The Difference Between Various Brain Tanning Methods: page 3
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In wetscrape, the wet hide is thrown over a  smooth log (or pvc pipe) and scraped with a tool that has a distinct, but dull, edge. This edge allows you to remove the grain layer where it naturally separates from the skin. 

Most people find wetscraping to be faster and easier, but because you aren't scraping as deep you need to put more effort into getting good brain penetration. Wetscrape is used for making buckskin from deer, elk, antelope, or moose. It was used by Native peoples throughout North America.


  1. Scraping is considerably faster.
  2. Don't need a frame, or to spend time lacing the hide into a frame.
  3. Can be done in virtually any weather above zero Fahrenheit.
  4. You use a dull-edged tool, which means you don't need to re-sharpen it regularly, and its fairly easy to scrape with primitive and improvised tools.
  5. Tend to make less and smaller holes
  6. You don't leave tool marks


  1. Can't thin really thick hides like Buffalo.
  2. Need to do more to get good brain penetration.
  3. Its wet.
Related Articles
More pictures of wet scraping setups can be found in the scraping section of the Gallery

Backs and Beams
, gives you ideas for how to make a scraping beam that is more comfortable for your back.

The Various Methods:

Several different methods have been developed to make it easier to get really good brain penetration (and thus softer hides with less work) with wet-scrapes. These methods were all traditionally used by Native people's too (if you read the ethnology's you'll notice that different tribes used different methods, and even within the tribes, different tanners had different techniques they preferred). The three most popular of these are known as Pre-smoking, Bucking and Straight.

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