Big Sioux Saddlery

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About Big Sioux Saddlery

  • Rank
    Leatherworker

Profile Information

  • Location
    South Dakota
  • Interests
    Using and farming with Draft Horses

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Harness and Saddlery
  • Interested in learning about
    Anything that will make my job easier and faster
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  1. Splices in driving reins

    That's somewhat like what I told a friend when we were discussing this. . . the carriage people want to disassociate themselves from anything draft/farming related, and come up with their own names and rules. Whatever, no matter I guess, and as time goes on there will be fewer and fewer people doing things in the old ways. I am curious though what kind of draft horses you grew up with, and the activities they were involved in. MN has always had a pretty healthy population of draft horses and groups that are pretty active with different field days and events. A friend of mine gave me a DVD a few years ago of a plowing contest in MN, back in the late '60's(?). Idk if it was state or national, but there were literally thousands of spectators. An event like that around here now would be lucky to draw 50 people.
  2. Splices in driving reins

    You're welcome. Carriage driving. . . those people have nice turnouts, but they have some goofy ideas about driving horses, some that I consider unsafe. One good thing is that they WILL spend money. Years ago I spent several years working for a Saddlebred trainer. In addition to Saddlebreds, we worked Arabs, Morgans, world champion Hackneys, and lines were always called lines by the old timers. "Reins" instantly labeled someone as a newbie, even in that world. There was just a discussion about this very topic the other day on a FB driving/draft group, and it appears to be a regional difference now as much as anything. With most of the old timers gone, guys that I considered to be true horsemen, and the people getting into horses and driving now being completely new to horses, terms that were once considered "wrong" become commonplace I guess. It still rubs my hair the wrong way, and always will.
  3. Splices in driving reins

    Driving LINES have been skived at the joins for as long as there have been driving lines. Just don't skive to paper, and leave it a little thicker than single thickness of either piece. Depending on width, you might want to put a few stitches in the center of the lap at the front. I punch a scalloped pattern on the front part of the line and lap it over the hand part. It annoys me greatly when I see lines put together backwards, with the hand part overlapping the front part. The terrets are far enough forward they shouldn't catch on the laps anyway, except when pulling the lines out. If it's a work harness, and I'm assuming it is because 15oz is pretty heavy, lines stay on the saddle when not in use. Everyone wants to pull the lines out of the terrets and leave them attached to the bit. Grrr. Of course with show harness, parts get disassembled down more for storage than work harness. Edit: I should clarify, don't skive to paper at the end of the skives, and leave the join itself a little thicker than either single piece. Don't skive back from the lap further than the end of each skived piece. Follow me? Yes, skiving does weaken the leather somewhat. Just be careful how many holes you poke in it while sewing, and where, and don't skive too much off.
  4. Yet another which machine to buy topic

    There's been LOTS of car upholstery sewed on machines with no reverse. If you can't spin the work, lift the foot, move the work by hand back one stitch, turn the machine over to make the stitch (make sure to lower the foot first), repeat for as many back stitches as you want to make. More than one way to skin a cat.
  5. Rim Sets-long leg silver 12ss

    Standard Rivet has down to 1/4", which takes a 20ss stone. They come in a variety of finishes, including NB. Any smaller than that gets pretty doggone hard to handle anyway, especially if you set them by hand or a single feed machine. Edit: Tim from SX is on here every once in awhile, he might come along and say if he has anything smaller.
  6. Bar risers or not - pros and cons?

    I agree with Oltoot on the scored rawhide. I've seen many older saddles (and some not so old) where the rawhide had been scored and later split open to expose the wood underneath, resulting in breakage or rotted wood from moisture getting to it. I do feel however, that the risers add a little bulk to my seats where I don't want it. It takes more work and shaping to get back to where I would be if I didn't put them in. So, I haven't found the perfect answer. I do know that the shape of the top of the bars has a big effect on how much work I have to go through to get the seat I want, and there are trees (makers) I won't buy, and won't buy again for this reason.
  7. Need advice on my new to me cobra4

    That groove is probably wear from the thread, although it almost looks a little rough, like it was ground out. If your spring still holds good tension and the groove doesn't cause issues, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Otherwise, like JLS said, easily replaced.
  8. Campbell Stitcher

    The bottom machine is a Union Lock, Don. You might want to stay away from that one for awhile. There are good ones out there, but they are known for being a "hard to get along with" machine. Extensively used in production settings, where they are able to have a mechanic work on them at a moment's notice. I have one, haven't used it a lot, and have gotten along ok with it, but I have heard the nightmares. They are geared more for high-speed sewing. I think Wizcrafts on the forum has owned and used one. He may have additional input. The top machine, or the Randall variation of it, would be excellent for what you want to do. There is no machine that can equal the stitch produced by them.
  9. Threepersons Done!

