Ken Nelson

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About Ken Nelson

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddles,tack and chaps

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  1. Dixon 6" splitter

    Yes, it is still available.
  2. Sounds like she is dreaming. No way that should change the way the stirrups hang. I had a shop on main street for a number of years and I heard some pretty weird stuff. That is why I have a "closed" shop now. Seldom did I get people in that actually asked for advice and admitted they were uninformed. most are experts and a lot of my customers were and a lot were not. Like an old cowboy that coached me a lot clear back in the day once told me, "If you practice doing something wrong-you just get better at doing it wrong!"" That describes a good portion of the horse owners I encountered in my life. You have a customers relations situation unfolding that I do not envy .
  3. Dixon 6" splitter

    Update: I got a "bad' check for this splitter and still have it for sale. I got the extra blade back for it, so it has a brand new extra blade for it. I will take the $450 with the new blade but you will be responsible for shipping if I include the extra blade. US Postal Money order or I hold you check for a week. I need to figure out how to take paypal as I spend a lot of money through them. LOL
  4. Jig for getting rigging straight

    Harry Adams book Saddle Makers Shop Manual has an illustrated section on hanging riggins in saddles that is easy and you can get them spot on using his method. I don't know of any established saddle makers that use a jig but I am sure they are out there. There are a lot of ways to get it done correctly. HTH. Ken
  5. Hand-Crank Splitter as Skiver?

    It is hard to beat a good old crank skiver for heavy leather. They come up on ebay once in a while. I am surprised someone isn't have them reproduced in China. Landis the top one. HTH
  6. Treadle machine

    The Singer 45 was on a treadle stand at one time. Occasionally, you will see one for sale.
  7. Dixon 6" splitter

    I still have this bench spllitter and would like to see it go.
  8. Fleece question

    Nope, You should use bark tanned shearling to line saddles. None of those are. Sorry Ken
  9. I put the antique on with trimmed sheepskin and use several pieces to remove the excess but then I always have a lot of scraps laying around the saddle shop. I use tan kote and do not let it dry before I wipe it off with sheepskin scrap. Kind of pulls the antique out of where you don't want it. I buff with full wool sheepskin after the Tankote. I use clearlac for the final finish, and always apply with sheepskin, usually trimmed to about 1/4" wool.
  10. Angle for Basketweave

    Big Sioux, I love your description of the eastern SD people. I agree with you and WELL put. Go Get Em. Ken
  11. Re doing my first saddle

    I would double think about putting a dime into that saddle and selling it.. A number of years ago my insurance agent told me to never send anything out the door, I was NOT POSITIVE, about being safe to ride His rule was, " Last guy that had his hands on a piece of riding equipment that fails is the first guy sued"! That old saddle would make a neat bar stool though.
  12. Re doing my first saddle

    Mr. Watt, in his instructional videos on building saddles, drills all the holes he puts screws in to keep from splitting the wood. Most trees are pine and it does split pretty easy. I use Lewis trees, which are fiberglass covered pine and predrill nearly all the screw holes. These trees are kind of " you get what you pay for". Some of those lower end production saddles have 50 or 75 dollar trees in them and they are not worth that. They are Dangerous. I would advise you have a good saddle maker inspect this tree before you throw good money at it. Saddles are a common sense not- much to them but a whole lot more complex than most people realize. Actually, they are kind of like riding a horse. You will stop learning about building them the day you quit or die. Just my 2 cents worth.
  13. Lewis Tree Modified Assoc.

    Reduced to $300. shipped to lower 48. Good deal, nothing wrong with it. "Customer" cancelled the order for it after I got it. Ken
  14. Re doing my first saddle

    I know of a real good saddle maker in West Texas that lines his billets, flanks and breast collars with Harness leather as he feels it resists sweat better than latigo. I use latigo on mine and line billets, flank cinches and breast collars every time . I feel it is a quality factor. Good point on the sheepskins being large enough to properly lay out your skirts. Panhandle's woolskins are all 13 FT + and good quality. Harry Adams Book Saddlemakers Shop Manual covers blocking Skirts to the tree very well. Harry also covered leather selection very well on laying out patterns. I plug my skirts pretty heavy. But my saddles weigh in at about 40 + also.
  15. Re doing my first saddle

    There is a reason why most saddle makers that build saddles for cowboys that use them really hard, cut Herman Oak. I build for working cowboys and a lot of them compete both roping and ranch rodeos. I am talking about men that ride nearly every day and long days in all kinds of weather. They have wrecks on occasion and bad wrecks every once in a while. Hermann Oak holds up with proper care better than any other leather I know of. I have used Wickett & Craig (years ago), Teneria and some bargain leathers for stuff that don't get used much. NOW, I use Herman Oak and only Herman Oak for saddles. My cowboy saddles are all 13-15 oz and I figure just over 2 sides for each saddle. I use some 11-13 for breast collars and misc stuff. Light weight saddles will not hold up for the people I am building for. I have had really good service from Panhandle leather in Amarillo, TX. They will sell you 1 hide or a pallet. They have the best woolskins I have found anywhere, but I haven't tried everyone either. They also have the tan thread that Ferdco used to call Peasant Beige and it is really good thread. Good luck on your project. I hope you block your skirts, a lot of production saddle aren't. Ken