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Everything posted by rktaylor

  1. I finished these last night. I think tap offs are definitely the way to go, but I need more practice drawing floral patterns first. I used this pattern to draw the main features; flowers, leaves, outside lines, and anything else I thought I could fill in. Then I drew the remaining items by looking at the pattern. The two sides are close, but not quite the same. I think they would be more similar using tap offs. Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to getting back to a flat surface.
  2. Ron, Thanks for the tips. I'm going to give it a go today on a practice piece. Randy
  3. Ron, Thanks for the comments. That is a practice pattern so I need to work on flow and fill in some voids. I probably covered up too much in the first photo with my hand for you to really assess the pattern. I didn't turn the pattern over, but it may have moved a bit. That seems to be my challenge; taking a flat pattern and matching it to a compound curved surface. I have also learned to have a practice plan. SaddleBags, The tap outs would eliminate the flat pattern/curved surface problem, but I don't think I am quite at that level yet. I am trying to get better at floral tooling while making a floral saddle. Probably not a great decision, but I have made worse. It's not a TCAA saddle, but I would like to enter it at Wichita Falls. It will be fun to get some 'live' critiques. Appreciate the feedback. I plan to tool this over the weekend or I'll be really stressed for time to get this done. Randy
  4. This is my first floral effort on a saddle. Does anyone have tips for transferring the pattern to the swells? What mistakes will sneak up on me before I know it? Thanks, Randy
  5. Ron, If memory serves me correct, I looked at one of your saddles posted on this site for inspiration. I couldn't find it with a quick search, but I have pictures of it in my shop. Squilchuck, This thread has some information that helped me, though it certainly isn't a detailed tutorial. Randy
  6. Squilchuck, I am far from an expert, but I can share what I have done. This is the second saddle I built and one goal for the saddle was being light weight. I copied a light weight barrel saddle that my wife and daughter liked, but it may be like Al Stohlman said about copying poor designs. That said, my wife loves the saddle, so good for me. The biggest challenge for me was getting the skirts tight against the cantle. I thought it fit really tight until final assembly. It certainly wasn't a 'deal killer' for my second saddle, but I still don't like looking at it. I honestly don't think I saved weight with this method. I think I could build a lighter saddle with rear jockeys. I weighed both saddles so I know the difference. IF I built another like this and weight was an issue, I would go with rear jockeys. Randy
  7. Thanks Regan, I've been thinking about this and will have another design soon. I hope things are going well up north. It's terribly wet here, but it'll probably be too dry soon. Randy
  8. This is my attempt at a floral pattern for a saddle cantle back. This is the right half of the cantle. The left will be mirrored. The boundaries are yet to be determined since I haven't fit the piece, but I am guessing this will fill the entire cantle back. I hope to finish tolling this tonight to see how it looks. I had to (at least that's what I told the wife) order some new tools for this and they should be in soon. There are some elements I like and some that don't quite flow. I welcome critical assessments from everyone. While I have a lot of room for improvement, I will say that drawing patterns is coming easier after taking a class from @hidepounder at Prescott and buying Sheridan Style Carving by Bill Gardener & Clinton Fay. Thanks for the feedback, Randy
  9. Rob, First off, I think it's a nice looking saddle and appreciate you sharing it. I am far from an expert and am just trying to learn. My initial observation was that the skirts looked shallow in the rear and the rigging dominates the view. I like the rear dees to be up on the skirt. I think the rigging is balanced, but the skirts are just too shallow for my taste. I will admit that the saddle I ride (#3 for me) has skirts a little too shallow for my liking, but it wasn't enough to cut new skirts (attached picture). I think the skirts (right or wrong) changed how the rest of the pieces were shaped (front and seat jockeys in particular). After I read Ron's comments, I looked at your jockeys a little closer. I would like to see a more defined front jockey. I am going to blame my skirt depth and lack of experience for my front and seat jockey shape. Regardless, its a great looking saddle and remember I am nowhere close to an expert. Randy
  10. Thanks for the compliments. While it's a little short, it isn't too short to be functional. I'll make the next one a little longer. Randy
  11. I made my first rifle sling. I copied the pattern from a friends sling, but still ended up a little short. I It's made from chap leather on the outside and veg tan on the inside. I need to improve my shoulder padding, but I have a plan for that. I used woolskin since I have a lot of it left from saddles. All in all, I am pretty pleased. Thanks for any comments or suggestions, Randy
  12. Ron, Another fine job. I have always appreciated your tooling and think it's far from amateurish. I notice elements that you use consistently, so I guess you are developing your style. The stitching looks awesome and thanks for the awl handle description. I have been wanting something different and I like what you described. Looking forward to seeing #5. Randy
  13. Thanks for sharing. I'll bet she is loving the new saddle. I am far from an expert so you can take my comments with a grain of salt. I would have placed the rear rigging a little higher so the rivets are covered by the rear jockey. This would also place the strap connecting the dees up on the skirt. It looks like your front rigging position is about 3/4 or maybe closer to centerfire. I think that will make the smaller saddle more stable. I built one about this size and the customer wanted a 7/8 flat plate (small ranch saddle). It looks great, but without the rear cinch the saddle bounced too much. Since the tree was so small, I don't think there was enough bar on the front to pull against. It's a really nice looking saddle. Congratulations on a great job and thanks for sharing. Randy
  14. Well this isn't much help, but I like the first two better. However, the last two look more like a sunflower. Do you want 'artistic' or 'realistic'? Randy
  15. Thanks for the comments. You've talked me out of using sheepskin so that leaves me wondering what to use. Any suggestions? Randy
  16. I'm planning to build a case for my shotgun and was thinking about lining it with sheepskin. I have a lot of 1" bark tanned shearling left over from saddles. Any opinions on this? Thanks in advance, Randy
  17. Looks great. Thanks for sharing. Randy
  18. Billy, Thanks for sharing your process, though I have no desire to duplicate it. Just out of curiosity, did you square your riggings, then fit the swell cover? I have a hard enough time getting my steps in order, let alone combining a couple of them. Randy
  19. The ones on this purse are double capped. I haven't made it to Tandy to look at replacements. Randy
  20. The domed rivets from Tandy look just like this. I haven't measured these, but I will tomorrow.
  21. Thanks for the suggestions and advice. It has helped me with my search. Randy
  22. I have searched the internet for rivets like this to no avail. Maybe my search terms are incorrect. Does anyone know where I can purchase these? I haven't worked on purses, but have been asked to shorten this strap. That means removing this rivet. Any advice is appreciated. Randy
  23. I was hoping you would get comments from more seasoned saddle makers. I always find their comments on others' work extremely valuable when I critique my work. The tooling looks really uniform and I like the tooling on the seat. The tooling on the billets also adds a nice touch to the saddle. I'm not familiar with this style of saddle and am not as experienced as others, so take my critique with a grain of salt. The seat jockey shape and placement seems a little off. Everything is square and it's round. It also seems a little too far back. The front and rear jockeys are not lined up. I think they would be more appealing if the bottom line was consistent. It may be the way it's sitting on the stand but the skirt looks like it runs down toward the front. It may be level when you put it on a horse. Thanks for sharing your work, Randy
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