Making some custom equipment for fun
Well it has taken FOREVER but I have finished my first pack saddle-- Just the wood. Next comes the pad and leather straps.

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It is entirely made out of maple. The hard part was getting the angles to work since I tipped the cross pieces outward. Next time I am going to simulate my angles on the computer and leave reference points to measure from before I go carving anything up. Part of the reason for tipping the cross pieces is that is that this is a slightly smaller saddle than you would use for a full size goat. I have a couple females and my males are young still, so I figured why not make my my first saddle something I can use right away. The carving was done with a dental drill and the rest was hand carved with a chisel. The goal is to make something that looks like it came from Tibet/Mongolia and make it look very old and worn. The design is something I just made up. I am very sorry I did the barb-wire looking detail work around the outside, as that was ten times harder than the goat god. Before staining it I sandblasted it with glass beads to bring out some of the grain in places and smooth off some rough parts. I purposefully gouged it up here and there to add to the hand-made look. The stain is water based "Early American" color with "Mocha" painted in the carving and rubbed on the edges etc, and it also has a whitewash layer to give it a dusty look.

The rigging is going to be interesting and I think you'll like how it works. But that'll have to be an update for another time. Part of the fun is that I'm getting to learn woodworking and leather from scratch on this project. I'm also buying a lot of tools, so no, this is not the cheap way to go!
That is awesome! What an amazing first effort! Thanks so much for sharing.
OMG Charlie... stunning, simply stunning.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
Wow, I would have sworn you found that in an archive of an old ancient village. Good job. Can't wait to see what you do with the leather.
I've been making some progress. Check it out:

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I did something unique on the cinch strap's hookup as you can see. Of course it was to make sure the strap didn't go over the carving. It has a little bit of spring to it due to the leather looping like that, and hopefully its not so much that it becomes difficult to keep it tight. If so I'll have to make some changes. There's some rawhide on the cross to attach some brass loops.

The brass and copper rivets have been given a patina:

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First I sanded them with some 600 paper and dipped them in thinner to make sure there was no remaining coating of any kind.

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The process is thus: Spray very salty water on them and suspend them over ammonia fumes. I heated the ammonia over a camp stove.

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The greenish tint is mostly powdery and wears off leaving a brown/black patina.

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Unfortunately the brass buckles I ordered are fake and wouldn't patina so I had to fake it with paint. I wasn't interested in ordering more since this thing has been expensive enough as it is.

Next I'm doing the pad and the cinch and front/back straps. Then there's the panniers. Its been quite a project let me tell you. Next one will go faster I think.
That's so awesome! Your patina process is similar to what I did to some copper pipe I used for curtain rods in my living room. I wanted them to have a green patina, so I washed them with lemon juice then used salt water and ammonia to treat them. I didn't heat the ammonia though. I can't remember what I did with it exactly, but my process involved wrapping the pipe in plastic bags and letting them sit for a few days after being sprayed.

One thing is for sure: You'll have by far the coolest packsaddle on the trail and everyone will be super jealous!
Holy cow Charlie Horse! Coolest packsaddle ever!!!
Its surreal how incredible that looks.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
Unbelievable! That is art at its finest!
Hi Charlie Horse, being new to the forum I have only just seen this thread. Your pack saddle is beautiful and I was wondering if you have made any more since posting these photos?
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap

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