TOOLS WHICH WOULD MAKE IT EASIER - Rivet Set, Leather Punch, Hobbyist's Anvil, Vodka, Tonic, Lime, Someone else to pawn this off on.
Be sure to watch the video, shown below, on how to attach your nameplates, it will help with understanding these instructions.
The first thing to do is to remove the nameplate(s) and attaching hardware from the package - being careful not to lose anything. Next, match the plates with what they will be attached to: saddles, bridles, halters, etc. Now look at your attaching hardware. You should have some brass, or nickel (depending on the plate) escutcheon pins (those things that look like round-headed nails) and, if the plate is for anything other than a saddle, some copper burrs (those things that look like small washers). Take some time to familiarize yourself with these items. The pins should be SLIGHTLY larger than the holes they are to go through. If the pins slide through the holes easily and can wiggle around, you've got the wrong pins. We always try to give you the correct hardware, but sometimes we screw up. If you've got the wrong hardware, DO NOT CONTINUE (that means don't try to fudge it, it won't work), call us and we'll send you the correct hardware.
We use escutcheon pins and burrs because they are the correct hardware for attaching plates to equipment. Chicago screws, bolts, split rivets (the bend over the back type), and quick rivets (the hammer together type) were not designed for attaching nameplates to equestrian equipment and WILL NOT hold up to the stresses incurred by equestrian equipment! We have heard too many horror stories about those types of hardware failing and blinding horses, gashing horses or people, and just too frequently coming off. Have patience and try it our way, it doesn't take much longer to do it correctly and the nameplates will then stay safely and securely on your equipment. So, take a little of whatever you use to relax and dive in, it only looks difficult.
SADDLES - First we'll tell you which Escutcheon Pins go with which plates.
#100, 101, 102, 105, 107, 110, 112 & 113 Saddle Plates (very small holes) use the very skinny, 3/8" pins.
#201, 202, 205, 207, 210, 230, 232, 250, & 260 Saddle Plates (large holes) use the medium weight, 1/2" pins.
STEP ONE - Hold the nameplate up to where you want it to be (make certain it's straight) and mark where the holes will be with an awl. Put the plate aside.
STEP TWO - This will vary depending upon what type of tree your saddle has, most saddles use wooden trees. Use the awl and a hammer to start the holes into the back of the saddle and:
A) If the saddle has a wooden tree, the holes started with the awl will be enough.
B) If the saddle has a fibreglass/Synthetic tree, you will need a drill with a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the saddle pin. Drill the holes where you marked them to a depth of about 3/8".
C) If the saddle has a steel reinforced, or carbon fibre cantle, or the tree is one of those rubber ones, consider attaching the nameplate with velcro.
STEP THREE - Line up the plate with the holes and then hammer the pins through the saddle plate, into the saddle at a slight inward angle. Don't be upset if you bend one, everybody does.
For the saddles: If the pins refuse to work, we can supply saddle screws, but they can have their own types of problems.
HALTERS, BRIDLES, MARTINGALES, GIRTHS, ETC. - This is the tougher one to do, but rest easy, it's not brain surgery. These use the heavy pins that are 3/4" long (or longer) and the copper burrs. If you have a Rivet Set, you WILL use the burrs that you are going to swear will not fit onto the pins. If you do not have a Rivet Set, the burrs you use should slide easily onto the pins.
STEP ONE - Place the plate where you want it to go and mark where the holes will be with the awl. Put the plate aside.
STEP TWO - If you have a Leather Punch, use the smallest punch and punch a hole through the leather. If you don't have a Leather Punch, or if you are attaching the plate to a nylon halter (yes, it can be done), use the awl and the hammer and make a hole STRAIGHT through the leather or nylon.
STEP THREE - Line up the plate with the holes and then hammer the pins through the plate and whatever you are attaching it to. The pins should have to be hammered through the plate, they should not slide through the holes. The tighter the pins are in the holes, the easier it is to attach the plate. Next, take a piece of masking tape and completely cover the plate and the pin heads.
STEP FOUR - Turn the leather (or nylon) over so that the pointed ends of the pins are sticking up. Now is when you need the hard surface (like a block of scrap hardwood) to hammer on, or the hobbyists anvil. If you don't have a Rivet Set, proceed to Step Five. If you have a Rivet Set, proceed to Step Six.
STEP FIVE - Place the plate face down on the anvil, or whatever hard surface you're working on. Take a small copper burr and slide it onto the escutcheon pin. Take a piece of masking tape and force it down over the pins to hold the burrs in place. Proceed to Step Seven.
STEP SIX - Place the plate face down on the anvil, or whatever hard surface you're working on. Take a small copper burr and place it over the end of the escutcheon pin (remember, it should not slide down onto the pin). Take the Rivet Set and place the hole in the end of the Rivet Set over the burr and the escutcheon pin. Now take the hammer and hit the other end of the Rivet Set until the burr is tight against the leather (or nylon). Repeat for the other pin.
STEP SEVEN - Take the Wire Cutters and clip off the excess pin, leaving about 1/16 of an inch of the pin above the burr.
STEP EIGHT - Use the round end of the Ball-peen Hammer and flatten out the remaining bit of the pin (this is called peening, and why it’s called a ball-peen hammer). It will spread out across the burr a bit. Be sure to flatten the edges with the hammer as they could be sharp. You can check this by CAREFULLY running your finger across the back. Keep hammering until the cut end of the pin is smooth. Repeat for the other pin.
STEP NINE - Remove the tape from the front (and back) of the plate.
Video Link Below Also
Installation with Rivets:
When rivets are used the name plate may need the holes drilled larger for the rivet caps, this can be done carefully with a regular drill and bit and we always suggest safety glasses as well. The rest of the instructions are below.
Center the plate where you would like it attached to your tack; mark its holes with pencil.
Use the hole punch centered on the pencil marks. A quality hole punch will work to punch the holes, the holes should be just big enough to push the rivet post through and should stick up 1/8" at least when the plate is put on the leather. A drill can also be used to make the holes in the halter for the rivets.
Push the rivet posts through the back of the tack so the posts are pointed toward you.
Put the nameplate on rivet posts.
Place rivet caps onto the posts, and tap the caps done with a hammer preferably on an anvil or a hard flat metal surface.
Check to make sure the plate is affixed well after installation.
Multiple videos can also be found on Youtube for nameplate installation by searching How to install a nameplate on halters. This technique will work for all manners of leather tack.