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Tanning my hide

Discussion in 'Hunting & Fishing' started by roosmom, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Nov 30, 2008
    roosmom

    roosmom Almost Self-Reliant

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    NO I have not been that bad. Finally got around to tanning our hides. Hubby cut off my antlers to get the brains...then went out to a popular dump site and picked up two more brains.
    I put all three brains in a saucepan, added four and a half cups water, mushed it all up really really well and brought it to a boil.
    Here is the brain - water mixture :sick
    [​IMG]
    for anyone trying this...prepare yourself, I found it to be a very smelly saucepan. It isnt SMACK in your face smelly, just insistant.

    Here I am rubbing the mix into the hide. Yes I know it is supposed to be good for softness of the hands, but after I smelled it, I just couldnt.
    [​IMG]

    Here my hide is all rubbed with the brain mixture and laying on a board to dry till tomorrow
    [​IMG]

    Here is hubby rubbing the mix into his hide (notice the washclothe? Not sure why he used that lol.
    [​IMG]

    Here is his hide draped over a poleawating tomorrow and the second application.
    [​IMG]

    The directions were not real clear on whether to tack it to a board as it dryed so we didnt. It also didnt say how long to rub it in for and I rubbed it in as good as I could. I even helped hubby rub his in.
    I will post more pics as we go along. I am really excited about this. I have always wanted to tan hides with the fur on.
     
  2. Nov 30, 2008
    chicknwhisperer

    chicknwhisperer Power Conserver

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    I have done a couple small ones but I didn't have the brains to use because one of our friends gave it to me. I had no idea you could use the brains. Thats pretty cool and ucky all at the same time lol. I use a solution on it but I can't remember where I got it. I hope it turns out great!
     
  3. Nov 30, 2008
    PamsPride

    PamsPride Should be Sewing

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    Can't wait to see the other side!! I hope it turns out good for you!!
    And using brains...BLECH!!!!!!!!!!! Not sure I could handle the brains part at this point!! I would be puking for sure!!
    I can't wait to see all the beatiful things you make with it too!!
     
  4. Dec 12, 2008
    roosmom

    roosmom Almost Self-Reliant

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    This was discussed in my journal. I had forgotten I had started this here. Anyway I figured I should finish this post.
    The skinn did not work. We are not sure why. But it may have had to do with bacteria on the skin......maybe with the length of time it took for each step (work and tanning are not a good mix). I have promised SS that I will not stop till I can do it. Of course I am drawing the line at chewing.....no licking or chewing :D
     
  5. Dec 12, 2008
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Roo, did you happen to link over to that site I gave you? It has a list of what not to do when preparing a hide for tanning that makes a lot of sense. Says moisture is the enemy and any and all meat has to be off the hide, etc.

    Could you send a pic of you taking a "little lickety lick lick?" :D
     
  6. Dec 17, 2008
    roosmom

    roosmom Almost Self-Reliant

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    I did look at that link beekissed. I think I said that somewhere, lol. I believe I mentioned that I thought it was the bacteria, cant remember now.........
     
  7. Dec 30, 2008
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Hey, guys, I'm reading a very interesting book about tanning your own sheepskin that describes it in detail. Interested in the info? You will be surprised at how its done....not quite as messy and yucky as deer brains and such! :)
     
  8. Dec 30, 2008
    PamsPride

    PamsPride Should be Sewing

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    I would love to hear about it!
     
  9. Dec 30, 2008
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Fleshing out the pelt.

    First, scrape the flesh side with a heavy knife to remove all meat, tissue and grease. Do not injure the true skin, or expose the hair roots. Scrape off all tough membrane and inner muscular, fleshy coat.

    Salting the pelt.

    If you are not aiming to tan the skin the day it comes off the sheep, you should salt it heavily to preserve it for later tanning. As soon as the animal heat has left the pelt, rub common pickling salt into the flesh side. A lamb pelt will take about three pounds(I'm assuming a deer hide would take about 3 times this much, depending on the size?) Do a thorough job, giving attention to the edges well. Spread the pelt out to dry, flesh side up.

    Preparing the salted pelt for tanning. *for salted hide*

    Later, when you want to prepare this pelt for tanning, soak it overnight in a large tub of cold water containing one cup of laundry detergent and one cup of pine-oil type disinfectant. In the morning, remove this water by spinning the pelt in the spin cycle of your washer. Tehn wash the pelt in the washing machine, short cycle with cool water and laundry detergent. Rinse. Spin the rinse water out in the spin cycle, then proceed with tanning.

    Preparing a fresh hide for tanning. *fresh hide*

    First, flesh out the skin as directed previously, then...

    Sprinkle the flesh side of the hide with strong dry detergent and brush this off with a stiff brush.

    Wash the pelt in the manner described above.

    Salt-acid tanning process.

    Use a plastic drum or plastic garbage can. Metal containers must not be used. For best results, the solution must reamin at about room temperature--65-75 degrees.

    Solution: For each one gallon of clear 70 degree water, use one pound of pickling and canning salt and one of the following acids: 1 oz. concentrated sulphuric acid ~or~4 oz. new battery fluid~or~1/2 c. sodium bisulfate, dry crystals~or~2 oz. oxalic acid crystals.

    Use your choice of only ONE of the above acids, with the water and salt, for tanning. A choice of acids is given so that you can use the one most easily available in your area. Whichever acid you use, measure it out carefully and store the acid in a safe place. If you are measuring liquid acid, use a glass or plastic cup, not metal.

    Add it slowly to the water, letting the acid enter at the edge of the water. Rinse the measuring cup in the solution and stir the mixture with a wooden paddle.

    Immerse the pelt in the tanning solution, push it down with the wooden paddle, and stir slowly. Leave the pelt in the solution for five (5) days(or more, up to 2 wks. if the solution does not get over 75 degrees). Keep the pelt submerged and stir it gently from time to time.

    Neutralizing the tanning solution.

    Remove the pelt and spin out the tanning solution in the spin cycle of your washer. Rinse the pelt in the clear water twice, tehn spin out the rinse water. Immerse the pelt in a solution of borax and water, using one ounce of borax to each gallon of water. Work the pelt for about an hour in this, then rinse out in clear water. Spin out the rinse water. This step is necessary to neutralize the acid solution, so that it does not remain on the skin and damage it.

    Tack the pelt out flat, flesh side up. Apply a thin coat of neatsfoot oil to that side. While the oil is soaking in, taking from 8-10 hrs. in a warm room, you can dry out the wool(fur) on the other side using a fan or hair dryer. Then apply a thin coat of tanning oil or leather dressing on the flesh side.

    Drying and softening the pelt.

    When the tanning oil has soaked in, allow the pelt to dry until it starts showing light colored places. Remove it from the frame and start the softening process. Stretch the skin in all directions and, flesh side down, work it over a board, to soften the skin as it finishes drying.

    You can sandpaper the flesh side when dry to make it smooth. Comb out the wool (fur) with the coarse teeth of a metal dog comb and finish it with a finer toothed comb. If the wool(fur) seems to dried out, you can rub a hair dressing or anti-frizz dressing on your hands and rub it lightly over the hair.

    There ya have it! :D Can you believe they wash it in the washing machine??? :p
     
  10. Dec 30, 2008
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    C'mon, folks...this is cool! Surely you had a curiosity about it, huh? :D
     

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