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The "Trinket"

Good customers are good friends too... Thank you!
Subscribe to RSS Feed Rod got all fancied up for a Christmas banquet this year. He even waxed his mustache for the first time in years! And it was the first time he… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/trinket/

Are you still building trees?

Still building, for another couple of months. And doing some fun things with them too...
Subscribe to RSS Feed We had a question a few days ago from an old customer. He was wondering if we were still building trees as he knew we were shutting things… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/are-you-still-building-trees/

There are still firsts...

The thing about real hand made, custom trees is that we are always doing something different and while we have been at this for twenty years now, there are still firsts...
Subscribe to RSS Feed You would think that after twenty years of building trees, we’d be running short of different things to do. Nope… While we have built a fair… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/there-are-still-firsts/

Visiting, visitors and what we've been doing in between

Family, friends and professors - wood, trees and rawhide - it's all here...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Shortly after “the student” left, we took a week away. (I told you it was an intensive course! We needed a break…) Actually, we had been… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/visiting-visitors-and-what-weve-been-doing-between/

The five for five challenge

Pictures we put up in response to the challenge to post 5 pictures of our work for 5 days in a row on Facebook.
Subscribe to RSS Feed There’s been a 5 for 5 challenge going around Facebook lately asking people to post five pictures of their work a day for five days in a row. We… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/five-five-challenge/

Just because it's PUURRRDDYYY!

Here's a tree we just shipped out with a polished exposed bronze horn. Very nice!!
The horn is an exposed, polished bronze # 1 horn made by Herb Bork of Bork Saddlery Hardware. Very showy horn! The tree is a Visalia 3B – 3 ½” stock… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/just-because-its-puurrrddyyy/

A Pony Express reproduction tree

It is fun to do something different now and then, and this tree had some challenges that made it interesting to build.
Subscribe to RSS Feed The customer sent us some pictures of other reproductions and a drawing of other options on how they may have been built.… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/pony-express-reproduction-tree/

Another Charro tree

Not all charro trees are created the same...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Last week I posted this picture without an explanation of what type of fork this was. From the back, it may be hard to tell, though the horn… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/another-charro-tree/

Mickey Mouse!!

One of Rod's first Western Stock (Australian) saddle trees.
Subscribe to RSS Feed OK, so it isn’t quite the same, but I must admit it reminds me of Mickey… Yup, Rod decided to take up the challenge and try a… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/mickey-mouse/

A study in contrasts

Comparing some measurements between a tree for a larger rider and a small child. Interesting the variety we can build in one week...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Or - The long and the short of it. I couldn’t decide on the best title… Here’s a couple trees we built in the same group of four. Funny how… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/a-study-in-contrasts/

What's new at the Nikkel's?

Regular summer stuff and another first in Rod's tree making...
Subscribe to RSS Feed Well, the garden is growing.  Potatoes are blooming, as are some of the peas still.  You can also see some new rails up on the fence in the… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/what-s-new-at-the-nikkel-s/

Some more saddle trees

Pictures of a Meana style tree, and unusual fork on an endurance tree, and a tree built by copying pictures of and old saddle.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Our customer called and said his his customer wanted him to build a new saddle pretty much like an old one that he had.  He measured and said… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/some-more-saddle-trees/

Charro saddle

Pictures and description of the finished charro saddle we built a while back.
This saddle is built on a wooden rawhide covered tree made by Rod Nikkel. The saddle seat is 16” long, the cantle is 5” high and 13” wide. The slots in the cantle can easily… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/charro-saddle/

The "twins" are on their way...

Pictures of the exposed wood horn cap trees finished.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Well, it took longer than normal for these trees to get out the door due to our time away, but I thought maybe you would like to see pictures… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/the-twins-are-on-their-way/

Twins!!

A couple of identical fancy trees! Well, almost identical...
Subscribe to RSS Feed See!!!  We have twin trees in the shop right now.  Aren't they CUTE!!!  (Well, everyone says that about newborn human twins.  Why not about… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/twins/

Some more pictures

Got some better pictures of the fully exposed Jarrah wood horn today, so I thought I would share them.
(It still looks better in real life though...) Subscribe to RSS Feed With some different light today, I got some better the pictures of the exposed… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/some-more-pictures/

Haven't made one like this in a long time

Fully exposed Jarrah wood horn. When you start out with God's handiwork as a base, it is pretty easy to make something look good...
We started with 2" thick Jarrah.  The board is almost 6" wide, and we offset the two pieces for strength purposes.  While we don't expect any major stress on this fork, making… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/havent-made-one-like-this-in-a-long-time/

Just some shots around the shop

Another normal day in the shop, and this is what the camera found to photograph...
Today, for the first time in 2013, Rod was able to put a tree outside!!  Rod tries to get the outside of the rawhide dried off fairly quickly, and then lets the rest… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/just-some-shots-around-the-shop/

Saddle trees and gravitational pull

Whenever we do a trade show, there is a certain tree or style of tree we bring that always attracts the most attention, and which one or style it is can vary...
We don't do a lot of trade shows, but we have done a few in different places.  We usually try to take a variety of trees with us - a finished Wade, a finished wood post swell… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/saddle-trees-and-gravitational-pull/

Of cantle width and dish

When deciding about ordering cantle specs, you usually don't have to think about cantle width when figuring out dish. But when a cantle is really narrow, it is a consideration.
We had a customer who wanted a narrow cantle.  The original specs he ordered were 4 3/4" tall by 11" wide at 40 degrees (which is a good cantle angle for that height of… http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/of-cantle-width-and-dish/

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