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About rdl123

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    Learning, Saddle Construction, Horsemanship, Stockmanship, Roping

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  1. I like the tooling in the gullet!
  2. Hello Randy - I've had the tree for this saddle for quite a while - However, this one actually went quick for me - Started it in January and worked on it an hour or two on occasional evenings - So feels like it came together quick (saddle 2 took me over a year). Here is the back of the cantle binding - I'm not good at the aim and follow through that Oltoot was referring to...So I definitely end up torquing up the awl blade trying to steer it. Got my Barry King awl blades today - Look OK - So will have to see how they work! I have also attached an image of how I worked the inskirt rigging...I used 4 stainless steel screws up front and two at front of cantle and two behind cantle. Would like input on how others do inskirt rigs. I'll try to get a pic of all how i sewed it and the rivets I added for reinforcement. R
  3. Josh, Must have something to do with sewing the third cantle binding! I have been using a parafin block and rubbing the awl on that - It helps it slide through easier - I was trying to really be careful on this binding and get my stitches on back to look nice - Probably put to much torque on blade trying to 'steer' it. Goldshot, Yes, I use Bob Douglas awls too - Do you know if his blades are still available what with sheridan leather closing? I ordered some of Barry King's when I snapped this one... Glad you like the lines - I've tried hard on this one to get things looking better - There's so much good help available now - Through forums like this, DVD's etc. In particular Keith Seidel has been very helpful on this forum and pointed out things on my last rig that needed attention...I also went and spent a couple hours with Chuck Stormes last summer and he really helped me...it gives amateurs like me a serious help to have that caliber of help available... I'll take some pictures of the riggings and post them for you...A little nervous mind you as I had to figure out how to do that on my own...so not sure if what I did is 100%... Hope your thumb healed up! R
  4. Here is the third rig I have built - It's getting close to done now... Broke an awl blade sewing the pencil roll - Never had that happen before - I am wondering if this is a technique issue... Here are some pics. Made a decent mark in cantle dish when awl blade snapped...think i will add the daisy stamp to cantle dish to help 'camouflage' it...Anyone have suggestions? Saddle Details: Swanke Tree, 16" seat, Inskirt rigged - Rigging at between 7/8th and 3/4...Guadalajara horn (3x4.25"). Next step is to finish sewing cantle binding, oil everything up and then final assembly. Ron L
  5. Hello Hannah, It looks to me like you've been given excellent advice. If you haven't already purchased a tree I would like to second Oltoots advice - Call Sonny Felkins. My last saddle was built on one of his and it is very square and very true. Also, after lots of riding and brandings this season I can say that it fits all of our quarter horses very well. I have limited experience having only built two rigs so far: However, my advice based on this limited experience is: 1) Use the best tree you can afford 2) Use the best leather you can afford. I like Hermann Oak - (I have successfully bough some of my HO from Montana Leather too) 3) Use all stainless steel or brass hardware. Nothing nickel plated. 4) take your time - If you get in a jamb better to stand back and analyse till you see your way clear I found the DVD's invaluable - I bought both Jeremiah Watts & Dale Harwoods. I think they are well worth it. If the tips they provide saves you wrecking one side of leather they pretty much pay for themselves! I think Steve Brewers all leather ground seat tutorial (pinned at start of saddle construction forum) is a good place to start for building ground seats. I used his techniques on first two saddles and have no complaints. Some of the best advice I have seen is "make it look handmade, not home made"! This info may or may not help you too: My first saddle gallery, My second saddle gallery, my first saddle forum. Good Luck & Happy Building, Ron L
  6. Really like the look of these! Mind if I ask where you got your pattern? Thanks - Ron L
  7. http://www.mcmaster.com/#nails/=12r20yj Here's a link to the page - Thanks for the info CWR! Ron L
  8. Hello, Here is the section I drew... Not sure is this is what you were after. Also it says 1.4" foam - It should be 1/4" of foam R
  9. Hello Keith, Here is a pic showing what I understand of your suggestion to raise the seat ear cut higher up the cantle... Is this correct? Thanks - Ron L
  10. Hello Keith, Thanks for taking the time to put this all down for me! I really appreciate the insights. I knew there was something not 100% on the overall balance and look on this saddle but I couldn't put my finger on it...It was just a sense that something was off visually. On the horn cap - My problem there is compounded by the fact that I cut the horn cap so close to my stitch line on the bottom. I wanted a small as possible horn cap on this rig and I made a poor decision to trim the horn about 3/16" away from the stitch line under the cap. I angled my stitches so I got proper clearance up top but I didn't leave myself enough room to get it properly edged on the underside. Lesson learned there. Burnishing - I will have to give the hardwood stick a try - Also I had forgotten about using bar type glycerin soap - I have some and will incorporate it into my burnishing. In terms of design - I'm glad for the insight on this. It never crossed my mind to consider the fender length/skirt depth ratio previously - This does make sense though. I do create all of my own patterns so I will keep this in mind on saddle #3. In terms of the rear rigging dee - I agree with you and CWR - I wish it was about 3/4" higher - Do you think that would be enough? My theory with rear rigging dees is that I do not want my rear