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About thenrie

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  • Birthday 01/30/1959

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  • Location
    Salem, UT
  • Interests
    Horse packing and old west history.

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Saddle repair, minor leatherwork
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  1. thenrie

    Cavalary Saddle

    I know this thread is a little old...but then so am I. From where do you source your brass parts? What weight of leather did you use? What type of leather (skirting, harness, etc) I have a late 1800s McClellan knock-off I'd like to rebuild/restore to usable condition. I've been told a 7-8oz skirting leather, but that feels heavier than what was originally on it. The original leather is suitable for patterns, but most of the seams were ripping out. Any handy hints and suggestions would be welcome. I'll be hand-stitching.
  2. Thanks, guys for the nice comments. I enjoyed rebuilding that saddle. I have an old McClellan, a pony saddle, and three old high-back saddles in dire need of work as well. I'll post about those as I get them done. Dwight and Josh, you might want to start your own thread, so people can search and comment.
  3. thenrie

    Looking for a 1-1/4" veiner to duplicate a pattern

    Sorry I didn't keep up with this thread. I forgot I even started it. Anyway, I found most of the stamps I needed at Tandy, or close approximations. I bought a set of Chinese-made veiners, but wasn't real happy with them. I made the one stamp I could not find and it actually worked pretty well. I can't seem to get photos to upload to this site, so here's a link where I wrote the saddle repairs up on my blog:
  4. I know most admins hate folks who revive old threads, but this forum seems to have gotten very little use in the past year and this question is still on the first page, so I'll hit it. There is no way you are going to be able to identify the make on an old crossbuck like that. They were so easy to make that most saddle shops made them and a lot of packers made their own, back in the day. I can see this one is put together with rivets, rather than bolts or screws, and the wood is pretty dried out, so it is easy to say it is likely more than 30 or so years old. Depending on where it was used, it could be as far back as the Gold Rush days. Crossbuck trees just don't wear out. Sometimes they break, but they don't wear out. The leather wears out, but it is easy to replace, again, making the crossbuck difficult to age. The green paint with the white name label indicates it was used at one time by a packer with a pack string of mules (Tilly just sounds like a mule name). Crossbucks were often fitted to the back of the individual mule by rasping it to fit, so they would label it with that mule's name, so as not to get it inadvertently place on a different mule and making a sore-backed mule. The crossbucks (there's another word for them, but I can't recall it right now) were typically made of oak or hickory, sometimes maple, because it is very hard and nearly indestructible. The bars were typically made of cottonwood, because it is somewhat flexible, yet strong and easy to work and form. Looking at the wood on that one, seeing you are from California, and looking at the leather and imagining it as original, I'd venture a guess that particular saddle saw use in a pack string as far back as the 1930-40s, but then that's just a hairbrained guess. No real way to know.
  5. That large horn was typical of Mexican-made saddles back in the day. My totally uneducated guess would be that you are right about your time frame. I'd say 1960s and that it is Mexican-made. Also, Mexican leather from that era tended to be lighter and not as well tanned as American-made leather, so that may be a telltale. Can't really tell from the photos.
  6. It's been awhile since I last posted anything, but I recently finished repairs on an old ranch saddle I picked up a couple years back. Thought I'd post the results. However, I have an extraordinarily difficult time posting photos to this forum, so I'll just post the URL to my blog, where I posted photos and information about the repairs. Sorry admins, but getting all the photos resized and all that fiddly stuff isn't worth the trouble. Nobody takes 3mp photos anymore. Have you thought about an extension that automatically resizes uploaded photos? 1.46mb is waaaay small nowadays.
  7. It really has been awhile. I was just watching a saddlery video (Agar France) on Youtube and thought about this forum. I finally finished repairs on that old Hamley a few months ago and forgot to ever post the results. In the long run, the saddle needed a lot of repair. Not only that, but there had been previous repairs of varying quality, all of which brought the saddle's value down to where I felt justified in trying the repairs myself. Here's what it needed: Both stirrup leathers were worn out. One strap was original, the other was a replacement. Both sweat flaps had been replaced and had been tooled with a different pattern and tooling than the original. The cantle binding was destroyed when my horse went down with the saddle on. The seat jockey was torn by my spur when I came off the horse. Several saddle strings and conchos had been replaced. The rear rigging straps on both sides were splitting and needed to be replaced. The skirts had been poorly refleeced a long time ago and were curled at the edges, needed to be re-done. I did all those repairs and used the original rolled tooling on the saddle skirts to create a pattern I carved into the new stirrup straps. The end result was pleasing to me and brought the old saddle back to life for another 75 years or so. The only repair I was not pleased with was the repair of the tear in the seat jockey. I used a waxed nylon thread that would not take a stain. I wish I had used a linen thread or a dark brown thread and the repair would have been hardly noticeable. Oh well. Chalk it up to experience. I hate adding photos to this forum, because of all the resizing and fiddly work, so here is the URL to my web blog on the repairs:
