Tanning Hides

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by AzzurrA, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. AzzurrA

    AzzurrA Member

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    Anyone here do their own tanning?

    Managed to get myself my first deer over the weekend, and have kept the hide as a memento, and now i'm wanting to tan it with the 'hair on' to make it into a rug/throw for the bed or similar...

    Have been doing a bit of reading on Brain/Egg tanning, as from what I've read they seem to offer the greatest softness of the different methods available... but at the same time, i'm cautious as i don't want to stuff it up and ruin the hide!

    Perhaps it would be best to get something smaller (like a rabbit etc) to try it with first and see if it works... or possibly even better leaving it to the 'professionals' to do this first one, though i'm sure they would just use a chemical/chrome based tanning solution and wouldn't leave it as soft as i'd hope for?

    I guess i'm just wondering if anyone has had experience in this/done their own tanning before, and if so, post up some photos of your work/results etc!
     
  2. ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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  3. OP
    OP
    AzzurrA

    AzzurrA Member

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  4. ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    You are indeed wise. :cool:
     
  5. noober69

    noober69 Member

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    I started with rabbits, have done about half a dozen or so. I did not use a commercial kit but tried using commercially available chemicals (e.g pool chemicals which are the same thing). This is possible to go this way but it takes a while to dig up all the stuff you need.
    I would buy a commercial kit and start with a few bunnies. It is a multi step process over many days, and there are lots of variable, like skin thickness, fat content etc. Also, cleaning the hide takes time and practice.
    My rabbit furs came out a little stiff at the end, it all depends how much work you put in. Also, it is easy to put a hole in the hides, or to not get the moisture content correct before working the hide to make it soft. I think practice is the key.

    I was thinking I could get the rabbit skins soft and pliable but it is not easy so I would definitely not start with something valuable first up.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    AzzurrA

    AzzurrA Member

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    I found this 3-part tutorial on YouTube for those interested in Brain Tanning - they seem pretty helpful/informative





     
  7. OP
    OP
    AzzurrA

    AzzurrA Member

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    Thanks for the tips - yeah, i saw that it was a rather in-depth process that can take a few days... mainly breaking the hide after the solution has been applied... the longer you break it for, the softer it gets...

    I was lucky in that i had a good teacher for skinning who showed me how to punch out the hide, rather than cutting it off with a knife... it left basically no meat, fat or sinew etc on it at all, with the exception of around the (very few) cuts that we made, so prep is actually pretty easy for this one...

    I will try and get a hold of a few rabbit hides to practice on first!
     
  8. noober69

    noober69 Member

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    I would be interested in finding out about punching out the hide. I just cut off the feet and head with a high carbon steel cleaver. Then I cut from the anus to the back feet along the legs, then peel the hide off in one piece. This leaves no meat and little fat on the hide and the carcass looks just like you buy at the butchers, nice and clean.

    I then gut the rabbit and save the carcass, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs for the dogs. Only the head, feet and intestines go in the bin. The dogs would eat those too but there is no need.

    This takes about 5 min, leaves the place clean and wastes very little.

    I would send you some frozen skins but I am in Melbourne and I think you are in Qld.
     

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