Month: September 2016

 

Drum Stuffed vs Dry Leather

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Well these are often asked questions, What is the difference? Which is better? Just to throw the spanner in the works, I use both, I’ll now answer the second question first, it really is a matter of personal preference and by the time you have finished reading hopefully you’ll have enough info to make your own mind up.

Drum stuffed Leather

This is from Packers a tannery in Australia and is what is in essence is a process the leather is put through once its finished being dyed etc…a hide is covered in tallow, or sheep fat and another placed on top and another and another, a bit like stacking slices of buttered bread I guess is as good a way to describe it as any. The hides are then placed in a barrel or drum that rotates over a fire pit, the heat melts the fat turning it to liquid which is sucked into the hide, after a long period of time the hides are taken from the barrel or drum and put through set of revolving poles, imagine a mangle they used to use many years back to squeeze the water from your clothing, like that but many sets as opposed to just the one. What this does is force the liquid fat into the fibre of the hide and as the mangles are set it also makes the hide an even thickness. Once the heat is removed the liquid again solidifies making a very greasy hide, that in essence is drum stuffed.

Dry Leather

This needs much less explanation, this is a hide that has either been left natural or dyed and once dried is ready to be sold, some dependent on where they are destined have a finish added but us whip makers shellac so buy unfinished and finish them ourselves.

So quite a big difference on the face of it, but in the whip making process near no difference at all. I’ll run you through it so you can make your own minds up.

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As you can see from the picture above there are parts of a Kangaroo hide that are better than others that’s not to say that the other parts are not good leather just that they are not the best for plaiting a fine overlay with, the stuff round the outside usually is great for making shot bags, end caps under knots, bolsters and that sort of thing, very little of a kangaroo hide goes to waste.
Here comes the first of many differences, on a dry hide this is very easy to feel and see, on a drum stuffed one the leather appears even and all good. A novice might be tempted to thing the leather was good for a fine overlay, often whip makers refer to this as false leather Just saying…

So with a dry skin, I get them out the night before I’m going to use them and give them a generous coat of leather dressing and let that soak in over night. Grease added, Just saying….

The next day I come in to start making the whip, trim the hide, make a shot bag, bolster it, then cut some strings for a belly plait, strings are cut over size, greased with leather dressing, (more grease added, just saying) then stretched, resized and as I’m plaiting them I add leather dressing which I use in place of plaiting soap, grease added, just saying…..

The final bolster, heavily greased is added, grease added, just saying….

Cut the strings for the overlay, over sized, leather dressing applied, then stretched, resized, bevelled and tapered and split for a nice even lace both width and depth, then greased again with leather dressing and ready to plait…more grease added, just saying…..

With a drum stuffed hide the leather is pretty greasy already so whilst you might use a bit of grease to plait with you certainly have no need to apply the amount of grease that you do to a dry hide, you’ll find an almost even split of those for drum stuffed and those against with a lot like myself who use both…

My Opinion

And it is just that, my opinion……

I pretty much drum stuff my dry leather myself by the time I’m finished, I have done this as an experiment put two whips side by side and asked a man with many many years of whip experience to pick which is which, they can’t and neither can I on an finished whip. So it is personal preference thing.

A couple of foot notes, dry skins are available in many more colours than drum stuffed hides, drum stuffing adds much weight to a hide so if your in the UK that will make them much more expensive as the postage goes up because of the weight so then in turn does the import duty and the V.A.T, on a parcel of say 50 hides the difference is considerable.

Again thanks for reading

Tony

RIP Joy

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Joy, probably better known as Mistress Demonic was fighting a tumour and the Big C, it was a battle she couldn’t win and sadly she is no longer with us.

This is a great loss to not only the fetish community but also the world, Joy was an apt name, the lady was a joy to behold and just to be around.

I’m sorry your no longer with us beautiful lady, may you Rest In Peace.

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Just a sad thought, thanks for reading.

Tony

Mini Whips

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Mini whips, baby whips, there are all sorts of names for them, the above picture is a mini bullwhip on a little tilter hat, that’s the type of mini hat that sits on the side of a ladies head, so a mini whip on a mini hat.

A lady I did this for about 8/9 years back posted it on my Facebook page, I have done a few over the years in Roo hide and as short as 12 inches as long as 2 foot, I never built them to crack though you could get a crack out of them.

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I have recently had a few requests in my inbox for 2 foot nylon snake whips, I must admit my immediate reaction was pfffftttt!! What is the point I asked myself, a two foot snake then has a one foot fall then a seven to nine inch cracker, it is just a few inches short of a four foot signal whip.

