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The Pre-Smoking Method:    page 2

Storing the Hide

Freezing

If you are not going to go ahead with the tanning process then you will want to store the hide. Ideally, freezing it is the best way to go. If you are only doing one or two then you can fold the hide, flesh side to flesh side, roll it up tightly, tie it and stick it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer until you can get to it. In fact any time during the tanning process, if you are interupted and can not work on the hide for a few hours or days you can freeze it without damage to the hide or the tanning process.

Salting

You can salt the hide and it will keep for quite a while like that. Keep in mind that if you have many salted hides and have them stacked up on top of one another, there will be heat generated within the pile that could cause the hides to rot (ed. note: while this is possible it is not typically a problem, storing salted hides stacked is common practice).

Drying

You can also hang the hides to dry AFTER they have been fleshed. If you leave meat and especially fat on the hide and dry the hide, it can get what we call grease burned and when you go through the process of tanning the hide will fall apart. If the hide has been fleshed well, then it can be hung and dried and will keep for years as long as bugs don't get at it. Joe lost over a hundred hides a few years back due to little burrowing bugs.

Bulk Strategy

We usually buy hides twenty or more at a time, some are salted but most are fresh. We try to get as many fleshed and dehaired as possible then they can be rolled up small and frozen or pre-brained as we most often do to them. We'll discuss this later.

(For more on hide storage, see the braintan.com tutorial Storing Hides)

De-hairing the Hide

Soaking

After the hide has been fleshed and you decide to continue the process, place the hide in a plastic garbage can half filled with water. Stir it once or twice to make sure all surfaces are in contact with water. Weigh the hide down with a cinder block or stump to keep the hide totally underwater. Even in cold weather the hide is most often ready to be de-haired the next day. The idea here is not to slip the hair but to thicken the grain enough so that when it is removed, the hair comes off with it.

Scraping

Place the hide on the PVC pipe so that the neck is closest to you as you will want to scrape the hair off in the direction it lays naturally. You should use old clothing and water proof gloves. Joe takes a large garbage bag and cuts the end out, than slips it on like a skirt. This way it can be thrown away after a few uses instead of hosing rain-gear off. The hair on the neck is always more difficult to remove than the rest of the hide. Once you get past the neck the rest of the hide will be relatively easier. You can recognise the grain as a brown/pinkish layer at the roots of the hair. It is important to remove as much as possible but not necessary to get 100 percent of it.

Different sections

The neck, down the back and the hips are the thickest part of the hide. As you get toward the sides of the hide, the hide gets thinner and you won't want to press as hard as it is easier to put a hole in the hide.

Membraning

Once the hide has been de-haired, we flip it over and pass over the flesh side again, more of the membrane will come off because the hide is not padded by the hair still being on like it was in the fleshing step.



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Traditional tanning information, resources and supplies.

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Brain tanned DeerElkMoose, CaribouAntelopeBuffalo hides, direct from the tanners.



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Raw hides.

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Introduction to brain tanning,

Caring for your hides, Learn how to get started.



Over 240 pages of informational articles & tutorials.



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at The Hide Out!

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Internet braintan.com

 the braintan.com button

Traditional tanning information, resources and supplies.

240 pages and growing...


Brain tanned DeerElkMoose, CaribouAntelopeBuffalo hides, direct from the tanners.



ToolsBooks, VideosKits, Crafting Supplies

Raw hides.

creditcards.gif (2957 bytes)


Introduction to brain tanning,

Caring for your hides, Learn how to get started.



Over 240 pages of informational articles & tutorials.



Discuss This!

at The Hide Out!

Ask questions or share your knowledge and experience.



Contact us, Consulting services, Press room, Backcountry Publishing.



Traditional Tanners Catalog.

Order a Traditional Tanners Catalog.


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