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Saddle trees and changing back shape
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David Genadek
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 Posted: Mon Jun 7th, 2010 03:51 pm
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Yep an optical illusion.  I have often thought you could just do a saddle and leave off the front and back arch and just make a tunnel  the whole length of the seat.  To me this would be a design that had not been doable in the past because  the materials didn't exist. Although, the Gaucho saddle is darn close to that.  

I'll be interested to know what kind of issues you run into when you construct the saddle  with the thickness on that upper edge. It should actually make things easier. It makes perfect sense. The flatter the back is from side to side the higher up the seat needs to go to get the seat for the rider.  People will think your crazy but from one loony tune to another your dead on.  It is fun to see someone else go through the process and discover the same reality.

David Genadek

AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jun 7th, 2010 08:35 pm
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>Yep an optical illusion.  I have often thought you could just do a saddle and leave off the front and back arch and just make a tunnel  the whole length of the seat.  To me this would be a design that had not been doable in the past because  the materials didn't exist.

Assuming that you wanted a stiff tree, then carbon fibre (or some composite) would certainly make that a possibility. If this saddle works out as planned, applying these techniques to something that looks more like an english saddle would be interesting. A sheepskin lined, hard bar dressage saddle with tooled veg-tan flaps would be fun :)

>Although, the Gaucho saddle is darn close to that. 

Those are the ones with the stuffed bar tubes, correct? Based on my experiences with soft treed saddles, they're probably far better riders that I am right now :) I need just a little more help in the seat then a flexible saddle allows for.

That's the old $(M) question, I guess. You can have a supportive saddle, or a flexible one. Blends of the two rarely serve either purpose.

>I'll be interested to know what kind of issues you run into when you construct the saddle  with the thickness on that upper edge. It should actually make things easier. It makes perfect sense. The flatter the back is from side to side the higher up the seat needs to go to get the seat for the rider. 

I think it should hopefully make things much easier - the seat should be almost a layer of leather straight onto the finished seat surface, rather then a buildup. I respect the way things have been done in the past, but having a 5 layer built up leather seat seems like a chopper-gun situation - maximizing the amount of expensive leather to compartively cheap basswood.

We'll see soon enough.

>People will think your crazy but from one loony tune to another your dead on.  It is fun to see someone else go through the process and discover the same reality.

Nobody's ever accused me of being normal, so no big loss.

David Genadek
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 Posted: Tue Jun 8th, 2010 02:50 am
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"I think it should hopefully make things much easier - the seat should be almost a layer of leather straight onto the finished seat surface, rather then a buildup. I respect the way things have been done in the past, but having a 5 layer built up leather seat seems like a chopper-gun situation - maximizing the amount of expensive leather to compartively cheap basswood."

We'll see soon enough.


Have no doubt it will work. I got traped in the get people closer to the back game 25 years ago. I was working with rieners and cutters and they kept telling me to get them as close to the horse as possible so I did and they didn't like it. I got pissed and went the other way and they said now that is a deep seat. Been doing it that way ever since. One filler piece under the strainer a thick stainer cover with a skived edge and one piece over that to smooth out seams and to create the finished shape. Takes about a half hour. 

David Genadek

AdamTill
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 Posted: Wed Jun 9th, 2010 02:47 pm
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Finished knocking the high spots and gloss off the tree last night, and grabbed this shot of the profile:


It's 2" thick at the arch, 1 1/4" up front, and about 0.5" at the back.

BTW - in a free calendar I noticed this triangular-style breast collar on a horse. Does that have a special name/purpose beyond the normal function of a breast collar?


AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jun 14th, 2010 02:28 pm
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Deadline approaching...not sure I'm going to make it!

First step this weekend was to lay out all the fork parts on my cherry board. Getting the grain running in the right directions required splitting the slices into 2 or 3 pieces, which I epoxied back together eventually.

The board was 0.75" thick, and I used 6 laminations.



Back together:



Fork laminations glued together. The outer laminations have the grain running up and down, and the inner ones alternate at 45 degrees to vertical.



Many, MANY hours of shaping and sanding later:



...and the horn cap:



 

Last edited on Mon Jun 14th, 2010 02:36 pm by AdamTill

AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jun 14th, 2010 02:34 pm
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I was too tired of sanding to do the fine sanding prep on the fork yesterday, so I decided to start laminating the cantle.

