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mulefool

Covering the neck on a post horn

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How do you all cover the neck on a post horn where you stitch all the way around the cap? I have butted the leather together in the back and stitched it together. I talked to a friend the other day who said he knew of someone who kind of made a donut of leather around the neck and worked all the slack out, so there's no seam. Sounded pretty clean and nice and also maybe kind of harrowing. Do any of you do it like this? If not how do you do it?

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For what it is worth, I have only done one donut style cap and wrap. I did the one piece under the horn, but it took me three pieces to get the one piece of the right temper to mold, stretch, and compress right. It did look nice when done, and then I covered most of it up with some grainy old mulehide. I don't do many cap and wraps because of previous experiences with repairs. Even on rawhide covered metal horns, I see some of them burned through the rawhide down to the metal. The rubber lets go, the nylon runs, and the wraps and rawhide are a blue vapor. I still wrap mulehide on the ropers, knowing they are going to put rubber over it. Two layers of neck protection. They can still (and have) burn through the mulehide and neckwraps.

On the wood post horns, I prefer to do a traditional cap and wing style coverering. I figure that extra layering of neck leather gives some more measure of protection than just the mulehide. On a metal horn burned through the rawhide, I fill in the ropeburn with skirting scrap, varnish, and recover the horn. I figure that metal is still pretty solid and reasonable protected. I am not that confident on a woodpost burned through the rawhide with just a mulehide wrap over it. Me thinks moisture will cause some post decay in shorter order.

Bruce Johnson

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So when you did that, Bruce, did you work the slack UP and tack it at the top? Or did you tack it at the top to hold it in place and work the slack DOWN? I do figure you'd want just the right piece.

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For the under piece, I slipped it over the horn while the Barge was still wet. I then tacked the filler in place on top of the horn. I hit bottom of the filler and the edge of the bottom donut piece with a little heat and tacked it up. Positioned it and pliered it. That pretty well held it while I worked the slack down and compressed out the wrinkles. By this time the neck and bottom part of the underpiece was fairly tacky, so I made it kind of evenly wrinkled all the way around (looked like a cupcake paper, if you know what I mean). As the casing got right in the leather to compress, I worked the wrinkles flat. I used a bone folder, slicker, smooth hammer, and my hand to get them down.

I found a piece of low neck, infront of the flanky front pocket worked best for me. I tried a flanky stretchy piece first. It worked in OK, but was still a piece if flanky stretchy crap when done. Then I tried some low belly. I ended up chasing wrinkles around the neck, wouldn't compress as well. The neck has the firmness and compressibilty that worked best for me.

Bruce Johnson

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Thanks Bruce. I might give it a try.

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hornwrap2.jpghornwrap1.jpg

I too have wrestled with the full cap for a post horn. Haven't tackled the donut yet but I suspect I'll be running into that down in Texas. They seem to be popular there.

I came up with an alternative that may or may not be all that unique, but it seems to be working for me so far. I suspect it's been tried before.

Instead of using the filler piece to wrap the horn base, as is explained in the article in Leathercrafters magazine, I tried using the bottom piece with the wings incorporated into the pattern. I apply the piece in the normal fashion and then overlap the wings as I fold the excess out to form the base of the stitching surface. I mark where I need to skive the wings so they will lay flat together at the back of the horn. It takes a bit of work to get it just right and fortunately, it ain't a big piece of leather 'cause it usually don't work the first few times.

Anyhow, the filler and top piece are just cut round with some excess to trim off evenly like you normally do with any horn. If you do the bottom piece right, the lap almost disappears and holds real well.

Has anyone else tried this method?

post-1925-1182181328_thumb.jpg

post-1925-1182181347_thumb.jpg

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