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Thread: Question on home tanning - oily hide

  1. #1
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Default Question on home tanning - oily hide

    I attempted to tan the hide of a caribou my brother shot this fall. It went pretty well, in my opinion. It was my first big game animal. Smaller animal hides I've done have come out pretty well. This one came out well too, but the fur is a little oily to the touch. I gave it a bath in white gas, and that pulled a lot of oil and dirt off it. Then I tumbled it in saw dust. Should I redo either / both steps? My saw dust tumbler is crude at best, it's a rectangular bin that does not allow the hide to really tumble. Would it be better to get a big round bin so the thing can really tumble, or will that still not solve the oiliness problem?

    I'd prefer not to go the gas bath route, since it's a waste of 4 gallons of Coleman fuel and because with the weather now cold, it will be tough to get it to dry out and do it without freezing my hands off. But if that's what I need to do, I'll do it. Any suggestions for cutting the oil, perhaps something that can be done in a bathtub (wink)? Any help will be appreciated!

    -Gr
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  2. #2

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    What did you use to tan it?

    Also, is it shedding at all? I have heard they shed pretty badly after tanning.

  3. #3
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    This is not a solution for your current problem, necessarily, but a very good tumbler can be made of an old clothes dryer. Even in Kodiak I hear people advertising old dryers pretty cheap. Disconnect the heating element in it and plug the air exhaust to keep the sawdust in it.

  4. #4

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    kodiak, call Al at Fairbanks Fur Tannery for advice. if it can be done, he'll know what to do. 452-6047

  5. #5
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Explorer View Post
    What did you use to tan it?

    Also, is it shedding at all? I have heard they shed pretty badly after tanning.
    I used ammonium sulfide as the primary tanning agent. I used neatsfoot oil / ammonia mix to oil it. I was following a tanning procedure I found on the good old internet, which has worked well for me on previous smaller furs. The hair is not slipping as far as I can tell. It is a little stiff, but not too bad. It came out quite nice as far as I can tell at the moment. The tanning was done a month and a half ago, and it's still holding up. Like I said, only problem is it's a little oily. If you rub the fur, it's nice and soft, but your hand comes away feeling a little oily.

    Good idea on the old dryer, not sure I have room, though. Very quickly realizing I need a bigger house!

    Any other input? Thanks in advance!

    -Gr
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  6. #6

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    I saw a clip on a show where the guy used dawn dishwashing soap to remove the oil. Not sure if it was done before or after tanning. The show was All Outdoors With Alan Probst. Check out his site and there is a link to tanning fur on there.

  7. #7
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    dawn and oily hide hmmmm bet that sucks to oil right out. I can't see it hurting a tanned hide rinse it and restretch it
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