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Hi to all on this forum, l have an unused 1915 UP (tree only) and l am in the process of duplicating the tree and will use it on my 3 horses. l have made the front and rear arches and made up the jig to form the side board for one side and will start experimenting with steam bending some wood when l source the correct species of Beech wood. l am a Metal tradesman so the arches were easy but the woodwork will be a challenge as l am not sure about spring back after steam bending. ln the 80's l spent 1000's of hours riding through the hills in a 1916 UP that sadly l sold off about 10 years ago, l am back into trail riding again with a passion and bought the 1915 tree on ebay a couple of months ago. l bought an Indian fixed tree a few weeks earlier thinking that it may just need some mod's to make it useable but the tree is so badly made that it is useful only as a door stop. The tree has many cracks and the shape is nothing like the original and there is no twist in the side boards. Luckily the leatherwork seems well done so l have made the new rear arch to suit the Indian leather seat which is larger than the 1915. Mathews Timber in Vermont (Melbourne) lists Beech wood on their site so l will call in and see them, any advice on steam bending greatly appreciated. A workmate told me last week that a friend of his built a tall ship using tradition methods and he reckons to soak the wood before steaming to help heat transfer and seal the timber whilst it still contains moisture to limit distortion down the track.
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- Last Name: Lewis
- Location: USA
I don't know, but are you sure that UPs are bent rather than shaped? In which case a draw knife and a rasp would be the tools you need. Good luck with your project.
Never even dawned on me that it could be fashioned from a solid lump of wood. l thought it would be bent to retain the strength of the grain. l have seen how western saddle trees are hand shaped after 4 or more pieces are glued together. l shall do some more research. Reading in the UP section l see where the arches are said to be forged, having worked in Foundries and a Forge, l would think they look cast to me. Anyone know for sure?