Saddle Display Rack

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 08-18-2013 03:10 PM 1704 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

08-18-2013 03:10 PM

A good friend wants to display his grandfathers’ saddles in his living room and asked me to build the display racks. I have made saddle racks for the barn and tackroom, but one for the living room?

I think the focus should be on the saddles and not the woodworking so it should be designed with that in mind. I have no Sketch Up skills and would appreciate any input from the LJ brain trust.

I’m kinda thinking of the following dimensions: 30” Tall x 7” Wide x 24” long with footpiece 15” wide. The designs I saw when I Googled saddle racks all looked big and “clunky” to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

15 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1792 days

#1 posted 08-18-2013 03:22 PM

Hi there,
I think your dimensions are spot on. You may want to design it so it compliments the western design. Like using horse shoes or hooves. I have made a western style desk that might give you some ideas; using horns or hovoes or something like that for the saddle to sit on.
Good luck


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29386 posts in 2362 days

#2 posted 08-18-2013 03:32 PM

This will be a good thinking project. You’re right, the woodworking should be nice, but not draw attention from the saddle. I’ll watch how this goes.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2604 days

#3 posted 08-18-2013 04:05 PM

I’m not understanding the overall concept (not a horse guy).

Any chance you can post a picture (or link) that sorta looks like what you want – functionally? Even if it is too “clunky”?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View hoss12992's profile


4043 posts in 1917 days

#4 posted 08-18-2013 04:48 PM

Andy, just a idea here, but Im thinking maybe a trestle style rack with some rope and used horse shoes incorporated and a darker stain on it would look great and put the attention on the saddle. The rope and shoes would act as a accents to the saddle. Im sure what ever you come up with will look great. I look forward to seeing what you come up with

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Handtooler's profile


1576 posts in 2156 days

#5 posted 08-18-2013 05:06 PM

I “BING”ed Western Saddle Racks and there are a ton of ideas some for current use and some for display. I was particularly drawn to the one constructed from bark on limbs for post or up rights and the rack from a 1/2 log sawn long ways. Real rustic woods/outdoors theam and well coated with finish for portection. The saddle was STILL the focal point. What say y’all?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2098 days

#6 posted 08-18-2013 05:56 PM

how many saddles? what style and seat size? lots of difference between the dimensions of “saddles” For display you might want to consider more of a barrel construction to help keep the shape of the saddle. on a narrow pole “7” wide” eventually they loose their shape and look like they were just forgotten there.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4153 posts in 3600 days

#7 posted 08-18-2013 06:19 PM

All I can add Andy is that I would shoot for a support under the saddles, without a lot of frame/rack showing.
Like you said, the emphases should be on the saddles.
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
I bet it’ll be nice.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3457 days

#8 posted 08-18-2013 06:28 PM

Andy, I built one several years ago for a friend I used to ride with. I did kind of like what REO said. I made a half barrel shape of slats that went from just under the horn to just under the back of the sear. About the only thing that could be seen were the legs that turned out from the center. When the saddle was on, it looked great because the saddle was what you saw.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3109 days

#9 posted 08-18-2013 07:15 PM

Gary beat me to it, I agree with him. If you want to add something like the name of a favorite horse or a
special buckle, it can be added to the legs. Western ideas of a living room are as different as the people,
if carpeted, then you will need broad feet to keep from leaving permanent dents in the carpet, if hardwood,
then a real smooth finish, which is what you normally use will work great. If his kids, grand kids are normal,
they will not resist sitting in these special saddles, so you might have to take that into account also as far as
the base is concerned. Hope you have fun with this one and will share the end results with us.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2316 days

#10 posted 08-18-2013 07:32 PM

Kinda would like to know his general decour/style of furniture in the room and how he actually uses the room. My experience has been that living rooms are more formal and less frequently used, whereas a family or great room is more informal and gets most of the every day living use. So based therein, if it’s a formal use room I’d go with a more formal style to match the other furniture in the room. On the other hand, the less formal use room opens innumerable options and I’d even think of some type of rustic, barn wood for the frame. But, these are just my thoughts, and whatever you decide I know it wll look great and be a fun project for you.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Boxguy's profile


2682 posts in 2292 days

#11 posted 08-18-2013 08:12 PM

Andy, my first vision of this project has four bent pieces of 1/2 inch rod. Each “leg” comes down with 4 inch bottom bend that touches the floor and then returns back to the top. My guess is that they would cross each other at some point and need a spot of welding. I would ask my local muffler shop to bend them. They would be fastened to an arc of wooden “staves” wide in the middle and two outside staves with a few narrow staves spaced between.

It would set 32 inches high at the center arc. The stirrups would hang down on the sides, but off the floor. I think the girth would be distracting and should be tucked up or removed after enough was left to fasten the saddle to the staves. Maybe the girth could be wrapped around the gaps in the staves and tied or buckled to keep the saddle firmly in place.

Children will have to be accounted for, and maybe adults. Perhaps the bent rods should be 3/4.

Andy, I don’t know if any of this helps, it is just what I see when I think of the project. The “legs” could be wood or plywood, but it would look sort of heavy and the joinery could be tricky.

General Second Thought…

Barring all this metal work, here is my second and much simpler idea. I would make them more like a wide saw horse with tapered legs than a stand with a central pillar…Stronger, lighter, more stable, easier joinery, more equine like. Angle the legs a bit out and a bit forward and backward. Google saw horses and shave horses for ideas.

Look at these brackets. They are strong and quick to assemble and dissemble.

I have used these plastic brackets. They are light and strong enough for this, the “staves” could fasten to the bracket top, and would make this project a snap and make. It would be easy to transport and move the project through doorways and into a room then assemble it.

-- Big Al in IN

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#12 posted 08-18-2013 09:16 PM

Thanks for the ideas all.

Handtooler, The Bing thingy has LOTS of good ideas (I wasn’t even aware Bing existed!). This was most helpful. I can send him a link to several and let him pick a design he likes. THANKS

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3327 days

#13 posted 08-19-2013 01:48 AM

well andy ive never made anything of the sort, but i know between your talents and the saddles themselves, i cant wait to see this, i hope you will post pictures of them in use, i love a good saddle and i hope to see the ones your going to make the displays for…and i have a pm i need to send…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Handtooler's profile


1576 posts in 2156 days

#14 posted 08-19-2013 09:57 AM

For all, even though it’s not directly wood related BING is my primary brouser, acronym for BUT ITS NOT GOOGLE. If you don’t know of it try it.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#15 posted 08-20-2013 12:54 AM

Well, I knocked together a prototype from OSB and pine scraps and sent pics to my friend. He liked it and wants 2 from the wood from my dad’s old barn to match the 2 chairs he recently bought from me.

I’m on it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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