Cutting the cherry laminate slightly oversized:



Cutting the kevlar cloth:



...in the bag:



There's a heavy layer of fibreglass outside of the laminate as well, for ding resistance. Tonight I'll do the other side, then I'll add about a 1/4" rim of solid wood, and then an outer layer of light glass to finish the whole thing off.

 

Don Fenaroli
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 Posted: Mon Jun 14th, 2010 06:28 pm
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Adam,
I'm loving this project.
When you get a free moment, tell me about the vacuum bag closures shown in the pictures. Are they split tubes?
I'm still using weatherstripping gum to close the bags. Are the tubes re-usable?
Cheers
d

AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jun 14th, 2010 06:32 pm
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Hi Dan,

Caught me on lunch, so good timing.

Seals are these, completely reusable:
http://www.acp-composites.com/home.php?cat=262

Caulk is a pain, so I long ago switched to these. I've been meaning to order some of the longer ones, but until I started working on this project, I had no need for them. Now I'm going broke buying saddlery tools!

Cheers.
Adam

David Genadek
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 Posted: Wed Jun 16th, 2010 04:08 pm
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Adam,

     Those bag closures are awesome. I've been having a Dickens of a time with the tape. I've been using duct tape to seal the bag and just using the putty tape where absolutely necessary. 

    What is the white material?  Release film or breather cloth?
You may be changing my mind about doing the whole tree at once although from  a production stand point three lay ups is a harder than one. I am interested to see your method of putting everything together. I use indexing holes to align everything so I am interested to know how you will position your arches.  

    If you have not gotten a round knife yet contact me off list and I will give you the name of the guy to buy it from. I have now cut over thirty saddles with my knife and have not had to sharpen yet. Normally I sharpen after every saddle.  These are by far the best that have ever been. This guy is out of Rochester MN and when I first saw the knives they were as good as anything I've had in the past then he came and spent an afternoon with me cutting out saddles and went back to the drawing board and came back with the knife of knives.

David Genadek

 

AdamTill
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 Posted: Thu Jun 17th, 2010 08:26 pm
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It's probably either white cloth (spun dacron or something like immitation fleece) or paper towel that you're seeing, which is breather. I use waxed paper as a release if I'm not trying to squeeze out resin, and the perforations of releas material would make the surfaces of these "bright finished" parts look odd.

>You may be changing my mind about doing the whole tree at once although from  a production stand point three lay ups is a harder than one. I am interested to see your method of putting everything together. I use indexing holes to align everything so I am interested to know how you will position your arches. 

I'm not using indexes to avoid bucking the line of the carbon fabric, which preserves strength. That said, with the built-in arch, the worst misalignment should only result is a slight skew to the fork or cantle (cosmetic), not an actual misalignment of the bars (structural). Might be at that point this weekend...depends on how much work time I get.

>If you have not gotten a round knife yet contact me off list and I will give you the name of the guy to buy it from. I have now cut over thirty saddles with my knife and have not had to sharpen yet. Normally I sharpen after every saddle.  These are by far the best that have ever been. This guy is out of Rochester MN and when I first saw the knives they were as good as anything I've had in the past then he came and spent an afternoon with me cutting out saddles and went back to the drawing board and came back with the knife of knives.

If you wouldn't mind sending that name to me in a PM that'd be great! I do have a Stohlman round knife, and it's okay, but I've always had a fondness for good tools. The first time I used a Watt bisonette edger vs a Tandy one, for example, was an eye opening experience.

Anyway, made some 2 steps forward, 1 back progress on the cantle this week.

The first was confirming a little voice which had been nagging me during the last layup; namely that the fibreglass cloth that I'd been using was going to be too thick to see the wood surface properly. Turns out, I was correct...the finish was very cloudy.

For the cantle backside, I used a much lighter weight of fibreglass (looked about 2oz vs 8 oz), and the wood colour came through much richer. Getting the cloth layers aligned for the cantle back was an absolute nightmare, however, since the various layers didn't want to stay put without wrinkles or distortions. Got it done, but there was a bit of colourful language involved.






Since the colour was much better with the lighter cloth, I ended up adding another wood layer to the front as well. I scuffed the existing glass, and bonded on another layer of laminate and glass.



