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yeah not the kind where you sit in the sun either

who has been successful in home tanning, fur on or fur off what methods did you use

I have several ***** now and hope to have a few deer hides by next week hoping to tan them as the buyer is paying so little not sure it's worth it to sell them , I would like a pair of buck skins by spring before rondevouse a fur vest or hat would be nice also
 

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Several years ago I wanted to tan some deer hides, dye them and then use the hair for tying flies. I ordered Rittel's EZ-100 tanning kit. I think Rittel is out of business, but it looks like someone else is offering pretty much the same product.

http://www.taxidermyarts.com/p-4022-ez-tan-ez-100.aspx

I have to admit that I did not closely follow the times stated for salting, pickling, etc., but the end product turned out to be usable for me anyway. The hides are just a little on the stiff side, but the hair took the dye well and the hair set well into the hide and did not come out during the dying process.

If I had strictly followed the directions I think that the hides would have come out much better and would have been useful for making clothing or such.

To give you an idea as to how badly I followed the directions:

The directions would state to leave hides in pickling solution for two or three days and I stretched it out to two or three weeks. I am pretty sure that I did the same with the salting process.

TRellis
 

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If by chance your wanting to take the Hair off and using Wood Ash to loosen it up. Make sure you rinse with water well and wear gloves.

I didn't do either. Thought my fingers were just cold. Washed them, lost the Skin and meat off all my fingers, took forever to heal.

big rockpile
 
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Brain tanning is my favorite way of tanning hides. There are tons of videos and books available that describe the steps, so I won't go into that.

I will share a good tip: There are enough brains in the animal to tan it's own hide. If for some reason you don't have the animal's brains, buy some pork brains in the meat department of any well-stocked grocery store. Works a treat!


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When I want to make a wall hanging or floor covering out of a deer hide, and if softness is not a requirement, I use Borax. (This can be found in the laundry department in just about any grocery or big box store.)

After fleshing out the hide thoroughly, and making sure every last trace of fat and meat is cleaned off, I rinse it well, then shake excess water off the hide. I blot it dry with old towels and such.

After stringing the hide onto a homemade rack (Indian-style), I sprinkle lots of Borax onto the fur side of the hide, working it deep into the fur with my fingers.

(I like to use many individual pieces of twine to tie the hide to the rack, rather than use one long one. That way I can easily and quickly tighten or loosen sections of the hide as needed.)

Then I position the rack—flesh side up—onto blocks or rocks, bricks or what-have-you to allow for air circulation. (Best location is out of direct sunlight, and protected from rain.)

After the rack is securely in place, I sprinkle a heavy layer of Borax onto the flesh side of the hide, taking care to cover every bit of the hide, without shaking loose too much of the Borax from the fur side.

After a day or so, the Borax will be wet or very damp with moisture pulled from the hide. When this occurs, I stand the rack upright and brush off all the Borax from both sides of the hide. Then I work in lots of fresh, dry Borax into the fur side, and add a good layer to the flesh side as before.

This process is repeated every few days until the hide is perfectly dry. After all the moisture is drawn out and the Borax remains dry, I leave it like this for a few weeks. (I am happy to tell you that no pesky flies, or any vermin will be interested in a Boraxed hide!)

I still have beautiful deer and coyote hides that I did this way almost thirty years ago. They have stood the test of time without a single hair slipping out, nor did any of the hides go rancid. The deer hides pretty much remained a little stiff (not a problem for wall hangings or floor coverings). However, the coyote hides softened up quite a bit over time.


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I have tanned some in the past, both the tannit and borax works well. The neighbor now trades a full size hide for a pair of real deer hide gloves or mittens....doesn't take long to have a nice box full of gloves and mittens...they work really well for Christmas presents if you know somebody that needs them...LOL!
 

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Trellis-If the hides are stiff you can "break" them. It takes quite a bit to soften them up to "garment" quality.I enjoy breaking hides in front of the TV but an easier way I have found is to disconnect the heating element in the dryer and throw a few hides in with an old pair of sneaker. It does a great job!You'll still have to work over the head/nose area but other than that a few trips through the dryer does a lot!

CS- Second that(BORAX)! It'll keep'm bug free for ever if you re-apply once a year.

Pete. I have always used the alum tan method. I think it gives you one of the better quality hides. It's not brain tanned but it's not bad. I know a few people that had to shop around and ended up with shrunk up,off color,rubbery hides I wouldn't wrap around a bow riser!There's a lot of stuff out there that produces outcomes you may not like.
That being said, I saw a clip recently that looked worth trying. I think it was something like "rx1000"? I'll have to look it up.

Wade
 

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Trellis-If the hides are stiff you can "break" them. It takes quite a bit to soften them up to "garment" quality.I enjoy breaking hides in front of the TV but an easier way I have found is to disconnect the heating element in the dryer and throw a few hides in with an old pair of sneaker. It does a great job!You'll still have to work over the head/nose area but other than that a few trips through the dryer does a lot!

CS- Second that(BORAX)! It'll keep'm bug free for ever if you re-apply once a year.

Pete. I have always used the alum tan method. I think it gives you one of the better quality hides. It's not brain tanned but it's not bad. I know a few people that had to shop around and ended up with shrunk up,off color,rubbery hides I wouldn't wrap around a bow riser!There's a lot of stuff out there that produces outcomes you may not like.
That being said, I saw a clip recently that looked worth trying. I think it was something like "rx1000"? I'll have to look it up.

Wade
Since I was just using the hides for the hair to tie flies I was not too worried. I heard about and tried the dryer method of breaking hides and it worked fine.

Previously I have only used borax for thin hides like those of birds. Again, the hides were saved with the feathers intact solely for tying flies.

The RX1000 stuff that you mention sounds similar in chemical makeup to the EZ-100 that I used.

TRellis
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wonder if my cement mixer could be used with some old shoes to break the hides , might have to take the agitators out

I could also just turn the dial to no heat on the drier also and run them that way , alum , that I could do it is cheap and easily available at the bulk foods store
 
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