I just finished my 13th whip and the first one made of leather. It was quite the learning experience. I’ve been collecting leather working tools for the past several months and about a month ago I bought a cow hide from the local Tandy Leather shop. I bought cow hide because it is cheaper than kangaroo, but as I discovered, it is a bit more difficult to work with. Kangaroo hide is generally thinner and stronger than the cow hide so it makes better whips overall.
I have been working with paracord for about 8 months and have learned a great deal about weaving, plaiting, tying, and braiding different patterns and knots and styles and I thought that the experience gained from all the bracelets, lanyard, handle wraps, leashes, and whips would transfer to the leather easily. Really though, about the only thing I didn’t have to relearn was how to tie the knots and plaits. You can yank all day on paracord and never break it, leather has a limit, and the limit varies depending on which part of the hide it was cot from. I broke a lot of strands. The good news is I became quite proficient at dropping and adding strands to the whip.
Cutting strands got easier as I went along, but I still was having a lot a trouble getting the widths, thicknesses, and tapers consistent. As a result the plaits are a little uneven in many spots.
Anyway, over all I was pleased with how it turned out. It’s not good enough to sell, but I learned a lot and hopefully will improve with each whip.
This is an 8 foot long bullwhip with a 10 inch steel rod in the handle. It has three plaited bellies and a 12 plait overlay. The fall is 18 inches long and the cracker is 10 inches and made of multiple strands of Dyneemo. The heel knot is a 9×8 Turk’s head with a pineapple interweave. The transition has a silver collar held in place by 2 9×8 Turk’s head knots.