2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Whipped Up A Bull Whip Business
Making bullwhips is part art and part science. The design of the handle and woven look of the whip are important. But it also has to have good balance that makes it easy to crack the whip without fatiguing a wrist or shoulder.
Allen learned by trial and error – reading what he could find and purchasing a nylon whip to tear apart.
“I started making them out of leather and threw away five or six full cowhides,” Allen says. He explains that hides have different thicknesses and he didn’t have a leather splitter to make the leather even, which is important for bullwhips.
He switched to nylon (Paracord) and improved his skills over the past four years. Last year he started selling them through his business, Diamond Whip Company. His website includes a video endorsement by Robert Amper, an expert whip trainer. He compliments Allen on the balance and cracking ease of his whips as well as his use of brass or silver ferrules that add beauty to them. Allen is the first to do that, Amper says.
“I also use a true shot bag (with No. 8 birdshot) instead of BBs to weight the core of the whip so I am able to taper the core to give it a more uniform look from heal to point. I also added a second shot bag in the light end of the whip,” Allen says, explaining the differences in his style compared to other whip makers.
He buys exotic wood for the handles and quality material. Prices start at $160 for a 6-ft. bullwhip and can go up to $400 for custom designs with ferrules. He also sells stock whips and cow whips starting at $125. Buyers can choose from a variety of colors.
Customers for his whips have included soldiers in Afghanistan, working cowboys, bullwhip performers and folks who just like to crack a whip. He recommends beginner adults start out with a 7-ft. whip, and he guides customers through the process of ordering.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Noah Allen, Diamond Whip Company (ph 541 570-2958; www.diamondwhipcompany.com)
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