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DUTIES OF THE U.S. ARMY SADDLER



This page belongs to greg krenzelok.


DUTIES OF THE U.S. ARMY SADDLER

The U.S. Army saddler is charged with the repairs of all harness, horse, and other leather equipment issued to his organization.


Artillery Saddlers Class Fort Sill Oklahoma (W.R. Stanfield Collection)


Greg
Saddlers during the World War II era received their specialists training at either Fort Riley Kansas for cavalry saddlers or Fort Sill Oklahoma for artillery saddlers, the course was 12 weeks in length. Even though the Army was almost completely mechanized before the end of the war over 1,100 men were trained as saddlers from January 1940 through July 1945.

These illustrations and lists of saddler tools are taken from Quartermaster Supply Catalog QM 6 dated 31 January 1944. Tools used by saddlers and leather workers changed very little over time and many of these tools are typical of the tools issued from the Civil War through World War II.

Rick Stanfield

Note: I would like to thank Rick Stanfield who graciously did the write-up and provides the pictures and illustrations for “The Duties of the U.S. Army Saddler”

Greg Krenzelok



Saddlers School Fort Riley Kansas circa World War II. (W.R. Stanfield Collection)


DUTIES OF THE U.S. ARMY SADDLER

Technical Manual 10-430 “The Saddler” March 27, 1942

1. DUTIES
a. The saddler is charged with the repairs of all harness, horse, and other leather equipment issued to his organization. He must be skilled in the use of the tools, which comprise the saddlers' set.

b. He should make repairs as damages occur and not allow broken parts to accumulate. By preparing in advance a limited supply, based upon experience, of extra parts such as straps, cheek pieces, throat straps, etc., he will facilitate the repairing and save himself the annoyance of many rush jobs, especially with old harness.

c. He will be provided with the necessary tools, leather, etc., to make repairs when on the march or at halts.

2. TOOLS
a. The saddlers' set is authorized for issue, in general, to all companies, batteries, and troops having saddlers or to which animals are assigned; and to certain regiments and separate battalions. The actual basis of issue is as provided in Tables of Basic Allowances of the various arms and services”.

3. ALLOWANCE OF MATERIAL
Amounts of materials used in repair of harness and horse equipment are published from time to time in Tables of Basic Allowances. For classification, processing, and inspection of leather and leather equipment, see TM 10-226.

4. CUTTING LEATHER
a. In using a side or part of a side of leather, care should be taken to cut from the proper part of the side. The back is generally the best, while the belly and flanks are the least desirable, being looser grained.

b. Care should be taken to cut just the portion needed, even though an odd shape might be left by so doing. It may develop later that this odd shape can be used to advantage.

5. WORKING LEATHER INTO SHAPE
In working leather into shape it will be necessary to soak it until it is soft and pliable. Russet leather does not require as much soaking as black leather. Leather should not be soaked long enough to cause the stuffing to come out.

6. FINISHING EDGES
The edges of articles made of black leather are finished by applying blacking to them with a brush or piece of cloth and burnishing with awl haft handle or hammer handle and finishing with a piece of cloth. Edges of articles made of russet leather are finished in the same manner, except that the edges are slightly dampened instead of being blackened.

7. USING SADDLER’S WAX
This wax works best when in a temperature of about 75 degrees F. When cold it is brittle and will not adhere to the thread. If too warm it will be soft and sticky and unfit for use. Saddlers' wax is used to make the thread pliable and wearing. The wax seals itself into and around the thread, giving it a smooth surface. The thread can then be pulled through holes without tearing or sticking. Wax weatherproofs the thread and prolongs its life.

8. MAKING WAXED END
Waxed ends are made of Irish flax, which is issued in balls. A ball is usually placed in some receptacle to hold it secure and the thread drawn from the inside of the ball. The thread is placed across the right thigh a few inches from the end; its ends taken in the left hand; the palm of the right hand placed upon the thigh over the thread; and the hand rubbed downward. This causes the thread to untwist. The thread is then grasped with the right hand at a point about 10 inches from the end, and with the left hand at the end. The hands are then separated, causing the thread to pull apart, leaving the tapering ends. A convenient length of about 2 yards is then measured off and the thread broken at the desired point by repeating the operation on the thigh. One end of the thread which has been broken off is taken in the left hand, and the end of the thread which is attached to the ball placed beside and just short of it. It is then measured off and broken as before so as to come just short of the other end of the detached piece. This operation is repeated until a sufficient number of strands is obtained. This will usually be from three to six, depending upon the weight of thread and character of work. The strands as thus formed are then hung over a hook at their middle point; the ends are waxed for about 6 inches and each end twisted separately by placing it upon the thigh and rubbing it with the palm of the right hand. The thread is then waxed thoroughly by rubbing the wax over it several times. Four or five inches of each end is then threaded through a needle and turned back. The waxed end is then complete and ready for use in sewing.

