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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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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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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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VaPa hunter said:
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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Look arrowhead, no doubt you know wayyy more about this than me. In fact, I know nothing about tanning or preserving a hide.

All I can say is I tanned nothing. I shot a doe late in the year, skinned it out, cut away the meat, and just salted it. (table salt)

Ten years later it has all the hair intact, is not breaking apart, and still looks nice. I guess I lucked out, but it is possible I suppose.
 

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One way to display a hide without tanning is to flesh it good and complete, wash it with soap and water then rinse with clear water to get the grime out, dry the fur/hair as much as you can, then rub borax into the flesh side of the hide and fluff the powder in and under the fur, then tack the hide out to dry. Then groom the fur out, or brush the hair. It won't be soft and never will be, but can be hung on a wall to display and the borax will keep it pretty well bug proofed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks I remember you had a post on a deer tail that I am trying .I was woundering why that wouldnt work for a whole hide. so if I got it right tanning is just to soften it to make it workable.
 

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Ok...I just read my post above again...It comes off a little rude today...and please accept my apology if anyone has taken it that way. I'm just trying to help anyone here that would like to try to tan a hide. (and keep them from making a mistake) I'm sure there is a great sense of satisfaction to those who will spend the time and labor involved...in knowing that you did it yourself.

VaPa hunter you didn't tan it so you are good with that hide. The hair would have fallen out if you had tried to tan that hide. Salt will keep a hide for a very long time...just remember it isn't bugproofed.

Brian477...there is a tannery here in pa called East Coast tannery. Do a google for "brain tan" or "tannery" and you will come up with a bunch of them. Some of them require you to have a business license. I know that New Method in Ca. does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks arrowhead for info, I dont think you came of rude for the record.its funny about the tannery though I live by a historic site called lehigh tannery you would have thought that someone would still have atannery around here but I cant find one.the tanning process bugproofs the hide is that right?
 

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Tanning doesn't 100% bugproof the hide. Buddy of mine got fur moths in his house getting on his mounts. He has mounts from different taxidermists but they are all tanned, his bird mounts I assume borax or dry preserve. I don't know if he got rid of them totally or not. I suggested combing borax into the fur and hair and using scented moth killing packets.
 
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