Tanning / Curing Hides at home cheaply?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Brando, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Brando

    Brando New Member

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    Hi Everyone

    New to the forum, meet a few of you at Toby's 2km shoot. What an awesome weekend!!!!!

    I was wondering if anyone here has done any tanning/curing?

    I have recently had a go with a goat skin using Kero and baking soda and seems to have worked out alright, little bit stiff but I'm fairly happy with it and had a lot of fun with it.

    I washed the skin, salted it , scraped it ,stretched it out , applied kero and baking soda a few times, gave it a work over with a bit of pumice and left it in the sun one afternoon.

    Are there better ways to cure a skin other than kero and baking soda or a better way to do it?
    I'm not really interested in buying a tanning kit that does one skin for $60 - $80 but there seems to be a lack of places that sell tanning supplies here in NZ.

    I have read about people applying vegetable oil on the skin at the end ?? I haven't , should I or use something else?

    My dad runs Scottish Highland cattle on the farm and we have a skin or 2 in the freezer, anyone here ever done a cow hide? Can it be done at home, or will it become a fluffy piece of plywood?

    Here's a couple of pictures what I ended up with, any advice/help would be great.

    Cheers :thumbsup:

    View attachment 57544 View attachment 57545
  2. MSL

    MSL Well-Known Member

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    The kits can make up a lot of tanning solution, my sister did 4 goat skins in a big plastic bin, probably could have fit a couple more
  3. MikeB

    MikeB Well-Known Member

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    Hey mate grab a bit of 4x2 and work the skin over it to break up the fibres and it'll soften up. Kero and baking soda works just fine but word of warning, don't carpet a hut with them or the rats will tear out all the hair for nests and make one unbelievable god damn mess

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Dundee

    Dundee Well-Known Member

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    Hi Brando like Mike B said once you have the skin cured beat the fuck out of it.I use a piece of alkathene it breaks the fibres down.Had a possom skin cured in 84 think it got biffed in 98
  5. 300CALMAN

    300CALMAN MIA somewhere in Nam

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  6. robhughes-games

    robhughes-games Well-Known Member

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    Kero and baking soda isn't really tanning. Just stops it rotting. Bark tanning works. But a lot of work.
  7. Kiwi-Hunter

    Kiwi-Hunter Well-Known Member

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    tanning and pickle mix

    Here is a mix I was given that works well, Tanning is a lot of work in my book.
    Still if you get into a flow and have the time, these products are cheap the salt is un iodized.
    You will still have to work and brake the hide after tanning.
    Anything else you what to know ask (the forum):thumbsup:
    PM me if you have questions and I will try and answer them.:smash:

    (Keep you mixture at about 20deg C)
    100 grams of salt to each litre of water (do about 5 litres for a possum)
    Add formic acid until water is ph 2
    Add the skin and stir often (not hard)for the first couple of hours
    soak small skins for a day or two, remove and see if you can get any more membrane and fat from the skin.

    Keep at about 20deg C
    100 grams of salt per litre of water (do 5litres again)
    Add Novaltan until ph 3.5 to 4
    Soak for a day for small skins

    Remove from the tan and spin dry (or leave to drip for an hour or two)
    Should be tanned and ready to mount .
  8. P38

    P38 Well-Known Member

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    Check out this brain tanning website for some good tips and techniques.

    Braintan.com: Natural Hide Tanning and Leathercraft

    Back in the 80s I did some goat skins using a tannin tea made from leaves and bark.

    After the skins had been tanned and dried then we oiled them with neats foot oil before breaking the skins over a half round post to soften them and be prepared to put in a lot of elbow grease during the softening process.

  9. Ryan_Songhurst

    Ryan_Songhurst Well-Known Member

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    Have seen skins tanned using eggs which worked pretty well, the reason brain tanning works is due to the protiens found in the brain, and much the same protiens can be found in eggs.
    Theres a youtube video of a bloke doing it, tans using eggs, then "cures" the skin over a smoky fire before working it to soften.
  10. Chris

    Chris Well-Known Member

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    A skin I did recently Brando with Alum & salt tanning
    I use Leaders Leather lube to break the skin ,apply a coat while skin is drying.
    Available from Hunting & Outdoor supplies ,500ml will do 2 or 3 Fallow size skins .

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