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This week in the shop

Here's a pretty normal week in the life of a tree maker...
Subscribe to RSS Feed I figured that I wanted to show you that despite how wild and exciting everyone thinks the life of a tree maker to be, it really just goes along… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/this-week-in-the-shop4/

So how did the duplicate work out?

Now that we've shown you some of how tree makers do things differently, how can we make a tree that the old leather will fit back on, but do it our way? Here's what we did for this one
Subscribe to RSS Feed After the previous posts I have written about how this tree was built differently than ours, maybe you're wondering how the new one turned out? … https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/so-how-did-the-duplicate-work-out/

Every tree maker does things differently (part two)

Here's some of the differences under the rawhide.
Subscribe to RSS Feed In part one about this tree we are duplicating, I showed you the differences that could be seen with the rawhide still on between this tree,… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/every-tree-maker-does-things-differently-part-two/

Every tree maker does things differently... (part one)

Here is a close look at some of the things that can be different in how trees are made by different tree makers. And this is just the outside!
Subscribe to RSS Feed We have another tree in to duplicate, and there are lots of interesting things about this tree we noticed and discovered, so I wanted to share… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/every-tree-maker-does-things-differently...-part-one/

Clearing out the shop still more

From overfull to relatively empty...
Subscribe to RSS Feed I am working on a blog post about how "every saddle tree maker does things differently", but I won't have time to finish it right now.  Why?  We… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/clearing-out-the-shop-still-more/

Amazing the difference ten days makes

On December 11th, there were 21 trees in the shop. On December 21st, there are 12, and four of these have been built in the meantime. Hmm....
Subscribe to RSS Feed When I did the post on December 11th of pictures taken around the shop that night, there were a lot of extra trees hanging around (sometimes… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/amazing-the-difference-ten-days-makes/

What the shop looks like tonight

Just what I saw when I went out to the shop tonight. Pretty typical...
Subscribe to RSS Feed All day I've been trying to think of what I should post tonight.  I haven't had a lot of pictures of the shop lately, but how many more pictures… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/what-the-shop-looks-like-tonight/

Of trees, and trees...

Inside trees and outside trees - we worked with both this week.
Hers is a barrel racing style tree... and his is a Wade.  By the way, freshly rawhided trees are at the ugliest stage of production.  They look like everything is… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/of-trees-and-trees/

Five years worth...

It is time for our varnish bench to go back to its original condition - or as close as may be possible...
Subscribe to RSS Feed One of the more boring but very useful items in our shop is the bench we use to varnish the trees.  It is there day after day, just sitting -… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/five-years-worth/

It's been a week...

but here are some pictures anyway of trees Rod got rawhided earlier in the week.
Subscribe to RSS Feed I took these pictures on Monday evening, planning to put up a quick post that evening.  Here it is late Friday and I am finally getting the chance… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/it-s-been-a-week/

From This to That - Part 2

Rod's work on this walnut saddle tree which will have an exposed fork and cantle.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Rod started with this. Then he did this... And then he did this... And then he did this... And then he had that...… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/from-this-to-that-part-2/

Around the shop

A couple pictures of some the trees we have drying in the shop at the moment.
Subscribe to RSS Feed So often I show you the fancy and the different, so I thought I would just take a couple pictures of what is currently on the go around the shop. … https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/around-the-shop/

From This to That - Part 1

Building an exposed wood saddle tree from walnut - step by step.
Subscribe to RSS Feed We started with this... And then I did this... And then I did this... And then I did this... And then we had that...… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/from-this-to-that-part-1/

Increasing our repertoire

Here is some the process we use to figure out how to make things that we haven't built before.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Despite the fact that we have been at this over 16 years and have built over 2100 trees (one at a time!), there are still lots of types of trees… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/increasing-our-repetoire/

Shipping trees

It is nice to see our saddle trees get shipped out to the customers that ordered them, even if it isn't an especially exciting aspect of our job.
Subscribe to RSS Feed This afternoon Rod helped me pack up trees to ship to customers.  This is generally my job, but since I was running behind time and there were a… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/shipping-trees/

Reason #3 to order a hand made tree - The overall look and shape of the tree improves the overall look of your saddle

As the foundation of a house determines its final shape, so the tree determines the final look of the saddle. Here's some things we do to make that shape look "right" to your eye.
Subscribe to RSS Feed To someone who knows about saddles, there is a "look" to a saddle built on a good, hand made tree that is neater, cleaner, more refined.  One of… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/reason-3-to-order-a-hand-made-tree-the-overall-look-and-shape-of/

Working on an exposed wood post horn cap

Some of the steps in finishing an exposed wood post horn cap.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Rod was working on this exposed wood post horn on a Modified Association tree last week.  The wood is Padauk, which is an African hardwood.  Our… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/working-on-an-exposed-wood-post-horn-cap/

Reasons #1 and #2 to order a hand made tree - materials and workmanship

Here are some explanations for the top two reasons we start with when asked why someone should pay the extra money to order a good hand made tree.
Subscribe to RSS Feed When we try to give people good reasons to order a hand made tree as opposed to a production tree, the two reasons we discuss first are always the… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/reasons-1-and-2-to-order-a-hand-made-tree-materials-and-workmans/

This past week - inside

Pictures from the shop - and more about cantles.
Subscribe to RSS Feed So if you are tired of pictures of snow (I am, especially the one outside my window), here's some pictures from the inside of the shop this week. … https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/this-past-week-inside/

This past week - outside

Springtime in Alberta - what could be... more variable?????
Subscribe to RSS Feed Remember this picture from just two weeks ago?  Well, last Friday... this started, and the white stuff floating in the air ain't dandelion… https://www.rodnikkel.com/content/saddle-tree-blog-from-shop-and-desk/this-past-week-outside/