[Chemin-noir] RE: [BFS_GENERAL] deer hide tanning

Macdonald, Matthew D [ITS] mmacdo01 at sprintspectrum.com
Mon Nov 17 07:44:58 PST 2003

 ***warning***  If you don't like blood or gross out easily, you may want to delete the email now.


I got the brain tanning book from Tandy, and had a similar dilemma, only I was in the Outlands, so of course, it was an elk. (hide was about 70-80# wet)  Tannery in a box will work, but I went old-school (like making your own egg drop soup from scratch, not recommended for everyone).


--note-tannery in a box will negate the following instructions, as they use new-fangled chemicals to treat the hide.  


First first first... you need to salt the hide to keep it from decomposing.  I got a 50# bag of salt, and laid the hide hair-side down on the garage floor, and rubbed salt in until I had a ½" layer of salt all over the thing.  This also includes cleaning up the hide so that it is skin only.  MAKE SURE you use a big plastic sheet, tarp, what ever.  Something you are not too attached to would be best... this stuff has a relatively unpleasant odor, and it is a lot of blood that will be draining out.


Once the whole hide is packed with a layer of salt, roll it up and stick it end-first into some sort of large container.  A brewing bucket is the right size, but only if you've ready to retire the bucket.  I used a huge kitty litter bucket.  I made a mistake.  The hide drained out about 40# of fluid... which overfilled my bucket and formed a meandering blood puddle under the garage door and starting down the driveway.  Luckily I got home before the neighbors did.  Once this hide is all drained and dry, (you may have to re-salt once or twice) you have rawhide.  Step 1 is done. 


Step 2 is tanning.  Well, soaking out the salt, dehairing the skin, boiling up some calf brains, rubbing it into the hide, working the hide over a stump (or getting your 'squaw' to chew on it), ect.  This makes the hide soft and supple.  I can detail it out if need be, but I'll wait to hear if you went with the $30 Tannery in a box, or the 50# of salt route.  ;-)  In hindsight, I might have tried the tannery in a box.  But I figured I was going to save a few bucks by going the traditional route.  Just be ready to invest time, elbow grease, and eat well before you start the project, because my appetite was ruined for days.






-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Stewart [mailto:skerritheviking at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2003 3:15 AM
To: barony forgotten seas; Cum an Iolar; ansteorra
Cc: ottokar luther vonholstein; Incipient Canton of Chemin Noir; calonlist
Subject: [BFS_GENERAL] deer hide tanning


A co-worker of mine that does black powder hunting is giving me a complete untreated deer hise in about 4 hours.  How do I tan it?  If you want, you can e-mail me off-list at skerritheviking at yahoo.com 


Ld. Skerri


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