Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A couple more saddle photos

Saddle is done, and I'm starting on the tiedown here. I added a fleece pad to go under the suede blanket to help the saddle fit narrower models like the Stone ISH.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More Western saddle pics

I hope my American readers had a great Thanksgiving! Dad and Grandma visited and we had a wonderful time.

Here are some more photos of my in-progress Western set, it's come along a ways since last time.

Still need to add the girth connector strap and the rear saddle strings.

Fender swung back to show the left cinch strap. The saddle strings are on the short side, but as far as I can tell there's no set length, on real saddles I see short strings, medium strings, and strings that go on for miles. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, though. (I just hate the idea of re-threading those things...!)

I went with a straight cantle instead of a Cheyenne roll. I just like the look better!

There's a wire that runs under Amazon's belly that's holding the fenders down. Still haven't trained the things.

And as you can see, I've woven a breastcollar and cinch for this set. The colors don't match perfectly, but at least they're in the same tonal range. The woven chest strap was my own addition, patterned after real b/cs, I liked the look better than simply stringing a piece of lace onto the center ring. I still need to work on getting the lower end to taper to a thinner point. BIG thank you to Rio Rondo for their nifty little booklet!

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quick pre-Turkey Day post

I finally got the courage and the supplies to try my hand at a woven string cinch (had Rio Rondo's book for years LOL). This is the first one, I also made a cinch and breastcollar to match my Western set. Weaving on diamond patterns is still eluding me and soldering the jump rings is a pain (the only solder I had was the "heavy duty" stuff RR doesn't recommend!), but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I'll have photos of the second set as soon as the camera battery charges.

I hope everyone who celebrates it has a great Thanksgiving, and everyone else has a great weekend. :) I spent a good chunk of the day baking oatmeal cranberry cookies, now I'm sitting here smelling all kinds of delicious food cooking upstairs, and I will be able to eat none of it until tomorrow afternoon. The torture!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silent Saturday!

No, not really.

Here's some in-progress photos of the Western saddle I've been working on. Those fenders kind of make it look like poor Katie's got a really, really impatient rider. ("training" fenders and skirts to lie flat is one of my least favorite parts of tackmaking)

After some trouble getting the fork assembly to stay glued on (finally fixed with Loc-Tite, I think it was the cold making the original glue brittle?), I devised a different method for securing the seat to the skirt. Susan Bensema-Young's method of using wire to secure her saddle pieces was the inspiration, but since I'm working with a resin tree, I borrowed my sister's Dremel.

I drilled four holes in the seat, with recessed grooves connecting each side, then four more behind the cantle. Then after some careful positioning, I poked the tailor's awl through the seat holes to mark the leather, then punched holes through. Then it was a matter of threading 32 gauge wire through the holes and pulling tight, and then twisting and and flattening the wire ends. (they're covered by the chamois and a bit of undyed skiver). The cantle was tied down using waxed thread. And here's the result:

The recessed grooves are so the wire doesn't stick up under the seat covering. I will probably have to file the wire down anyway (flattening it with the hammer made it less pliable).

(earlier photo) Another reason I went with wiring: the fenders are strung onto hammered aluminum rings sewn on to the skirts. I do this because you can rotate the fenders back to fiddle with the girth (not as far as this once the seat and jockeys are attached :p). I also had to hollow out the tree with a sanding drum to accommodate the extra bulk. I don't think glue would have worked with all this, or at least not well.

The girth on the left side is tied at the moment with a latigo knot, though once I've got the holder in place I'll thread it through that. I hope I can muster the courage to try making a woven string cinch and breastcollar for this set, but for now I just made a nice leather girth.

I also made some skiver "gloves" for the fender buckles to keep the tongues from scratching the model. I really want to try the mini Blevins buckles that TWMHC/ALE Ranch is selling. Really cool that someone has made them for the hobby!

And I'll leave you with another new herd member:

Red roan suits this mold nicely!