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DaveyDTune won !!! Yea !!!
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Author:  Musselshellgal [ 06 Jan 2013, 13:36 ]
Post subject:  DaveyDTune won !!! Yea !!!


Now that I mentioned having a drawing for one of our SUNDOG TRADERS / MUSSELSHELL MADNESS DVD and Field Guide, I'm excited about going ahead with my plan.
The drawing will cost you nothing. All you need to do is submit your name to me through a PM on this site, I will send you a conformation to let you know I received your name, wrote it on a piece of paper, folded it and put it in a container. On Feb. 14th my grand daughter, will draw a name from the container and I will announce it on WAT. Sounds like a big production huh? :mrgreen:

I personally did the filming and editing of the DVD ( I'm pretty sure it was during that process that I lost my mind!) So it's not professionally done. There is some wind noise in a couple scenes and squeeking of the tripod. It was my idea to create and include the Field Guide, which I havn't seen any other braintanning video include. It's purpose is to keep you in sequence through out the process without having to run back to your DVD with hands covered in deer hair slime to see what step comes next and what to look for at the end of each step. The humble little field guide is made from a 4x6 photo album so the photos are somewhat protected from the mess of tanning and elements.
We did our first VHS tape under the business name of Musselshell Traders, way back in the mid 90s. Since tanning is an ongoing learning lesson, some of our techniques have changed drastically. Our technique has a few more steps than some other ones, but we have strived to work less on the hide, meaning less time hands on, and aren't so worried about the amount of steps involved.
The pre-smoke method was used in the northwest long before the coming of the white man. Some sites tell you if you work on a hide and it won't soften and if all else fails... to pre-smoke it. We just do it from the get go and rarely have a hide that doesn't soften. When we are able to work together, we turn out over 200 hides a year, all clothing quality. If it's not up to our standards, we wont send it to a client.
As a benefit, you will see a near murder during the prestrething step, when Joe and I were afraid to turn our backs on the other with a hide tool in their hand. haha. It was one of those rare days. I should have just stopped filming but was very eager to finish the DVD. He went on strike ( darn professional tanners! :mrgreen: ) so I had to show the prestretching :roll: , which is really the most important step in our process.
To pique your interest, here are some random photos of our process.

Joe working the band before the softening step
various tools we've used over the years and yes that's a yoho
salted hides stored next to the shed
my son's first hide, we did the fleshing and dehairing for him, he did the rest so are you as capable as a second grader? lol
Cottonwood punky wood, a braintanners Gold.
hide being dehaired
Joe working hard on hides, not on strike this time !!! :mrgreen:
trailer full of Montana Mule deer
More dehairing
a nice size mule deer
wringing the hide
measuring an elk ( when your both tanners, hides CAN be done in the living room :mrgreen:
A mornings work at the hide shed where cats and mice coexist in harmony. :mrgreen:
A perfectly done soft beautiful hide clothing quality super duper deluxe :mrgreen:

To pique your interest even further, if you want to see what brain tanned leather looks like, Pm me your address and I'll send a sample. Dont worry about me stalking you unless you live within Saint Lucie Co in S. Florida as I can hardly afford to drive out of the county !!! haha.

Author:  trappintime [ 06 Jan 2013, 18:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

You my lady know some stuff that I'm super glad you managed to document.[damb it Keith we do need a bowing smiley] That is a lot of work and I for one would be proud to win it but if,n I don't I surely would like to purchase one. What a grand idea to be giving one away the way you have decided to do it. :D :D

Author:  Musselshellgal [ 06 Jan 2013, 20:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Dont forget, if you want to be included in the drawing, you need to PM me and I will confirm I received your PM and enter your name. This is so much fun !!!! :mrgreen:

Author:  trappintime [ 06 Jan 2013, 20:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

I'd of made them show their butt cracks :shock: . :roll: :lol: :lol:

Author:  doc9013 [ 06 Jan 2013, 21:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Why would you want that DVD trap ? :--? :--? :--? The key word in brain tanning is .................. BRAIN.

Author:  trappintime [ 06 Jan 2013, 21:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

I'd be smart enough to watch someone follow the steps. :wink:

Author:  TrapperKD [ 08 Jan 2013, 20:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Great post. Got it stickied for a while...

Author:  TrapperAL [ 09 Jan 2013, 14:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

doc9013 wrote:
Why would you want that DVD trap ? :--? :--? :--? The key word in brain tanning is .................. BRAIN.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Author:  TrapperAL [ 09 Jan 2013, 14:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

I will definitely be picking your brain MSgal.....I have some beautiful beaver pelts that I tanned but they are like potato chips and I have no idea how to soften them. I bet wringing them would help.

Author:  Musselshellgal [ 09 Jan 2013, 19:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Im not so sure about wringing them, Wringing is pretty brutal and I wonder if you'd have any problem with damage to the hair.

I worked for a taxidermist in Oregon, whose beaver also came out less than soft, sort of potato chippy as you described. I suggested he let me try putting them on a frame and working them with a hide working tool that way, so he built a couple different size frames and hide working tools. I poked small holes around the beaver hide and laced it onto the frame and worked the beaver side to side to open the fibers of the hide, and they did improve in texture, but not as cloth soft as his clients would have liked. The main problem I had was the lacing holes breaking if I applied too much pressure. I don't think that would have been a problem if I'd been able to work that pelt before it had ever dried out after being tanned. Once it dried out potato chippy, the edges of the hide were sort of papery and brittle.