In a short whip weight and taper are very important so common sense tells you the weight in a four foot signal goes out further into the thong and it’s a proven whip been about since the year dot, a much better whip surely? Everyone that emailed me I explained to the pro’s and con’s of a signal versus a short snake and most decided to go with a signal. Good choice I think!

Eventually curiosity got the better of me and I built a 2 foot snake, I tried to improve on what is currently about, I’m not into being a copy cat, although there is probably very little in the world of whip making that’s not been done before it doesn’t hurt to do what you believe to be the best you can.

So Above…..A 2 foot 16 plait snake whip in type II tactical cord, 1st grade veg tanned kangaroo hide shot bag and bolster, Indian Tan Latigo fall, 1st grade veg tanned kangaroo hide herringbone knot, They’ll be on the new site at £60.00

CONCLUSION

I must admit to being shocked at how easily it cracked, it looks really cute, it is very accurate but then at that length that’s hardly a surprise. It is a bit of a one trick pony but perfectly useable I am shocked to say.

“Is it as good as a 4 foot Signal” No it isn’t the signal is much more versatile, however it is just as good as a 3 foot signal which again is a bit of a 1 trick pony so as a cheaper alternative to that it is a goer. Great for the ladies to keep in the handbag, or a coat pocket for the guy’s. Perfect if you have it as an extra whip so you have one with you at all times, but if your looking for serious indoor play then a signal is the way to go. That’s my thoughts anyway.

UK Whip Crack Convention

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I saw on my Face Book page there had been a UK Whip Crack Convention, shocking really that as a UK Whip Maker I knew nothing of it till after the event…..mmmmmm! Maybe not….

A few years back around 8 I think there was a regular Whip Crack Convention, once a year, it was operated by 2 guy’s who were friends, a Mr.Gamble and a fella known as The Major, they had some sort of fall out and The Major ran it himself for a couple of years. Those were the 2 years I went to it.

Year one we went along and much had been made of the fact it was a family event so there was to be no talk or mention of fetish..fair enough I thought till I got there, it wasn’t the best attended event I’d ever been too, if you take out the photographer and his Lady, another whip maker and his lady who had a stall there, The Major and his lady who were on the till there were 27 paid attendees in all. All but 2 of them were well recognised members of the UK fetish scene, as is the photographer and his lady, the other whip maker and his lady and the Major himself.

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Whatever, I don’t believe people should push things on people be it fetish, politics or religion, I believe once your past 21 and of sound mind you should be old enough and ugly enough to make your own mind up as to if your kinky, vote Lib Dem, Conservative or whoever and if you want to welcome God into your life or not…

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Anyway the day went well, I had a great time and even won the targeting contest, we left to go home and everyone else went off to a BBQ at The Major’s house, we had only just met him so thought nothing too much of the lack of invite.

Almost immediately after I was contacted by the Major who intimated I might like to put some sponsorship into the following years event, Some good names in whip making had done so previous years, Dave King, Simon Martin, Rhett Kelly, Steve Huntress to name but a few so I said I would. I also joined the Yahoo group that related to the event.

The next year rolled round quickly and having bumped into The Major at a few Fetish Markets we attend felt we had got to know him some what. I made a 6 foot kangaroo hide bullwhip with much fancy ring work in the handle in a 16 plait 2 tone, it went in it’s own bag with a fid, a tub of leather dressing, spare crackers and a spare fall, also a 6 foot nylon 16 plait bullwhip. A more than fair donation I thought at around £500.00 if you’d had to pay for it and more importantly 2 and a half days of my time.

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We arranged to meet the Major at the BBB fetish market in Birmingham to drop off the whips, The Major wanted them early so he could photograph them for the web site. More time out of the workshop but hey for a good cause.

The event rolled around and we turned up, paid full price to get in, spent all day teaching then for the 2nd year on the trot didn’t get invited to the BBQ…

“Sometimes you just have to accept your face don’t fit”

I accepted it and I have moved on, my wife is very protective of me and is not in the slightest forgiving, but the moral of the story is sad really, Dave the other up whip maker has retired, as has Alex from Cobra Whips who was an evening and weekend maker any way, leaving me the only UK full time whip maker, and this event the UK’s only non-fetish UK event, such a shame we can’t all work together. Hey-Ho!

New Design…The English Lash

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Another new design added to the Essentia Range, or it will be, we are currently giving all the sites a total revamp, one the new site goes live you’ll see this on there in with the Sjambok family along with a thicker version called The English Crop…

Some things will sadly disappear and some new stuff added, the “Under a Ton Range” is going well so a snake whip and a sjambok will be added.

Keep checking the site and see it change.

Thanks for reading……

Tony