joe59

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About joe59

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddle making, tack, gun leather, repairs and restoration
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    same as above
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  1. I also use both the Weaver and C.S. Osborne strap end and oblong (bag) punches. Both work extremely good for me. The advantages of the Weaver bag punches is that they punch a narrower hole, much like the old style C.S. and H.F. Osbornes. The point on the smaller English strap end punches are more pointed than the Osborne punches. The disadvantage of the Weaver punches is that the handles are shorter than the Osborne tools and can be difficult to wrap your hand around. The cattle tracking collars you will be making, I imagine will be made from heavy leather. If I were making them, I would use the heavier, longer handled, less expensive C.S. Osborne tools. JOE
  2. A draw gauge and a strap cutter are the same tool. The wooden one used in the video is great for lighter weight leathers. Do NOT square up the leather as shown in the video. When I am going to cut straps from a new hide, I use a long straight edge to square up the side along the back and mark it with a lay out tool (scratch awl, stylist, a ball point pen without any ink, ect..). A deep line is easier to see and can act a guide. Use a sponge and water to dampen hard veg tanned leather. I use my round knife to square up the back. Before I start cutting, I make sure the knife is SHARP and freshly stropped. Set the draw gauge to the desired width and start cutting. Once again, a sharp blade is a must. When you can get a hold of the strap, hold it to keep pressure on it. The strap can be held by hand, clamped to the bench, nailed to the bench, or get someone to hold it with pliers. Club49, the floor is never a good place to cut leather. You are hunched over and in an uncomfortable position.
  3. Steps to Cut straight lines: (1) Obtain a high quality round or head knife. Make sure the knife is comfortable and fits in the cutter's hand. (2) learn how to sharpen the round knife. The sharpest knife cuts the cleanest. (3) learn how to cut with it. I personally do not use a guide to cut, with the exception of fringe. Cutting straps or belts up to three inches, I use a draw gauge and a leather clamp (sometimes referred to as a third hand). Elbow bent and close to your side, off hand BEHIND the blade and pushing the blade will give a person more control over the knife as well control of the cut. On a long straight cut, the more blade in the leather (up to half the blade) keeps the the cut truer. Keeping the blade perpendicular to the leather eliminates under or over cutting the leather. Holding the cut piece BEHIND the blade with the off hand controls the leather and keeps tension on the piece being cut. Box cutters, carpet knives, utility knives, exacto knives razor knives and any other knife that is pulled are NOT appropriate knives for a leather worker. The blades can be weak and bend. A hard spot in the leather can cause the blade to jump and if the knife is being pulled the blade comes back towards the cutter. The book "Leather Tools, How to Use Them How to Sharpen Them" by Al Stholman is an excellent reference guide to build the leather worker's skills. JOE
  4. Adam, I like your saddle. The lines are nice and clean. I especially like your ideas on the rear cincha. I work with a large amount of mules as well as horses and have found that using a cincha on both front and back really stabilizes the saddle in all types of riding. If I could make one observation and comment it would be to change out your rear billets. The single ply latigo, no matter how heavy will not hold up well especially if the horse is straining. When I rig a saddle with the double cinches, I use regular latigos and tie them the same way my near side latigo is tied. By doing it this way, you are doubling the strength. Punch double slots in your catchers so the tails will be more secure and hang them under the seat button. JOE
  5. I have a clicker pad I use but over time the surface gets soft and will need to be planed down it will also mark the leather. The best results I have found is to use a piece of cast off leather such as a heavy piece of neck. I put the neck leather on my granite or my anvil, which ever is handier. When the leather gets filled with hole marks, get a new piece. JOE
  6. A rule of thumb that I use, whether "tooling" my work or work that I've been commissioned to "tool" is $50 per flower. A flower consists of the flower, one leaf or bud and the stems. I do have a hard time charging for my art work because I have a tendency to spend too much time trying to perfect my drawing and pattern work up. Basket stamp or geometric stamps on chap yokes, for example, is roughly $75 per pair. Border stamping on yokes would be between $25 and $35 per pair. JOE