I don't know about tanning anything but deer and elk using brains. Im afraid Im limited as to giving advice about much anything else concerning tanning other critters.

I do know that our method we use for tanning deer and elk is not suitable for fur bearing animals simply because of the time the pelt would be in the water and the fact you sure wouldn't want brain solution on the fur.

So anyone I've known who have tried brain tanning beaver, go back to making a thick past of the brains and rubbing it in with a coarse stone like pumice, letting that dry partially and applying another coat, while also working the beaver skin.

One of the local rancher kids who lived near us who was interested in tanning, built himself a pretty neat "tool" He took a large cottonwood stump, with a diameter wide enough so the stump didnt fall over, cut off a shovel head and inserted the head into the stump so that the curved part was up. He'd sit in front of it and work hides that way. Very labor intensive for deer simply because of the size of the critter, but for beaver I think it would be perfect.

Author:  trapperrick [ 13 Jan 2013, 13:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Very generous of you Musselshellgal!

PM Sent!

Author:  TrapperAL [ 14 Jan 2013, 13:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

Thank you MG for your frank information :)
I tanned these beaver using a wet tan called Lutan F, which I purchased from Van Dykes. I have used it 3 times now and love the product and service from the company. One of the things I have read is that during the brining process is a good time to 'thin the hide.' I guess somehow tanneries shave the hide down a uniform amount, making it easy to break and become supple. How they do this is a mystery to me :? There is an advertising cd from a guy that makes a hand held pnematic fleshing tool and I have seriously considered purchasing one, though they are kinda spendy and I dont really know if they would work for my application. Besides I am only tanning a few hides a year. Nothing like you guys :shock: I am thinking about re-soaking the hides and trying to breaking them from the wet stage. Your story about they neighbor that used a stump and a shovel is a good one. I tried a dull axe head in a vise, but couldnt really get it to work. That was from a dry state...wet will work better (positive thinking!). Thanks again for the help!

Author:  Musselshellgal [ 14 Jan 2013, 15:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD and Field Guide

One of the unusual steps in our deer and elk tanning method is almost always working the hide side to side. It made an amazing difference as opposed to lengthwise, which actually pulls the fibers together. Hang a wet hide lengthwise, and as it dries it pulls together and becomes narrow and tight, being very stiff when dry. Hang a hide sideways when wet, and the weight of the hide pulls the fibers apart and the dried hide is much more flexible. I had the brain storm once of hanging a metal fence post along the lower side edge while the hide was hanging, but it really didn't make that much of a difference. :? We actually start this sideways work in the very first step of fleshing as we flesh the hide sideways too.

Knowing this, if I were going to tan a beaver hide, either with brains OR with a chemical tan, I'd definitely do some side to side work on it. BEFORE the tanning solution, brains or chemical is applied, and as with making leather, don't stop working the hide until it's dry. By don't stop I dont mean work it constantly, but just occasionally until it's dry.

Another step in our tanning of hides is the prestretch step. the hide is put in a frame then the thick areas like the neck, most of which we cut off, along the back and the hips is worked from side to side to open the fibers that run from neck to butt. To spread them apart. This not only thins the hide on these thick areas, making it more uniform which is ideal for clothing construction, but makes the hide easier to tan because the fibers are open. It also makes for a slightly larger hide.
I'd suggest you try this side by side working BEFORE you apply the solution. And see if it makes a difference. Like I said, I' haven't tried to tan a pelt, but if I were to, and based on my experience with tanning hides, I'd give it a try.

I have no information on Frank :mrgreen:

Author:  black dog [ 17 Jan 2013, 17:25 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD DATE CHANGED FEB.1

Are the dvds for sale as well?

The idea of a shovel is a good one, I used to use a long handled round mouth shovel, wedged into the roo bar (bull bar? bar on front of vehicle :lol: ) to give my skins a workout on- it worked really well

Author:  Musselshellgal [ 17 Jan 2013, 17:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD DATE CHANGED FEB.1

Wow, I'd love to see that done. We have found that a hide tool with a narrow dull blade works best for us. This is our favorite one that we race to the hide shed to see who gets it first. We've had many different ones, but this one allows more pressure psi as opposed to a wide blade.
The third from the left is our best hide tool ever. Even the one I had that taxidermist make for me to work his beaver with, was the same, narrow and dull. Sometimes we'd use the wider bladed ones for squeeging out excess water or brain solution. We had a tool we liked even better, an old ax head welded 90 degrees to a steel pipe for a handle. Not sure who came up with that one. :lol:

The price of the DVD and accompanying Field Guide is $40. Post paid.
If you want it autographed by me it's an extre $300 :mrgreen:

Author:  Jeff Piersol [ 31 Jan 2013, 18:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Drawing for Braintanning DVD DATE CHANGED FEB.1

Tomorrow is the big day. Yippeeeee :D

Author:  Cast [ 01 Feb 2013, 10:31 ]

I hope I have some birthday luck going for me on this one....

Author:  bronco2 [ 01 Feb 2013, 10:38 ]

my addres is

denny clevinger
p.o. box 112
bastian, va. 24314

no wait. i haven't won yet...sorry i will be waiting....lol
:shock: :--o :o :--? :--D :mrgreen:

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