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About Mulesaw

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  • Birthday 04/28/1973

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  • Interests
    Woodworking, horses, vintage cars, leatherworking

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Horse tack, riding boots repair
  • Interested in learning about
    Saddle fitting and horse tack
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  1. No matter what you decide, I think you should try to wet mould your leather to the seat. If you do like you suggest yourself, cut the leather before the bend, and try to skive the cut so that there will be a gradual decrease in thickness. Then take a new piece of leather that is larger than it needs to be. Cut it to a rough shape. Make some holes all along the edges. Soak it in water for an hour or two, put it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight. Drape it over the seat and use some string or shoelace to hold the shape using the holes you made along the edges. Smooth out the top and help pulling etc with your fingers, retighten the string/shoelace To this till you are happy with the shape and how it flows around the seat. Leave the leather on until it is dry. Remove the string/lace Remove the new seat cover Let the inner part of the saddle dry out (it probably took a bit of moisture from the wet leather) Cut the former seat cover to the correct size (maybe 3/4" from the bend). Attach the seat cover using staples or whatever method you prefer :-) I did this 30 years ago on a motorcycle seat, and it worked really well. Just be careful to not tighten the string/shoelace too much, so you end up tearing out a hole. The purpose of the string is to hold the leather in the shape, not to pull it into shape. That needs to be done with your hands. Brgds Jonas
  2. @panchoskywalker It looks like it is some sort of suede that you have used. You could try to soak it all in water for a day or so. Depending on how well the glue has bonded to the leather, you might get lucky in that it will separate. But it could also be like Northmount says: that part of the foam will come off too. Or you can try to gently lift up the edges of the leather and try to "skin" the saddle. Keep lifting the leather and carefully slice with a sharp knife between the foam and the leather. Good luck. Brgds Jonas
  3. Maybe some parents don't really understand that while a pony is smaller than a horse and it looks nice and behaves nicely, it is still 350 kg of muscle that can do some serious damage to youngsters and grown-ups alike. So far I have only had stable rugs that I have had to say I couldn't repair. But that was also for Katrinelund, and they are totally cool about it, I could technically repair them, but if I estimate that the work involved would exceed the value of the rug, then I just lay it aside and use the hardware as spare parts for their other rugs. Brgds Jonas
  4. I think you have a very valid point in the importance of checking the tack is a safety issue. The cracks in this girth elastic started in the "underside", so unless you actively bend them backwards you won't see them until one of them snaps (like this one did). So I guess that even though she maintains her tack well, I have to tell her to check it more thoroughly :-) I just talked to her on the phone and suggested that if she knew of anyone else using the same girth, that they should check it in the same places. I am not a trained saddle maker, so I haven't tried to reflock a cushion beneath the seat etc. but I have repaired stuff like broken girth strops either by sewing them on or riveting them to the tree if that was the method used originally. I especially remember one saddle from the riding school that they had someone else repair before sending it my way. The girth straps should have been fixed to the tree, and they were broken, whoever did the repair job simply stapled them to the underside of the seat where there was a bit of nylon to shape the seat. The first time you would have tightened a girth - the strops would have come off. So I think that a lot of the repair jobs I do aren't super difficult, but they still require that I have a sound judgement of what stress that particular part will receive. One of my regular customers (Katrinelund stallion station) sends a lot of stuff my way, and (though it may sound corny) I actually enjoy looking at the tack and doing the repair and checking the rest of the tack before handing it back. Especially the girths where there are 4 buckles. If one buckle is broken I change that, and then go on to check that the stitching is still OK for the remaining 3, and also the stitching where the elastic is joined to the actual girth. I know that technically I could just change the buckle and give it back and don't care if there wasn't another fault. But I just can't help it, if people have faith in that I can repair something then I'd hate it if I missed another obvious fault that would endanger those using the tack. :-) When I was a child they would occasionally show steeplechase on the TV, to this day I am still impressed with the courage displayed in standing so high up in the stirrups and hammering away on a thoroughbred, and I believe that it makes you extra attentive to the small details in your tack given that there is so much strain on the equipment in that sport.
