Tanning a kid's hide in midsummer

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cyngbaeld, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I butchered a wether this morning and want to tan the hide, but it is HOT here. I have it soaking in Borax solution, but couldn't find anything that gave a time to soak in hot weather. After the borax soak and I scrape it, what would be the best solution to use to finish tanning it?
     
  2. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    lol - I thought this post was going to be about corporal punishment for children.. and wondered what the difference was between summer and any other time!
    :p
     

  3. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the summer, the welts from a peach switch can become infected..............
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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  5. Brighid1971

    Brighid1971 Well-Known Member

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    LOL! You and me both :D
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping to see an answer to this question, because I have a wether I need to butcher, and have been waiting because I was concerned about saving the hide, considering how hot it's been the last few days.

    Kathleen
     
  7. RachAnn in NW Okla

    RachAnn in NW Okla Well-Known Member

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    I read the title and thought "Dang what did the boy do?!?!?!"

    the I see the first 2 words "I butchered" and went "GEEZ...." and had to look at the Poster's name to see just who the psycho is!!!!

    whoops

    I dont know anything about tanning animal hides....sorry

    Rachel :bouncy:
     
  8. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I'm with everybody else...

    For me, it's easier to whoop Jonathan in Summer because he's usually wearing shorts and gives me easier access to the backs of his legs with that hickory-switch.
     
  9. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could you rub it down with NON Iodized salt. And then let it dry till cooler weather??? Or pack it in Rock Salt.That should keep it fresh,Dried ,More or less. Might mean more work later to tan it. But if you have it washed out and clean . It might be ready to streach.. I will try to find my book on this subject later and repost to let you know...
     
  10. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    I am so glad that I'm not the only one who jumped to those conclusions.

    ::Remind me to never tick off Cyngbaeld:::

    Nikki
     
  11. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Salt it, roll it, put in a heavy duty trash bag, put in the freezer.

    :)

    OH, I mean the goat skin, not the misbehaving child.
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    DD is 22, a little old to whoop with hickory sticks or anything else.

    Everything I've read says to tan hides in cool weather, but there is precious little of that down here. It doesn't even begin to cool off much before Thanksgiving. I rolled the skin up and put it in the fridge last nite packed with borax. Afraid if it winds up in the freezer it will be totally forgotten about before cooler weather. And I really wanted to use it pretty soon because this time of yr is when I'm in the house more and have a bit of time to sew. Too hot to be out much.
     
  13. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

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    I would salt it and freeze it until cooled weather arrives. Here is the process you could follow:


    CURING LARGE ANIMAL PELTS

    Small hides, such as rabbit, will dry thoroughly from air circulation alone, but large pelts must be salted. Promptly salt deer hides and other large pelts (such as coyote skins) to remove moisture, prevent spoilage, and discourage flies. The salting procedure may be repeated after the first application of salt becomes saturated with moisture, usually in two to three days. Dry hides may be stored as late as the onset of warm weather in April or May. Do not keep untanned hides or skins over the summer because they may deteriorate and be damaged by insects.

    Flesh the hide: Cut away any pieces of flesh that may still be attached after the hide has been removed from the carcass.
    Trim the hide: Trim any ragged edges on the hide, being careful to cut from the skin side.

    Salt the hide: Spread the hide, hair side down, on a flat surface. Sprinkle fresh, clean salt over the flesh side of the hide, using a pound of salt for each pound of hide. Be sure to sprinkle salt on all parts of the flesh side; rub the salt into the cut edges, neck, legs, and wrinkles. Remember, any unsalted spot is unprotected.

    To cure several hides at once, pile them with the hair side down, and salt each one on the flesh side. Be sure not to disturb the salt layer when piling on another hide, as this will cause unsalted spots and spoiled hides. Tilt the pile slightly so liquid from the hides drains away from the pile and doesn't collect on the bottom hide.1

    Dry the hide: In 10-14 days, hang the hide(s) to dry thoroughly.


