MaryDbos

Best Books & DVDs on Saddle Making?

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Hello all,

I’m very happy I found this forum, so I’m a newbie here. With that said what DVDs or books does everyone recommend for saddle making that are comprehensive and full of detail? Better yet does anyone have anything like that currently for sale?

 

I’ve looked up so many of them and do not know which ones are worth it or not. Any advice/knowledge is heavily appreciated!

 

thank you!

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I'm a novice having made four saddles. Stohlman books have lots of great info and clear instructions. Some of their methods have been generally modernized by others, like using metal seat strainer vs leather ground seat. I've found Harry Adam's book to be quite helpful and shows different, maybe better, ways of doing things like making patterns. I'm more and more veering to techniques in Jeremiah Watt video.  The Stohlman books' advantage is they address lots of basic issues and designs. Look for them on sale at Tandy for less than $100. There are lots of discussion threads about this topic. Others swear by different sources.  I've also used a couple techniques and info from Pete Gorrell's series from Leathercrafters journal.  --John

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Thank you for replying, John.  I picked up some of Jeremiah Watt's videos, waiting for them to come in. I'll also check out Harry Adam's books as well as Stohlman. Thank you again!

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The best single source I can offer is Dusty Johnson's DVD and book set.  Stohlman's is superb, and I use it regularly, but no DVD (which is fine with me at my age) and you need to get at least the first two volumes to carry you through a saddle.  Volume III expands and shows three more saddles, but If you've made it through your first, then it's "variation on a theme",  Bill Gomer's three volume set (VHS) is also superb, but I don't know if it's even available any more. 

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The Stohlman books used to come in three volumes, but I think it's printed in a single big volume. The JW video is great, but only shows how to make a Wade saddle. So, if you have to cover different swells or horns then the other sources cover that.  

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I agree with all of the advice above.  Adam's and Stohlman's books are a must.  I still refer to each of these on a regular basis, even when repairing or modifying a saddle.  The older books from the 50s and 60s are interesting to read for historical techniques, but not handy in todays construction methods.  Dale Harwood's DVD is good for different techniques and opinions, but the DVD set is expensive.  Cary Schwarz also has DVDs available for ground seat installation, and covering cantles.  These are excellent to study after you have built a few saddles.  One thing about this forum is that there are plenty of people to help you if you get stuck at a segment of construction.  There is a member on here from Michigan, Bondo Bob, who might reappear to help you.  Good luck.

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