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About fivewayswelshcobs

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    english saddles, bridlework and harness
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  1. Hi they are hound couples, Abbey England do them but also F Martin and Son who are based in Walsall. There are 2 versions.
  2. Thank you for the information as not far from me.
  3. Since George picked up he might know me (I met him a number of times a few years ago at SMS events) I will tell a bit more. I am a Qualified Master Saddler and Qualified Master Harnessmaker and a current member of the Society Of Master Saddlers (UK) but like everyone on this forum I am here to learn new and different skills as there a large number of highly skilled leather workers that are willing to share their experience and knowledge with everyone on the forum. I wanted to do saddlery for a good few years before I got the chance to learn it and my first belt was on a day course at Walsall Leather Museum with Val Micheal and I was hooked
  4. To be a Qualified Master Saddler you need at least 7 years in the trade, you need to take City and Guild exams at different levels to become a Qualified Saddler and then apply to become a Master Saddler after at least the 7 years it is not automatic. Anyone can become a Qualified Saddle Fitter after attending training although flocking training is also recommended and could be compulsory as could the Qualified Saddler qualification because of the problems of untrained people working on saddles causing problems to both horse and rider and damaging expensive saddles. No college course or private course would automatically qualify you it gives you the basics. I know very little of their courses but I do know people that started their training there before working at other saddlers for experience. The City And Guild exams are standard where ever they are taken. You could consider an apprentice position but then these can be hard to find but may do the saddlery side and fitting that you want.
  5. Unfortunately there is now only one college offering saddlery courses and that is Capel Manor which is on the outskirts of London. We did try to get another to take on the course from Walsall College but they couldn't agree on the price for tools etc- I think the truth was they didn't have room or money for it. You do get to learn all aspects ie bridles, saddles and harness if you want so you get to cover more than just saddles which is very useful for repairs, ie stitching and strap work. The only problem with a college course it works at a slower rate but that allows more time to absorb and practice the required skills but not always at a level required for a business. Most of us learn the basics and then practice and use follow up courses to further develop skills and learn new ones. Customer saddles used to come in the house on the spare bed but most are on a rail on the pallet racking.
  6. I've not been on George's courses although I've been told he is a very good teacher by a friend of mine. I met him a few years ago at a couple of things but he is a very experienced saddler and saddle fitter and has rejoined SMS. I know George and other SMS members have run courses in the US including saddle fitting My training was college based in Walsall, when I started I didn’t know whether to do lightgoods or saddlery but went with saddlery as have had horses for many years and was lucky enough to be close enough to Walsall to go to the college before it stopped the leather courses, but as I prefer bench work saddle fitting is a small part of my business but I know many saddlers manage both repairs and fitting as they can often alter the saddle on site without the need of returning to the workshop or only taking the more complicated repairs back. It is very possible to have part of the week fitting and the rest of the week workshop based. Saddle fitting is probably better paid than bench work especially repairs but then it involves a higher capital outlay for stock ie saddles. My workshop sounds a good size until you fit in 3 sewing machines (2 busm no.6 one on treadle a 45k also on a treadle) ,a large splitter,a skiver, a large work bench (8'×4') 2 pallet racks for leather storage and numerous other bits for storing buckles, straps, tools etc. One day when I finish bringing in new machines it will finally be tidy and organised but until then I always seem to be moving stuff to find room for a new toy or trying to find space to put a customer's saddle rather than in the middle of the bench ! Problem is I keep adding stuff when I can afford it and as it comes up as most of my stuff is not new apart from some of the hand tools even the bench came from a garage sale, an engineer was selling up and had 2 benches one he wanted to keep the other cost me £50 . One day I will find time to post photo's.
  7. To be honest you are looking at 2 different skills one being saddle fitting and the other being a saddler. You can learn to do flocking as a saddle fitter, the Society of Master Saddlers (UK) recommends saddle fitters if they wish to do this attend training and at some point this is likely to be compulsory if you want to be a member there are some flocking and doing repairs without this training that do not have sufficient skills and are creating problems. If you are more interested in working on saddles I would highly recommend training as a saddler so you know how and why saddles are made as they are and the best ways of repairing them, you can then train for saddle fitting and do the complete job. A good place to start is to contact George at Many saddlery workshops are actually smaller than you would expect I started in half a single garage but now have half a shed about 25 feet by 14 feet but then I do harness, bridles and other leatherwork as well as saddles so have lots of leather and increasing amounts of machinery (it's addictive). Hope this helps
  8. Hi this maybe too far Abbey England sells red bridle which is Sedgewicks so if you can find a supplier over there selling Sedgewicks ask as they do it here.
  9. It was in the Express and Star on the 14th of February 2017
  10. Just got back after picking up my new toy - a BUSM no.6 with treadle, tomorrow I get to find space in my workshop and put it back together then play. I once said I was going to everything by hand, now I have 2 no.6's , 2 45k's , a skiver, powered splitter (as well as several hand splitters) , now I need to enlarge the workshop as no space to work everything !
  11. Looks like Walsall Leather Museum has been saved for the moment and will stay where it is which is great news.
  12. I would recommend , based in Scotland.
  13. To add further to the confusion names many vary within a country or even within a town.
  14. In the UK I would have thought that leather workers would have used what was available locally , ie linen thread . I must admit that I have never thought of machining with it but then again my first thought is always hand stitching. Last year I had been looking for a good weight of silk thread for doing some wallets but struggled to find what I wanted and then got side tracked back to the harness. Most leather workers are creatures of habit and following tradition - .me included but I did a course with Val Micheal at Tetbury and she uses silk threads.
  15. Heavy horse harness, I'm using 6 cord linen thread.