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Looking For Help On Mule Hide Horn Wraps


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#1 Nathan Horn

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:15 PM

Hey, I'm getting ready to finish my first saddle. I have a wood post horn that I'm going to wrap in mulehide. Just looking for some pointers on how to do it and get it tight and nice. Thanks for any help you can give

#2 Randy Cornelius

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 12:36 AM

They simpley don't kill mules anymore to get mule hide. The closest thing is pearl apron splits is what I use. Be sure to wet the leather real good before you start so it will srink to fit so to speak. There are as many ways to wrap a horn as there are saddlemakers who do it. I have seen them split the leather and loop it over the horn and start wraping that way. I tac mine down under the gullet and bring it up high on the horn and start wrapping down and bring it back under the gullet and nail both ends down good. I always use white glue to glue it down as I wrap, that way you can clean up any that squeeses out. If you are right or left handed wrap accordingly so you don't unrape it when you dally. If you have some bulges you can work them out with your chinaman or choke strap. Wish I had some pictures. Sure some of the others will give you some more tips.
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#3 bruce johnson

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:58 AM

I skive the edges of mine down to about 3 oz at the edge and back about 1/2". I soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes before I wrap. I wring it out and then cut a slot just long enough to go over the horn. I go down through the handhole, then under and up the front. For right handed I wrap clockwise. I pull on the tail hard as I walk it around and lay the wrap in place. I make sure everything is where I want it and looks alright. Then I unwrap and really crank it on the second time. I wrap the tail around a stick for leverage and wrap again. I lay the stick against the horn and walk it around. I slip the tail and I need to and it really goes on tight. I finish off by pulling the tail through the slit exposed at the back of the horn and the excess lays off to the left. Mine are tight enough I have to work a needle nose pliers under to get the tail. I tap all around with a small hammer and then go over it with a choke strap.

Edit - I found some pictures of a couple I have done. I try to make the slot just long enough to go over the horn and so the tail will fill the slot. I think that makes a cleaner look to fill the slot and not have a big gap. On some big caps and small necks you can't though. Also If I hang the rope strap off a dee on the swells, I screw down throgh the mulehide and then wrap as normal and tuck the tail under the first wrap. The Wade shows that method.

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#4 Nathan Horn

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:45 PM

Randy, thanks for your help. The way you have described is the way the Stohlman books have showed, so I have a good idea of what you're talking about.


Bruce, thank you for your help as well. My saddle is a Modified Association tree. Just wondering if I could put the screw through the mulehide and the rope strap like you have on your Wade. I believe I have seen it done before, just wondering if if works very good or not. Also, when you tuck the tail back under the end that is tacked down, do you somehow tack it down as well, or is it just loose under there? One other question, is there any advantage to splitting it and wrapping it around the front of the gullet?

#5 kseidel

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:20 AM

Bruce has described a great method for wrapping your horns. Just a tip to add to his instruction... after soaking in hot water and wringing it out, saddle soap both sides of the wrap. This will help it slip on itself while wrapping, and will set hard when dry. This makes it easier to get the wrap extra tight.

You asked a couple of questions:
1) Is it okay to put the screw in the wrap with the rope strap on an association tree? It is okay, but is not very user friendly to put the rope strap that high on a swell fork. If you put the rope strap where it is best, then there is a long tab of horn wrap between the horn and the rope strap screw, and it will not hold up well under use. It will not hold the tail well either. It is best to either nail under the gullet or use a slit around the horn and then go under gullet.

2) Any advantage to splitting and wrapping under gullet and around front? No major advantage. Some people have experienced some extra durability from the wrap in front over the front gullet keeping the rope from wearing on the swell cover as much, but it is not usually much of an advantage, if any. There is also not disadvantage.

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#6 Nathan Horn

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:58 PM

Alright, thanks Keith. Like I said, I was just wondering. One more question. Do you tack the tail somehow where it passes under the starting end or is it just loose hangin out there? Like, is there a small tack under that slit you can't see, or does the tightness of the whole wrap hold it there for good?

#7 joe59

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:09 PM

Bruce,
Rather than fight your needle nosed pliers to pull the tail of your horn wrap, try this. I take my front saddle strings and lay them on my fork cover. (one on top of the other) Then I wrap the horn with the method you described. The wrap goes over the strings against the fork. When you get to the tail, sandwhich the tail between the strings and pull the tail through. This has saved me from putting any unwanted marks on my fork cover.

JOE

I skive the edges of mine down to about 3 oz at the edge and back about 1/2". I soak them in warm water for about 20 minutes before I wrap. I wring it out and then cut a slot just long enough to go over the horn. I go down through the handhole, then under and up the front. For right handed I wrap clockwise. I pull on the tail hard as I walk it around and lay the wrap in place. I make sure everything is where I want it and looks alright. Then I unwrap and really crank it on the second time. I wrap the tail around a stick for leverage and wrap again. I lay the stick against the horn and walk it around. I slip the tail and I need to and it really goes on tight. I finish off by pulling the tail through the slit exposed at the back of the horn and the excess lays off to the left. Mine are tight enough I have to work a needle nose pliers under to get the tail. I tap all around with a small hammer and then go over it with a choke strap.

Edit - I found some pictures of a couple I have done. I try to make the slot just long enough to go over the horn and so the tail will fill the slot. I think that makes a cleaner look to fill the slot and not have a big gap. On some big caps and small necks you can't though. Also If I hang the rope strap off a dee on the swells, I screw down throgh the mulehide and then wrap as normal and tuck the tail under the first wrap. The Wade shows that method.



#8 Nathan Horn

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:23 PM

Hey Joe. Thanks for throwin that in here. Any little tricks like that really are nice to hear about. I think I'm gonna have it all done here soon.





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