  8. Hey folks, I am repairing an old saddle a fellow had it in his garage and let a dog chew on it. So, I am replacing a the seat and the right front jockey and I am hoping to duplicate the stamping. It's not too complicated, but I need a veiner that measures 1.25" X .25" (1-1/4" X 1/4"). I also needed a border stamp that I can't find, but I was able to make a passable stamp to duplicate it. I have attached a photo of the stamping I'm trying to duplicate. The flower petals are made using a veiner. I would also like to find the flower center used in this stamping, as well as the rose stamp used on the pattern corners.
  9. Not an expert here, but they look like what is commonly called Hope saddles. If I recall correctly, they were used in and around Texas in the late 1800s, likely in the 1860-80 time frame. Don't quote me on that, but I think that is close. One is a "half-seat" that had Sam Stagg rigging and the other looks more like the traditional Hope saddle. If you'll google that info you might find out more. At least it's a place to start. As for value, I wouldn't presume to try to give you any accurate appraisal. To tell the truth, the leather doesn't look like it's in all that bad of condition for the age of the saddles. I would recommend that you clean them well with saddle soap and a brush, then give them a good coat of 100% pure neatsfoot oil, before you start talking to appraisers about them. As for your last question, no way to tell from the pictures or the measurements you gave whether they are pony saddles. People back in those days were smaller anyway. You can give us a good idea of their size by measuring from the back of the base of the horn to the top of the cantle (seat). If it's 12" or less, I'd say they are pony saddles and may be a little later vintage than what I stated. 13" or larger, I'd say they were horse saddles. Edit: After taking a second look, judging by the small stirrup leathers, I'm leaning more toward pony saddles now, and maybe a bit later vintage than I said. Still, googling Hope Saddles might produce some images that may help you.
  10. Did my photo not show up on the original post? I'm just getting a link address when I look at it now. Oltoot, I'm trying to visualize what you described. What I'm seeing is that you are recommending starting with skirting leather, skiving the patch around the edges and skiving the tear on the edges of the tear, such that the thick part of the patch will fit into the skived area of the tear, making the patched area only slightly thicker than the original leather. Yes? Then, stitching a double row all the way around the tear (I will be hand-stitching). So, no stitching across the tear, like I so often see? I am assuming the patch will be stuck to the back of the jockey with contact cement before stitching. dbusarow, it wasn't really a bad wreck. She got a little nuts and went down. I stepped off her back when she hit the ground, but my spur caught the jockey as I unloaded. The saddle is a 1947 Hamley Ranch Saddle and the leather on the jockey is a bit old and brittle. It left a tear about 4" long from the front of the jockey. Thanks for the replies, fellas.
  11. I am working on repairs on an old Hamley ranch saddle I have. Learning as I go. Don't fret, though, it was in pretty bad shape and wasn't worth sending it to Hamley for repair. I inherited it from my wife's family and have been using it for several years. My last horse beat it all to heck, so I'm working on putting it back into usable condition. Anyway, on one occasion I came off the mare and hooked the seat jockey with a spur, tearing it. Now I'm trying to figure out an effective way to repair the tear without it looking like an abomination. I plan to put a patch in the backside a little bigger than the tear, and stitching around it. Should I use 7/8 oz leather, skived around the edges? I would glue it on with contact cement, then stitch around the tear. I also have some 3 oz veg tan that I have for linings. Would that be substantial enough for the patch? Wouldn't need to skive it and it wouldn't make a lump. I'd appreciate advice and photos of similar repairs if you have any. Thanks.
  12. thenrie

    Stirrup Leather Weights Question

    Way ahead of you. Already bought the "Improved Blevins" with the vertical studs. In fact, I've about convinced my self to replace the seat, stirrup leathers, and rear jockeys with roughout and do a rawhide cantle binding to match the horn binding. Sort of make the saddle "my own". That way I don't have to worry about trying to match the original tooling. I have thought about just lacing the stirrup leathers as well, being as this saddle will likely never be ridden by anybody but least until I'm pushing up daisies and no longer worried about it. I may do that. No lumps, lighter, and I always did like traditional.
  13. Hmmm. Tried making the lace out of 5/6 chap leather. Tried lacing it on a test piece. Didn't like the look of it. I even beveled the edges, but it wanted to curl the wrong direction, so it looked pretty poor. Any recommendations for type of leather and weight for 3/8" lacing?
  14. Quick question, guys. Tried searching, but.... I'm lacing the belt onto a pair of chinks and wondering what size hole is best for 3/8" lacing? I'm planning to use 5/6 oz chap leather for the lacing, with beveled edges. Is there a standard size, or just whatever the lacing will fit through? Is a round hole good, or should I use an oval? By the way, the chinks are Bob Klenda's Red Rock pattern. All done except for the belt. Pictures coming soon.