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About defenestrator

  • Rank
    New Member

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interests
    Elk hunting, packing, horses

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    pack gear
  • Interested in learning about
    stamping, saddle making
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  1. Mike, you sound just like I did 15 years ago when I made my first pack saddle. Back in them days I more time than money so I decided to try and make my own pack saddle. I had an older set of deckers that had been packed with for years. They have some flair, rock and twist just like a ridding saddle, so I used them as a pattern ( so to speak). I found some cottonwood down by the river, used a chain saw ruff cut them and sanded them to shape. Two weeks latter they cracked and split all over. So i changed to spruce and carved and sanded them to shape. After I had them done I made my arches out of round rod and welded on my feet. I sure was proud, until I placed them on my horse. They had gaps and looked real bad. I asked my dad which has been packing a long time to tell me what was wrong with my tree. He said the tree that i had used as a pattern was from a "special" horse and he had rasped that tree to fit that horse. That is or was very common in those days to rasp on a flat board ( the tree bars) to fit a horse or mule. It was also common to heat the arches to bend them fit better as well. I think pack saddle makers just took less time to make the trees. I would start with a decker , because you can change the bar angles after it made, which you can't with wood. When I make pack saddle now I still use metal arches just in case i need to adjust them a little after the bars are made. Like another author stated wider bars are better and i would agree with that. Just make some up and stick them on your horse or mule until they fit good. Good luck.
  2. Steve, Saddle looks really nice. Is running the stirup leathers on the outside of the fenders just for extra style or some sort of function.
  3. Richard, My machine has a wax pot on top of the but I don't use that. I bought a small plastic box that has a magnate which sticks to your machine. The thread runs through two holes on ether side towards the top. It has a cotton pad that sets inside, which the thread runs on top over the pad which is saturated with silicon. However, I put the pad on the top of the thread which in my opinion causes more silicon to be on the thread which in turn lubricates the needle. I have noticed that my sewing holes have a small wet ring of silicon after sewing ( which goes away). Hope that helps Scott
  4. Does anyone know where I could buy a heel shave for forming the inside dish of a saddle cantle?
  5. Here's my two cents. I was having the same problem sewing saddle skirts. I went down to Ralph's industrial sewing machines and talked to a service tech and to Jack a salesman. They told me to increase foot pressure, let glue dry all the way, lubricate the needle with liquid silicon, which they sell there and to sew slowly. There thinking was that when the needle heats up it grabs more at the glue. I have also noticed that I had more trouble with Barge. After trying all these I quit having problems. Hope that helps.
  6. Hello, I am new to the site and have really enjoyed it so far. I have built three saddles, 5 pack saddles and various other projects over the years. I am somewhat inexperienced in leather work so your options are respected. The next saddle I make I was thinking about using rawhide on the cantle binding and on the swell cover lip. In Al Stohlmans saddle building books he says that rawhide is strong and durable. However, I have asked other professional saddle builders and they say leather is better in both ways. What do you think?
  7. Looking to make some over sized utah style saddle panyards out of 28 oz Iron Cloth. Looked on the web but can't find a source that sells the stuff. I'm not sure if it's called Iron Cloth. or if it is just a trade name. Buy the way, great site!!!