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CCCustomTack posted a topic in Saddle Identification, Restoration & RepairI am in dior need of some knowledge.... Last night my husband & I bought a diamond in the rough. It was a pre= 1980 Original Billy Cook MAKER Greenville, TX 15" cutting saddle. I was BEYOND excited for this find & couldn't wait to clean it up! So today i went to it with soap & water, a sponge, & a tooth brush to get into the floral tooling... the dirt was really deep in there & still wasn't come out so i talked to my friend who has restored a couple older saddle & she said power wash it.... i was a little hesitant but i took her word for it... My husband power washed it on LOW in a fan setting on the washer & now in some spots it looks like the finish has literally been taking off... she reassures me this is normal & i don't believe her. I have put several coats of 100% pure neatsfoot oil on it & it is soaking now but i'm terrified i have now ruined this saddle. But also this saddle has been repaired in a few places that i can see & is very old so scuffs may also be from wear & tear but still, i'm freaking out a little. What are you thoughts? Tips? Suggestions? Kind words to keep me from breaking down into tears...lol Pictures of before & after included...
I am getting ready to try a McClellan saddle restoration for my first saddlery project. It is an old one, by all indications made in the mid-late 1860s, but it was most likely a commercial-made saddle, and not a military saddle, so it is of little historical or antique value. I did some homework and research, as much as I could, to make sure, before I start messing with it. While it is not in all that bad of condition for it's age, I would like to restore it to usable condition...and use it. It's pretty simple, and all the leather is there to use as patterns, so it seemed like a good first project. Question I have is what weight I ought to use for the seat. Seems like 13-15 weight might be a little difficult to work with, particularly for the seat. Also, it was originally made with leather with a black varnished finish (all cracked and decayed now). Would I be better off buying black-dyed leather or just dying it myself...or leaving it with just an oiled finish? Figured I'd better ask somebody who knows, before I start ordering leather. Ahhh! Looks like I messed up with attaching the photos. Sorry.