Ken Nelson

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About Ken Nelson

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddles,tack and chaps

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  1. Need saddle trees for Welsh ponies

    Lewis Saddle trees in Hereford, TX
  2. tree fit question

    To back up a bit here; when you talk about a horse rounding up his back on hard and sliding stops, if you notice the pictures of the professionals doing it- notice most of them do not have a flank cinch. This allows the rear of the saddle to "lift" off of the horses back. In my opinion, the saddle does not lift off of the loin, the loin drops down from the saddle. If you were to ride one of these horses with a wide flank cinch like ropers and ranch cowboys ride and kept it snug, it would interfer with the horses ability to do these stops and slides. But then again no horses stop harder than a good calf horse. Now, most calf saddles are pretty short seated, do you suppose that has anything to do with their ability to stop so hard and keep stopping hard. It is all interesting, isn't it. One indicator on how well saddles fit in my world is dry spots. However, a good percentage of horses are not rode long or hard enough for that to be an indicator. One indicator is often a horse that is "cold backed" is or has been ridden quite a lot with an ill fitting saddle or a "blanket-pad" problem. Given some time, the "ouch" spots will numb up for the rest of the day to a point. Same thing often makes horses quit pulling. A few months ago I saw a perfect example of this at a ranch rodeo in Valentine NE. This overweight fella was riding a pretty little paint horse that really wasn't big enough to carry his bulk. Add into this, the man was riding a saddle that looked to be a 14 inch seat and was a very poor quality production saddle. The horse humped around for a good 5 minutes when he first got on him. Not only was this man riding a horse too small for him, a saddle too small for him, a poor quality saddle, the man rode like a sack of potatoes, sitting up on the cantle of his saddle. Guess what, he did get a sloppy loop on a 450# critter and paint would not pull him one step. I rest my case!!
  3. tree fit question

    Ok, I believe if you consult with "real cowboys-horsemen" out of big, rough ranch country you will find a general agreement on fitting saddles on horses. Remember these people ride horses hard, long hours in varying terrain, doing a lot of different kinds of work. Everything from covering miles and miles of country a day, to sorting cattle a horseback, roping heavy cattle, roping fast cattle, dragging cows out of bogs and the list goes on. What I have learned by being around these people is the following. #1. If you sore up your horses, you are on the fence or hay crew or going down the road. 2. Years ago, many years ago, almost everyone rode a certain type of horse and a good saddle fit about everything you rode 3 Now a days, you either ride one type of horse or you have more than one saddle to fit the different types you are riding 4. Soring backs is possible with a very good fitting saddle, properly built if you use poor quality blankets, pads etc, don't keep them fairly clean and do not ride well and do not saddle a horse properly. 5. The picture Bruce posted is priceless. I have a tree in my shop that fits a horse just like that. It is still bare but it has had over 300 sets of stirrup leathers stretched and shaped on it. 6. In conclusion, get a high quality saddle that fits your horse that is suitable for the type of riding you do AND fits your horse correctly Buy quality blankets and pads to put under your saddle. Keep them clean If you can not afford quality tack, you may need to reconsider owning and riding horses. I have never seen a good cowboy-horseman put a gunny sack, piece of carpet or bed blanket under his saddle. Learn to properly saddle your horse, learn to sit a proper seat, if you don't already know how. 7. Watch your horse's back and address little problems before they become big problems.
  4. Speed Reducer Quick-Release?

    Cowboy Bob, Are you selling that speed reducer and if so, How much? Thanks
  5. Pretty ignorant post! Apples to Oranges and is it any business of yours what he is asking for his property?
  6. 31-15/31-20

    Too bad I have never mastered operating a treadle sewing machine. I have no use for either of these stands but they are COOL.
  7. 31-15/31-20

    I thought I would post a picture of the Singer 31-20 I have in my shop. I don't really know why I keep it as I rarely use it these days. A few years ago, I was using it quite a bit with a roller foot on it sewing designs in padded seats on saddles and some of my college boy buddies' girlfriends were using it to make boot top purses. It has 4 or 5 original feet and the original treadle stand is kind of net. Note the original pittman on it. The post office dropped it on the way to deliver it and broke a vital piece of casting off of the bottom and I had a friend of mine, who is a machinist repair it and you have to look close to see it and it has worked good for 10 years with no issues on the repair. I have another one of these treadle stands that does not have a top and has a smaller wheel on it and a metal pittman that is not original but it would be good if someone wanted an off grid stand for any standard size industrial sewing machine. I put this machine in a power stand with a servo motor when I use it. pulls a remarkable stitch with 92 on top and will do a good job with smaller sizes of course. I have used 138 in it just to see if it would do it and it does but I don't sew with 138 in it. That is what my chap machine is for.
  8. 31-15/31-20

    I have owned both 31-20 and 31-15 and the 31-20's I have had do have a larger bobbin case and bobbin than the 31-15 have. I have upgraded 2 31-15 to the bigger bobbin case and bobbin by changing out the whole shuttle assembly. Not a hard job.
  9. Bar risers or not - pros and cons?

    If you score the rawhide and it is in a straight line, in time and not that long, that rawhide will split on the score line. Once it splits, there is no strength to hold the tree and it does not take much to break that tree. Usually where the stirrup slots are on tree is the weaker part of the tree anyway. I have seen quite a few of good trees broke there that had not had the rawhide scored. On the nails and screw thing most of the nails in a properly constructed saddle are small and don't damage the rawhide unless you put in a LOT of them. A lot , but not all high end makers predrill their screw holes to make a cleaner hole and not have as much tendency to start splitting the wood of the tree. BS or not, I do not know. I do it as it makes it easier to put screws in the Trees I use, which are fiberglassed and they are TOUGH. I don't figure it can hurt and I build for some cowboys that use them pretty hard.
  10. I have used Lewis Saddle Tree Co. trees out of Hereford, TX for a long time and have had really good performance from them. Great guys to do business with as well.
  11. Landis No. 16 Leather Industrial Sewing Machine Lock Stitcher

    Is this stitcher still available? Thank you. Ken
  12. Campbell Lock Stitch Sewing Machine

    There is always a risk buying a used sewing machine unless you have someone like Wiz inspecting it. On the other hand, if you buy a rebuilt Cambell randall , you know it is perfect or they will not let it leave their possession. They are a company with a very good reputation. Those machines are awesome, I just have never been able to afford one. Same is true with a closed needle machine, buy a new one from one of the reputable dealers on this site and "It is going to sew right when you get it and if something does go south, they will be there to help you and stand behind their product. If you really want a hook &awl machine, you may want to contact Keith Pommer in South Dakota. He rebuilds and reconditions them and has a good reputation and has a lot of other leather working machines as well. I believe he is in Worthing, SD. Don't have a phone #. I almost forgot, Jim Blaine at Panhandle Leather gets in good hook & awl machines on occasion. Those fellas are my main leather supplier and they are really good to do business with.
  13. Campbell Lock Stitch Sewing Machine

    The one I mentioned is in Mass. It looks decent-priced at $1850. Worcester I believe
  14. Campbell Lock Stitch Sewing Machine

    Check All of Craigslist. Someone has one on the east coast. It is pretty reasonable and they are a super stitcher.
  15. Juki Paint Match

    Has anyone sandblasted a sewing machine before painting? Just curious.