Exposed Padauk wood horn cap
We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.
This is a 5", guadalajara shaped horn cap on an 8" wide Wade tree with 5" of stock. We have used padauk wood before for exposed horns and horn caps, but the customer has always wanted to finish it themselves. This time, we got to finish the exposed horn cap, and WOW!!! Absolutely beautiful wood. (Note: we made a few horns with this and it is beautiful, but after a while decided that it might split more easily than we would be comfortable with, so discontinued its use. But, to be fair, the only one we know that split was whacked on the side of a bucking chute during a ranch rodeo when the horse reared up, so that isn't quite "normal use"...)
Something we did differently with this horn cap than with previous one was to make plugs to cover the screw holes. Prior to this, all the customers had wanted to put silver on the top, either as a full horn cap or as inset pieces, as shown on our Special Wood Post Horn page. This customer wanted just wood, so...
Rod ordered a special tapered plug cutter from Lee Valley tools. It works real slick. He cut the plugs from the same wood we used for the horn cap, working to keep the grain the same as much as possible.
After taking pictures inside (too dark) and outside in the sun (too glaring) we finally got pictures that sort of come close to showing you what the horn cap really looks like. It is a red to orange wood that will get darker over time, with very striking contrasts in the grain of the wood.
And the grains change color depending on which way you look at it. What looks lighter in one direction
and in some kinds of light
looks darker looking from the other direction or in other light.
I also noticed that in all the pictures except ones taken directly from the side, there was a dark shadow on the side closest to me that wasn't there when I moved around the horn. Eventually I figured it out.
This wood is so shiny, what was I was seeing as a shadow was actually my reflection from taking the picture! I took this picture just to prove it. So now this guy could have another excuse for missing that calf when roping: "The sun reflecting off my horn cap got in my eyes..."