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Deuce

Replace wool on 1985 saddle ...

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A customer has asked me to restore a favorite saddle of hers and wants the wool redone as well .... Anyone have any tips on how to do this??

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See if  you can spot where the original maker closed his last seam and work from there, I guess - one of those jobs where a sewing seam ripper comes in useful. I've never done it, but I was taught it's not unlike furniture stuffing. Are you replacing any leather?

Don't forget the fundamental is to lift the tree well clear of the animal's spine. 

Edited by Rahere

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4 hours ago, Deuce said:

A customer has asked me to restore a favorite saddle of hers and wants the wool redone as well .... Anyone have any tips on how to do this??

English or western saddle?

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Assuming it's a western saddle, which seems like a safe guess, it's a pretty straightforward process but a fair PITA as well. If the old sheepskin was sewn with a machine you can pick the stitches apart with a scratch awl. If you cut them along the seam you'll be picking tiny pieces of thread, if you leave them together and figure out which side to pull up you can work with longer lengths. I've done both and think each is tedious, but do-able. It's more fun if the plugs stay put, but they may come loose requiring them to be glued back into place. Rough cut the sheepskin larger than the skirts and trim them to match once they are sewn in. The best practice is to sew the new sheepskin through the same holes in the skirt and plugs, this can be done on a machine or by hand sewing, but doing it right and going through the old holes is tedious either way. Replace the tugs and or strings while it's apart. If you don't have a good saddle making reference book(s) like Stohlman's or Harry Adams it's probably a great time to buy one. Those are a few random thoughts :)

Good luck with your project! 

Josh

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Hey all, thanks for your replies!

Tom, thanks for moving this to the appropriate place

It is a western saddle that the customer is reporting some dry rot (leather will be replaced where ever found, of course) as well as some other issues. She is wanting the saddle restored to as close to original condition as possible, to include re-doing the shearing, etc.

 

Saddle has sat for an extensive amount of time in a horse trailers with no care for years. I explained it probably would be less expensive to purchase a new saddle rather than restoring her old one but she explained she has memories and emotional attachment to this particular trophy saddle … 

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Follow Josh's instructions and you should do just fine.

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Awesome, thanks!!

On 9/9/2020 at 7:37 AM, Josh Ashman said:

Assuming it's a western saddle, which seems like a safe guess, it's a pretty straightforward process but a fair PITA as well. If the old sheepskin was sewn with a machine you can pick the stitches apart with a scratch awl. If you cut them along the seam you'll be picking tiny pieces of thread, if you leave them together and figure out which side to pull up you can work with longer lengths. I've done both and think each is tedious, but do-able. It's more fun if the plugs stay put, but they may come loose requiring them to be glued back into place. Rough cut the sheepskin larger than the skirts and trim them to match once they are sewn in. The best practice is to sew the new sheepskin through the same holes in the skirt and plugs, this can be done on a machine or by hand sewing, but doing it right and going through the old holes is tedious either way. Replace the tugs and or strings while it's apart. If you don't have a good saddle making reference book(s) like Stohlman's or Harry Adams it's probably a great time to buy one. Those are a few random thoughts :)

Good luck with your project! 

Josh

 

1 hour ago, blue62 said:

Follow Josh's instructions and you should do just fine.

Appreciate the help and insight, as well as the confirmation from others of what the "best practice" is!

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first thing i ever did with leather was replace the lining on my old saddle.  long before internet, had a book called how to make cowboy horse gear.

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