  5. @ToddW That's great to hear that you got it to work :-) I got to think of the other day that your initial problems could be if the soap "part" is measured after it has been grated. If a recipe says parts, I always think in volume, and there is a lot of difference between one tablespoon of grated soap vs a tablespoon of solid soap bar. Both soaps sound like they are OK and I guess most mild soap types fall into that category. If you are looking for a new type of saddle soap to make, you could try to experiment with making a pure neatsfoot based soap. My soap making book is at home, but it describes that most soaps that are made with liquid oils is going to be paste like (save for olive oil that will make a very firm soap). A quick search right now gave a saponification number for neatsfoot oil of 190-203. that should be for KOH (Kalium Hydroxide). KOH gives a soap that is more paste like compared to NaOH (Sodium hydroxide). The basic idea is that you make a lye out of either of the bases that you want to use, and the weight and volume depends on the oil/fat type you want to use. To make sure your soap leaves behind a little bit of actual neatsfoot oil, you only make the lye mix 90-95% of what it technically should be (the saponification number). That way all the lye has got some fat/oil to react to, and there will be a small surplus of oil in the soap. The fat/oil is heated to warm on the stove and the lye is slowly poured in. I mix using an old stick blender from a thrift shop. After some time (depending on what oil/fat you use and if you ad honey or beeswax or other things) the mixture will start looking like mayonnaise, and then it is ready to be poured into forms. The soap needs to continue its saponification in the forms for some time, but mind you I have only made soap that will become hard, so I don't know how long time you would have to let it sit for a paste soap. But this time is to enable the lye to do its stuff to the oil/fat to convert it to soap. Lye is highly caustic and will cause chemical burns to skin and tissue. It will cause blindness if you get it into your eyes, so you need to wear proper protection equipment. The same goes for the basic chemicals to make the lye, Sodium hydroxide and Kalium hydroxide. So be careful. These are the basic steps, but soap making is really fun, and doesn't require a lot of gear to get started in. I'd recommend you to get some sort of basic soap making book, as there are a lot of tips and instructions that could prove valuable. Good luck and be careful with the chemicals. Brgds Jonas
  6. @jcuk Thanks for the kind words :-) It is the first time I have seen one of those too, but they claim that it is working well. I am not much of a dressage rider myself, so I am not quite sure. But I know that some horses have "girth cramp", and for those horses it might help since it only presses certain places? I haven't really thought about that over tensioning thing, but it makes a lot of sense. And like you say they can either stretch or fray or otherwise become elongated. Being on the ship right now I can't go look in the shop, but I am pretty sure that a lot of the other elastic girths that I have lying around have got doubled elastic. (I try to buy them at the horse club jumble sale to use the stainless steel buckles for repair) Heidi (the owner of the girth) takes very much pride in maintaining her tack, so I am certain that it isn't because of bad maintenance or mistreatment of the tack that it is damaged. She is training to become a riding instructor, so it might see more use than most hobbyists girths, but I am pretty sure that she only uses it on her own horse, maybe both her horses, but not more than that. And given that it is really expensive (in the UK I have just seen it for £ 275), in my opinion it should be much more sturdy. I eased up the edges that the elastic seemed to have taken damage from, but it could still be that it wears in that spot. I can't remember if there is room to double the elastic, but I kind of doubt it. Brgds Jonas
  7. Yes it is an interesting design, as far as I have understood it is a really fine girth that gives a lot of freedom to the ribs of the horse etc. It is well made but apparently not a flawless design after all. Good idea to make suspenders. that hadn't occurred to me :-) Brgds Jonas
