How to maintain your bullwhip, signalwhip, snakewhip or stockwhip.
If your whip has a popper examine it to see how it is attached.
It will occasionally need replacing. If
it is a bullwhip, snakewhip or stockwhip it has a replaceable cracker
you can change your self. if on the other hand it is signalwhip
you will need to have it replaced by a whip maker as the popper
on a signalwhip is braided in. Cracking a whip without a popper
will quickly wear down the fall and it won't
crack, if it cracks at all. Avoid
hitting hard objects like walls or stony ground and don't drag
it about on gravel. Give the fall a good dressing with a quality
cream leather dressing often.Your whip is made of leather so you
should be careful to keep it clean and dry and out of hot places
like the trunk of your car.
worst enemy is heat, dirt and moisture. Dirt can rub and erode
the leather, and moisture can cause it to stretch, shrink, kink
mildew. Prolonged exposure to heat will dry it it out and could
cause the laces to crack or even break. Signalwhips and snakewhips
should be held with the knob at the end in the palm of the hand,
with the whip allowed to swivel in
so as to reduce the bending stress in the thong near the knob.
If the whip is held firmly in the hand, and the thong forced to
near the knob, the whip will fail prematurely in the area of excess
bending. If you have a signalwhip and the ends of the braided leather
buried under the thread of the cracker begin to poke out as the whip
be concerned. The thread is much more elastic than the leather,
so when the whip
is cracked the thread tends to creep out over the leather ends
and allow the ends to poke out. There are typically three knots
holding the ends
of the strands in place, spaced out to ensure that the whip does
not unravel. It is best to leave the ends that poke out, and not
When the fluff on the end of a signalwhip popper wears down to
the knot, this knot may be undone or cut, to form a second fluff which
down to the next knot. In the case of my signalwhips you can
do this a total of three times before the cracker will need to
In most cases you will not need to put leather dressing
on a new whip. That is unless it has been hanging in the shop for
a long period of time before you bought it. When a whip is made the
whip maker will usually apply lots of leather dressing on every layer
of the whip when it being braided. This helps the braiding process
and allows the laces to be pulled very tight.When you do have to
put leather dressing on the whip use a good cream leather
be sparing. Apply more dressing towards the end of the whip where
the cracker is and less at the top where it gets the most stress.Like
at the handle junction of a bullwhip.
to break in a new bullwhip or any whip for that matter.