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About Squilchuck

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    Wenatchee, WA

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  1. Felt instead of sheepskin to line saddles

    Tucker saddles have used felt instead of sheepskin and I think they still have felt skirt lining. I've never used one nor known anyone with one, so not sure how well they hold up or function. --John
  2. Painting Small Letters

    How well do needle-tip applicators work with Feibings dye for coloring letters? --John
  3. Accounting for leather stretch

    Another thing occurred to me. Some parts of the hide stretch more than others, e.g. belly leather. Butt and back stretch least. --John
  4. Accounting for leather stretch

    Most veg tanned leather will stretch a bit or loosen with heavy use. I've inserted a piece of leather in formed knife sheaths, with a bit of glue or double-sided tape to hold, to tighten up the space. The owner had oiled the hell out of it and the leather softened. --John
  5. Saddle Making Help Needed

    Do yourself a huge favor and spring for Hermann Oak leather. I used cheaper leather to save money when I started, but soon found that using the best leather saves time and frustration - it looks, carves, colors, cuts, and molds the best. You'll put a lot of time into making the saddle, so spending a few dollars more on good leather will give you a saddle to be proud of! I buy from Montana Leather or Hide House. -- John
  6. Skiver/Splitter

    Like Bikermutt I have Weaver Heritage splitter. Very sharp out of the box and works great. I use it all the time. --John
  7. Sheepskin Side

    If you call the closest store they'll go measure the ones you want. Otherwise, hard to say without knowing the exact product and square footage. --John.
  8. Check out these Mongolian saddles and trees. Photos come from a range conservationist friend who has spent lots of time working and riding in Mongolia with herding nomads. No local saddle for him - he has mostly ridden older Bona Allen saddles and now rides the shown western saddle custom made for him by Shooting Star Saddlery, MT. --John
  9. Recommendations for Leather

    All the HO tooling leather I have bought has been excellent on both sides. I only buy HO now. I would have sent back the side you got if the flesh side was rough. Maybe you can split it a bit to shave off the roughness? --John
  10. If you buy one book make it the Stohlman book. A wealth of easy of follow instructions and explanations. Great hand-drawn illustrations. His way of making some saddle parts is unique, based on my novice experience and comments from others here, but many processes are pretty conventional (like making stirrup leathers and fenders). --John
  11. Only buckstitched a few times, but a few things that might bunch the leather occur to me. Pulling lace too tight. Lace too thick or not beveled. Holes too close together. Lace not dampened to make it conform. Tandy sells a great short booklet on buckstitching. Seems you could dampen completed project and pound gently --John
  12. Re doing my first saddle

    Use high quality skirting leather - Herman Oak and Wicket and Craig are the best. Weaver also sells Chahin which seems to get some good reviews. Weight (thickness) might depend on the rest of the saddle: 11/13 or13/15 Oz. Use bark tanned shearing I buy from Montana Leather, Hide House, and Weaver. Get a copy of Stohlman's saddle-making book from Tandy or Harry Adams book to show you how to do saddle work. I use self-tapping cabinet screws, lathe nails, or sometimes blue tacks --John
  13. I have dis mantled my first saddle. it is a 1974 circle y roping saddle.  is it necessary to re use the ring type nails or can i just use galvanised nails of the same length and size(on the rebuild) ? thanks so much

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Squilchuck


      Use the same holes that the nails were in.  I'd put screws (1" drywall, or cabinet screws) in the front where the skirt meets the fork and behind fork via hand hole. Put a couple regular or galv nails in between.  If skirt had nails in back into bottom of cattle then replace w galv nails.  Spread the fleece w your fingers to keep it catching in screw when driving screws.

    3. Squilchuck


      A recent post suggested lathe nails  I have used those too  in place of ring or galv nails

    4. Squilchuck


      If you using real fleece be sure to get bark tanned fleece.  Get a piece at least 10 sq ft large. I think Tandy has it on sale now.  I get it from Weaver.  Cut out w front of skirt at butt end of fleece and bottom of skirt along back of sheep not belly 

  14. thanks for the advice. this is my first refleece and i didnt want to screw up a 120.00 piece of shearling.but if i have to get two yards then the difference in price may not be that much. thanks again

  15. Cutting A Really Long Strap

    Great idea! In had the same issue making a 9' long leash. Didn't think about cutting it like lace - I cut two pieces and connected with a glued and sewn splice. -- John