Around the shop today

Posted by RodandDenise on July 20, 2013

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our website.


It was raining outside today, like it has for the majority of days in July so far, so I decided to snap some pictures of what was going on inside of the shop.  Rod rawhided a couple of trees today.  You've seen lots of pictures like this before, because this is a very common scene around here, but hey - you hadn't seen a picture of Rod today till now, so it is still something new, right?


The trees Rod rawhided today were both Wades, and there are three more finished and ready to rawhide next week.  (The third one was on the bench behind me with its fresh coat of varnish drying.)  Five trees built this week - and all happened to be Wades.


This is what our "under the lumber drying station" looked like earlier in the day.  Rod had a fan going on the back of a couple of trees he rawhided over a week ago.  Because it has been so humid (for us anyway) with all the rain, the trees have been slower to dry.  The section behind the cantle where the cantle thong goes is always the last place to dry.  Thus - a day with a fan going to help them out there a bit. 


By this evening, Rod had shifted some trees around.  The two newly rawhided trees are on the right - obviously.  They will stay there for at least a week, during which time Rod will pound the seams a couple times a day and reset nails as they need it - at least once a day.  Babysitting trees takes a LOT of time...


The middle two were rawhided with the batch last week.  The one on the right is, you guessed it!, another a Wade.  (So while I often show you the unusual trees we build, when you take a look around, you can see that we do build mainly "normal" trees, including a lot of Wades.)  But the one on the left is different.  It is a 15" wood post Low Moose tree.  The cantle is 5" high x 14" wide and the seat measures 17 1/2" long.  All I know about the rider is that I would want him on my side if I ever got in a dangerous spot... 


The two on the end are a 13" wood post Louellen and yet another Wade.  Both are going to a customer in southern Alberta.  They were rawhided more than two weeks ago, but Rod is still not happy with how dry they are behind the cantle, so they haven't been varnished or shipped yet.  Next week...


Under the bench at the back are three more trees.  The one on the right and the one you can't see in this picture are kid's trees.  They are for a real pair of twins (not sure if the kids are identical or not, but the trees are...) who are only four years old, but since their daddy builds saddles, they will have good ones to start out with. These are the smallest riding saddles we have made yet with only 11" long seats (5 3/8" thigh room).  While the trees are built small and relatively light, they are still strong enough to be roped out of.  These are ranch kids and we are sure that they will be roping something before they grow out of these saddles!

The tree on the left is a 12" wood post Louellen.  This one has a story behind it too.  Seems a saddle maker kinda sold his wife's saddle out from underneath her.  This tree is for the replacement, and I expect both husband and wife have been a little anxious to get it, but I'm not quite sure which one is the most anxious...


I was been busy gluing up wood for more trees.  There is a fork (yeah, it's a Wade...) in one glue press and a bar in the other.  The clamps are laminating another bar together.  We don't laminate all our bars because we are confident enough with the strength of the wood as is.  However, it sure doesn't hurt for the bars to be laminated and it is a good use of wood, so I laminate when needed.  But it sure does take a bunch more time...


I also marked out a bunch of wood for next week's orders.  I got these five sets of bars marked out, plus cantles and horn caps.  I'll do the forks next week...

So, just like most days - nothing spectacular.  Just consistent, day by day work that keeps the trees coming out of the shop and keeps us in groceries.  God is good to us - and we'll take tomorrow off to thank Him.

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