    SOAKING AND CLEANING

    Before tanning, soften the skins and clean it thoroughly so it is free of flesh and grease. If you cured the skin, soak it in water to soften it.

    1. Split the tail the entire length on the underside. If the skin is cased, split it neatly down the middle of the belly.

    2. Soak the skin in several changes of clear cool water. Use a wooden barrel, large earthen crock, or 5- to 10-gallon plastic garbage can for all soaking and tanning processes. Never use a metal container, as the salt and tanning chemicals will react with the metal.

    While a skin must be soaked until soft, do not allow it to stay wet longer than necessary because the hair may start to slip. Soaking time depends upon the condition of the skin; some skins require only about two hours, while others need a much longer time.

    3. When the skin begins to soften, lay it on a smooth board and begin working over the flesh side to break up the adhering tissue and fat. (To work the skin, hold the skin taut and pull it back and forth over a the edge of a board.) All dried skins have a shiny, tight layer of tissue that must be broken up and entirely removed; this can be done by alternately scraping and soaking the hide.

    A good tool for scraping the tissue is a metal edge with dull saw teeth or notches filed in it. An old hacksaw blade works well. (The flint scrapers Native Americans used were good tools for this task.)

    Take care not to injure the true skin or expose the hair roots, especially on thin skins.

    4. When the skin is almost soft, put it in lukewarm water containing an ounce of soda or borax per gallon; you may also add soap to this solution. Use a paddle to stir the skin around in the solution. This treatment promotes final softening, cleans the skin, and cuts the grease.

    5. Lie the skin on a smooth board, flesh-side up. Work the skin with the back edge of a knife held nearly flat against the side. This operation is called "scudding" and is of utmost importance.

    6. Rinse the skin thoroughly in lukewarm water. Squeeze out most of the water, but do not wring the skin.
    If the skin is to be tanned with the hair on, proceed to the section on tanning.

    7. If you are tanning a deer hide into buckskin, remove the hair before tanning. To dehair, mix 4-5 qt hydrated lime with 5 gal water. Make sure the hide is completely immersed and no air is trapped in the hide. Soak the hide until the hair slides off easily with a push of your hand (6-10 days). Place the hide over a board and push off all the hair with the back side of a dull knife. Scud both sides of the hide.

    8. After the hide has been dehaired, soak it in clean water for four or five hours, then scud the skin again.

    Fill a container with 10 gal of water and stir in 1 oz United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) lactic acid, mixing thoroughly with a wooden paddle. (If you cannot get lactic acid, substitute 1 pint vinegar for each ounce of lactic acid.) Soak the hide into this solution for 24 hours to stop the action of the lime.


    TANNING

    Several tanning methods are given below. Salt and alum tannage (or tanning process) is the least expensive method and a good choice for the beginner. Alcohol and turpentine would also be a good choice for a beginning project on a small fur skin.

    ALCOHOL AND TURPENTINE TANNAGE

    This method is perhaps the easiest for small fur skins and has been used successfully with rabbit and squirrel skins.

    1. Mix the tanning solution.
    Use a large-mouthed gallon jar with a screw top. Add equal parts wood alcohol and turpentine to the jar to cover a small fur skin. A half pint of each is sufficient for a squirrel or rabbit skin.

    2. Shake or stir the solution each day, because the alcohol and turpentine will separate.

    3. After 7-10 days, remove the skin and wash it in dishwashing or laundry detergent water to remove the alcohol, turpentine, and grease.

    4. Rinse the skin well several times to remove the detergent.

    5. Dry the skin by squeezing, not wringing.

    6. When the skin is partly dry, proceed to the oiling and finishing process.



    OILING AND FINISHING

    Let the wet, tanned leather dry somewhat. While it is still quite damp, apply a coating of suitable fat liquor oil (such as sulfated neatsfoot oil). The amount of oil required will vary depending upon the natural oiliness of the skin. For instance, a raccoon skin, which is naturally very oily, will require proportionately less oil than a deer hide.

