Where was I? Oh yes… I skipped over saddle “assembly” and “tail attachment” but as you can see, “Rusty” is beginning to take shape. The saddle is actually 5 pieces of wood per side. I shape and form the saddle, then “halve” it so that both sides match. Once both halves are doweled to the body, finishing touches are made with a drum sander… Same with the tail. It too is doweled to Rustys’ body (support comes in awhile!). And like my Dad, all pieces are solid oak or walnut…
Next, ‘ole Rusty gets mane and tail trim. The purpose is two-fold. Not only does the trim dress up and create a more three-dimensional result, but if you look closely, the trim overlaps places where pieces of the body have been joined. Therefore, the mane and tail trim, which are also doweled, strengthen the result.
I used to send photographs to my Dad, as these projects progressed. I hope he’s looking’ down from heaven now, with approval!
Next, Rusty is given eyesight. Nothing complicated, and though I’ve tried a dozen different ways to do this, I seem to revert back to a plain old hole saw… Oh and meanwhile, a LOT of hand-sanding is taking place, as there will be some unreachable places in the future, but I STILL want the end result to feel as smooth as glass.
After the cinch (support between the chest area and body) and saddle horn are attached, Rusty gets another fine sanding with 320-grit paper, then he receives a coat of red-oak stain… He gets hung out to dry while I work on his other parts… Unlike Dads old shop in Kentucky, this time of year, I have to use a space heater in the work shop to aid in drying!
In the end, I prefer a sort of “worn” antique sort of look, so I’ve hit a few spots with darker stain (my own mixture!) and lightly sanded a few other places before Rusty gets his legs…
Thank you for visiting and I DO appreciate those of you who invest in my graphic art work! Share it with your friends! Perhaps I can wrap this up next go around….