9. SEWING WITH WAXED THREAD
The leather to be sewed should be prepared and the positions of stitches marked by the pricking wheel. It is then placed in the clamp, a hole made with an awl through which the one needle is passed, and the waxed end pulled through to its middle point. Should the waxed end have been used previously, the two ends will be fastened together by a shoemakers’ knot. In this case both needles are passed through the hole in opposite directions from the inside of two or more thicknesses so as to leave the knot inside. Another hole is punched with the awl; the needle in the left hand is passed through it from left to right and the other one passed through it from right to left, both threads being drawn through until taut, and the seam continued by repeating this operation. Upon reaching the end of the thread or the end of the seam, one or two back stitches are taken and both ends cut off. This manner of sewing prevents knots being left where they might rub the animal.

10. USING DOUBLE NEEDLE
For work around loops and other inaccessible places it will be found convenient to use an improvised needle consisting of a fine brass or copper wire, doubled and slightly twisted, with an eye left at the middle. This can be bent into almost any shape. The awl holes should be made large in such cases as this will save trouble.

11. PREVENTING SORE FINGERS
Each saddler will find a grained-leather finger stall a necessity. Constant sewing with waxed thread soon wears the skin from the fingers and makes them very sore. If a spot becomes tender it can be relieved by wrapping a single strand of waxed thread close together around the finger over the spot. This is better than court plaster and will last much longer.

12. REPAIRING BREAKS
a. Single thickness. To repair breaks in a strap or trace of single thickness, the ends of the straps should be skived, lapped together for a sufficient distance to make the joint secure and sewed parallel to the edges.
b. Double thickness - The leather strips should be separated and about 3 inches cut off the inside layer of one end and the outside layer of the other end. All four ends are skived, lapped over, and sewed. A few stitches should be made lengthwise near the center to hold down the ends.
c. More than double thickness - To repair breaks in straps of more than two thicknesses, the layers of leather should be cut back on the inside of one and the outside of the other, the end skived, lapped together, and sewed.

13. REPAIRING WITH RIVETS
a. The parts to be riveted should be placed together, a hole punched, the rivet passed through, and the bur driven down into place with the rivet set. The rivet should then be cut off, leaving an end about 1/8 inch long, which is upset with the rivet set.
b. Rivets should not be used except in an emergency as they make an unsightly job, and the hole punched for the rivet takes away a considerable part of the leather, thus weakening it.



Saddler of the 112th Field Artillery Regiment inspecting section harnesses at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 1941


14. MODIFYING MCCLELLAN SADDLES
a. GENERAL
(1) Parts to be removed.
Straps, quarter side
Safes, quarter strap, with cincha tie straps.
Cinchas.
Halter squares from ends of quarter straps, both pommel and cantle.

(2) Parts needed for one saddle.
1 pair skirts.
1 girth.
1 piece of web, right, with leather billets attached.
1 piece of web, left, with leather billets attached
4 screws, 7/8 inch, No. 6 wood, round head, brass, bronze finish.
4 nails, saddle, with 1/2 bronze heads.
4 filler pieces (leather)
2 pieces 1/4 inch woven felt cut to fit side bars according to size of saddle (to be ordered, 11, 11-1/2 or 12, according to size of saddle).
4 No. 8 burs, brass, bronze finish.

If felt linings are needed to replace the worn sheepskin with wool, the number of saddles of each size should be given.

b. METHOD
(1) Remove halter squares from end of quarter straps, both pommel and cantle, by cutting stitching in laps, then cut off ends of straps even with the bottom edge of side bar.
(2) Rip stitching the full length of lower part of side bar and continue around each end for approximately 3 inches.
(3) Use a stitching awl for removing the stitches from the parts cut open.
(4) Turn saddle bottom side up, fold cover of side bar bottom toward center of saddle, and secure it there temporarily by placing three large tacks through leather of each side into tree.
(5) Take web with leather billets attached (right and left web can be determined by the diagonal cut), place same on bottom of side bar, and locate them, leather billets upward or toward the saddle seat, with the center billet directly over the stirrup strap loop, and with the diagonal edge of web flush with top edge of side bar.
(6) Secure web to tree by using numerous long, large-headed tacks.
(7) Take the filler pieces and place one on each side of web, having the beveled edge pointing away from web.
(8) Secure with several small tacks.
(9) Place skirt, grain side out, with the beveled edge on top of side bar, in such position that girth billets will be under skirt when saddle is in use.
(10) Secure to the tree with enough tacks to keep same in place until stitching is completed.
(11) Return side bar cover to its original position, thus having the skirt and web between the top and bottom cover of side bar.
(12) Tack temporarily all three pieces together.
(13) Sew with 3-cord No. 10, wax end, using care to stitch in the old holes.
(14) After stitching is completed, secure the ends of straps, quarter, pommel and cantle, with a 7/8 inch No. 6 round wood screw, using a bur under the head.
(15) Place a saddle nail at lower extreme ends of both cantle and pommel cover where these parts join side bar cover.
(16) Should it be desired to cover under part of side bars with felt, place the proper size felt on bars, using a good grade of glue, and place several tacks through felt into tree temporarily, after stretching felt tight in all directions.
(17) The same stitching that secures skirt and web will also secure felt to that part of saddle which has been cut open; the balance of sewing being done with one needle, with stitches approximately 1/4inch long.
(18) Great care should be taken to remove all tacks from felt after saddle is completed”.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
G.C. Marshall, Chief of Staff

