rgerbitz

Sewn on Rigging

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Still bring green to saddle making I have a question about flat plate rigging attachment.  I am working on re-fleecing a saddle that has a sewn on flat plate and am wondering what is the up-side to the time it takes to do that.  Any thoughts would be welcome.  Thank you.

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12 hours ago, rgerbitz said:

Still bring green to saddle making I have a question about flat plate rigging attachment.  I am working on re-fleecing a saddle that has a sewn on flat plate and am wondering what is the up-side to the time it takes to do that.  Any thoughts would be welcome.  Thank you.

Not quite sure I have the full picture but, generally speaking, when any kind of rigging is sewn down to skirts at the end of construction, the idea is to distribute stress over widest possible area. Conceptually ok but time (IMHO) better spent balancing and attaching rigging in the first place. 

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I agree with toot.  I positively HATE riggings that are attached with the standard, traditional method directly to the tree, and then hand stitched to the skirts right before closing up the saddle.  It adds way too much time to a reline, without enough added benefit, IMO, to warrant the added labor.  It completely covers the edges of the tree bar, which may be the real argument for using the method when the maker doesn't want anyone being able to see how cheap of a tree was used by being able to inspect the bar edges.  I've built exactly one saddle using the method, and would charge a substantial amount extra if asked to do it again.

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Pretty much in agreement with the two previous posts.  Flat-plate riggings should stand on their own and not rely on the skirts for strength and rigidity.  The ease of relining and rebuilding is one of the primary benefits of a flat-plate.  If that goal isn't achieved or important, I'd much rather employ a skirt rigging.  I have seen flat plates that are pop-stitched (very wide spaced with heavy thread) as a means to secure the skirts instead of lugs.  I'm not a big fan of this either as the coarse stitching doesn't handle the shear forces well if there is much movement of the skirts relative to the tree and rig.  I do like to cover the bars to keep them protected for long term durability.  To do this I install a pocket for the back of the bars to fit into.  This pocket begins where the flat-plate ends and is stitched to the skirts before applying the sheepskin.  It eliminates the need for lugs, fully encases the bars and doesn't need to be altered or removed when relining.  Once the bars are slipped into the pockets during final assembly, I but a couple of small screws through the pocket top into the bar.  Another nice thing about this feature is that the pockets make for a very smooth surface (compared to lugs) under the jockeys, thus avoiding any depressions there as the saddle ages.  Rob, you must live in my corner of the planet.  I'm in SW Wisconsin.

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