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About Aggiebraider

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/14/1985

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  • Gender
  • Location
    College Station, TX
  • Interests
    Reining, Rodeo, Horses, Anything to do with Western and Ranching Heritage and History

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
  • Interested in learning about
    Sheridan Tooling

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  1. Howdy, Here are a couple pics of saddles we finished last week. Thought there might be a few here that liked them =). I also wanted to let everyone know I posted a job position we are trying to fill in the Help Wanted Section. Have a good one, Calvin
  2. Howdy everyone, I havent posted in a while, but I wanted to let everyone know that the saddle shop I work for in Bryan, TX is looking for a full time tooler to help us in house. We do not want contract toolers at this time, but may in the future. We are a fully custom saddle shop building high quality saddles the old fashioned way, with new design and tooling techniques that are filling customer needs. We pride ourselves on the fact that we can and will do anything the custom can dream of, so sometimes the tooling designs can get pretty radical. With that, we dont need someone that necessarily only does sheridan style tooling, we really just want someone that is willing to do floral, can draw very well, and has the tooling technique and ability to start right away. Right now, we dont need someone that needs a lot of training, we really need someone that can start right away. We make a lot of belts, wallets, iphone cases, and other small items and the position would be in charge of doing the majority of the tooling for this part of the shop, and may work towards tooling on the saddles as well. Pay is based on experience and ability. We understand that it may be difficult to move, or get things lined out at first, but we are willing to work with the right candidate to make this work for everyone. Please send photos of your tooling with as much detail as possible either to me here, or to our facebook page (search Don Gonzales Saddlery). Here is a link to our website - http://www.dgsaddlery.com/ Take a look and see if you would like to join our team and bring your creativity to central Texas. Feel free to call the shop anytime for more information or more details. Thanks, Calvin Waters
  3. Color bleeding out in leather is due to them putting too much dye in the leather, not necessarily that the color isnt really set in the leather. I dont think any color would ever bleed if just put in water. You really have to use friction to get the dye to come off, hence the reason it comes out when you rub something on it. When using soaps to braid with on leather, dont make it wet or mix it with water. Use the soap dry and rub it in. You want it to penetrate. Braiding is a completely different game than other leather disciplines, so sometimes you have to forget what you know about leather. The soap is only there to help you lubricate the strands so that they will pull in tight and not want to break on you. It will also help soften the leather but will also allow it to stretch if you dont get the stretch out before you braid. Even if you get a lot of the dye out early on, they still might bleed if you cleaned them later on. My ONLY foolproof advice for you is use higher quality leather. I know it takes a lot more practice and time, and it costs more initially, but if you TRULY care about the product you are making and the quality of your work, you will make your own lace. Just my two cents
  4. Bleeding typically comes down to them leaving extra pigment in the leather. There will be a point when it stops coming out, I would try soaping your strands well before you start braiding with them, use a lot of soap, really rub it in, then let it dry. Your hands will have dye all over them, but a towel will clean them well enough. You might even run your strands through a towel as they are drying or after they are dry. Dont pull real hard, because you might break the latigo easier than you think. Then, resoap and braid away. I havent used Horween leather before, but I did really like some Triple C that I used to line some back girths not too long ago. Havent braided with it, but it felt really tight grained and the flesh side was almost smooth it was so tight. It didnt really feel like it would bleed as much as other latigo that I have used before, but like I said I havent braided with it.
  5. The saddle soap will also soften it. My soap has 1 bar of Ivory soap shredded, 1/2 bar of glycerin, and a splash of olive oil. Melt the ivory in a couple cups of boiling water, then take it down to a simmer and put the glycerin in, then when everything is melted, add in the oil. Make sure you shave off the soaps either with a knife or cheese grater. Then once everything has cooled a little, put it in a blender and blend the crap out of it. Then put it in whatever container you want, once it cools completely, it will be between whipped cream and mashed potato consistency. You might play with the water amount to get the consistency you want. After it has hardened, you can always add it to more water and blend again if its too solid. The olive oil will darken it some, but not as much as you think. Try it out on a test piece and see what you think. Its definitely not as bad as neatsfoot. You should be able to google white fiebings saddle soap and find it easy enough. You might just have to order it
  6. Either way works just as well as the other. I kind of like vertical better, because if your clamp or vise is taller than your hands, you will be pulling the piece down over an edge. When vertical, there is nothing below your piece, just on the sides
  7. Well first I wouldnt use Lexol to braid with. Especially on kangaroo. Lexol is designed to condition old leather that is dried out, not new leather that is nice. If you arent interested in making your own braiding soap, just use the WHITE Fiebings saddle soap. Its much milder than other soaps, and it should dry things out too much. Make sure you clean off as much of the soap when youre done as you can, and then go over the top with a little olive oil. Soap takes the oil out of leathers, so you need to add it back. When you are soap the leather and stretch it, some of the color should come out if its going to. If that doesnt help, start cutting your own lace. I really think it has a lot to do with the type of tannage the leather you are using has. Veg tan leather if done properly, shouldnt bleed much or at all. Hope this helps
  8. A vise of some type is pretty common. Put some leather over the jaws and you wont mark up your work. I actually made a stand with a couple flat pieces of steel at the top that tighten together with thumb screws. It works well if you are wanting to braid away from home, but its hard to really crank on it if you have to.
  9. Paracord is always cheap. Go to ubraidit.com they have a good selection
  10. If you get your front skived down thin enough to cover this correctly, you shouldnt have any problem just molding the leather down into the leg cut. You might have to make a few more relief cuts in the bottom around where the swell attaches to the bar, but shouldnt be too difficult. Of course, Ive never done this, just going off the little that I know, so if Im wrong someone please correct me. CW
  11. Get some books, things will make more sense on starting. If you have a rawhide braider near you, it would be easier to just start learning with rawhide. If you are teaching yourself, I would suggest using nylon or paracord for a while until you get the basics, then move on to leather.
  12. If you are worried about punches, dont hit them on a hard surface directly. Even a cutting board may damage them over time. I make sure I always have a "Poundo" board on top of my marble or table when I am using punches. Just something to think about
  13. Thanks for the correction Jeff, not sure what I was thinking when I typed that lol. I didnt even think about 1/2 leathers vs full leathers......still have a bunch to learn lol.
  14. While I am no expert and still learning to build saddles, (still need to make my first one lol), I think I can give you some ideas. First, If you normally use 3.5" stirrup leathers, you can make them smaller, say down to 3" , and this should give you more fender movement. Also, think about making your fenders out of a little thinner leather so they have a little more flex and arent so heavy. I think it also depends on how you cut your stirrup slots. If you are getting your trees with the tin strainer already put in, you might have to talk to them to see if they can change them. Another thing to think about, is that you dont want your fenders to always sit that far forward, similar to the old style like some seen in the Al Stohlman books, because that will lead to a more of a chair rider position. This can lead to more horsemanship problems than having fenders without much swing. I know some cowboys that ride in saddles made by the shop I work in every day, and say they have plenty of fender swing even making them just like our ropers. Just a little horsemanship info as well, when you stop a reiner, you take your legs off them or just widen them, not put your feet forward. I know all the pictures of reiners make it seem like you put your feet forward, but you really dont. At least I was taught not to. Another thing is a skirt rigged saddle can have more fender movement, because there isnt a rigging in front of the top to get in the way and stop it. If any info is incorrect, hopefully someone more knowledgeable can post and set me straight. Hope that helps, CW
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