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Thread: Tanning Hides and Furs

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    Tanning Hides and Furs

    Does anyone else here tan their own hides and furs?

    I've been tanning hides since learning from my grandfather after my very first successful hunting trip, everything to deer hides to squirrel pelts. Some of my very first were bark tanned using boiled white oak bark solution, and in my teens I started braintanning. I like the philosophy of using the entire animal and the idea of throwing away good leather is disgusting to me. Its alot of hard work, but to my mind a home tanned hide or pelt is something to be proud of

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    That's something I wish I knew more about. I love working with bone, antler, and leather, haven't had much luck with fur ( squirrel tails disintegrate after a year...)

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    I have some dried pelts I would like to tan. We don't have oak trees here but I was going to try out some of that stuff in the blaze orange bottle. What do you think of it?

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    Don't use the stuff called tanit in a white box I have tried that and it did not work well on deer hides. It did however work pretty good on a beef hide.

    You don't have to use oak to get tannic acid from to tan with I don't know what kind of trees you have up there but maybe some others are high in tannic acid.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    I will just have to fiddle around with the squirrel hides (I have a pile of them) before I risk screwing up a nice fox hide.

    I also pluck all the quills out of porcupines I zap (livers are like beef livers... mmmm) and save the tail-fans of the grouse I take. I pin them to cardboard and dry them fanned out.

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    are those ruf grouse? and if so are they the brown color phase or the grey color phase?

    When I get grouse around here they are the brown phase but in Michigan I get the grey color phase.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G Baughman View Post
    Don't use the stuff called tanit in a white box I have tried that and it did not work well on deer hides. It did however work pretty good on a beef hide.

    You don't have to use oak to get tannic acid from to tan with I don't know what kind of trees you have up there but maybe some others are high in tannic acid.
    Thats exactly right I've used spruce, sumac and walnut bark, however tannin also colors the leather and I like the more mellow color I get from oak, sumac and spruce. Be sure to mix the solution weak and stengthen it gradually, your generally looking at about 3 months or longer for a deer hide, depending on the thickness. Also the hide will need to be stirred occasionally and checked to make sure its completely immersed.

    Braintanning is more work but I prefer it because its still quicker than waiting on the tannins to soak through. Also if something else comes up you can freeze the hide until a better time to work, thaw it and go back to work.

    Zimobog, I've never used a ready-mix solution so I dont know

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    We have ruffed (brown with black tail stripe), spruce (grey with brown tail tips), and sooty (grey with black), G. All of them taste good.

    Sorry about the off-topic, Horseman!

    Spruce and birch predominate here, but we have poplar (cottonwood and aspen) and shrubs like alder, elderberry, willow and mountain ash. Do you use the leaves/needles or bark?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zimobog View Post
    We have ruffed (brown with black tail stripe), spruce (grey with brown tail tips), and sooty (grey with black), G. All of them taste good.

    Sorry about the off-topic, Horseman!

    Spruce and birch predominate here, but we have poplar (cottonwood and aspen) and shrubs like alder, elderberry, willow and mountain ash. Do you use the leaves/needles or bark?
    No worries, Zimobog I love grouse hunting To answer your question you can use all three, basically what you do is simply boil a tea out of it, use a pot you dont care to lose, because the tannins will discolor/ corrode the metal.

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    Have you tried it with the hair still on?

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