Alan Bell

Bosal tutorial

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Well, I guess it's safe to go back in the water now so I'll try again. This is how I go about making a 1/2" bosal with a braided core. These are 3 cores in the different stagesDSCF9414.JPG I use a reata type pieceDSCF9415.JPG And then if I need to I cover it with a piece of lining leather or chap leather to make the desired finished size. I figure the lace thickness at 1/8th" which is basically the thickness of 4 strands since the strands cross over each other in the braid AND the thickness can be thought of as on the front and back. Then I add that to the radius of the core and the difference is made up in leather. DSCF9416.JPG. Then I braid over this with whatever I've decided on in this case it is a 16 strand braid. Next I cut strips DSCF9419.JPG put glue on them DSCF9421.JPG glue on the bosal DSCF9422.JPG and then nail them in place with small brads DSCF9425.JPG I then put them on with one in the middle and one for each end of the noseband. DSCF9417.JPG to be continued...

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

We're going to a party so I hope you are hearty!
Bob Marley - Punky Reggae Party

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OK so the next thing is to get some floral tape (Walmart, Michaels, or on line) DSCF9430.JPG it sticks to itself and doesn't have glue and also it can be shaped some or I can double it over on itself to increase low spots. I start at one end and work towards the middle. DSCF9427.JPG The first layer goes all the way up to the center button and then I make a few extra turns next to the center button to start that build up. When I wrap back and forth I will not go back over the very end DSCF9427.JPG I don't cross over the center button until I've built up that side DSCF9429.JPG and then i cross over and do the other side DSCF9431.JPG Next I will measure and mark the noseband with guide lines DSCF9433.JPG and I use those guidelines to make sure the taper is even DSCF9435.JPG Now I am ready to start the braiding first I get the string into thirds DSCF9436.JPG When i start my braiding I put 2 thirds to my left and 1 third to my right. To be continued.....

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

Rise up this morning, rise with the rising sun
Bob Marley - Three Little Birds

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With 2/3 of the length of my strings to my left I start the braid by going under one over one. DSCF9438.JPG and I continue with each string in succession moving from top to bottom DSCF9439.JPG Once I have all of my strings done i set it into my vice DSCF9440.JPG to hold it while I braid DSCF9441.JPG DSCF9442.JPG Once I reach my goal I start the turn back. I finish my braid with an over so I can start my braid with an under. This is with the strings that are still going the left. I'll come to a place where the strand will need to work itself back into what has already been braided. Then I go parallel to the string on the left DSCF9444.JPG I do this with each string in succession first working 4 of them to the left and then i go back and work them in succession to the right of where I started. This helps me from putting a twist into the finished noseband. Here I am half way back up creating pairs. DSCF9445.JPG. At this point I started getting late so I wrapped the noseband in a moist cloth and let it set on my bench to preserve the moisture content. DSCF9446.JPG To be continued...

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

To see his hurt is their greatest ambition
Bob Marley - Ride Natty, Ride

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So now we are going to finish the noseband by working all the strings up to the other end and creating pairs DSCF9448.JPG and then at the end crossing under 3 and working back towards the middle DSCF9451.JPG splitting the pairs as you come to them. DSCF9452.JPG This is what creates the diamond pattern. The same will be done with the strings at the other end until the meet in the middle DSCF9453.JPG. Now you have to make the junction appear as if it is one string by burying the ends. If the strings are a little dry you can soap them DSCF9454.JPG Here is a normal under two pass DSCF9458.JPG and here is an under 3 pass to hide the string DSCF9459.JPG and here is the interchange done with both strings DSCF9462.JPG I pull each strand and cut it close so that it draws back up under the 3 to bury it. Next will be the interweave but that will have to wait to be posted...

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

Well I see you. You pass my way again!
Bob Marley - Touch Me

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Man, I could never do that! Thanks for the instructions. I have an even greater appreciation for braiding now.

ArtS

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Mr. Bell-thank you so much for your time and effort in putting this tutorial together. It gives us beginners the inspiration and encouragement to keep at it and just goes to prove that this forum rocks!! :You_Rock_Emoticon:

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Now for the interweave. I didn't know how to actually take the pictures that show what is needed but will say that I am filling the gaps made because the end and center diameter is greater than that just inside of the end buildups so the braiding in tight in the narrowest point but does not quite cover the wider portions. To do the interweave I start under three and go up parallel to the string to the left and follow that the length I want then cross under 3. I will often double check where the pattern will be to make sure I am going under the proper 3. DSCF9465_2.jpg This series of pics show how I continue and the finished after I added color to the ends to balance the pattern.

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It is easier to show the interweave on the side buttons so I'll post that later.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

I and I no come to fight flesh and blood but spiritual wickedness in high and low places!
Bob Marley - So Much to Say

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alan

this is great, thanks for doing this. what knot are you doing for the nose button? i noticed you have strings going in both directions and did not recognize it...i just use a multistring knot from b.g.s book and you only have strings going in one direction. yours looks very interesting. i like the lines drawn on the foundation to keep it straight..excellent idea will have to try that for next time. now i have to build a bosal so i can try the interweave...havent been able to get one done yet.