  8. The girlfriend of our oldest son asked me if I could repair her dressage girth. It was a Scharf Freedom dressage girth just a little over a year old that had developed some damage on the elastics that hold the buckles to the girth. I have replaced girth buckles every once in a while, but I have never before seen the elastics getting damaged like this. The girth is expensive and she said that she didn't want to bother with warranty etc. given that it was just over a year old, and I could totally understand that. I managed to find a company that produces girth elastic in England, and I purchased a roll of 40 m (the minimum that I could buy). There were no distributors in Denmark, so I figured that if I had some spare elastic I could always use it on some repair project in the future. After disassembling the girth, to me it looked like the fault of the cracks in the elastic was some fairly sharp edges where they go though the padding, so I softened up those sharp edges before installing some new pieces of elastic. I had to make a belt keeper as well, because one of them was missing, aside from that it was "merely" a question of getting it all back together in the right order. The design of the girth is fairly complicated, with the two outer pads needing to be sewed first so they hold the elastics and the connection strap that ties them to the center pads. Once the elastics and the connection strap are sewn, the actual padding goes on next. I forgot to take some pictures of what it looks like on the inside, and I have to admit that I had forgotten that I even took these pictures, so the job was made back in December (and I can't remember much of the details now). The repair job did take a while, but it came out nicely, and structurally sound afterward. And that's kind of important to me :-) One side complete, the nearer side pad is not yet sewn on. The damaged elastics. The leather was very sharp where the bending occurred, I think that was the cause of the damage. Close up of the damaged elastics showing the severed parts. A completed outer pad mounted back on the girth, the sewing pattern is kind of elaborate. New elastics and a new belt keeper
  9. That is a very noble approach, I couldn't agree more. It is nice to see that some companies try to get production back to Europe instead of having it all made in the far east.
  10. @jcuk Brexit could definitely have been handled better from both sides, but like you say, enough has been written about that. The H Seal elastics were the only company I could find that produces girth elastic, and it is one of those companies that were established 150 years ago and still manage to do the customer service in the same way. That coupled to a unique and high quality product is getting scarce as hens teeth those days :-) I have to admit that I like to support European made products if they are genuinely made in Europe, and England happen to have a fantastic palette of companies that produces the same stuff that was used 100 years ago. I bought some green baize from Hainsworth some years ago for lining gun cases, it took me a while to track down the correct wool baize. And again it was a company that had been in business for well over a century. Brgds Jonas
  11. @ToddW I'd try to use some ivory soap at first. I haven't got any experience whatsoever in glycerin soap, but I use grated soap a lot for washing our floors at home. If I make a solution of grated soap and water and leaves it to stand it will turn pasty in a matter of half an hour. I am pretty sure that the grated soap is just regular white soap that has been grated, but in Denmark you can still buy it everywhere, so I have never tried to grate my own. An American I know used Castile soap that he grated and mixed with water to make a soap paste, and that worked well. I think you can also buy a product called soap flakes. I think that there is a lot of difference between different types of soap as to if they swell up when left with water or not, and given that neither the beeswax or the neatsfoot oil should do any thickening it must be the soap. Maybe another brand of glycerin soap would do the same, but like I said ,I have never tried a glycerin soap (to my knowledge at least). Good luck :-) Brgds Jonas
  12. Thanks, I have to say that Abbey and F Martinson has got some superb stuff! But I couldn't find a D-ring large enough to meet my 1:1 criteria. Technically I think it might be overbuilt, and the closest I found was something for pulling straps on harnesses, but they were still not quite the correct size. Also I have to admit that the Brexit (no matter how fine an idea it is) has made it incredibly difficult for the rest of us slaves of the EU to buy something from England.. bought some elastic girth strap from H Seal elastics, and it was an uphill struggle.. H Seal elastics were efficient and friendly, but I had to register my company in Denmark as an import/export company, and that extra trouble on behalf of the inefficient Danish Customs and Excise is pretty much enough to scare anyone away from trying to buy stuff from great Britain So far I have tried to order from Laederiet in Denmark and Pethardware in Chechia, I found a couple of German suppliers as well for saddlery hardware, but I haven't tried those yet. Brgds Jonas
  13. Thanks for the tip, thinking about it, it seems like a brilliant idea!
  14. Great idea! I think that it would be interesting to see if the leather retains it strength depending on what treatment it has received. E.g. Neatsfoot oil soaking vs mineral oil soaking. Dry veg tan vs. veg tan that has been given a bit of oil/grease Brgds Jonas
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