Re: [CR]Butchering a Brooks Swift saddle/Tiger Balm

Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 23:39:46 -0700
From: Chuck Schmidt <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Butchering a Brooks Swift saddle/Tiger Balm
References: <>

Calvert Guthrie wrote:
> Good job, Chuck! Looks terrific.
> I'd also be inclined to wax the exposed stitches on each side
> and then burnish them down flat with a slicker.
> This would reduce abrasion on the inside of your riding britches.
> Substituting a flat weave shoelace may be another way of handling this.

Well thank you Calvert. Coming from a true artist like you that is quite a complement indeed!

I put some Proofide® on the shoelace (it is a flat weave, but not real wide), but the reality is that the lower sides of the saddle don't even touch my shorts, so there is no danger of abrasion.

I have modified many of my leather saddles over the years and I continue to be amazed at the subtle variations that occur from saddle to saddle that at first glance appear to be identical. The result of being truly "Made by Hand"!

In my experience, if the saddle become untensioned and sags, it is death to the saddle. The leather at the two lowest rivets in the back buckles and forms cracks between the rivet and the lower edge of the saddle. Also more saddles have died from becoming to dry than those destroyed by too much Proofide® or neat's-foot oil (Brooks' own catalogs in the 1930s recommended the use of neat's-foot oil by the way).

Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, CA