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#1 Aurelie

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:13 AM

Hello guys!

I know some of you will think that i am totally crazy (and i know some around , here do think so) but i've been taught that you learn from your error and even more in saddle making
I like having fun and challenging myself
so here is the thing:

May 2012 , i have planned to go to Sheridan Leather Show
At 1st it was to meet suppliers, see really nice saddles and meet some friends
and i came out with the following idea :

in for a penny, in for a pound => i have to pay plane ticket for myself so why not for a saddle i would have built for the contest??? :D
i am a rookie, i am totally aware of this
i do not aim a price but i go for fun and in order to learn even more about saddle making

i started this thread because i know at some point i will need some advices

Here what i ve planned to do :

- saddle tree is a Timberline 6 1/2" Old mexico (might be easier to deal with than the last Sid Special i ve done ;) )

- in skirt saddle
- straight cantle => here i guess i will ask you some advice (the binding just scare me off)
- in laid seat => never done that
i ve searched on the forum some info on that and found some but any additionnal advice is welcomed
- fork cover : i wanted to try a "slick" one (without welt)
i am not sure it's possible , i guess it's "borderline" regarding the shape of the swell

so either to help me or to make fun of me
you can keep tuned ;)

anyway i will really appreciate your advices

Thanks

Aurelie


In for a penny, in for a pound....

#2 Aurelie

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:54 AM

Oh! i forgot to ask :
about oil the saddle when it's finished

last week i had the opportunity to see a beauty of art from Pedro Pedrini with a nice shine as if it was several years old oiled

how can i do that?

i usually apply several coat of olive oil that darken the leather and i finish with a coat of Skidmore's
but the result is not so "fine" as this Pedrini saddle

Does it exist other oil or specific products that help to reach that shiny look?
In for a penny, in for a pound....

#3 kseidel

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:42 AM

Oh! i forgot to ask :
about oil the saddle when it's finished

last week i had the opportunity to see a beauty of art from Pedro Pedrini with a nice shine as if it was several years old oiled

how can i do that?

i usually apply several coat of olive oil that darken the leather and i finish with a coat of Skidmore's
but the result is not so "fine" as this Pedrini saddle

Does it exist other oil or specific products that help to reach that shiny look?


You must have been to the TCAA show in Oklahoma City. I was there also. Pedro's saddle had an antiqued finish. It is achieved with oil for depth and a resist then antique then a topcoat of tankote or lacquer.

Good luck on your saddle.
Keith
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#4 Aurelie

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:47 AM

No Keith, it was not in the USA but here in France
There were 2 saddles : 1 for Reinning with a crocodile in laid seat and 1 more simple for cutting
but i guess it was something like the same process you mentionned! ;)
noting that in a corner of my head ;)
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#5 compound

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:11 PM

Aurelie

I think you NOT crazy with your plan visit Sheridan show. I worked(for Frinta saddlery) on saddle for this show in 2005year and this year i eas on Art of Cowboy Makers show in Loveland Colorado with my personal saddle. Hope next year i visit again this show.

Is very axpensive trip for me but i had occasion meet a real Masters crafters and their work. These experiences are priceless

Martin

Edited by compound, 02 November 2011 - 12:12 PM.


#6 Aurelie

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:24 AM

.....
Is very axpensive trip for me but i had occasion meet a real Masters crafters and their work. These experiences are priceless

Martin


You bet!
Better make the trip worthes the money!

but i really thing that i have more to gain than to lose in this "experience"

some saddle makers i met last week here in France told me it was a waste of time and money (i bet they are just jealous, scared that by any chance i do better than what they ve done in the past......héhéhé )
only 1 told me to go and that would be the best way to learn .

troubles here in France : most people do not like competition, they won't "share" their ways of doing something for fear that newcomers come around and do better than themselves (totally stupid way of thinking in my mind...)
and furthermore, in their mind , a girl can't do as good as a guy (even more stupid!)

So imagine what they can think about a girl building western saddles!

when i went into Montana to learn how to build saddles , it lasted 6 INTENSIVES weeks ...no time for kidding around! (and if it could have lasted a bit more i could have learnt even more...)
when i came back in France some people just replied to me : "Were there nice those vacations???" and they were just not taking my motives seriously
Posted ImagePosted Image

so just for all thoses things, i want to build a "decent" saddle (regarding the high level of saddle building in the USA) to prove :
1st : to them that I am a girl and i can do as good as anyone
2d : to have fun myself and be proud of what i am able to accomplish => that one will be the hardest because i always find a lot of "defects" or things i could have done better on all the saddles i have done

So time will tell! ;)



In for a penny, in for a pound....

#7 Aurelie

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 02:48 AM

Posted Image
And here the "soap opera" is starting!!!
Get your seat belt buckled , i guess some are in for a good laugh!

