It's been metal horn swell fork month
We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com website. Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)
It is funny how things come in groups. A few months ago I wrote a post about all the Wades we had on order. Well, June has been metal horn swell fork month. I thought I would show you some pictures of what the shop has been looking like the last few days.
On the top of the bench in this picture are finished trees, varnished and ready to go. The slick fork on the left is a wood post 3B. Next is a 14" Arizona Roper. You can't see it in the picture, but an Arizona Roper has some backsweep to it. There is a better picture of what the backsweep looks like on our main Swell Forks page. The next tree is an 11" wide Bowman, and the one on the right is a 13" Buster Welch. I shipped out three out of these four trees today.
Under the bench are trees that are about half way through the drying phase. The two on the left are both Pro Roper forks, though one is 13" wide and the next is 12" wide. The third swell fork is a 13" wide Louellen, but since it is really low, the shape is a bit squashed looking. The fourth tree in that set was another itty-bitty kiddie tree, this one being a Wade.
Then there are the ones Rod built this week that are in the process of being varnished prior to rawhiding. These are all wider forks, except, of course for the "wood post of the week" Wade on the left. The unvarnished tree on the right is a 14" Modified Association, while the swell fork on the left is also a Modified Association, but it is 13 1/2" wide. The one in the center is a 15" wide NS Special - NS being the initials of the customer who ordered it and designed the shape. It has a 4 1/4" stock as well as being extra wide. Now that's going to be a fork you know is in front of you! It isn't all that uncommon for us to get customers asking us to make something they have designed, whether in fork or cantle shape. So long as they can get what is in their head into our heads and it doesn't negatively affect fit or function of the tree, we are happy to build it for them.
While I glue up the cantles and bars specifically for each order, I can glue up standard sizes of forks ahead of time. I normally have a stock of laminated forks for metal horn slick forks, 12", 13", and 14" metal horn forks and Wade forks under the bench. (Orders in the 1/2" sizes or something like the 15" wide fork are glued up special at the time of their orders.) As you can see, this month has lowered my stock of metal horn forks while the Wades on the right are full up.
So, guess what I was doing today...