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Hey Tracy and everyone, Thanks for the compliments but I am the one who is benefiting the most! There are strings going both direction. That is the reason for having 2/3ds of the strings on the left and 1/3d on the right. What happens is this; you braid with the strings uneven as I said, when yo get to the end of the braid you take the longest strands and do a turn back that matches the way you started and work those strands back up through the previous braiding creating pairs. When you get back to the starting end you do what ever turn back you desire depending on how you want that end to look. There are 3 different turns to make a "pineapple" or standard end and one to make a "gaucho" end. You work those strands back towards the middle splitting the pairs you made. You should still have enough length to the original "short" strands to do a matching turn back at their end and work those strands back towards the middle. When the two ends meet is when you have to bury each end under the other by going under 3. Actually, you can have the ends meet anywhere along the length of the noseband and on a smaller noseband you may not want all of your strands meeting in the middle because it will make a bump there. Hope this explanation make a little more sense to everyone. If there are any questions or if I've created some confusion please ask and maybe I can find a better way to say things that might make it clearer in your mind.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

Feel alright now, Feel alright now! Said I feel alright now! Good Lord hear me!
Bob Marley - Put It On

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alan

so let me make sure im getting what your doing....where i start mine about 1/3 the distance from the end of the knot, then wrap the strands on until i reach the end make my bights, braid down thru the wrapped ends of strings then wrap my working ends for the remaining 2/3 of the knot then turn back make my bights braid back to the ends of my strings at the 1/3 point where i start building pairs...you are basically skipping the wrapping process by doing the skeleton braid right from the start? is that correct? if so then that is probably easier to do as it is hard for a rookie like myself to correctly guage the space to leave between strings when doing that initial wrapping on of the strings. COOL! learn something new every day! the interweave doesnt work if you do the gaucho pattern does it?

thanks again

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Tracy, You are correct I am braiding down initially to skip the wrap and braid. I didn't have much success with the wrapping method when I first tried it, I've since learned to do it for quirt handles and such but then I am using enough strings that the first wrap is a complete cover leaving no gaps. The hard part of the wrapping method is to guage the spaces especially with a build up. i believe Gail Hought uses the wrapping method at least she did for a while. The hard part of the braiding method is the first turn back because it tends to put a slight twist to that end of the braiding. I've seen some Ortega bosals that show he struggled with the same problem and also make it pretty evident he used the braiding method at least for a while. My friend Nate Wald takes the works and puts a counter twist in there before he does the turn back. I'm trying to work half the strings in succession going one way and then the other to counter the twist maybe I'll have to do all of them counter to the way the twist goes if this way proves not to work for me all the time. Just find what works for you and stick with it. Maybe KAW or Mrs. Liggett can chime in anyone? The interweave works with the gaucho pattern it just looks different.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

No more crying, Good Lord hear me!
Bob Marley - Put It On

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I have no idea what a bosal is used for, but I appreciate talent and skill, and great lacing. Awesome tutorial.

Plus anyone who loves Marley is cool with me.

ShirleyZ

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Alan, nice tutorial, when you start braid down and are turning back make sure you go past your foundation so when you start your turn backs to make pairs you dont slip off your ends when interweaving and it allows you to counter twist the ends if you start to twist, the biggest thing with twist is to prevent it before it happens, for me I am consaintly checking for twists and correcting them as I go.

I use both methods alot. For working bosals I use the braiding method most of the time because it goes alittle faster, for finer collecter stuff I like to use the sprial method cause it works better for me with more strings, I also like to bury my ends staggered on each end so when your interweaving through the center you don't pull out your ends and if a horse rubs it on something (which happens some times no matter how careful you are.) it less likely to come out and won't leave any bumps where it contacts the horse, these are afew things I do and some things to think about when building using gear so things function properly.

Your strings are looking good and consistiant, how have you been makin your hides?

Hope this helps some,

KAW

Kevin A Willey

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Hey Kevin, thanks for the advice. I'll have to try the wrapping method again next time I make a finer strand bosal. Maybe you could post a tutorial on how you do it before I give it a try and I might make a decent go of it! All this string was made with a limed hide. I've got the equipment to do a hot water hide and will give that a shot next month when I have time to make rawhide. I'm cutting the string using my Hansen cutter and have gotten to the point where I just cut out and throw away anything that isn't right. I need some calfs to get finer strings and hopefully they will have some when I go there next month.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

Hear the children crying'! But I know they cry not in vain.
Bob Marley - Hallelujah Time

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Hey Alan this was awsome. Thanks for the time and effort to do it.

