Tanning hides

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awhoundsandguideserv
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Tanning hides

Postby awhoundsandguideserv » Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:39 pm

I am wanting to learn how to tan my own hides. As we speak I have 2 squirrels and a rabbit salting. However, there seems to be so many different way to tan hides, I've watched about 100 YouTube videos on the processes and honestly, I kinda got overwhelmed. So I figured maybe there is someone out here, that does this and can walk me through the process with like a "recipe" that would be great.

I'm not out to start a taxidermy business, that's the last thing I want to do. I want to tan hides and either use them as decor for the house or make like gloves or cases, scabbards, holsters, stuff like that. Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby pegleg » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:01 pm

Buying tanning solution is the simplest method not the cheapest but also saved labor. But pick a method and practice til you get it right
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby awhoundsandguideserv » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:09 am

Do you have a tanning solution that you prefer? And for smaller game how long do you let it soak before it's good?
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby david » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:50 am

Check out this thread on here in the big game hunting with dogs section. If it does not answer your questions, come back and let us know.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45679

I have done it with a home made solution of salt, alum, and water. As you said, there are several ways to preserve the hides. But all of them require a tremendous amount of work after the "pickling" takes place, in order to get the hides soft. Not to mention the work before the tanning. I don't think it really matters that much which tanning method you choose. They all come down to how hard you are willing to work at softening the hide afterwords.

It is a labor of love. I am glad you are starting with small animals. The smaller the better. If you could catch a mole, I would seriously start there. It would show you what you are getting into without setting you up for failure. Plus they have amazingly soft velvet-like fur.
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby Lee Wolford » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:15 am

I am a taxidermist and have been tanning for 16 years. You need to google mckenzie taxidermy supply and buy Pickling acid and a quart of Mckenzie tan. Follow the directions and your good to go. Very simple, don't make it more complicated than it is. If you need help or directions call me and ill hook you up. 208-791-8765 Lee
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby david » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:39 am

Lee, I talked to a taxidermist about tanning, he said his hides dry very stiff, and that is the way he needs them for the mounts. Maybe you could confirm this or set me straight if that is incorrect.
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby awhoundsandguideserv » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:23 pm

Lee thank you very much.

I know how hard they are to get soft. They are not fun. I have two hides here that my now ex tanned for me and then brought home and we would work then while we watched tv. I'll try and post some pictures of the squirrels I have. If you don't have Aberts where you live and haven't seen them they are imo the prettiest squirrel
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby pegleg » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:12 pm

A old drier with wooden balls tumbled in it is my first step to softening after the hides completely prepped. It does all the easy work quick and then you can find the tough spots. Some hides are delicate some aren't. But cats are. Bear and coon are my downfall. For some reason if it had hooves I can't ruin the hide even being forgetful . I do mostly use prepared solution anymore it just keeps things easy and simple. I did a couple cow hides into rawhide this summer and tried to slip as much hair as I could with out turning them green not much luck ended up scraping . but for leathers clean real well use the solution best suited to what you want and you should get close. I had the misfortune to have unlimited rabbit skins as a child to work with and Theyre similar to cat in fur and strength and being oil free. Squirrels have real different summer and winter coats and the summer coat slips quick and had to be handled delicately . some of the old potions have weird side effects or may if something goes wrong . so even if you go that route pick one and use it til it works or proves it won't
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby Lee Wolford » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:51 pm

Rabbits and squirrel's are very thin skinned and can be softend up with out much work, That is what i was referring to. With exception to a garment tan that tanneries use for clothing most synthetic tans are the same these days. If you tan 2 deer capes in the same solution (tan) they will both dry hard and stiff. For mounting purposes this is fine because the hide does not need to be soft. To get a soft hide the leather fibers have to be broken to get the soft effect. This is done by use of a big fur drum filled with 100 lbs of sawdust or cob grit, the hide falls inside of the drum and the combined weight of the saw dust and the drop break the leather fibers which make it soft. Both tans are exactly the same, one is mounted and the other is taken to the next step and tumbled. This can be achieved by hand if your willing to do a lot of work, breaking it over the edge of a table or broom handle.

Thin skinned animal's are easy to tan without much work, but when you get into thicker skinned animals like deer and elk then the leather has to be shaved down on a fleshing machine to get the soft leather. Lutan-f, liqua-tan, mckenzie tan and e-z 100 are all common tans today and can be used for both mounting and soft tanning.
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Re: Tanning hides

Postby awhoundsandguideserv » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:15 pm

Thanks guy for the info. My ex just got back with me and I went over to the shop and he showed me what I needed to get and gave me some info and step by step processes. I'll be ordering the stuff and will hopefully update with a success story lol. I keep trying to post pix of the squirrels but the image is "too big". Maybe I can find a way to post some pix of themy later when our Internet comes back on (good luck there) lol
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