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About kseidel

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  • Birthday 02/25/1965

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cody, Wyoming
  • Interests
    Fishing, Hunting, Riding Horses, Shooting, Reloading, Silversmithing, Camping, Traveling, Art,

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
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    other leatherworkers
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  1. You are gettin the idea! Much improvement in your working toward a purpose. Keep practicing. Work on mastering each tool. It is okay (and even preferred) to copy other toolers work until you are able to make yours look like theirs. You will learn to draw your own patterns as you gain experience working with other established patterns. Keep up the GOOD WORK!
  2. Good job! Now you are closer to having a plan and purpose for the look you are trying to make with the tools you are using. Draw in your finish cuts before you cut them in the leather. It is most profitable to practice right and learn the right way. Much harder to un-learn bad practices. As you go forward, try to make each cut and stamp perfect... exactly where and how you want. Practice perfection! Good luck! Keith
  3. You are practicing trying to learn how to carve and stamp the leather, without a good understanding of what you want as a finished look. I would encourage you to draw or trace the pattern on paper, and then shade in all of the details with your pencil. Black out the background, shade, draw all of the veins and mule tracks, etc, and draw in the finish cuts. Be as precise as you can. Then when you stamp in leather, try to duplicate what you have drawn as precisely as possible. What you are doing now is very haphazzard and make-it-up as you go, without a specific plan, and that shows in your finished work.
  4. I highly advise that you try to spend a few days in Sheridan, Wyoming during the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show, May 15-20, 2018. There are several classes being taught on the construction of saddles. The information will be invaluable to you at this stage. Keith
  5. Your comment is valid, but not very applicable in today's saddle market. Most of the hides turned into saddle skirting in the US are steer hides. No cow hides are being used for saddle skirting. These steers are young... under two years. No stretch marks and minimal difference between right and left sides.
  6. The books you have listed are good places to start. Also Lucky seven for wallets and lucky eight for belts are good how to books that would be good for beginners. Lucky seven has small projects that you can do in a sitting. All have good pointers and tips. Once you get a good understanding of the principles in these books, Sheridan style will not be so intimidating. The principles of stamping are the same regardless of the style of pattern. Good luck!
  7. I can repair this for you, but I would recommend that you contact John Fallis and have him do the repair for you. He is most familiar with the particular construction of the saddle, and his prices are considerably lower than mine. John's address is 17402 N. Franklin Blvd Nampa, ID 83687 Phone: 208-461-7252
  8. Now I am confused.... Did you stitch your horn and cantle using a "saddle stitch" using two needles crossing the threads in the hole as you progress, or a "lockstitch" using a hook and pulling a loop from one side that the thread from the other side is threaded thru and then pulling the "lock" into the center?
  9. Yes, raising the rear dee would have been the proper adjustment to maintain the shallower, larger radius of the rear jockey to match the skirt.
  10. Nice looking saddle Jon. Clean and neat and well made. May I add a critique...mostly related to design... skirt shape does not match seat and jockey shapes. Skirt should have a fuller rear corner to match jockey (or change jockey shape to match skirt). Side seat jockey is a bit too deep down the side, and a bit too short front to back. Follow the cantle line around the seat jockey and back thru the front of the swell. This is cosmetic, and wont affect the functionality of the saddle.
  11. Interesting to read the replies and hear the "guesses." The proper way to bleed strings is to cut from the bottom up, as shown in your pic labeled "UP". This allows the strings to lay down smoothly and is more attractive.
  12. Your swivel knife is not a tool to skimp and go cheap. All of your tooling depends on the swivel knife... right down to the borders. You will use it more than any other tool. The cheap knives produce a lot of friction in the barrel as you carve since you are applying pressure to the top of the yoke. This leads to ragged cuts and tremendous fatigue! You will never regret spending a few more dollars on the swivel knife. If you want professional quality results, get a professional swivel knife. Chuck Smith also makes a blade machined from cobalt bar stock. This material offers a nearly drag free cut. I seldom even strop these blades, they carve so smoothly. Total cost of knife with blade about $125. Not that much in the scheme of leather working tools. It's not like buying a stitcher!
  13. I prefer Chuck Smith Ol' Smoothie. Shaft and yoke are mounted with a ball bearing and are balanced and smooth. Barry King's are not. Both are the same price. No comparison. I have them all, and carve many hours a day. I mainly use the ol' smoothie.
  14. Well Jared, congratulations on making your first saddles. By the looks of your facebook page and reading your posts, it will be the first of many. You are ambitious for a 16 year old in this society. If you are willing to work as hard at perfecting your skills as you seem excited about promoting yourself, you will enjoy a bright and successful future. Just last week someone sent me a pic of one of my first saddles and it reminded me of where I started. I was 14 when I started making saddles, and they were pretty rough! But I didn't know any better, and I was proud of them. Big Sioux gave you a direct and accurate critique... and he didn't cut you much slack. I appreciate that he was willing to give you and honest evaluation. I would like to encourage you to burn the book and video that you used on this saddle, and start fresh with a qualified maker. Then make it a priority to study saddles. Expose yourself to all that you can find. You will learn much good from saddles made by masters, and maybe more of the bad made by inexperienced and commercial makers. Learn to evaluate what you are seeing and to be able to duplicate the designs. It is apparent that you do not have a very good base of knowledge regarding the finer elements of a saddles' design. As you evaluate the saddle that you have just finished, you will see the glaring design flaws. Later, you will see the more subtle elements that you can improve in the future. If you want to make a career as a saddlemaker, consider getting some personal training. Your swell cover is testimony that you respond well to personal help as this may be the best part on this saddle. You can learn a great deal from books and videos, but many times more from training in person. Get some GOOD books and videos, and invest in some personal training. Maybe take some classes at a leather worker trade show, and find a local saddlemaker (or several) to teach you some tricks as you develop. You could learn the hard way and take 20 years, or get some training, and shorten that learning curve by many years. Don't get discouraged, this is a great career, and very rewarding. I wish you the best of luck in your venture. Keith Seidel
  15. The metal not what causes the black marks on the leather. It is from your hands... sweat, oils, etc. The tools you handle, the water, even your diet can create black stains on your leather. A simple wash with oxalic acid before oiling will neutralize any black marks on your leather.
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