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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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preserving deer skin

looking for help on preserving a deer skin with hair on.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:31 PM
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Re: preserving deer skin

Skin preparation-
You will need to turn the lips and nose and turn the ears. Then
scrape the flesh and fat from the skin. Lay it out on a table that has one
end slightly elevated, and salt it well. Use plenty, salt is the cheapest
thing there is in taxidermy. The hair won't set if you don't use enough. I
completely cover the skin with salt ( you can't even see the skin) If fluids
puddle anywhere on the skin the hair will fall out where the puddle was. Let
it overnight, and shake it off the next day. Scrape it again, and salt
again. You are now ready to start the skin into the Acid pickle. Rinse the skin in dawn dishwashing liquid to remove all the dirt and blood stains. Then rinse in clean water until all traces of soap have been removed.
Use fine white dairy salt. Never use iodized salt or table salt!

Recipes: Use a plastic container….NEVER put these solutions in a metal container!

Acid Pickle-
1 gallon water
1 oz. Acid (sulphuric or formic) OR 3 oz citric acid (note:the citric will work the best for the home tanner as it is easier to ship)
1 lb fine white dairy salt (not iodized table salt)
Notes:
use enough to completely submerge the skins
Light skins one day , Heavy skins two days
NEVER add water to acid--ALWAYS add acid to
water.

Alternate method acid pickle:
2qts. white vinegar
2 qts water
1 lb. of salt

Tan-
20 Gallon water
5 lbs. 8 ozs. Aluminum Sulfate
5 lbs. 8 ozs. Salt
1 lb. 2 ozs. Sodium Formate
Notes:
light skins leave in two days, heavy skins leave in four or five days
You will need to neutralize the skins with 30 oz of sodium bicarbonate –twice- fifteen minutes apart. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda available at the grocery store. I neutralize the tanning solution.

Now you will need to apply the oil. The skins natural oils were removed during the acid pickle. Any good furrier oil will work. As it dries you can work it over a hide breaker to soften it. You can build a hide breaker by using a scrap of steel cut to resemble a half moon and placing it in a vice.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: preserving deer skin

thank you for info sorry to make you post it twice as I read this the other day I was thrown of by the term tanning it I thought that ment to turn it into leather. I am not looking to wear it but hang it on the wall with hair still on it
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 01:43 AM
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Re: preserving deer skin

to hang it on the wall with the hair still on, it needs tanned. which i guess is turning the skin into leather...but the hair is on...unless you have it done with the hair off...

could also take it to a taxidermist to be tanned or send it to a tannery if you dont wanna tan it yourself....
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 02:07 AM
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Re: preserving deer skin

Quote:
Never use iodized salt or table salt!
I did about ten years ago and stll have the hide to this day laying on the floor in my bedroom!

I just skinned it out, cut and scraped all the meat and fat away, and then salted the crap out of it. I left it like that for over a month if I remember correctly. It turned out just fine.

But Huntingfnatic's advice seems to be a little more thorough, so I would suggest going with that.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 03:43 AM
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Re: preserving deer skin

If you can find it, use Trappers Hide Tanning formula. The bottle gives step by step directions on how to tan with hair on. Costs about $9.00 a bottle.

I did my first skin that way, and have it sitting across an end table.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: preserving deer skin

thanks for info I think I will try the salt method I figure trappers back in the day only had salt and there skins turned out ok.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:39 PM
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Re: preserving deer skin

If you don't tan it... the bugs will eat it along with any wool you happen to have hanging around. For the small cost of tanning....I'd go with that.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:58 PM
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Re: preserving deer skin

arrowhead is right...if you want it to last, dont just salt it.

for a short time, it may be fine...and maybe you can get lucky and it may last a while...but if i wanted it to last, i wouldnt just salt it...

if you ship it directly to a tannery, you can have it done and shipped for roughly 50$ which isnt bad...to get the same quality tan at home and have it soft like they come back from the tannery, your looking at buying the tanning solution plus doing a fair bit of work to break it and make it soft...

your hide...you can do what you please with it...but i wouldnt trust just salting it...ive just salted tails and they always get eaten...even had maggots pop out of stuff i just salted....

if you do just salt it, make sure you flesh the hide good or the salt wont get through well enough to even dry it...moisture will stink, then mold..then bugs...just salting is going to leave a dirty stinky hide anyways...
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:12 PM
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Re: preserving deer skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaPa hunter
Quote:
Never use iodized salt or table salt!
I did about ten years ago and stll have the hide to this day laying on the floor in my bedroom!

I just skinned it out, cut and scraped all the meat and fat away, and then salted the crap out of it. I left it like that for over a month if I remember correctly. It turned out just fine.

But Huntingfnatic's advice seems to be a little more thorough, so I would suggest going with that.
I originally posted that tanning receipe....Look guys...I have been doing this for a long time now...and there are no shortcuts that I know of. If you follow the directions as posted...don't cheat anywhere...you will get a very nice hide. If you choose not to follow the directions....you won't get what you wanted....it's as simple as that.

There is a reason I never use Iodized Salt...the hair falls out when you put it through the tanning process. It won't all fall out....just in patches. Not a pretty sight.

It's your hide...do with it as you wish. JMHO

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