Posts Tagged ‘tack’

Finally, this saddle is finished!

I can’t say this is the same saddle that I started four years ago, because it isn’t. It had to be completely re-worked. However, the vision I had for it remained the same, and honestly? I think it came out a lot better than it would have if I had made it four years ago.

I learned a lot from it though, and it’s the nicest saddle I’ve made so far. Any issues I see with it will only help me make the next one better. I think this is the 6th western saddle I’ve built, and the first in 5 years. (almost to the exact day, that’s really weird!)

Here it is on Lady Phase/Truly Unsurpassed: (who is probably my favorite LP ever, she’s gorgeous!)

Some detail shots… this silver is so hard to photograph!

On Roxy:

And the ISH:

How does it look on Zippo?

Here’s a comparison shot I took mostly for myself. The left is my second saddle, pretty much straight from a Rio Rondo kit. Made it in 2007.. ish? I’m pretty sure I used a thumbtack for the stitch marking and I can’t believe the silver tape plates are still on. 😀

It helps me to compare old work with new work, to see that yes, I have improved, and to not be so hard on myself. ❤

Even with this saddle's challenges I still had a lot of fun putting it together. I'm so glad I decided to re-start this project and see it through to the end!

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The next step was to cover the seat piece. To give a little more shape to the seat, I added a crescent shaped piece of felt:

I used a thin faux suede fabric to cover the seat. It doesn’t fray easily, but I did go around the edges with black Edge Kote just in case. Because it was so thin, it fit around the felt shape pretty nicely, and I’m really happy with how that looks:

Then it was time to create the cantle piece. I got that smooth edge on one side by skiving down the edge and folding it underneath:

Once all that was attached and done, I realized that I made my upper skirt too short. Now it sticks out and I can’t un-see it UGHHHHH!! Too late now, keep going forward!

The last pieces I worked on were the off billet…

And the girth:

As of today, this saddle is DONE. It just needs some stirrup training and proper photos!

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I wanted to show you guys how I made these scalloped leather conchos/rosettes for my saddle:

I tried to make these before with my last saddle, but they didn’t turn out quite like I’d hoped.

This time I tried a different approach, and am much happier with the results!

I started by sticking my concho onto a piece of skived tooling leather. I used a couple drops of tacky glue to hold it in place. I didn’t want it to be permanent in case I needed to start over:

I cut out several triangles, giving it a star burst type of shape:

Then gradually cut each one down, creating a gear shape:

When those were at the length I wanted them, I cut off more tiny triangles, giving the appearance of rounded or scalloped edges:

Once I was happy with how it looked, I stuck a straight pin through the center, pushed it in an eraser and gave it a coat of gum tragacanth. Later I added a coat of sealer, then the tinest amount of Edge Kote along the edges.

This was much, much easier than my attempt at trying to cut the shape out freehand, or from a drawing. I hope someone out there may find this helpful!

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