  7. Thanks Joe
  8. Papaw, are you going to have this for sale? JOE
  9. Havilah, In doing your research, there are several question that you can answer for yourself to get an age and type of quality of the saddle. 1. What is the tree made of? Wood covered with rawhide, wood covered with fiberglass, ralide (injected plastic), wood covered with canvas....... 2. What type of stirrup leather buckles are on it? 3. What is the lining on the skirts? Felt, artificial sheep skin, genuine wool skins....... 4. What is the hardware material? Aluminum, Brass, Steel, Stainless steel........ 5. What is the material of the skirt fillers? Leather, cardboard, fiber board, foam rubber, plastic........ 6. How many stitch per inch are the skirts sewn with and do they match with stitching on the cantle binding and fork cover? 4,5,6,7,8........ This might not be the answer you are looking for. From the picture, it would appear that your saddle is one of the many that are mass produced in factories in this country and are imported. 17 inch seats were not common in factory saddles until the late eighties or early nineties. I agree with Bob Brenner that your saddle is no more than 20 years old. You can find them all day long on ebay from three hundred to a thousand dollars.
  10. I generally try to stay away form replying to these types of saddles BUT there have been several on this site and others , so here goes: 1. From the pictures, the "stamping" (tooling) is NOT hand done. it is from an embossing plate. 2. The screws at the front jockeys, rear jockeys and the cantle points are most generally associated with lesser quality saddles. 3. The skirts do not appear to have been blocked to form around the bars of the tree. 3. the skirt lining (as near as I can tell from the pictures) does not appear to be genuine wool skin, also a sure sign of lesser quality saddles. 4. The bars on the front of the saddle appear to be too short and with the full rigging position this can cause pressure points. 5. The stitching on the rolled edge of the fork cover and cantle binding appear to be about 5 stitches per inch. Most custom saddles are sewn at a minimum of six stitches per inch and some at 7 or 8 per inch. 6. Most, but not all mass produced saddles that have a padded seat use the padded seat to cover the fact that seat is made in two pieces and there is no leather in the cantle area. The padding is glued directly to the ground seat and suede leather covers the seams. 6. Although the tree may be wood covered with rawhide, there are many different construction methods. The best trees are wood covered in rawhide, laced with rawhide and nailed. Poorer quality trees the rawhide is laced with nylon thread and stapled. In the past I would work on these types of saddles. With the cost of materials and labor costs, repairing these types of saddles is not economical for the customer or the the saddle maker. If I were to put a value on this saddle it would be somewhere between 150 and 300 dollars maximum. The same type and quality of saddle can be purchased brand new for around 500 dollars. If this sounds like a rant, I apologize. I have seen this type of saddle fail under moderate riding. They don't fit a horse well and can cause pain and injury to both horse and rider.
  11. What thickness and type of leather are you wanting to cut? The wooden strap cutter from Tandy works on light weight leathers and most latigos. Disposable injector razor blades are easy to change. I cut straps all the time, anywhere from 1/4" up to 3" and use a Osborne type ( left handed model master tool from Weaver Leather) draw gauge with no (knock on wood) cuts to my hands. Using a leather clamp and a sharp blade. Put a cover on the blade and hang it up when not in use.
  12. I put my riggings on before the fork cover to protect the tree. As it was explained to me, build the saddle the same way you would shingle a house, from the bottom up. Rain and snow travel down the fork cover between the front jockeys and will collect at the junction of the fork and the bars. Over time the moisture starts to degrade the rawhide and rot the wood. I have seen this happen on a great number of trees where the riggings were over the fork cover.
  13. If you punch the holes from the back side (roughout) it makes a cleaner finish. Punches are tapered and the tang for the buckle fits in better when punched from the back. JOE
  14. looks like a spent bullet
  15. Talk to Luke and Vandy at Sheridan Leather.