We're having 4 4-month old bucks going to the butcher next weekend... I'd love to be able to tan them myself, but I find the info I've read so far (mostly from the internet) is just confusing me. Any sage advice from this forum?
THANKS, MamaJ! That method sounds cheap and easy and just the thing I will try! I've got a rabbit skin from a bun that I did a couple of days ago (but I tacked it in the woodshed for drying... is that ok to start with that?) to "experiment" with. Same amount of washing soda as alum?
I buy large 50# bags of alum, salt, or lime at my local co-op feed store? I can't remember which one cost more the alum or the lime but one of them cost around $6.00 per bag and the other cost around $9.00 per bag. If your just doing one hide you could just buy several boxes of salt from your local grocers. But if you are doing more than one you can buy 25# sacks of salt from some grocers also or buy from a feed store.
For tanning with hair on you will use both salt and alum, for hair off you will use the builders lime.
If you want to learn how to tan with hair off (making leather) a good book to get is called "Deerskins into Buckskins" by Matt Richards. This book simplifies how to make leather and it will take you step by step on how to do it. I've been making buckskin for a couple of years now and it is not hard to do once you've done your first one.
Andrea, you should still be able to tan that hide, if it isnt too dry. Soak it for a few days in the brine first, and then go from there..
A good place to order allum is through Vandykes Taxidermy Supply in South Dakota. 1-800-843-3320. I havent done buckskin yet, but it is on my list!
When I used the feed store salt I found it was a little too course. Pickling salt works real well. (There have been times when that was all I had!)
It has been awhile since I did a search, but I think I did find alum online somewhere..... try potasium alum or ammonium alum, they both work.
Glad I had some useful info!
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