Back to goat pelts for a moment...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by AndreaNZ, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Been looking through the archives and the internet a bit... I apologise if this has already been addressed here.

    I had 4 bucks done on the weekend, and the butcher saved the hides (in very good shape, I might add!). I was going to tan them myself (using the salt and alum method that Mama Johnson described in a recent thread), and I still intend to, but new time committments have come up in the meantime. Can I just pop them into the freezer (they're already folded properly) until such time as I can take care of them, or will that damage them?

    Thanks
    Andrea
    NZ
     
  2. Won't damage them a bit. I save many deer hides this way until I can get around to scraping them. In fact sometimes it is a little easier to scrape them if they are still partially frozen. All that meat and fat seem to come off a bit easier. If you haven't scraped hides before it will take you in the neighborhood of one hour per hide. So plan a day when you can have at least half a day to scrape all the hides. After scraping you can throw the hides back in the freezer until you are ready for the next step (salt and alum mix).
     

  3. Sorry the next step is not the salt and alum solution. The next step is to salt the hide down, roll it up and let it drain for a day or so. Then it is placed in the salt and alum solution.
     
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where does one find alum?
     
  5. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    I decided to send my 2 in to Bucks County Fur Products. I sent them yesterday via UPS. Once I receive them back, I'll let you know the results.

    It did seem to be easy enough to do yourself, but I don't really have any room (except in the barn) for the salt water & alum water, but it would freeze anyway! It is supposed to only cost me $15 - $17 per hide, so it was worth it for me to send them out.

    I don't know if this helps or not, but the local butcher (who does alot of deer) just lets the hides pile up (after being salted properly). They are in a cement "bunker" with no heat, & once he gets a large pile auctions it out to the highest bidder. (So I would think freezing them would work, or just let them salted and work on one or two as time permits.) Good luck.
     
  6. Hey Chuck I'm still waiting for your hunting results here in Oklahoma.

    Chuck, you can buy alum at your local feed co-op store. It comes in 50# bags and cost about $9.00 per bag. I use a ratio solution of 1 cup salt, 1 pound alum, and 1 gallon water. Mix enough to cover how ever many hides you are doing. Warning: Deer hides float due to the hair being hallow so you will have to keep it weighted down, therefore you shouldn't do more than 2 hides at a time or it will take a whole lot of weight.

    $15 -17 is extremely cheap compared to all the labor you will have in softening just one hide, not to mention the price of all the stuff you have to buy when doing it yourself. You figure approximately $3.00 in salt, $9.00 in alum (which will do more than one hide), $4.00 for neets foot oil, and 30 - 40 cents for a bar of soap. That along comes up to $17 just to get started on the first hide.

    It makes me weary of what kind of product mike smith will get back. The last time I checked into haveing a tannery do my hides it was going to cost me about $60 each.
     
  7. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    Well, thanks r.h. in okla! Now I'm starting to worry! :confused: I'll let you know for sure what I get back & if I'm satisfied.
     
  8. AndreaNZ

    AndreaNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone -- I'll go pop them into the freezer then! One other thing - a couple of the pelts have a bit of blood on them (they're white); will this come out in the tanning process?

    cheers
    Andrea
    NZ
     
  9. Andrea, yes the blood will come out. When I'm doing the hair on I usely wash my hides after the second scrapeing. I put about a half cup of borax soap in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water and then place my hide in it and slosh it around for a few minutes and then rinse. Borax soap will remove all blood and oils from the skin making it better able to soak in the pickling solution.

    Mike, sorry to make you worry. I hope they come out for you okay. If they do I definetly want their address cause I could send them a couple hundred skins next year and make quit a bit of money from them. Around here tanned with hair on sell for around 70 dollars and hair off (tanned leather) can go up to as high as $125. That would be quit a markup if I could get them done for $17.