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About TomE

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  • Location
    west of Saint Louis
  • Interests
    horses, fixing the stuff they break

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    making and repairing tack
  • Interested in learning about
    construction methods, using and sharpening tools

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  1. Thanks, everyone. I am enjoying learning to refine my skills.
  2. ...stainless and nickel-bronze hardware, instead of brass. Wickett & Craig bridle leather, hardware from Zack White and Beiler's. Learn something with each one I make.
  3. I know nothing about western saddles, but the Saddle Restoration Facebook group has a lot of saddle identification posts. Also, the owners of Ruxton's Trading Post in Manitou Springs CO are experts who might assist you. They have written books, and articles for Western Horseman about historic saddles and their value.
  4. That is an epic level of cool for Cool Johnny! Beautiful work and so many original details. The colors are great and the accents on the medicine bag frame the whole necklace. Powerful medicine.
  5. Beilers sells "Chrome Tanned Oiled Sides" in 5/6 oz that I use to cover padding on horse tack and I split it for lining belts and straps. It is smooth and slick (should clean up well) and comes in a variety of colors. I think it would make a nice apron. The side I received was produced by the SB Foot Tanning Co who supply Red Wing Shoes with leather. https://www.sbfoot.com/
  6. Looks like an adventure! Keep us posted, Jonas. I am considering buying a large clicker press from a friend for less than a custom die will cost. He closed his business making boot insoles for major brands like Thorogood and has retired. It would take up space in my machine shed but I'm considering clicking out the yokes and decorative pieces for farrier aprons like the one I previously posted. I haven't done any production work before and I'm debating whether to branch out or stick with made to order tack.
  7. A leather rougher/scratcher will prep the grain side for gluing if you need a strong bond to the grain. The wire teeth are pointed and sharp to tear through the grain and create a suede like surface. A wire brush doesn't do this. I routinely rough up leather filler strips inserted into a rounded leather piece that is wet molded around the filler. Roughing the leather is necessary to hold it together until the leather dries and can be sewn. The larger rougher in the link below is a very sturdy tool. You can find smaller roughers at lots leather crafting supply retailers. https://sorrellnotionsandfindings.com/product/scratcher/
  8. @bruce johnson is an expert who can advise you on value and how to refurbish.
  9. Harness and bridle leathers are vegetable tanned cow hide that is stuffed with fats/waxes for water resistance. Plain vegetable tanned leather will accept tooling, stamping, and wet forming better than bridle or harness. Harness leather is generally stiffer than bridle bc of additional waxes added during the currying process. Bridle leather typically has a more polished/shiny finish than harness. I make English reins for jumpers and dressage out of 9/10 oz bridle leather. I make split reins for western riding from 10/11 oz harness leather. The split reins that I am familiar with are not sewn. The bit end either folds back on itself, or is capped with a leather chape and is tied with a latigo saddle string. I think the best bridle and harness leathers in North America come from the Herman Oak Leather Co. and Wickett and Craig Leather. The Hermann Oak bridle and harness leathers tend to be stiffer, which I equate with stretch resistant. Wickett and Craig is a bit softer temper and they offer bridle and harness leathers in a wide variety of colors. You can request samples from either tannery. Both are top quality tanneries. Wicket and Craig has no minimum order whereas Hermann Oak generally requires a minimum of a roll = 5 sides. Single sides of either leather can be purchased from retail distributors. You can request a side for reins and they will select a larger hide that should cover 7+ feet along the topline. Springfield Leather sells Hermann Oak and does a lot of custom clicking/cutting. They could probably sell you the straps you need for reins.
  10. Weaver Leather Supply has 3" SS flat cinch buckles, and 3" polypropylene webbing.
  11. Also linen has a unique look compared to synthetics that are twisted or braided. I like how it feels when hand sewing but rarely use it for horse tack.
  12. For bridle leather, Fiebings Aussie conditioner tends to maintain the original color better than Blackrock Leather N' Rich, Bickmore Bick 4, and Effax Lederbalsam. I apply a light coat of neatsfoot oil before conditioning. Once the oil soaks in the original color returns. I don't seal projects, except the edges, so I don't have expeience with those finishes. Another idea is to use neutral shoe polish for shine and some water resistance. I think it will stay on top of the grain. Lincoln stain wax (shoe polish) is a quality product.
  13. That bag is a winner. Lots of techniques that I don't know how to do. Looks like fun.
  14. Love your creativity. Beautiful, original work as always. My biggest design decision is - do I use a black strap or a brown strap?
  15. Welcome, fellow Midwesterner. Check out the pinned posts in the Computer Help forum for tips on posting pictures. I use Photoshop for this purpose but there are free options for resizing.
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