Author Topic: Best deer tanning kit  (Read 712 times)

Offline bones92

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Best deer tanning kit
« on: September 12, 2017, 05:03:10 PM »
Anyone recommend a good tanning kit?   My plan is to tan a few deer hides (without the hair on) to build up some deer leather for a future coat project.

Or does anyone here tan deer leather as a service?

Offline J Henry

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 06:14:55 PM »
 I have a book ,Home Book of Taxidermy and Tanning  by Gerald J. Grantz  from Stackpole Books formulas in the back might give it  try??

Offline rollingb

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:49:16 PM »
"Brain tanning" is the only way to go, if you have the deer and some spare time.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 08:20:48 PM »
Don't use any alum tanning recipes. They look really good initially, but decinigrate in a short time. Brain tanning, or a similar process done with FelsNaptha soap, if you don't want to mess with brains.

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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 08:38:48 PM »
Bark tanning works too. Oak bark is good. Decide on what sort of leather you want before tanning.
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Online smylee grouch

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 08:53:12 PM »
There are a number of people who brain tan and a lot of them are traders at most major rendezvous. If I were to make a coat I would have enough skins done at the same time and smoked together for a hopefully even color.

Offline bones92

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 11:30:10 PM »
I watched a couple videos on brain tanning.  It's not terribly complicated.  Much simpler than I expected.

I also watched one where the guy used egg yolks in lieu of brains, and it evidently works quite well, too.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 06:06:35 PM »
Soap tanning uses the same method as brain tanning ( which actually isn't tanning at all, it's  tawing). I have been told Murphy's oil soap works as well as Fels-Naptha, and is a lot easier, since you don't have to grate it, and desolate it. Once smoked I doubt an expert could tell the difference.

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Offline bones92

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 08:48:51 PM »
HH, do you mean just adding some Murphy's to warm water in lieu of brains (or egg yolks)?

Offline Shawn Henderly

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 12:52:51 AM »
Tawing is leather produced with minerals such as alum. Tanning is leather produced by vegetable matter such as oak or hemlock bark or sumac leaves. All most all the deer hides that the long hunters and native hunters sent to England were alum treated.Brain tanning is not tanned at all its just a rawhide well broken and treated with oils.  I have brain tanned a number of hides over the years and I can tell you it is work.

Offline David R.

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2017, 06:23:24 PM »
See if you can get a 55 gallon drum of elbow grease. It is a lot of work any way you do it.
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Offline David R.

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Re: Best deer tanning kit
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 03:28:35 PM »
I have done them with the soap (Fells Naptha).
Here is how I did it and turned out some nice hides.
I salted the hide on the meat side as soon as it came off the animal and folded it in half, skin side to skin side. Then roll it up and set it in a 5 gallon bucket to drain a couple days. Some folks don't use any salt but I found it makes fleshing the hide a lot easier. Next you lay the hide over a beam or smooth log or the like and scrape off everything down to the hide. If it is still hard to scrape or I don't finish fleshing the hide in one session I salt it again and back in the bucket it goes. Once it is fleshed I wash it good to rinse off the salt and while it is wet cover hair side with wood ash. Stuff it in a tub with water and more wood ashes and let it soak. Test it every few days to see if the hair will pull off easy. Add more ashes and stir it around till hair starts to loosen up, then leave it a couple more days. The hair on the back of the neck on a big old buck is always stubborn to scrape off.
Pull it out and wash it good and scrape all the hair off.
By this time you are starting to understand why the Indians went nearly naked.
It is a lot of unpleasant work.
Now if all the hair and flesh is gone and hide is well rinsed dissolve a bar or two of naptha soap in hot water and put the hide in the tub to soak. Pull it out and waller it aroud every day for a week or two till it gets pickled good.
Next stretch it on a frame and start working it with a paddle. Do this every day till your arms get tired. As it starts drying rub neatsfoot oil on and work it with the paddle. Do this a couple times a day till it gets softened up. Pull it off the frame and work it some more over a beam till all areas are soft. Now it needs smoked.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.