billet to sit on top of the skirts as a good horseman once told me he'd seen skirts deform from pressure there and then sore up horses. What are your thoughts on that? What do you like to see there? On skirt length behind cantle - What is a good overall skirt length? Part of the reason I tried to keep this one shorter is that we do ride some younger horses. However I am wondering if maybe I am misguided in this? I will measure my length there as now that you have pointed it out it does look short! Padded seat - I will make sure to modify my pattern for the next rig and get it wider. Tooling on the cantle dish - I had actually planned to tool this one - However at the last minute I chickened out as I was worried I'd wreck my seat piece! I'm still not very confident with tooling. I'd never thought to tool the cheyenne roll - However looking at your website I see how nice it does look. Guess I need to practice my tooling and build confidence. On the Cheyenne roll - Yes - I tried to get it flatter by working at it and skiving material off the back edge - But I guess I should have got it pulled in tighter which would have helped to fold it down. Out of curiosity - In your view is it acceptable practice to cut a wedge piece out of the cantle back where it creates the foundation of the cheyenne roll to help get it sloped down more? I'm not 100% sure I understand what you mean on the earcuts - I will post a picture to see if I have interpreted what you are suggesting correctly. In terms of the horn wrap - I will use this technique and re wrap the horn on this saddle and the one on my own rig - I do find it annoying to have to pull out slack - Your comments make sense and I will use this method from now on. I have a chinaman - Just haven't been casing my horn wrap at all. And in closing - I find your comments very helpful and not discouraging in any way. My goal is to make good saddles - Not mediocre ones! Your comments will help me build a better balanced, more functional saddle with improved aesthetics on round #3! I'd like to thank you and all others who have taken the time to comment and suggest improvements - This forum has been invaluable to me - I am up in Saskatchewan Canada and there are not a lot of saddle makers nearby to get help from so this forum has made a big difference for me. Ron L
  11. All - I appreciate the kind words! Randy - I do think you are qualified to comment! Yes the latigo hangers are lined - With a 5oz latigo. They were kinda light so I wanted to beef them up. BondoBob - Good idea! I sure like all the information available on this site! That tip you provided will definitely be put to use on the next saddle. It's an area I really need help in. Billy H - For previous experience I have built one saddle and about 8 pairs of chinks. I'm real slow though! This saddle almost took two years. (Big problem is being busy with other stuff). Goldshot - On the horn edging - I agree - I am going to see what I can do to get this looking better! Didn't really notice it until you pointed it out - I'll try and get it smoothed out! The horn wrap - This saddle will be used for roping - We dally and as rope is run the horn wrap tightens up - I leave the tail loose so I can jerk the excess tight. I'd like to have it tucked away somewhere but after roping a few critters there would be slack put into the tail if it was fixed. I like to wrap over the front lip for the simple reason that it helps keep the swell cover from getting so worn out by rope running over it. It doesn't eliminate it but it does help. In terms of the fenders - I totally agree on this too. I wish they were about 2" longer - However this saddle is for my wife and she isn't real tall - The saddle as you see it is set-up for her leg length. If we ever go to sell this thing we may have to provide longer fenders. However I didn't want to make it with longer fenders and have a bunch of bulk under the seat jockey for my wife though... Once again - Thanks for all the tips & input - It is valued! R
  12. Hello All, I have finally finished saddle number 2 - This has been a long project as we moved house twice in the space of time this was built in (Joy of being a house fixer upper type). I would appreciate comments on this saddle - Specifically I am looking for things that I have done in ignorance that are not up to scratch. Helpful criticism is looked for and will be valued! This saddle was built on a Sonny Felkins tree (Quality MFG.), all Hermann Oak leather, Jeremiah Watt hardware, Amish stirrups, and all stainless steel buckles, nails and screws. The seat is an all leather ground seat. Rigging is placed about 7/8 and is flat plate type. Skirts are butterfly with 1" bark tanned shearling. Sewed this up on a Cobra Class 4 sewing machine. Cantle and horn are stitched by hand with an awl and two needles at 6 spi. Not shown is a 40" x 6" rear cinch I built for it too. Glue used was Barge. Hermann Oak leather seemed to have a few 'vein' type markings. Tried to eliminate them but there are a couple on left seat jockey. I still need to get better at burnishing edges. Don't much care for that task. Thanks for viewing these - I look forward to suggestions for improvement. Ron L
  13. Hello Randy, I'm with Oltoot - I really enjoy slick forks and they can be made a little more secure with buck rolls as needed - Also, I've always liked the looks of this saddle by Steve Mason: I think it's been referred to as a 'swade' - Might be a neat consideration. http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=27756&hl=swade#entry174515 Regards, R
  14. Got one side of my rear jockeys tooled up last night. Here is a fuzzy blackberry picture: Tooling is still amateurish but I am slowly getting more comfortable with it. I would appreciate feedback on what I can do to make it better. Thanks, Ron L
  15. Have been working a little on this second rig. Starting to feel like I'm getting some traction. Here it is with Fenders & Stirrup leather assemblies in as well as rear jockeys fitted. The rear jockeys will be filled with floral tooling. The seat has yet to get a 1/8" bead border. Next Step is to tool both seat & jockeys. Ron L