Thursday, 12 October 2017

Project Revealed!

I made me a saddle cart!

At my current barn, my tack box is in the first stall at the end of the barn. I generally tie my horse up about a quarter of the way down the aisle- not really close to my tack box, but not really far either. At this time, there aren't any saddle racks on which to put your saddle other than in your tack box. Since I use the same saddle for both horses, I don't really want to bother to put it away in-between horses. And when I want to clean my stuff, there's nowhere to put it. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make myself a saddle cart.

Dad and I built it on a day off.

I actually made it with the assistance of my dad. I designed it, he cut a bunch of pieces, I did a bunch of sanding, and we both operated drills to put it all together. Then I took it home to paint and put on the hardware.
All loaded up

I have used it for the last couple of times that I was out and I've been quite happy with it.
From the front

It will hold my saddle (with pads). It has a wide bridle holder for my wide-crowned bridles, a couple of hooks for a breastplate or whatever, and a folding hook on the opposite end that is for a bucket when cleaning tack, but turns out to also be a great coat hook. Then there is a shelf, and closed storage on the bottom.
Bottom storage area with a flip down door. Currently stores a blow dryer, will store tack cleaning stuff and hopefully Cisco's boots.
Bucket hook doubles as a coat hanger
Shelf under the saddle rack
The hardest part of making it was definitely the painting. I tend to like dark colours, and always forget how many coats it takes to get proper coverage with said dark colours. I lost track as to how many coats I gave it, but it's somewhere between 6 and 8.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to make the decoration that I used. I could have created a stencil and painted the patterns, but that would have added another 2-3 hours of very monotonous painting (dabbing very light coats over and over). So I used vinyl and made decals that adhered into place.

Silver glitter decal!
My name is in silver glitter, the rest is just silver-grey.

I then used a spray can of clear coat over the sections with the vinyl to make sure it would stay on. That added another couple of days to the project, as my skills with a spray can are atrocious. I had to do 4 coats on the front side to get a mostly clean finish. Banksy, I am not.
The saddle area could use a couple more coats of clear coat. Maybe in the spring.
My favourite part is probably the cell phone holder. 
It was an organizer pouch from the dollar store (but it cost more than a dollar). I added the decor.

It's compact in size to fit next to my tack box. I don't want to take up too much room, and the space next to my box is mostly dead space as my doors open out. When it's being stored, I can't open the right side of the tack box all the way as it hits the handles on the cart. That should be okay though, as my saddle sits on that side, so if I need it I can pull the cart out and put it on there. 

I didn't do a very good job of matching the colour to my trunk - at the paint store the blue I picked looked much darker! It's actually quite a nice blue, just not as navy as I would have liked. 

All in all, I am very happy with it. I might still need to add a magnetic catch to the flip down door so that it doesn't fall open when I am moving the cart. And I am hoping the wheels will be okay (wheels are stupidly expensive). I still want to design a little shelf that I can add and remove to hold my tack cleaning soap when I clean my tack, but I'm not in a rush. 

It probably cost in the $200 range to build. The lumber was about $90. Wheels were $40, the rest of the hardware was another $50. And a can of paint. If I knew it was going to cost that much, I might not have built it. But I am happy that I did.

(Please let me know if the pictures take forever to load - I used my DSLR camera so the pictures are large. If need be I will make them smaller and repost.)

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