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Ken Nelson

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About Ken Nelson

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LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddles,tack and chaps

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  1. If you put a servo or clutch motor on it for that matter, you will want to also put on a speed reducer.
  2. I build custom saddles. Some of my customers are right when they tell you something. Some are wrong, and some are wrong and nasty to boot. I do not agree with a customer when he tells me something wrong or stupid. I do not want to be quoted as saying or agreeing with something that is wrong or agreeing with a stupid idea. I just tell the if they want work done the way they are talking, they need to find someone else to do their work. I am out over a year so I can be pretty selective on who I work for. BTW NICE WORK!!!
  3. I rode one that looked a lot like that when I was a kid. It also had the strings on the left side. It was an old Sears Roebuck and had been bought new in 1935, I beleive. It did not have a makers mark on it anywhere but an old cowboy told me 50+ years ago that several companies, one of them Heiser, built for Sears, Wards and maybe a couple of others. Some were pretty good saddles and some were junk. Heiser also built the store saddles for Fred Mueller Co. in Denver and the once famous Powder River Ropers.
  4. I have sold vehicles, several sewing machines, and some tools on facebook. And everytime, I have had people send me low-ball messages and I either send them a smart ass answer back or ignore them. But, I have never put anything on Market Place that did not sell for asking price or real close to it in time. Usually pretty quick. There are ignorant people out there and don't let them ruin your day.
  5. I would drop an ad on Facebook Market place.
  6. Would you ship this to Kansas by chance?
  7. Naw, just good salesmanship, letting potential customers know how versatile a particular tool is. Whose do you sell?
  8. You do realize the back of the fender will be quite sticky. Dirt and other stuff will stick to it. If the saddle were mine , and it is not, I would remove the lining and put a new one on it if the latigo is worn or damaged. On removing the stitches, there was a post on here several years ago on an easy way to do that. Actually removing sheepskins from skirts but I have done it on lined fenders as well. It used a stitch groover of a certain type and cuts the stitches on the top and then pull the lining off and you won't have to pick maybe just a few stitches. I use a horseshoe brand stitch groover to do this. I am not certain but I think it may have been Bruce Johnson that had that post. Kind of one of those things that makes you go "Why didn't I think of that"!
  9. I would agree about the "theft" idea. I used to have a Saddle Shop in Rapid City, SD and handled a lot of used saddles. Several come in with the makers marks or serial Numbers buggered up. The Sheriff up there had me call him every time one come in and most of them were on the Stolen list.
  10. Good ONe. Those old ranchers were a different breed of animal. America lost the best with those people back in the day. They were a rugged, determined tough lot and those pioneer women were maybe even more tough and rugged. I miss those old men I knew 60 years ago.
  11. I had an old Hamley Saddle come into my shop about 15 years ago for a clean and oil. I was told it was ordered new in 1935 and had been rode since by its original owner and had been handed down to a great-granddaughter. This saddle was actually in good condition for its age and amount of use. The leather was still in good shape, however it had been rode enough there were two holes in the seat about 2 inches in diameter, where his pin bones rested that were through the seat leather and part of the way through the ground seat. The cantle binding had been replaced and was worn through in several places again. I have wondered many times how many thousands miles of South Dakota prairie had passed under the man and that saddle. I have never seen a saddle that showed the amount of use it did, and the amount of care it showed to last through that much use. I regret I didn't take pictures of it. A testimony of the pride of ownership those old cowboys had for their saddles and tack back in the day.
  12. I think you tree looks like a substandard tree. I would not consider using it to build a saddle on. You cannot build a serviceable saddle on a substandard tree. I do not believe it is possible to improve the quality of that tree no matter how much you "tinker" with it. You cannot "build a silk purse out of a hogs ear"!
  13. Ken Nelson


    I use Lewis trees and have on over the last 100 I have built. I have yet to have one come back because it was eating horses and I have yet to have one come back broken. I build saddles for men that ride all day, every day on very large ranches, rope a lot of cattle both in the arena and on ranches. Everything from baby calves to ton + bulls. I am not saying anything bad about anyone's trees but Lewis has been the best affordable tree I have used, but I have not tried a lot of tree makers out there.
  14. Yes a personal umbrella for when I am out of the shop living my life and a business policy for when I am working and covering what I do.
  15. The thing with building new horse gear is you never know where or with whom it is going to end up. If you build a barrel saddle for someone it is not going to be as stout as a saddle you build for a steer tripper or a cowboy on a large ranch that does a lot of roping of big wild cattle. I doubt any trail or pleasure riders would want a saddle as heavy as what I build for the cowboys I build for. But they don't use them that way either. Another consideration is care your product will get after it leaves your shop. I have had a few that were demolished in a few months by someone doing really stupid things to them and with them. I don't like the insurance premiums but figure it is part of the cost of doing business. I am not an LLC. My insurance agent tells me you still need business insurance even if you are a LLC. My business insurance covers a lot more than liability. Product liability, physical liability, consignment coverage, customer product liability-used saddles and tack in for repair, etc. I do carry a personal umbrella policy but it does not cover professional liability. This day in time, I suspect he is completely right. I hope this helps and I am not trying to tell you what you should do. I don't know if I am right or not on this but just because you are in the right, does not mean you can win it in court and if you do, you may spend an awful lot on attorney fees.
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