Rob

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OK so now I can try and post the rest of the story; Here we are putting the side buttons on. I have already braided a six bite casa over a leather collar and am starting the interweave with the contrasting color DSCF9476.JPG The first thing is I go under 4 to give me something to bury the end under. Eventually I pull all the string under that spot. This interweave is different because I decided that I want a single band of color on the bottom side of this button to frame the hanger once it goes on. On the six bite the single band braids in such a way that each of the 3 complete passes meets itself and you have to adjust by either crossing under double the space or using 3 separate strings. This knot is big enough that I felt I could just cross under double the space. So I follow the string to the left going up the knot making pairs of the 2 strings, cross under 4 DSCF9479.JPG and then I will follow the string on the right going down making pairs of those stringsand cross under 4 DSCF9480.JPG After I repeat that again I have made it back to where I started and have to go under double to reach the next pass. Because the knot is round i can't bend my needle so I will go as far as I can, come out of the knot with the needle and string and then re enter and go to the spot that is next in the pattern DSCF9481.JPG DSCF9482.JPG And here it is drawn all the way DSCF9484.JPG So I carry on the original pattern but I split the pairs when ever I come to them DSCF9485.JPG Here my fid shows the next pair to be spit going down the knot. DSCF9486.JPG. 2 B continued.....

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

Some will hate you; pretend they love you now! Then behind, they try to eliminate you!
Bob Marley - Cap Fit

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Ok now we have established the pattern DSCF9487.JPG and now we are going up to the next pair DSCF9488.JPG and so on. This pass makes v's going up and down all around the knot DSCF9489.JPG and the last pass connects the v's. DSCF9490.JPG DSCF9491.JPG DSCF9492.JPG DSCF9493.JPG DSCF9494.JPG For the "pineapple" pattern the interweave formula highlights are to stay next to the string on the left going up and then stay next to the string on the right going down and to split pairs when you come to them. This holds no matter the number of passes or rings of color you are adding.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

But who Jah bless, know one curse! Thank God, we're past the worse!
Bob Marley - Cap Fit

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Of course you just repeat this for the other side button. I should mention that I could have tied a Spanish Ring Knot either for a foundation or sometimes as the side button itself. Now on the the heel knot. I'm not going to show the actual interweave but will show how I do the build up that will keep the heel knot from being pulled off. I tie a string around the bosal at the place where the hanger would be in order to get the cheeks 4 1/2" apart at the side buttons. The I measure down to where the cheeks will meet at a point anywhere from 10" - 12" from the inside of the nose band. I want the top of my spacer to be there so I will put reference marks on the spacer and the cheeks below that where they will eventually be covered by the knots. DSCF9506.JPG DSCF9507.JPG Next I nail my spacer to the inside of one cheek DSCF9509.JPG and then I fold it over and nail it again DSCF9510.JPG DSCF9511.JPG I put the cheeks together and tie them And add a Spanish ring knot DSCF9512.JPG I will lace each strand around the ring knot to anchor the heel knot DSCF9513.JPG and then I cut the extra core length and shorten the strand a bit to work with them. DSCF9518.JPG Not much more to go!

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

When the moon gathers the rainbow; want you to know I'm a rainbow too
Bob Marley - Sun is Shining

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Finally, we come to the last bit the heelknot. When I started braiding I read where the heel knot builds itself. That as you start braiding THAT's when you decide what the heelknot will look like and how many bands of color it will have and I have found this to be the truth. You can kinda plan but once you start things can change a bit so I sill not really get into the braiding aspect of it, if you can do the side buttons then you can do a heel knot they are just larger and with more passes but fundamentally the same. I do a floral tape build up for my heel knots. DSCF9521.JPG DSCF9522.JPGI like a fairly heavy heel knot as this speed up the action of the bosal specifically the release and that is what matters to the horse! Add the foundation DSCF9523.JPG and then do what you feel. DSCF9531.JPG Hopefully the client is pleased with the end results. DSCF9535.JPG And hopefully this was a little bit of help to some of you and of interest to the rest. I'm in New Orleans now and will have to wait till I get back to Mi Casa to add the hanger and there are several ways to do that but I'll just save that for another day.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

If your tumbling down from above; help the weak if you are strong!
Bob Marley - No More Trouble

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Alan,

This bosal turned out nicely, I want to thank you again for going to the effort and showing us how you go about it. I would like to know what you used to dye your strings red?

Thank you

Rob

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very good tutorial. thank you very much :You_Rock_Emoticon:

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Thanks everyone. I used ritz clothing dye.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

When one door is closed many more is opened
Bob Marley - Coming in From the Cold

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hi Alan,

Can you please explain a little more how do you start the nose button, i mean, how do you set up the laces around the bosal before you start braiding? maybe some more pics?

thanks in advance

crow

Edited by crow

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Hey Crow,

I start by getting the strings in 3rds and then I line them up with 2/3rds of the length going to my left and 1/3rd to my right. I have them all lined out in rows from top to bottom. In this case I had 8 strands and I take the top on and take the left end and weave it under one over one down through the others. Then I repeat with all the strands until the last strand goes back around the bosal and weaves through the first strand, under one over one. This is what I have done in the first three pictures of me putting the noseband braid on. I'm not sure if I can explain it any better but if you still don't follow I will try.

Vaya Con Dios, Alan Bell

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I hate to sound stupid but what is a Bosal and what does it do?

Tom

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