Saturday, August 20, 2011

Braymere Custom Tack Repair

I've said it before and I'll say it again--I like fixing things.

No matter how busy I am, I can almost always find time for repair work.  This weekend's project is a dressage saddle made by Jeanne Meyers.
It's a beautiful saddle...  
with one small problem--a broken left side billet. 
If this was one of my saddles, I would pull the whole thing apart and replace the billet in its entirety.  Since that's not the case, I am going to take a much less invasive approach.

I start by cutting a length of 1/8 inch kangaroo lace that is approximately an inch longer than the broken section.  I prepare the lace making the top section much thinner than the bottom.  I also carefully skive the section of billet that is still attached to the saddle.

I smear some glue onto the back of the new billet where it will overlap with the old. 
I then carefully lay it atop the old making sure that both pieces are perfectly aligned.  
I secure the top of the overlap with a few tiny stitches and punch some new holes.  Voila--the billet is fixed!
Now it's time to address the cause of the break.  This saddle came equipped with a perfectly lovely Balding type girth.
However, those photo etched buckles with their square edges are really, really hard on billets.   
To make them more user friendly, I'm adding rollers.  This is my roller making kit...
and here's the finished product.  It takes a bit of practice to be able to form consistently sized model scale rollers, but it's well worth the effort.  These will be so much kinder to those saddle billets!
The saddle is fixed and ready to be shipped back to its owner.
It might not be quite as good as new, but it's awfully close!


  1. Jennifer, you're my hero. :D
    YAY!!! Can't wait to get this saddle back in action!

  2. Rollers on buckles? You never cease to amaze me.

  3. Love, love, LOVE roller buckles. Takes so much of the PITA part of tacking up OUT of it.