2018 #1 – #31 Whip – Part 1

After a few variations of practice I’m doing my first snake whip of the year.

I haven’t on the whip naming / counting policy really.  Previously, I had around 14 practice pieces & 30 whips with very poor paper documentation made worse by moving my shop twice.

This is really the first of this style as I’m testing faster ways to make the whips versus the long from scratch just a knife & me that the old timers use.  Basically, these lines are less tailored to people or purposes and more commercialized.  I will probably have to write more on this later.

So either 2018.commercial.01 or 31 is this projects number.

Since I’m working on 5 – 7 projects, I forgot photos of the lead up to this one.

This particular whip is 2-3oz firm temper (not the softer milled) cow leather.  It is rectangular pieces each one quarter inch wide.  There is no taper to the individual strands.  There is no beveling on the edges either.

This means besides what the core lends to the shape there is very little taper over all until each drop as I am not adding a bolster to these. Milled leather is a pain to work with as it moves too much even when stretched.

Dimensions (length pre-braiding / post braiding, width pre-braiding)

  • Core – 18″, 1/2″ at widest before taper & rolling
  • 1st belly – 12″ / 8″, 1″
  • 2nd belly – 24″ / 12″,  2″
  • Sheath – 36″ / 24″, 2.5″

From memory, this is the 2nd belly of the whip.    I cased the strands with a sponge to wet them evenly before rolling them and handing here to dry.

It might appear these strands are beveled.  That is not the case, previously I had braided this and the stretching of the edges due to the tightening while braiding is what gives it that effect.

The actual length came out to just under 24″, but I did not complete the braid all the way as I had to have something to secure to the 1st belly.


First layer of black and silver dye on the 2nd belly. I mixed 65% black with 35% silver animal fat & nitrates for the metallic sheen.  On a perfect whip, the bellies would not really need to be dyed but I had extra after dying the outer sheath strands and to quote Stephan King, “…who among us is so perfect…?”

Here I buffed the 2nd belly a bit for fun with a sheep wool shearing.  It draws out the shine in a very satisfying manner.

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