Ken Nelson

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About Ken Nelson

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddles,tack and chaps

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  1. I think Tandy sold one that looked like that a few years ago. Current weaver pro series has a knurled handle more like the Osborne 84. But it could be an old model Weaver.
  2. Handmade machine stitched?

    Every custom saddle maker I know of uses a sewing machine to sew their saddles. There is a certain amount of hand sewing on one but, Does that negate all the hand cutting, fitting, molding, and finishing done by hand?
  3. Heavy-Duty Cylinder Head Pedestal Stand (Stand only)

    Is this stand still available?
  4. Ferdinand Sewing Machine

    Is this the same machine as the older grey one was? I had one of the grey ones a couple of years ago. I found out with much research that Seiko built the machine. Campbell Bosworth in Texas got me the parts I needed. Tony Luberto sold me a mechanics video on it and it was the best money I spent on the machine. I finally got the machine sewing and it pulled a nice stitch. I let the video go with the machine and need to get another video. If I had the video, I would buy another 900B for my own use. HTH
  5. looking for a buckstitch / lacing awl

    Looks to me like a mini dagger (A type of knife). I had Clay Miller build me an oversized diamond awl a few years ago. He built it to my specs and did a good job on it but I ordered the handle too big. My fault not Clay's. It does a good job though . I have a friend in Montana, Brett Bronson, that builds several kinds of knives, you might contact him and see if he would like to take a run at it. I might buy one! His phone # is 406-293-2032. He does nice work and tell him I sent you. HTH Ken
  6. Clay miller tools, who uses them?

    I have known Clay for a long time. Super-good guy, good business man and makes as good or better tool than any other in my rack. He is a good carver and his sheridan bevelers are very good. In fact I got some of his early tools that are to die for and his handles are extra long for my big hands. He WILL work with you. HTH Ken I had him make the handles on my stamps longer than normal for me and he got them just right.
  7. looking for a buckstitch / lacing awl

    I would suggest you contact Clay Miller, or Terry Knipshield. I would be interested in one. I have been hearing a lot of good things about Terry's knives.
  8. Heavy-Duty Cylinder Head Pedestal Stand (Stand only)

    If you change your mind on shipping that stand, PM me. I would be interested. Thank you. Ken
  9. Season 4 in my saddle

    I did not say nor did I imply that Billy's saddle was not up to the task. and if you read my last several posts, you will notice I mention quality of materials, craftsmanship, design and execution. Every part of a saddle from the tree, to the leather to the hardware is available in grades from total junk to #1 quality and I am sure you realize that. because a saddle is said to have a rawhide covered tree does not mean it has a good tree in it. the same is true of all materials. Tell you what, You open up a Longhorn or Circle Y saddle built back in the late 60's or 70's and then open up a Longhorn or Circle Y saddle built within the last 5 years. Open up a saddle anyone has built, be it a production saddle or handmade saddle and then compare it to a Billy Don Hogg or a Howard Counsil. A lot of cowboys and saddlemakers will tell you those two men set the standard for a long time. By the way, billy's saddle does look good, nice lines, shows good craftsmanship and you are right the leather looks good. For the style of saddle it is and shape and size of the skirts, 32#'s is pretty heavy.
  10. Season 4 in my saddle

    It was reported to me that the horn pulled out of one of the saddles, the fork pulled out of one and the third snapped both bars and jerked the inskirt rigging out of the right side. Now if those people had been ridin "broke" horses, hooked all 3 of the horses onto the downed horse and pulled together, they probably could have achieved what they needed to get done to help their friend without tearing up their junk saddles. A well made quality saddle is just that. Rather it be a ranch saddle that will be used extremely hard in less than ideal conditions, a pleasure saddle, trail saddle, whatever. I believe a saddle, any saddle, should have good enough materials and tree, good enough craftsmanship and good enough design to stand up to an emergency like the one described above. Of course a weekend rider does not need a saddle of the same specs as a cowboy pulling wet saddle blankets off his string 7 days a week in all kinds of weather. And because an idea is new does not mean it is wrong or right. I think if you are actually a qualified saddle maker you will be able to look at a new idea and pretty well know rather it will work. One thing about horses, everybody that has one is an expert. The guy that has had 2 or 3 in a lifetime thinks he has the answers and probably knows more than the ranch cowboy that has rode them by the hundreds. And there are cowboys out there that have rode several hundred or more, and made a living on them getting cattle work done on them. they ride whatever someone "runs under them" and do a days work on them to boot. They have to understand saddle fit although they cannot talk angles, and all the scientific jargon floating around now a days. It is interesting, It seems like the more information that is available, the more problems arise. A lot of us self-taught ourselves how to build saddles. Some of us went and worked under an established GOOD saddlemaker and perfected our skills. Over 16 years building full time and I am still learning. I think making a living a horseback on ranches for over 45 years probably taught me something and most certainly gave me a lot of prejudges.
  11. Season 4 in my saddle