U.S. Government Printing Office: 1942


DUTIES OF THE U.S. ARMY SADDLER

Technical Manual 10-430 “The Saddler” March 27, 1942

Click on the below links:

Technical Manual 10-430 “The Saddler’s” 1942



Quartermaster Supply Catalog QM 6 dated 31 January 1944. (W.R. Stanfield Collection)


Quartermaster Supply Catalog QM 6 dated 31 January 1944. (W.R. Stanfield Collection)


Quartermaster Supply Catalog QM 6 dated 31 January 1944. (W.R. Stanfield Collection)


U.S. TOOL ROLL – SADDLERS – CHEST SUPPLY – PACK ARTILLERY - 1943


G.L. Krenzelok Collection


G.L. Krenzelok Collection


Courtesy of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum


CONTENTS:

1. Stone sharpening, mounted medium 1x2x6 inches

2. Shear trimmers bend 10 inch

3. Haft, Awl, Saddler’s - Awl Blades with Hafts Awl is a Sharp pointed blade for piercing leather, sewing and a variety of other uses.

4. Tool, Saddler’s, Round-Edger, No. 2 - Edgers for smoothing the edges of your leather.

5. Knife, Saddler’s, Square Point, Size of blade: 5/8 inch x 3 and 7/8 inches

6. Carriage (Saddler’s), Pricking, Box handle with pricking wheels, Size 7,8 and 10

7. Needle case, Leather (With contents as follows):
a. 2 packages needles, Harness, Egg Eye, No. 3,4 and 5 and 1 package of No. 6
b. 1 package, Needles, Trimmer’s “Glovers” No. 3
c. 1 each. Needle, Packing (Or Baling), No. 10, 5 inch; 11, 4 ½ inch, 12, 4 inch; 13, 3 ½ inch; and 14, 3 inch.
d. 2 each Followers for Draw Gage
e. 2 each Blades, Awl, Saddler’s, Stitching, Nos. 53, 1 ¾ inch; 54, 2 inch and 57, 2 ½ and 56, 2 ¼

8. Miscellaneous

9. Set Rivet, Oval, No. 10

10. Punch, Cutting, Leather, Canvas, Etc. No. 5

11. Punch, Cutting, Leather, Canvas, Etc. No. 7

12. Wrench, Haft, Awl

13. Blades Draw Gauge

14. Hammer, Riveting, 12 ounces

15. Drift, Drill, Size 4 ½ to 6 inches

16. Block Lead, Punching Round, ½ inch thick 4 inches in diameter

17. Knife, Saddler’s Round, 5 inch across chord

18. Punch, Belt, Revolving, six tubes Nos. 1 to 6 - revolving leather punch

19. Creaser, Saddler’s Double, Wood Ebony or Lignum Vitae

20. Handle, with Trigger, Draw Gage

21. Miscellaneous

22. Rule, Carpenter’s Folding, 2 feet 4 Fold

23. Slide, 6 inch Draw Gage

24. Palm. Sewing

25. Anvil, Saddlers, Riveting, 1x2x4 inches, With ½ inch Hole


J.Q.M.D 1943

Note: Certain tools are missing and added but the tool roll is mostly complete and original.


U. S. ARMY SADDLER’S CHEST FOR BATTERY WAGON


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U.S. Army Saddler’s Chest for Battery Wagon


Return to The Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2 homepage:

FORT ORD U.S. ARMY STATION VETERINARY HOSPITAL (HORSE) WW2
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Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2



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11TH CAVALRY PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, 1919 TO 1940
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11th Cavalry Presidio of Monterey, 1919 to 1940


76TH FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, 1922 TO 1940
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76th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion


THE ARMY VETERINARY SERVICE DURING THE GREAT WAR, WW1
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The Army Veterinary Service During the Great War, WW1


SERGEANT LEONARD MURPHY VETERINARY HOSPITAL NO. 18, A.E.F., WW1
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Sergeant Leonard Murphy Veterinary Hospital No. 18, A.E.F., WW1




U.S. ARMY VETERINARY CORPS HISTORICAL PRESERVATION GROUP

Motto: “Illic est Vires in Numerus” There is Strength in Numbers

“Working Hard to Preserve Our Country’s History wherever it is being lost”

U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group is a group of individuals that are concerned about the preservation of the History of the Veterinary Corps, Remount Service and Cavalry or wherever our country’s history is being lost in conjunction with our beloved “Horse and Mule”. There is no cost to join and membership is for life. We believe by uniting together in numbers we will be a more powerful force to be heard. Our membership list is private and only used to contact our members. Email us and become a member.

Greg Krenzelok
gregkrenzelok@msn.com

FACEBOOK: U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group

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U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group