    1. Make the fat liquor oil by mixing 3 1/2 oz of sulfated neatsfoot oil with 3 1/2 oz of warm water; add 1 oz household ammonia. This fat liquor solution is for a 10-pound deer hide. Adjust the proportions for smaller hides.

    2. Place the hide on a flat surface hair side down. Apply part of the fat liquor solution to a portion of the hide and spread it evenly with a paint brush or your hand. Continue until one-half the solution has been applied to the hide. Allow the hide to stand for 30 minutes, then apply the remainder of the oil in the same way.

    3. Cover the hide with a sheet of plastic and let stand overnight. If several skins are fat-liquored at one time, they may be piled flesh side to flesh side.

    4. The next day, drape the skin, hair side out, over a pole or sawhorse and allow the hair to dry. Use an electric fan to speed the drying.

    5. Nail the skin, flesh side up, to a plywood board, stretching the skin slightly. Space the nails (no. 6 finish) every 5 or 6" around the circumference and about 1/2" from the edge. Dry the flesh side at room temperature.

    6. When the skin is nearly dry but still slightly damp, work the skin in all directions, stretching it from corner to corner and working the flesh side over a stake or a wooden edge, such as the back of a chair or piece of board clamped in a vise. The skin may also be worked this way through smooth metal rings.

    Success in producing a soft skin lies in repeated working, which must be done while the skin is drying out, not after it is dry. This process may be repeated several times if necessary; simply dampen the hide evenly and work it again while it dries.

    7. After the skin has been softened and dried, give it a hasty bath in white or unleaded gasoline, especially if the skin is too greasy. This bath also helps to deodorize some skins, such as skunk.

    CAUTION: Gasoline is extremely flammable and should be used outdoors away from fire or flame.

    8. To clean and brighten the fur, tumble it repeatedly in dry, warm sawdust - preferably hardwood sawdust. Bran or cornmeal may also be used. Clean the particles out of the fur by gently shaking, beating, combing, and brushing the fur.

    9. If necessary, the skin's flesh side may be smoothed by working it with a sandpaper block. This also helps to further soften the skin. If desired, thicker sections of the skin may be thinned and made more flexible by shaving off some of the skin or hide.
     
  14. ChickenMom

    ChickenMom Well-Known Member

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    I'm in North Louisiana and I just washed mine good, cleaned it up and rolled it in freezer paper so it wouldn't stick together and put it in the freezer until cooler weather. I'm afraid to try it in this heat and humidity.
     
  15. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    When I first saw the title of "Tanning a kid's hide in midsummer "

    I must have been half asleep ( reading this at 2:00 in the morning ) because I thought it said;

    Tanning a kid's hide is a misdemeanor :shrug:

    I figured this was another story of a parent that spanked there child, and a nozy neighbor has called the police and made a report.
    Now some crazy judge fines the parent because in there state spanking a child is against the law ( misdemeanor ) or something.

    Then I started reading the first line in the thread and I woke up :eek:
    to what was really being said.


    bumpus
    .
     
  16. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    First thought was someone musta done something pretty bad lol.

    I salt them, roll them up, put them in a bag and freeze them until cool winter. If I only have one or two small hides I will do them the same way until I have enough to do a large batch. If you wanted something that didn't take as much time I think WASCO has a tanning paste that only takes a couple of days. I don't have the catalog in front of me so I don't remember the exact time but I remember it being pretty fast. I haven't tried it but a couple of friends have and say it's pretty good. And yeah that's for animal hides not children lol.
     
  17. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

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    Redneckwoman:

    Who is WASCO?
     
  18. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    I shoulda typed it out. Sorry. My bad. Wildlife Artist Supply Company. They have a lot of things on their website but most of their stuff is in the catalog (the paste I mentioned isn't on the site but is in the catalog, they have a couple of kits on there though). Pretty neat things if you get into chemical tanning and taxidermy. http://www.taxidermy.com/
     
  19. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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