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Thread: Tanning

  1. #1
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    Default Tanning

    was thinking about tryin to learn how to tan my own hides. been lookin it up and all. anybody have any suggestions or pointers?

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    Crewman, Its cool you want to learn, but first I hope you know how to flesh properly, turn and split. without that its not worth it.

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    gotta learn it all sometime right? i dont mean to just go out and start cuttin up my hides till i get it right, in the meantime ruining hides. but if theres a place i can go to learn from someone, itd definitely be preferable. otherwise ill have to do all my experiments on the little bunnies

  4. #4

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    Van Dykes these guys have everything you need to get started. They have some very good DVD's tht show you start to finish. They also have the supplies to do. Van Dykes is owned by Cabela's so you can count on their quality. I've been buying from them for years and have never had a complaint with them. The hardest part is preparing the hide tanning is the easy part. Your first ones will be less than perfect don't get frustrated they get better with practice. Try different types of tans some work better for garment, others are better for rugs. For instance bark tans done in several stages make great sole leather. Lutan is good for taxidermy. Smoked brain tan makes the best garment leather.
    Chuck

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    Different hides require different preperation to become leather/fur.

    Bears, Wolves, Caribou, Fox, Beaver, and Seals too all require different steps and methods to tan and are all easy when you figure them out.

    Get a basic book and it will tell/show you the cuts each requires, and find the method of tanning you want to use, there are many.

    My best advise to you is to start smart;
    It starts with skinning without putting scores on the skin from the knife and getting all the fat and meat to stay on teh carcass. I peel hides from animals while they are warm yet, with my hands and keep all the fats, facia/connnective tissues on the carcass by deliberatly using my fingers to seperate them. Its very easy when you are in the right "Layer" and very quick when you get practise.

    Then stretch and dry, so you can store them, sell them or keep on working and tan them the way you want.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    thanks, havent had any practice on any big game. skinned a few rabbits here and there, but they GOTTA be easier since they only weigh a few pounds or so. but i figure as long as i take my time with the skinning, then maybe the fleshing later on will be that much easier huh? how long do you usually wait from kill time to fleshing? pretty much as soon as you can, while its still alittle damp?

  7. #7
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    I like to flesh as soon as possible. when you get down to the real slimy membrane, throw a little bit of salt on it to dry it up. makes it much easier to finish fleshing.

    to pull the feet out, hang some parachute chord and make a slip knot and hang it by the ankles and let gravity do its thing all the way down to the first knuckle. just follow the bone down. works on pawed and hoofed animals. you can do it in the field.

    ears, turn the ears inside out and slowly follow the membrane. stick a screwdriver handle, stick etc into the ear to help put pressure. it makes it easier. careful towards the tips.

    nose I still need to work on.

    lips. when you got the hide on the ground. the lips are thick, litterally split the them. basically fillet them in half. its all on feel. kinda like filleting a steak.

    I cant help you on the actual tanning process, wish I could but preperation is much more importnant.

  8. #8

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    Hal Sullvan used to have a vhs on clean skinning beavers. You might see if it is in dvd. If you can learn to clean skin a beaver you can do most anything,
    Chuck

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    yeah ive heard theyre exceptionally oily and pretty difficult to do well. ive heard bears are actually easier despite their size

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    If you skinthem right away, carefully with your hands, then No fleshing will be nessarry with alot of animals, like Caribou, if you skin them while they are still warm with original body heat. Fox, Wolves,Musk ox and such.
    Bears are a bit different. They have fats right to the roots of the hairs, so when you fleshing them go slow, or you will scrape the hairs off from below.
    Wolves cant be scraped deeply either, as they will she dfrom having the bottoms of the hair cut.

    Anyway, some will hang the skin for a day or so, depending on the heat, and then find a clean smooth beam to work the flesh off of every part with your skin scraper.
    After fleshing, my wife puts them into the washing machine with grease removing detergents and gives 'em a whorl.......then they go on a strecher or line to dry....or on the beach sand with rocks and pebbels to keep the outter edges from rolling up and they dry there.

    Dry them well on the strecher, or line if your not going to strech them.

    Then you can use what even tanning soution or method you have chosen.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  11. #11
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    well thanks alot for all the input! really lookin forward to gettin my hands dirty with it all. surprised me about pullin hairs out from the underside, though i suppose it makes sense. but you really surprised me with puttin the hides in the washer. my wife as of right now said she wont even eat the meat i bring home (big job for me), i doubt i could convince her to wash the hides after shes done with her batch of whites. lol guess we'll see how it all goes, again, thanks for all the help!

    -Andy

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