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Deer hide tanning help
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Author:  David [ 12 Jan 2013, 23:36 ]
Post subject:  Deer hide tanning help

Hello tanners,

I've tanned five hides with the hair on and all have turned out great. I used the orange bottle "trappers hide tanning formula". This is the first time I've tried to do a buckskin with the hair off. I soaked the hide in water to loosen the hair, scraped off all the hair, then applied the tanning formula after the hide had soaked in a salt bath. The hide is now air drying and it is turning "see through" in many places. I can literally see my hand on the other side of the hide! Is that normal?


Author:  Musselshellgal [ 12 Jan 2013, 23:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Deer hide tanning help

I can't advise you because I don't use that sort of tanning method. I know the old trappers cabins sometimes, used nearly transparent antelope hides for windows. Maybe you can find a market. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Ok on second thought. Is there no working the hide required when using the tanning solution?

I don't know if this helps, but in our method, when we prestretch the hide, we prestretch it, which whitens it out and makes it sort of flexible. We're always sure to work over the lacing holes too and get them as white as possible. If we don't, the lacing holes turn a yellowish, are very stiff and tend to break later on in the process, the softeng specifically. Try working the hide side to side while its wet, both before you apply you tanning solution, and after and work the hides occasionally till dry.
I'm sure I gave nearly the same advise today on another thread concerning hides, sorry if Im repeating myself.
The top shows a little over half of the hide having yet to be prestreched, and the lower of course shows a properly prestreched hide, white right to the edges.
Unfortunately this one didn't make it into my field guide. So take note. Might have to figure out how to fit that in.
the lower photo is how your prestreched hide should look. Its always easier to get stretch when the hide is still wet. As it dries it will stretch less and less. The sides should be done early on as they dry first. Notice how the lower edge of the hide is a bit more uniform across the bottom. Your hide can be somewhat reshaped during the prestretching. If your making moccasins or calf leggings, you won't want to thin the hide quite as much, but still do it some, to open the fibers to in our case, brains and smoke.

Author:  doc9013 [ 13 Jan 2013, 00:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Deer hide tanning help

I've used lots of tanning formulas but never the stuff in the orange bottle. Never had a hide I could see through, except for one I did one time and it dried out before I could work it to soften it, and it was semi-transparent. Sounds like this might be the case.

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