Tuesday, April 24, 2007

frank p

frank; please email me again, I could not reply to the email address I have for you

Thursday, April 12, 2007

flower carving


These photos will give you a look at the process of flower carving in the order that I do things.

The first step is to draw the pattern, I draw on paper first, then once I am happy with the pattern it is traced on to tracing film.

Then the leather is cut to pattern and the borders are layed out and cut with a double cut swivel knife.

Now the tracing film is placed on the cased leather and traced onto the leather.

Then the pattern is cut with a swivel knife

the next step is to undercut bevel the entire piece

Now the flowers are beveled, then the leaves and then the vine's and stems

then the piece is back grounded
now the flowers are stamped

now the leaves are stamped

now the vines and stems are stamped

then the entire piece is dress cut with the swivel knife

Once I have finished carving the item I will allow it to dry, then it will be edged and slicked, oiled and the finish will be applied. I will post photos of the finished project. The carved pieces are the tops on a pair of anqueros.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Armitas are the traditional leggins of the vaquero, the traditional armtias are made with no hardware, they have a wrap and tie waist belt and made with either rolled buttons or step through legs. The armitas I have pictured here are a modern twist on the traditional style. These armitas have straps and buckles for the legs and a rear buckle style waist. This will make it a little easier to get into and out of the chaps. I can also make the traditional no hardware style of armitas is requested to do so.
These armitas are made out of glove tanned soft cow hide. This hide is ideal for this style of chap, it is nice and soft, will hang well and has enough weight to the hide that it will wear good.

finished saddle


The next step is the process is to oil the saddle with 100% neatsfoot oil, I do not use neatsfoot compound because it is full of petroleum products, nor do I use olive oil, I save that for supper.
When the oiling is done it is time for the final assembly. Then take a few photos and call the customer.

Thanks for the order, I hope you enjoy the rig for many years to come


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Little Shit


I'm not trying to be crude by calling this "little shit" but that's what I call this process, it is even written on my order list that I print up for each saddle. This is the process of making all the small parts of a saddle :buttons, latigo, cinch and hobble Carry's, hobble straps, rope straps, breast collar or martingale dees, billets and flank cinch, breast collars, latigos etc. Some of these are made during the downtime of building the saddle (like when the glue is drying) some of these parts are cut out in bulk to save time, and some are made when I finish all the other work on the saddle. Once all the little shit is done then it is on to oiling and assembling the saddle.

Lining Skirts


the strings and hangers are put in the skirts, then the blocking and bark tanned shearling are glued into place, then the skirts are stitched, trimmed, edged, and the shearling is given a nice hair cut.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Fenders & leathers


The fenders and leathers are next. This process is more than just simply cutting out the parts and assembling them. The stirrup leathers must be stretched, the process of this is to wet the leathers, then glass or rub them, then spike them on a board and allow them to dry completely. This will help minimize the stretch in the leathers when you ride the saddle. If this process is not done somewhere down the road the leathers may stretch some from one side to the other creating uneven stirrups. This will help solve that problem before it is created. Another thing to take in account is your leather selection, Stirrup leathers are taken from the very best part of the hide, you should also select the best of the two leathers for the near side since it will take most of the abuse with you getting on and off your horse.

Once the leathers are properly stretched, then you can assemble the fenders and leathers. The the fenders and leathers go on the twisting and stretching devise. This will again help with taking some of the stretch out of the fenders and leathers, it also shapes the fenders and leathers so the stirrup is always hanging in the proper position. If you are building a custom saddle and you do not shape the fenders and leathers so the stirrups hang proper...shame on you!!!
As a custom saddle maker we are paid and expected to do the little extras like this on a saddle. There is much more to building a saddle than just the simple assembly.

Inlaid Seat & cantle bind


Once the seat has dried, the inlaid seat process is underway, the plug is cut out of the seat, then a piece of high density foam is fit to the seat, a piece of oil tan boot leather is then fit to the plug and the foam is glued to the leather. Now the inlaid seat is sewn to the saddle seat.

Then the seat is glued in place on the saddle, the cantle is trimmed and shaped, then the bind is fit/stretched/glued in place, the stitch mark is put in and the stitch length is marked. Now the hand sewing begins.

ps; the horn has also been covered.