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Custom saddle

frankp

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
19
First post from a new member.

I'm a new saddle hunter and decided I'd make my own rather than buying a commercial saddle. I've been sewing for almost 30 years and figured it couldn't be that hard. I was right. After 3 hours (for the first one) I had a complete saddle from initial drawing to "final" stitching.

Hunted out of it for the first time yesterday and I'm 100% a convert. I got up the tree (only about 15-18 feet) and settled in less than 10 minutes with a set of three hawk sticks. I want to make a couple of mods already, though. I used phifertex mesh for the seat and it's too slippery against my hunting bibs. It rides up higher than it did when I was testing it in regular pants. I may replace it with another mesh material but I'm going to modify the leg loops first and attach lower on the harness to see if that fixes the problem. I also need to shorten my tether prussik. I made a 1/8" dyneema utilibridge that is 24" at its shortest length but with the prussik it's still too long. I may make a new bridge and reduce the prussik length as well.

I'm also working on a custom carbon fiber single stick option and my rig (saddle, bridge, and stick) will be under 4 pounds total, if my weight calculations are right. My saddle is about 1 1/2 pounds now. Stick weight I'm going for is <2 pounds.

Overall, I love the visibility, the ability to move, and the comfort of the saddle. I've been a rock climber for 25+ years so hanging is not new to me and I felt like a duck to water with the saddle. What a great shift in my tree choices, overall weight, and ability to adjust my plan on the fly.
 

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CooterBrown

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
758
Looks nice, now you have to build yourself a DIY platform.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
246
First post from a new member.

I'm a new saddle hunter and decided I'd make my own rather than buying a commercial saddle. I've been sewing for almost 30 years and figured it couldn't be that hard. I was right. After 3 hours (for the first one) I had a complete saddle from initial drawing to "final" stitching.

Hunted out of it for the first time yesterday and I'm 100% a convert. I got up the tree (only about 15-18 feet) and settled in less than 10 minutes with a set of three hawk sticks. I want to make a couple of mods already, though. I used phifertex mesh for the seat and it's too slippery against my hunting bibs. It rides up higher than it did when I was testing it in regular pants. I may replace it with another mesh material but I'm going to modify the leg loops first and attach lower on the harness to see if that fixes the problem. I also need to shorten my tether prussik. I made a 1/8" dyneema utilibridge that is 24" at its shortest length but with the prussik it's still too long. I may make a new bridge and reduce the prussik length as well.

I'm also working on a custom carbon fiber single stick option and my rig (saddle, bridge, and stick) will be under 4 pounds total, if my weight calculations are right. My saddle is about 1 1/2 pounds now. Stick weight I'm going for is <2 pounds.

Overall, I love the visibility, the ability to move, and the comfort of the saddle. I've been a rock climber for 25+ years so hanging is not new to me and I felt like a duck to water with the saddle. What a great shift in my tree choices, overall weight, and ability to adjust my plan on the fly.
Greetings. The saddle looks nice. The mesh that I found works best is mil spec 8061 raschel knit nylon mesh. There is a place called AHH.biz that sells it. You can sometimes find it on Amazon too. It’s incredibly strong and it has a tiny stretch to it. You stuck with the basic saddle design like the hawk or the mantis... try adding some adjustable pull straps to the lower webbing so you can cinch in to stop that feeling of slipping out. Also I personally would go up to 3/16 or 1/4 for an amsteel bridge because heaven forbid if you can any shock load, amsteel doesn’t stretch and can fail. Just my 2 cents anyway. But still an awesome looking saddle.
 

frankp

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
19
Greetings. The saddle looks nice. The mesh that I found works best is mil spec 8061 raschel knit nylon mesh. There is a place called AHH.biz that sells it. You can sometimes find it on Amazon too. It’s incredibly strong and it has a tiny stretch to it. You stuck with the basic saddle design like the hawk or the mantis... try adding some adjustable pull straps to the lower webbing so you can cinch in to stop that feeling of slipping out. Also I personally would go up to 3/16 or 1/4 for an amsteel bridge because heaven forbid if you can any shock load, amsteel doesn’t stretch and can fail. Just my 2 cents anyway. But still an awesome looking saddle.
Thanks for the recommendation on the material, I'll look into it.

As for the dyneema, I've been using dyneema slings for rock climbing for many years. It doesn't stretch but 1/8" has 2500-3000 pound breaking strength depending upon manufacturer. With the "utilibridge" the 1/8" dyneema is doubled, thus increasing that strength slightly- let's call it a conservative 3200 pounds. I'd have to fall ~15 feet on the dyneema to generate enough force to break it, assuming it's in perfect condition. While a dynamic load can produce some serious forces, the design of the bridge is essentially supporting a static force, it's not used during the climbing process. It's basically straight weight or, at most, a single digit multiplier of the weight, rather than a fully dynamic force. I also back myself up with a munterhitch on the loose end of my tether tied into a locking carabiner on my lineman's loop. At most, the fall on my bridge would only be a handful of inches. If I fell while climbing, on the other hand, the lineman's loop is what would catch my weight. My lineman's loop is 7mm.

My larger concern is the small diameter dyneema "pinch melting" the webbing on the harness, rather than the dyneema breaking.

I recognize other folks wouldn't (and perhaps shouldn't) be comfortable with that choice but I'm okay with it. Your recommendation is a good one. It never hurts to be overly cautious and the weight savings isn't worth the margin for error if something goes wrong. I used it because I know enough about it to make an "educated" choice. If I were recommending it for someone else, I'd recommend 1/4".
 
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