1st , the pictures, then the story AND the questions!

The gullet:

Posted ImagePosted Image


A real pain in the butt to set on the tree!
and it 's usually something easy and fast to do!
It took me 1H and an extra set of hands

and i got a kick in the butt from my Hubby because i started swearing like a truck driver (as usual when things do not go the way i like...) AhAhA
....in French and in English : 1 whole sentence without any verbs FYI

Here what happened:
i prepared it the same way as usually but i felt the leather stiffer than usually
At this stage, i became kinda suspicious.....

I have 3 drum dyed hides in black
H et O Grade A
i inspected the 3 of them to see where to find the best part for the Fork cover and the gullet
I took it from the most stretchy belly part of all those hides but those hides seems to be really more stiff than natural color ones


even saturated and skived the way it should be , i had a hell of a time to stretch it on the swell

so i was wondering :


- Drum dyed hides are more stiff than natural ones?


- Do the dye "harden" the fibers in a way?


or Did i end up with a bad "batch" of hides?


Have you encountered that kind of troubles?
and what's the way to deal with it?
Skive the leather? Case it?

and now i am "all scared out" about the fork cover!!!
If it's too stiff...gonna be even more than hellish to set on the Fork!!
Posted Image

Any advise? any opinion on the subject??
In for a penny, in for a pound....

#8 compound

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 02:18 PM

So...

Generally natural hides are better for wet shape and tooling than dyed hides. Is better use nat. hides on saddle parts and dye it after processing and tooling

...i think

Martin



#9 kseidel

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

Dyed leather is usually a bit harder than natural, but not so much that it should cause you that much trouble! Where you cut it out of the hide is most important. Gullet covers are best cut from the front leg part of the belly. It does not need to be great... it is just a gullet cover. Swell covers work best when cut from the belly just in front of the rear flank and as low as possible on the hide. You should have no trouble with the swell even with dyed leather. You can always welt the swell.

Keith
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#10 Aurelie

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 03:45 AM

Dyed leather is usually a bit harder than natural, but not so much that it should cause you that much trouble! Where you cut it out of the hide is most important. Gullet covers are best cut from the front leg part of the belly. It does not need to be great... it is just a gullet cover. Swell covers work best when cut from the belly just in front of the rear flank and as low as possible on the hide. You should have no trouble with the swell even with dyed leather. You can always welt the swell.

Keith


Posted Image

:D
Cool! that's exactly where i took my parts!
i guess i was just not prepared psycholocally to encounter leather stiffer than usual

As for the fork cover, i guess that i am going to "play safe" and directly do a welt
Not that i am not a gambler but i am limited with my Hides cannot afford to wreck 3 fork covers and 2 seats.....(and odds are that i am going to wreck at least 1 seat ;)....
So better be safe than sorry!

Anyway : Thanks a lot for the help! ;)



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#11 Mrs Barry Hicks

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 08:26 PM

Hey keep this thread going! I'd love to see how you're coming along. Being a fellow female I'm always supportive of seeing women succeed! :) Good luck and remember to smile when you curse like a trucker! That way your doing it with grace! Posted Image
I'm a lifetime student. :)



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#12 Aurelie

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 04:11 AM

Horn neck = ok
it come out rather nice and did not "bother" me as i expected

Ground seat almost finished

Top yoke cut out and i just have to glue it down

took it from a part where leather should be rather thick and firm....and turned out way less firm and thick that what i can have encountered on my other hides.....
that black leather really boggles me!

i will let you know how it turns out....
scientific test in process about glue
here in France, i have a hell of a time to find a cement glue that works good for that one....and i found a new kind of glue that i have to try
Posted Image

In for a penny, in for a pound....

#13 Aurelie

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 03:52 PM

Geez ! it"s harder and harder to get time to work on that saddle with a baby underfoot...but i will be done....one way or another!!!

Here i am...i finally finished my ground seat :
Posted Image


..and i have laid down on the hides my patterns
2 hides and 1/3 of a third one for saddle, breast collar and back cinch...
i think i can improve that next time


next step : cutting the parts
and getting those skirts nice and square with the rigging dee

Keep tuned! ;)


In for a penny, in for a pound....

#14 King's X

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:38 PM

Aurelie

You go girl! I am hobby leathercrafter and I usually go to show for several purposes. One to meet new friends and/or rekindle past relationships and two is to go shopping! I do not compete as of yet for many reasons, but when I feel ready, I hope to put as much effort and desire that you have shown in your new endeavour.

Best luck and most of all, enjoy!
Greetings from Central Texas!

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#15 Aurelie

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:44 AM

Posted Image

not too bad
not perfect
but not too bad
Posted Image
In for a penny, in for a pound....





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