nylon whip, I would personally feel better about the integrity of the synthetic whip market today than 2 days ago. A few days ago, those who were may have been dishonest probably thought they were fooling everyone. Today, they’re not so sure. In fact, I’m willing to bet someone out there may be scared of their mind and is cleaning up their act!

As with all online shopping,  you need to keep your guard up. There’s lots of great whipmakers on the web, as well as a few hucksters. I don’t want to see one bad apple ruin it for all of us.


A Plea for Integrity

After you read this, please see my follow-up article as well!

I really wish I wasn’t having to write this article. But, as a whipmaker who has been selling whips online since 2001, I think there comes a time when someone has to “call a time-out” and address something that is allegedly going on within our small community.

Dishonesty in Our Midst

It has come to my attention that there’s a whipmaker selling nylon whips that is being less than honest in his product descriptions. This was discovered by someone who’s first experience with nylon was with a whip I made. The customer liked the whip and started ordering other styles from other vendors.

The customer ordered a 7ft nylon bullwhip from someone that advertised it as having 2 plaited bellies. Noticing something was amiss, the customer did what most would not, and opened it up and found that the whip had no plaited bellies at all! In fact, it contained what probably amounted to several rolls of wrapped black electrical tape!

For the record, I do not know who the offender is and I told the customer I didn’t want to know, at least for now.

I also know that the offender is apparently NOT a newbie; he’s part of the “varisity team.” I think this makes the allegations even more disappointing. I expect this sort of thing from the fly-by-nights and hucksters on eBay, but not from among the better known nylon plaiting establishment. Varsity whipmakers should have enough personal integrity to be honest in their descriptions and sell what they claim to sell. I honestly don’t have a problem with someone making whips with tape bellies, but they should describe and sell it as a wrapped tape belly -and price it accordingly! Don’t say it has “2 plaited bellies,” when in reality, it contains a dozen rolls of wrapped electrical tape!

(What I do know for certain, based on the information I received, was that it IS NOT Steve Huntress at Noreast Whips and that the whipmaker is based in the United States) [edited 10/15/2013 @ 3:24pm]

Those of us who have been around for a decade or more selling synthetic whips will recall a time when nylon was somewhat frowned upon in the whip cracking community.  Many of us have worked very hard to produce the best product we can in order to get synthetic whips to the place they are today. And that’s the point, we did our best and we were honest in our dealings: that’s why we’re still around and nylon whips so widely used today!

If there are people within the whipmaking community deceiving their buyers and turning out garbage, it’s inevitably going to hurt those of us who have worked very hard to get where we are.. In fact, the customer who brought this to my attention said that if the tape-bellied bullwhip had been their first experience with nylon, she would have not bought any more synthetic whips! Think about that for a second my fellow synthetic whipmakers!

To the person who is guilty of this charge:

12 of these wrapped ≠ 2 plaited bellies

12 of these wrapped ≠ 2 plaited bellies

I don’t know who you are, but I realize you could be someone I know; maybe even someone I number among my friends in the whipmaking community.  I sincerely hope you will make amends, or at the very least, make your descriptions match what you are really selling. You’re only going to end up hurting your own reputation as people figure out what you’re doing. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain from these deceitful practices.

You’re very lucky this customer is not willing to see you publicly thrashed. I believe you truly deserve to be called into account for this practice. I guarantee that if you continue to do this, it won’t be long before someone else finds out and exposes you. Do yourself a favor and do things right.

You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.” -Leviticus 19: 11(ESV)

“You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God,…”  Leviticus 19: 35-36 (ESV)

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” -Colossians 3: 23 (ESV)

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” -Proverbs 22: 1 (ESV)


“Is there a discount for matched pairs?”

FCE stockwhips

FCE stockwhip Pair

The title of this post is a question I’ve gotten a few times lately, so I figure it was about time to address it here on the blog.

The fact is, I do not offer a discount on matched sets, there’s actually a fee associated with it. At first glance it seems odd because it is common practice for sellers to offer discounts for multiple purchases. Such is the case with many of the beekeeping supply companies I deal with where the more of an item I buy, the less per item I pay. So in light of that, I realize it may seem counterintuitive to people that I would charge more for a pair of whips.

The reason why I charge more for matching a pair of whips is simple: it takes much more time and focus to make a matching set of whips.  I’m not sure how others do them, but for me, making a set of whips match is not as simple as just making two whips back to back. When I make a matched set, I spend much more time on it and it is more painstaking because I really try to get the whips to be as matched as possible. This means I’m constantly going back and worth between the two, repeating every step as closely as possible. Every step is worked, compared, and sometimes reworked. It’s lots of work… Or, maybe I just stress out about it more than some.

Here’s an example: Right now I have a matched set of 8ft, 16 plait bullwhips on my waiting list. I can make one 8ft, 16 plait bullwhip in a day; two of them in two days, but because it’s a matched set, I’m pretty sure that this order could end up taking me three days. To me, it is only logical to charge a little more for doing a job that will require even more time, skill, and focus to accomplish. I try to keep it reasonable; the most I charge extra is $75.00 for most types of whips and just $25.00 extra on a set of FCE stockwhips because the handles are prefab and I only have to handcraft and match the thongs.

Again, I realize that some may disagree with this policy and that’s okay. I hope that this article will give folks some incite as to why I do charge more on matched pairs. It has nothing to do with being greedy or wanting to discourage two-handed whip cracking.

Thankfully the online whip market is still very much a free market, so no one is forced to buy anything. Those who see the value in what I do will have no problem paying what I ask, those who do not see the value will go elsewhere. Either way, no one is being defrauded.

-Rhett

http://cowwhips.com


Whip Making Tutorial Introduction Free on Youtube

I’ve just made the first section of my whip making tutorial available publicly on Youtube for the first time.  It’s my introduction all the way through making a keeper and adding weight for the belly.  The rest of the tutorial is available on DVD, for sale at http://www.cowwhips.com/whip-making-dvds/


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:


Florida Cow Whip: Made in Argentina!

A while back, I received an order from Fabian F. in Argentina for a set of my whipmaking DVDs.

Today I was pleased to receive an email with the following pictures asking for my opinion of his efforts using my DVDs.

My reply: “Most excellent!”

Your results may vary, but if you have an interest in making your own nylon Florida cow whip, consider ordering my whipmaking DVDs.  This is one example of the many photos I have received from people who have used my DVDs to learn to make their own cow whips.

-Rhett

Cowwhips.com