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Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Celtic_Knot, Apr 11, 2006.
Looking for someone that knows how to do it themselves for some pointers and tips.
I really hope you find some answers, I would need some to *LOL*
On Sunday my friend butcherd one of his sheep, so I took the hide home, and have put coarse salt on the flesh side,
I was scraping some stuff today, but I'm way not donne,
In one of my book there are a few different ways on doing this,
I will try the one with Bakingsoda and kerosine,
this will be my try out *LOL* have to practise for fall when I will skin two of my sheeps.
a friend and i tried to tan two sheep skins, we used the brain method,
first we salted them and let them cure for a while till we had the time to work them, then we washed them, really good to get the salt out get them plyable again, then we tryed to scrape them, what a joke that was lol, then the brain goo and then we let it set, then smoked it, they got stiff and we were going to rub them with leather oil to see what happend but i moved and we never got around to it,
after all that work i got to thinking, and i read somplace that you could use an electric sander, so i thought that if instead of washing them first after the salt, to take a low grade sandpaper sander and work them over to get all the extra stuff off, that would be more thurow than trying to do it by hand and maybe make it more plyable, then wash them really good, and use what ever method you choose from there on.
Well I trimmed them and tried to get the extra fat off and muscle but ya like that is coming off. Got my hand so tired that I just finished trimming and salted, have the whole method of "tanning" down, with the chemicals and that but how in the h*ll you acctually do it is what draws the big question
Rural Living Magazine has a list of books that covers such topics-- now a friend of mine said she would send me info on NATURAL ingredients to use to tan hides-- make a barrel of the solution and let em soak--
Another friend-- of Native American ancestry, frowns on salting the hides--she indicated to me that the salt never totally gets washed out- and by using salt , no matter how well rinsed, affects the quality of the end product (lower)
I am all for using a coarse grade sandpaper--beats using a blade!
Ugh I would think the friction on flesh would smell great. Ahh well I guess we'll stumble through this one and hopefully it'll turn out alright.
make sure the hide is stiff as a board and as dry as possible before useing the sandpaper, and all should float right along
Alright. I'm letting it sit in the salt for the full 6 days, it was pretty wet when I got it.
I've used the methods in The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. It's a long involved, messy, time consuming task. I now just flesh out my hides, salt them and send them off for processing.
Please tell me more about your process. Do you "send" (via US Postal or UPS) or do you have to take them. Who do you use? What is the processing fee?
We have 2 wethers at the butcher shop now. They require us to take the head and hide back. I hate to just throw it away... but don't want the long process described in her book either. (And some of the other horror stories in this thread.)
There is an article with most of what you need to know here.
We've tanned a lot of our hides. It is hard work and we tended to put it off until we'd filled a huge freezer! (Now we send them off, but they still get fleshed first!)
It sounds like the part you are leaving out is the 'breaking'. When the hide is wet, and has had the brains, or battery acid/salt or what ever washed off, then you wait until the hide is almost dry and you start working it, pulling it in all directions. Pulling it over a top rail on a fence or banister is good. Soon it will turn from a damp bluish to white where you are working it. The timing has to be right as far as the almost dry part. So as you work it in a bigger and bigger area, the leather becomes soft and dry. The smoking is supposed to keep it soft even if it gets wet again. Other wise, it's back to the 'breaking' working, and as thick as their hide is, it really is hard work! Much more so than a deer or goat! A friend got reasonable results throwing the hide in the dryer without heat and throwing in a couple bricks. It became just a 'project' dryer after that !~ her husband just didn't understand needing to try these projects!
Sending it to the tanner, you scrape off the fat (a good fleshing knife does wonders! And a fleshing board helps even more) then salt until dry. If a hide is rolled or stores with any damp areas, bacteria may grow and the wool will slip. Then to mail it just roll it into a feed sack or fold it into the box directly and mail it off. Sterns does a good job for the least cost I've found. They are in Michigan. I have used Buck's County, too, and they do a good job, too.