Those hard-to-soften super thick hides

cybrmarc
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cybrmarc
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October 2nd, 2011, 11:39 pm #1

Up until about a year ago I could soften any hide that came my way.  Then I met a ~15 sq. ft. buck hide, and I softened it....4 times, to no avail.  Multiple eggings and wringings and all that.

So then I met a guy named Mark Humpal who taught me about pre-wringing with a detergent soap (I use fels naptha) to break down the hide glues, especially in those thick hides.  And then egging/braining.


So I've been okay MOSTLY, except when I tan certain hides.  I get hides that have been caped (had the top half taken off) for taxidermy.  And some of these hides were so big originally, that just the haunches look to be the size of an average deer hide.  I just tried tanning one of these, with the pre-soaping technique, and it came out stiff along the back and haunches.  I haven't learned bucking/acidifying yet, so I'm working on learning that, but other than that, is there some trick to getting these thick hides soft?  Also...I soften on a rack and then cable afterwards, which gets me out of most stiffness situations, but this hide just plain won't soften, even with aggressive cabling.


thanks,
-Marcus
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Quillsnkiko
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October 3rd, 2011, 3:44 am #2

I actually like caped rear ends of hides. My brother gets me quite a few of them. I dry scrape and do not buck.I find they soften fairly easily . I do not use a cable .Ive also never tried presoaping a hide .I seldom soften in the frame either. I do it by stretching with my hands & feet and moving the hide over a staking tool set at about waist level.Using brains might help you.I do not use eggs either . I have the most problems with necks. and that is really not that much of a problem......Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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paskinner
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October 3rd, 2011, 6:32 pm #3

You could try running the hide through several cycles in the washing machine to get more of the hide glues out. But, if you going to do that, might as well buck it first.
I did a thick elk a few weeks ago. Although it took three brainings/workings it was not too bad, but I buck and rinse and acidfy everything.
My feeling is that eggs don't have near the amount of oils in them that brains do. Try using brains and doubling the amount generally recommended.
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cybrmarc
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October 3rd, 2011, 6:53 pm #4

paskinner, do you do the hides in the washing machine on a warm cycle? im assuming not hot of course.
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paskinner
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October 3rd, 2011, 8:48 pm #5

cybrmarc,
The way we have the hot water tank set up, it never gets hotter than I can put my hand in. But, yes, I use up all the hot water rinsing out hides. Dishes can wait...
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cybrmarc
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October 4th, 2011, 1:11 am #6

thanks paskinner.  and real men eat their food on scraps of birch bark with twigs they cut to size with deer teeth, and last time i checked, those don't go in the dishwasher.

I live in a community with a shared washing machine...not sure if i'll try out the hide thing or take it to town.
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YTBM
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October 5th, 2011, 1:59 am #7

Smoke it, re-brain, wring and soften.
"The world needs both perfume-makers and tanners; happy is he who is born to be a perfume-maker, woe is he who is born to be a tanner."
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cybrmarc
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October 6th, 2011, 12:12 pm #8

Thanks...I ended up cabling it REALLY HARD, and the tough spots would get to a point where they would warm up and loosen. I don't like to rely on the cable so heavily though, so I'm entering the world of bucking. Just annoying with all the soaking and waiting...I'd like to get it down better so I'm not waiting a week for a hide to be tannable. Then again...buckskinning was never a push-button operation, was it...?
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paskinner
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June 21st, 2017, 1:32 pm #9

To the top.
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beardedhorse
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June 22nd, 2017, 11:04 pm #10

You can thin the hides by dry scraping so the overall thickness is more uniform.   Less hide equals less weight, less drying time.   If you dry scrape you don't need to buck, neutralize, rinse and acidify.    Aging the hide for over a year in a warm or hot place such as an air and water tight metal can or on the ozan above the sleeping area in a tipi will break down some of the ground substance and make pulling a brained hide much easier.      Wrote this down and posted yesterday but don't see it so re submitting now.
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Tyrannocaster
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June 22nd, 2017, 11:40 pm #11

That is strange, as I read it yesterday but now I don't see it either.

EDIT: found it. It was in a different thread: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/reply/ ... ply-556343
Last edited by Tyrannocaster on June 22nd, 2017, 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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river rat
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June 23rd, 2017, 9:39 am #12

i had the same issue beardedhorse. that was on my post.
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JoyDelight
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January 10th, 2018, 10:53 pm #13

I have a ferral hog I am desperate to learn how to get the fat off. It is thick at the shield is the thickest. Trying cutting deep layer of fat into shield and cutting out the squares. Having to resharpen very often. Got any advice... I am wearing out.