I also started to rough shape the flashing, and as you can see, encountered one of the many joys of working with Kevlar...it doesn't sand very easily at all. Even with a belt sander, it tends to fuzz rather then abrade...which is why they use it in high wear applications. If anyone chooses to work with kevlar, be careful sanding to do as little as required, and make sure that you never have to sand a kelvar surface that will be an exposed outer layer (it'll fuzz up and be impossible to finish cleanly).



To show the difference in surface finish between the heavy and light glass, this is heavy:




...and this is light:


David Genadek
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 Posted: Thu Jun 17th, 2010 10:08 pm
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Adam,

    One of the people that I learned from was Kathleen Bond. I was pretty young and got pretty up set when I made a mistake. So she carved this up for me one day.

David Genadek

Attachment: mistakes.jpg (Downloaded 219 times)

AdamTill
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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 05:21 am
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I like that one David...have to keep it locked away in the old memory banks for "those days".

Was fairly useless this weekend for the most part, since I was generally pretty knackered. Did get some work done nonetheless, which continued on to this evening.

First off, in case anyone was curious about the fork stations from before, this is the general layout of the six layers and cap:



Next was the border work on the cantle. I started by shaping the edges of the laminated core with a 60 grit belt on the sander, then switched to a high-speed dremel with an 80 grit band to de-fuzz the kelvar edges. The higher speed of the dremel seems to seal the kevlar better, and leaves a clean edge.

The border was added in four sections for sake of my sanity, and while the seams are a little more obvious then I'd like, I'm sure it'll work out fine in the end.



Since the wood is 0.75" thick, it needed to be VERY carefully feathered into the edge of the laminate. I'll add another layer of glass to bond everything together and so wasn't worried about the glass layer, but I was quite concerned about going through the 1/64" thick laminate. I used tape as shown to show me when I started to nick the inner edge, and basically very carefully removed material with the belt sander. Worked slowly, came out great.





Wasn't sure how thick to make the upper edge, but 4mm looked about right.

The last task for today was to lay out the kevlar reinforcements for the bars. The thin cord is kevlar tow, and the thicker bar slot edging is stitched cloth. I've just tacked things in place with ca (cyanoacrylate/super glue) for now, and will wet it out and rebag the bars when I get a minute.



This should hopefully eliminate any issues with the carbon delaminating from the core.

Last edited on Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 05:22 am by AdamTill

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sun Jun 27th, 2010 09:44 pm
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Ok I tried everything on my pump issue but it still billowed white smoke. I called the palce where I purchaes it and thye told me to call the factory. The factory guy asked me a few question and then said it was defective. They had me a new one in two days. So far no billowing exhaust.

David Genadek

AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jul 5th, 2010 04:51 am
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David Genadek wrote: Ok I tried everything on my pump issue but it still billowed white smoke. I called the palce where I purchaes it and thye told me to call the factory. The factory guy asked me a few question and then said it was defective. They had me a new one in two days. So far no billowing exhaust.

David Genadek

Good to hear...sounds like a motor eating its windings or something of the sort. Glad to hear that you're sorted, at any rate.

Back from my clinic, so started work again. Not in quite so much of a rush, but getting into my old saddle after a weekend in a good Wade was very unwelcome, so I do have some serious motivation to finish.

First up was to do a bunch of fork work to get that to align properly. After much grinding, and humming and hawing, I decide to overbevel cutouts and then pot the fork in filler. That way I'd get a perfect fit, with maybe just a little exposed fill line to cover up with some leather.



The bars were wrapped in crinkled saran wrap, to give the textured look seen here. Those little grooves will fill with epoxy, to help lock things in place.

Fit before gluing:



Drilling 8 screw holes per side with a drill press:



Scuffing the bars to maximize adhesion of the epoxy:



Mixing the glue with milled fiber to the consistency where it won't run off the popsicle stick:



Potting it generously in glue to the point where glue runs out around all sides (so you know there's an even coat under there):



...and wiping the excess into a small fillet:



I'll redrill the screw holes and screw the fork home when the cantle is in place.

AdamTill
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 Posted: Mon Jul 5th, 2010 04:55 am
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My very high tech cantle jig, with the ends tacked in place with superglue:



Equally high tech marking method for finding the bevel on the cantle mating surface:



The curves for the back side:



The core plug for the cherry inset:



Plug loosely in place:



...and the faired and filled gullet:






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