    You are doing some nice work, Josh.
  10. Round knife

    I don't have a Knipschield knife but I agree with what Bikermutt said above about not knowing what sharp was until he got one. There is a whole different level of sharp in better knives. Weaver's knife would be the same as the Tandy knife. I know when starting out, it seems like too much money to spend on a good knife, but you can buy good quality once, or you can go the other route (like most of us did) and buy crap several times and end up with more money invested and having to buy quality in the end anyway. Also, what type of work do you plan to do? There are different shapes for different purposes. A knife with swept back pointy ends and a bit straighter shape leading up to varying degrees of "pointy-ness at the nose is good for pattern cutting. a broad, more rounded shape is good for skiving and straight cuts. Many people end up with more than one knife. I have several on my bench or within easy reach at any given time. My favorites are an old C.S. Osborne for pattern cutting, and a W. Rose for skiving and straight cuts.
  11. Round knife

    I advise you not to spend your money on the Tandy Stohlman round knife. Do yourself a favor and buy either a good vintage knife from a reputable seller of vintage tools that knows how to sharpen round knives, or buy a new one from a good knifemaker. You will never learn how to properly use a round knife as long as you use a poor one, and starting out with a poor one has put many people off of round knives for good. There is not a more versatile, better suited knife for cutting and skiving than the round knife, but to master it, it needs to be sharp and be of good steel. I've seen some of the Tandy Stohlman knives, and I was not impressed. Tandy is not the place to buy a round knife.
  12. Not leather work but....

    I would certainly take one at that price as well. Mine acquired a tiny nick in one edge and it's very annoying.
  13. Randall/Campbell- thread breaking

    Did you try adjusting takeup? It's been a few years since I've sewed on a Randall, so it's not fresh in my mind. I have one sitting in my garage that I just picked up a couple months ago that I will try to get sewing when I have some free time later in the year. What do the stitches look like before the thread breaks? Do you have a manual?
  14. Softening Herman Oak Skirting

    I am amazed that you got that result by sewing in a slit with a machine. The Stohlmans hand stitched most everything I believe, and their instructions assume the reader does as well. With a machine, the top side would not so much be an issue, but the bottom side could be difficult to hit dead center with every stitch. Harness stitchers of a hundred years ago had a knife attached to the machine (or the needle bar in some cases with a needle and awl stitcher) to cut a bottom channel, and a knife set into the presser foot to cut the top channel. Either special throat plates or work guides (or both) were used to keep everything in place while sewing. The ends are always a challenge. I need to take a picture to show you what I feel is the best way to blend them back into the round. There are different ways to finish the end, but the most durable is gong to be where you skive the end of the return to paper and run it an inch or a little more back into the rounded section. You must also skive the end of the filler. . . it will overlap with the end of the return and you don't want any difference in thickness at this point. It is a lot of trial and error to get that part right. I came across an old Arab show bridle this weekend when I was looking for something else. It's 35 years old (I know this because I bought it new). The returns are not spliced into the filler, in fact I don't believe it had a filler. It was not an inexpensive bridle at the time. Since it was a show bridle, it received light use, but if it had received more than light, occasional use, it never would have held up at those spots, due to the method of construction. The gray transferred to your round from the rounder may be able to be removed with oxalic acid. Make sure the inside of the holes are highly polished and clean. Use saddle soap on your round when using the rounder, and the moisture content is critical: it must be neither too wet nor too dry. Separation of the grain could be caused by either one. At this point, I am NOT trying to let you blunder along. I don't feel like I am being very effective at helping to head you off from possible pitfalls, but so much of what I do is by "feel" gained through experience (both right and wrong) and I don't think about the "whys" and "wherefores". Nobody works with me in the shop, nor do I do any teaching, so I'm never forced to break down my processes into easily teachable methods. A true teacher has a talent for doing that. This is an interesting looking arrangement, I'm assuming for a 441 type machine. It appears to be for more of a purse-handle type of rolled strap, but I'd like to see the other side of it, and the finished product. Thanks for posting it.
  15. Softening Herman Oak Skirting

    Sorry, I was gone for a day and a half, but I agree with Northmount on the pressure foot tension. I've got mine screwed down pretty good. The tradeoff is pressure foot marks, but skirting is tough sewing stuff, and it will lift with the needle if not screwed down tight enough, and cause skipped stitches just as Tom said. Laps can always be a problem because you are dropping in material thickness as you are sewing, and backstitches are notorious for not pulling the lock in. The last set of pics looks better. There are a few bobbles, but it's better. Every machine takes getting used to, and learning what you can and can't do, and what you MUST do. I do not use thread lube on my 441. I wouldn't be opposed to it, but I have just never reached the point that I thought I needed to.