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rktaylor   

Here's saddle #5 that I just finished. It's built on a Howard Council roping tree from Quality Mfg with Hermann Oak leather.

I am making improvements in some areas, but still have a lot to learn. Comments and critiques are welcome.

Randy

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JD62   

 I don't know a lot about saddles but this looks real nice too me. Nice work!:cheers:

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Looks good Randy.  I thought Howard Council was a saddle maker,  what is unique with this type of tree?  I see a lot of improvements in your work, and it looks like you have a good feeling for what you are doing.  I do have a few comments or questions: the rope strap looks awkward, the placement of the front rosettes are a little low on the jockey, your horn edge could be rubbed out more, and (I say this because I took a hit in a contest on this) your wool needs to be trimmed better to give a nicer appearance.  Your stitching looks really good, and the stamping of the skirts and jockeys look uniform, and blend in quite well with the Carlos Meander border.  If you haven't ordered Cary Schwarz' Cantle Binding DVD, I highly recommend doing so.  It'll help improve your Cheyenne Rolls, not saying yours is bad, but I bet you are still sweating the task.

Look forward to see saddle number 6.

Ron

 

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rktaylor   

JD and Ron,

Thanks for the compliments. Howard Council was a renowned (his saddles are coveted around here) saddle maker from Lawton, OK. I am not sure what is different about his tree, but from what I have learned Sonny was making them for him. My friend, who I built this for, is a saddle junkie and he called Sonny to order the tree. I looked at some of Mr. Council's saddles and tried to follow his pattern.

I struggled with the rope strap because of the swells. I worked with the customer to place it where he wanted. I agree on the front rosettes. I need to clean up the front jockey area on my saddles. It seems that there are too many after thoughts. I thought most of my edges were pretty good until I started taking pictures. I rubbed that horn a lot, but never got it slick enough. I'll look at the DVD. The cantle binding is certainly an area that I would like to improve. If only it means gaining some confidence.

Thanks for the tooling and stitching compliments. This was my last hand sewn saddle (bought a Cobra 4). I like hand sewing, but the time was killing me.

I appreciate the comments. I am working on 6 and 7 in hope of finishing them for the Wichita Falls contest and they will serve me well.

Randy

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rdl123   

Hello Randy,

I'm very green at this whole saddle thing...but from what I see here I sure see a lot of improvements as you have come along!  I think this a good looking rig!

The only thing that jumps out at me is that the edges could use rubbed/burnished a little more (I've had this issue on all my rigs too)...

Saw something of Jeremiah Watt's the other day - he mentioned using Rublev brand Bone Glue Pearls...Mix 3tsp glue pearls in 1/2 cup warm water... then apply to edges only...and burnish out with soft flannel rag - Makes for flexible, deep brown edge...

I think I am going to try this on next rig i'm working on as I struggle getting good, long lasting edges. 

Regards,

Ron L

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rktaylor   

Ron,

Thanks for the compliments. I bought a 3/4 hp bench grinder and my dad made a burnishing wheel. We still need to do a little fine tuning, but so far it is working alright. I am hoping this helps with some of the edges, but the horn will still be by hand. I have two new trees and leather should show up this week. I working hard to turn a hobby into a job. :)

Randy

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That's a great looking saddle Randy, nice job! 

This might not be much of a "tip", but for burnishing edges I use a piece of cordura nylon. I bought a yard or so from Weaver years ago and cut it into about 6" to 8" squares. Anyway, if the edges have been wetted down it seems to slick it up quicker than canvas or old denim. After slicking them with the cordura I'll re-wet them and rub them with a block of glycerin saddle soap then hit them with the cordura again. It sounds like a long process to type it out but it goes pretty fast. Anyway, that works pretty well for me, I'm not sure what your process is, maybe it's even better :)! Edges are definitely something that always seem to take too much time and mine are nothing special for sure. 

The saddle itself looks well balanced and appealing to me. The tooling is nicely done! I'm curious how that rope strap set up will work with a rope on it, seems like it will want to place the rope between your thigh and the swell if you have it very snug. Of course, if it's what the customer wanted I'd have done it that way too.

All the best! If the weather lady here was right this morning it looks like you all will be getting some rain the next few days. Hopefully you do and then it makes it way up here!

Josh

  

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rktaylor   

Thanks Josh,

I'll, have to try the cordura. I built a burnished out of a bench grinder, but I haven't used it on saddle parts. It makes burnishing bridles and breast collars easier. 

Randy

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Hi Randy, just thought that I would drop in for a comment or two.  You already have most of the you need to take it to the next step.  The one thing I do is every time I pick up a piece of leather that has the edge already defined, that is cut and fitted, I give it a good go on the burnisher. Regardless of what else I am going to do with it, stamp, rivet, screw ect.  By the time I am ready to assemble for the last time, the edges are where I want them to be, slick and shiny.  Also, it is a personal preference, but; I always add some color to the edge, like dk brown or black to the edge of a piece to give it definition.  To me it's just a more professional look.

Bob

 

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rktaylor   

Bob,

Thanks for commenting. I've read your burnishing tip in other posts and think about it all the time when I'm working. I just need to follow it a little more.

I've thought about dying the edges, but haven't attempted it on a saddle yet. I need to do it on some smaller projects first.

Randy

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I'd like to complement you on you weave patterns. Their angles are near perfect.  

Your imperfections on saddle structure will improve in time. If you stay with it.

 

hey goldshot.

I've got a Rods draw down horse if you know anyone local needing one. $450.00 firm on the price. It's in real good condition.

Im selling my shop bit by bit.

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Joel,

Missed reading your comments, and seeing your work.  Haven't met anyone in the local area who does saddle work any more; but, I'll put the word out on your draw down stand. If you have any good stamps (King, Bob Beard or Hackbarth) I'd be interested.  Sorry to hear you downsizing the shop.

Ron

PS...Randy, I agree with the other guys, dye your edges; even the chestnut skirting. You don't have to wait too long after dying to the edges.  When the edge is still damp (from the dye), rubbing the edge with your cloth will quickly give you a shiny edge.  Just make sure that you are not rubbing it into the undyed area.

Edited by Goldshot Ron
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