    I believe I have been misunderstood here. MOST people that ride and own horses today have not and will never use a saddle hard. Therefore, they do not have the concerns of strength or durability I mentioned in my previous post. In fact, for recreational riders to ride one of my saddles would be like buying a semi-tractor to haul the kids to school a half mile away. I can see why a recreational rider would not want to deal with a heavy "cowboy" saddle. Why would he or she. However, about 10 years ago, a woman riding a saddle I built, pulled a horse off of a lady in the high country West of Buffalo WY. The horse lost its footing went down and was pinned under a down tree, on top of the lady and she had a compound fractures above and below the knee. Three of her companion's saddles failed trying to pull her horse off of her. If they had been riding good trail saddles, on horses better broke and more experienced and had more knowledge of how to go about helping their companion, they probably could have got the job done without a cowboy (that happened to be a woman). There is a difference between roping steers in an arena that weigh 500#s, give or take, and are pretty well halter broke or dragging calves at a branding and roping a big cow on the fight, knocking her down on a saddle that has been wet for two weeks in the snow or rain. Try roping 5 or 6 year old broncs out of most light weight saddles. I am not saying there is anything wrong with pleasure, trail or any other kind of saddle. I just feel there are a lot of people that are using some terms mistakenly. I have done work on some handmade trail saddles that were stout enough to rope medium weight cattle out of. I have worked on roping saddles that weighed 40+ pounds I wouldn't rope a 700 # steer out of. If you haven't worked on some of those big ranches that get pretty western, or have built for the men and women that are doing that kind of work, you might not want to represent the saddles you build as being a sure enough rough and tumble ranch saddle. I do not look down on the makers who build receational, trail saddles or the people that ride them. I wouldn't take an order for a cutting or barrel saddle. I don't know enough about them to do a customer a service stumbling around in the dark trying to figure it out. Just my opinion, and I hope I did not offend anyone.
  12. Season 4 in my saddle

    I am curious, it seems like a lot of people any more are very concerned about the weight of ranch type saddles. Throughout the last half of the50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and into the mid 90's I do not remember this being an issue with ranch saddles. I understand most people ride a lot different than they did when I was young and a lot different type of horses. I understand most people do not ride from can't see in the morning until can't see at night 7 days a week anymore. The old cold blood horses of the era ending sometime in the early 70's is gone. I haven't seen one of those old 16+ hand horses, weighing 1300+ #'s for a long time, with a rough head and a lot of feather on his legs. I do realize almost no one ropes hard and fast any more, which was the order of the day back "in the day". Stick a full 7/16" X 28' nylon on a big cow or a bull on the fight or jerk down an 800# cow running full bore, you pretty well take the stretch out of everything. And you have made a commitment and a pretty serious one. I wonder how many people keep 7 to 10 head of horses rode down HARD these days. I wonder if the 25 to 32 # saddles a lot of people are building now would have held up then. Back in the day, Them old "made" cowboys would not ride a light saddle. They were afraid of them. Were we all paranoid back then? But it has changed a lot and I probably need to adapt my attitude. I had 2 saddles fail 40+ years ago and worry about one of mine failing someone. I don't know if I am being overly cautious. Just wondering. Ken
  13. Wade Tree Help

    When I was young and on BIG ranches, you could get fired off of most of them for sticking a horse with your spurs in the shoulders. And most of them had at least a few horses in the remuda that could have earned a living as broncs going down the road to rodeos. I have seen rank horses rode in everything from Will James Trees to Chuck Shepard trees. Just a matter how well you can ride. The saddle can be an advantage or disadvantage. Depends on how well it is balanced. You will have a better chance in a cowboy ( swell fork) saddle if it is well balanced than you will an arena roping saddle. And the ultimate advantage will probably be a small form fitter, which I have never seen a really good cowboy ride. However, if a horse ever goes down with you, you will probably be severely injured or killed. They were regularly referred to as suicide traps in my youth. I have never rode one and would not. If you think you want a saddle that rides like a bronc saddle, you haven't rode one very much. They are made to contest in PERIOD. They are not comfortable to ride and I would think extremely hard to ride a cowhorse in correctly. BTW I rode a Hamley Gold Seal bronc saddle for a couple of summers and it did "leak" more than I liked it too. If you want to ride colts, the first thing to learn is how to keep them from bucking. And learn to ride better. Just my 2 cents worth.
  14. Wade Tree Help

    Aussies used to claim the hereford hides were tighter grained and like you said better color. I don't do braid work but admire those that are good at it. A good 64 strand bosal is a thing of beauty and good tool on a horse.
  15. Wade Tree Help

    According to what Harry told me, and if I remember correctly, Bullhide isn't necessarily off of a bull. It is just full thickness off of a mature heavy hided bovine. The Australian Ringers that worked for me were amazing rawhide braiders. All of them that braided rawhide, swore that the best rawhide you could get was off of an old, thin (very thin) hereford cow. More glue in the rawhide. BTW it is called green hide down there.