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About ArwynOrion

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  • Location
    Springfield, Or
  1. A rawhide cover would have definitely helped this saddle tree out. They stapled some rawhide on the corners which might have given it some extra durability and to maybe save some money over wrapping the whole tree, but it seems all for naught. A rawhide cover seems to be the tried and true method for long lasting trees but they also add weight. Some companies, like Precision Saddle Tree, cover their trees in kevlar which sounds very durable. I have been considering a kevlar wrapped tree for my first saddle build, and from my research, kevlar should not degrade much as long as it is covered up from UV light. This saddle measures 15" which would work for someone who weighs 100-150 lbs or so. I am guessing it was probably a little big for her when she was that age, but may have been what was available at the time. Youth western saddles are usually between 10-13" here. Thanks for the confirmation on material. I have heard that some big companies who sold them would contract the work out as orders came in back then. I got the skirt off on the other side and discovered some damage to the tree unfortunately. It lines up with one of the saddle string holes which adds to my suspicion to steer away from doing that on my own saddles in the future. Now that this has been discovered, I know for sure that this saddle will not see another horse. I am going to finish cleaning it up, but I am not going to worry about making sure it's sound to ride on again. The stirrup leather definitely needed to be replaced if it was going to be used again, and it actually looks like the whole design could have been saved if I had to do it. The stitching at the bottom of the strap could be torn out, rivets at the top removed and a new strap sewn on and riveted while still keeping the original fender intact. Next up is a deep clean of the leather.
  2. One of the things I will be practicing on this saddle is sewing on a new wool liner since it is pretty flat and could use replacing. If this saddle does make it's way back to a horse, I want the horse to be as comfortable as possible. If it ends up as home decor, the wool is just one of those things that adds to the charm of a nice looking saddle. I am currently saving up for a cobra class 4 with a target purchase date of July this year, so I am looking forward to that project! It's probably not worth the cost of putting on new sheepskin, but alas, I would prefer to practice these types of repairs on a cheap saddle first before doing anything like this on a saddle for a customer, family or friend. I am still waiting on some saddle butter to arrive before I start the deep clean process, so I started deconstruction tonight and have been learning a lot as I go. Feels good to finally dig in deep! So far, I have not discovered the use of any staples throughout the saddle, which I am quite happy to see. The saddle strings go all the way through to the saddle tree which seems like a secure way to tie down the skirting. I have heard about the questionable long term integrity of holes that have to be drilled in the saddle tree, and this 62+ year old tree does look a little rough where the holes were drilled. Otherwise, the saddle tree looks to be in decent shape for its age, no major cracks or breaks anywhere. There is a cotton grid-like fabric covering the tree that looks like it's dried up and I am not exactly sure what it is. My first thought is old fiberglass of some sort. The single rig system seems OK, but I will be looking to replace the whole system anyways so I can be sure it's safe to use. It looks like I will have to remove a nail or two on the swell in order to complete that task, and I am trying to stay away from messing with the swells too much if at all possible. I am going to have to look into that more before I take it on.
  3. Saddle stand is built and ready to go. Just waiting on a few more tools to arrive before breaking down the saddle.
  4. I have purchased a saddle that I will be using as a learning tool in my path of learning saddlery. The lady I bought it from said she got the saddle when she was three in the Cincinnati-Dayton, Ohio area, which dates the saddle construction to around 1958 or before. That is about all I know on the saddle unfortunately, because there are no maker stamps visible. I am assuming this makes the saddles difficult to identify? What would this style of saddle be called? The saddle was purchased for $50, so I thought that was a fair price for the lessons I am going to be learning. As far as I can tell, the saddle tree seems ok and looks to be wood covered in fiberglass. I will know more about it's condition later down the road. The leather might be a different story though as it looks aged and cracked in some places. My plans for the saddle are to learn how to fully clean/oil a saddle, repair any issues going on, and study how saddles are constructed. For now, I will be breaking the saddle down to the seat, cleaning, oiling everything, reconstructing the saddle and replacing the rosettes and saddle strings. It currently has a one piece fender and due to the age, I am almost positive the stirrup straps should be replaced, but I am not sure if the fender itself is bad. Is it advisable to replace a fender if it is in this state or should I attempt to trim the bottom and rivet on new stirrup straps? Is it possible to get this saddle back in riding shape, or should this be aimed at more of a vintage restoration project for a home decor piece or stool? Thanks for reading!
  5. Thanks for all the info everyone. I was not aware of how much the antique paste was affecting the color process. I have dark brown and mahogany antique paste, but no Sheridan brown. I will have to order some and see how it turns out for me. I am also curious to see what mixing mahogany and dark brown antique paste will come out with. The cordovan color antique paste also looks interesting.
  6. How can I achieve this redish/orange hue in the picture below? The book under my coaster is Sheridan Style Carving by Bob Likewise for reference. As you can see in the picture, my leather tends to take a pale brown color. My process for the coaster was a light coat of neatsfoot oil, then tan-kote, then antique paste followed by another round of tan-kote. Is this redish hue achieved due to quality of leather or am I making some kind of mistake? The book describes using neatlac as the resist, will that change the look versus tan-kote as a resist?
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