Yesterday in the shop
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.)
This was going to be a "today in the shop" post, but since our website was being updated, I couldn't post it then. By the way, if anyone sees any glitches in the site, please let me know. And now, back to our regular programming...
Yesterday in the shop Rod finished building another side saddle tree. Since he had most of it done the day before, it only took the morning to finish it up. This one is going to a different customer than all our others have gone to. So today I had to make a special trip to Grande Prairie to get hides. We have lots in the freezer but they are all cut into tree-sized pieces for normal trees, and the top cover for a side saddle is larger. So Rod gets to make rawhide next week again...
In the afternoon he rawhided a tree he finished building earlier this week. In between, it had its three coats of varnish to protect the wood from the wet rawhide. This one is a special fork pattern called a Canadian Roper. The saddle maker took it from an old saddle he made years ago and sent it to us. We have built him a few of these over the years.
I not only got more wood glued up, I also got the next set of four trees all marked out, ready for Rod to start cutting out and building tomorrow.
And I measured and took pictures of the set of trees that I had been varnishing for the past couple of days. I shipped out one of them today.
Only one of the trees was a swell fork. This one is a fairly narrow Modified Association at only 12" wide. Most are 13" or 14" wide. This one is also a narrower fit than a lot with a 3 3/4" hand hole width. It has a 90 degree bar angle. It is headed to the eastern US for a guy who rides Arabians.
The other three are all Wades, but all three are different "widths", (remembering that there is no place to measure a slick fork) and different bar spreads and angles, which also affects the look a bit. If you compare the pictures, you can see the differences pretty well. This one is an 8" wide fork with a 4 1/4" hand hole width and a 93 degree bar angle (remembering that the bar angles mean nothing when comparing between makers...). This one is heading to California to be built on.
This Wade is an 8 1/2" wide fork with a 4" hand hole and a 90 degree bar angle. So a wider fork but a narrower fit.
And this one has a 9" wide fork with the widest fit of them all with a 4 1/4" hand hole and a 95 degree bar angle. These last two are going together to South Dakota.
And that's only the fork shape and fit differences. They also all have different horns and different cantles. Everything around here is individually made and, although on rare occasions someone gets us to build two trees the same or make a new tree like an older one we made that they like a lot, pretty much everything is unique. Sort of like every day around here. None are ever totally the same...
Oh, someone was wondering about the orange thing by the phone. That's an old frisbee we sometimes throw for Taylor the Wonder Dog when we talk on the phone. It's been there for quite a while now as an essential part of our shop equipment.