Jan
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Quillsnkiko
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January 11th, 2018, 10:19 pm #14

Wish I could help you Jan....but I know exactly nothing about thinning pig or wild hog hides. Ive butchered myself ..alone maybe 8-10 domestic pigs....and ended up burying the hides because I had the meat to take care of. That was actually before I started braintanning....and I have no idea how I would have fleshed or thinned a pig hide. I remember how thick they were and it almost seemed like there was NOT a definite line between the hide itself and the fat. It Might be a little more defined on a wild hog hide. I'm not sure...Possibly fleshing it partly frozen....??? then thinning the hide down with a dry scraper???? in the thickest places.

I doubt that helps you much at all. Sorry.... Quills Ps.....glad to see you back.....
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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JoyDelight
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January 12th, 2018, 2:06 am #15

Quillsnkiko wrote: Wish I could help you Jan....but I know exactly nothing about thinning pig or wild hog hides. Ive butchered myself ..alone maybe 8-10 domestic pigs....and ended up burying the hides because I had the meat to take care of. That was actually before I started braintanning....and I have no idea how I would have fleshed or thinned a pig hide. I remember how thick they were and it almost seemed like there was NOT a definite line between the hide itself and the fat. It Might be a little more defined on a wild hog hide. I'm not sure...Possibly fleshing it partly frozen....??? then thinning the hide down with a dry scraper???? in the thickest places.

I doubt that helps you much at all. Sorry.... Quills Ps.....glad to see you back.....
It's good to be back and to see you so active!  My freezer is full of deer hides, and the hog is killing me, lol. 

 I sharpened my heavy duty scraping devise, and still have my older hand held flat scraping tool for when I can work it on the beam. I washed the mildew out of the large plywood board with bleach. I am going to tack the two pieces that are as tall as I am to the board. Then going to try the salt method to melt away the fat. I just need a little help from anyone. 

Here is my email address if anyone want to advise me tjintaku@gmail.com

For example, what size of tacking nails do I need? I'm just guessing at this. I did read everything I could find on how to do this and maybe when I get the hides tacked down and salted it will be easier. 

Help appreciated!  Jan
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Quillsnkiko
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January 13th, 2018, 1:02 am #16

Tacking nails??? you mean nails to tack that pig hide on a board??  If that's what you mean...If it was me Id get some sinkers.....about 1-1/2 - 2 inches long...then you can use them for other things as well. That kind of nail is slimmer than a penny nail.. (not as fat) and has a head on it. Plenty substantial to hold any kind of hide on a board  or whatever. Go to a place that sells nails. A lumber yard or farm store, hardware store and look at em.

I've never heard of melting the fat  away with salt. I'm not sure what you mean by that either.

Best thing would be to get the fat off the hide as soon as you can. Lots of fat means grease burns....which results in weakend hide. Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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JoyDelight
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January 13th, 2018, 4:05 am #17

Quillsnkiko wrote: Tacking nails??? you mean nails to tack that pig hide on a board??  If that's what you mean...If it was me Id get some sinkers.....about 1-1/2 - 2 inches long...then you can use them for other things as well. That kind of nail is slimmer than a penny nail.. (not as fat) and has a head on it. Plenty substantial to hold any kind of hide on a board  or whatever. Go to a place that sells nails. A lumber yard or farm store, hardware store and look at em.

I've never heard of melting the fat  away with salt. I'm not sure what you mean by that either.

Best thing would be to get the fat off the hide as soon as you can. Lots of fat means grease burns....which results in weakend hide. Quills
Quills.... I am going to try scraping more fat off. I sharpened all my scrapers... so if one gets dull I can use another.

Salt comes after I get the fat off... sorry for confusion. Got the tacks today and non iodzed salt.

Have to cut the plywood in half to accommodate each side of the hog. That's how I found split down the back.

This is quite a challenge. I found a good resource... if you want to see it so will post it.

PS I think some of the scrapers were from you. I will take photos of my 5 scrapers.

Tjintaku@gmail.com is my email.
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Quillsnkiko
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January 13th, 2018, 4:16 am #18

Sure ...I'd love to see some pictures here. Post em!~!  Are you going to sumac tan or braintan? Ive heard tell of a couple of guys who were wanting to find out about tanning wild boar hides.

Quills
" You can't stop the waves .... but, you can learn to surf."
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JoyDelight
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January 21st, 2018, 12:59 am #19

Quillsnkiko wrote: Sure ...I'd love to see some pictures here. Post em!~!  Are you going to sumac tan or braintan? Ive heard tell of a couple of guys who were wanting to find out about tanning wild boar hides.

Quills
20180119_182018.jpg
Last edited by JoyDelight on January 21st, 2018, 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoyDelight
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January 21st, 2018, 1:03 am #20

This girl wants bore hide tanning instructions. I am stuck in the fat saddle part. Took my sharp knife to cut out as much as I could. I have two 5 inch diameter containers full of fat out of one hide. Got it pinned to a board. Thinking I need to salt it now... BUT still lots of fat is on it HELP some one.
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