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Thread: Tanning hides / furs

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    Default Tanning hides / furs

    It is common knowledge that an animals brain is sufficiant to tan its own hide but few folks know about the use of acorns for the same purpose...No mess or bad smells... You prepair a hide as usual (I leave the fur on cause I use it for fly tying) and put it on the board fur side against the board... Gather the acorns and shell them... Grind up the acorn meats untill it is about like peanutbutter... Now that the acorns are prepaired,,,,,,,,,,,,

    (1) spread a layer of the acorn butter on the skin side of the hide...
    (2) when the acorn butter starts to crack and you see hide through the cracks go ahead and peel the acorn butter off the hide...
    (3) take the hide off the board and work it a little and put it back on the board...
    (4) you will have to do steps 1-3 2 or 3 times then your done...

    It works great and leaves the hide soft & pliable and no bad smell... Acorns has tannic acid in them and the darker colour yellow the acorns are, the stronger the tannic acid content is and thats why acorns are bitter tasting...
    Last edited by greyhawk; 10-06-2010 at 10:25 PM.

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    Guide Supporter jimmyt's Avatar
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    Good info. How long does it take for the "butter" to dry enough to crack?

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    You can also use a potash alum method or, believe it or not, a turpentine/wood alcohol method. Neither of these methods is better than another, but brain tanning is still my preference.
    *Note, brain tanned hides are more durable when smoked after tanning and before oiling.

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    I have a raccoon in the freezer I will pull out and give it a try. I'll let yall know how it turns out.

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    I've used regular table salt on rabbit furs. Works great but leaves the skin a little stiff. I then rub Neat's Foot Oil on them to soften them up and wash the oil off with warm water mixed with diswashing liquid.

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    Default Great post!

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhawk View Post
    It is common knowledge that an animals brain is sufficiant to tan its own hide but few folks know about the use of acorns for the same purpose...No mess or bad smells... You prepair a hide as usual (I leave the fur on cause I use it for fly tying) and put it on the board fur side against the board... Gather the acorns and shell them... Grind up the acorn meats untill it is about like peanutbutter... Now that the acorns are prepaired,,,,,,,,,,,,

    (1) spread a layer of the acorn butter on the skin side of the hide...
    (2) when the acorn butter starts to crack and you see hide through the cracks go ahead and peel the acorn butter off the hide...
    (3) take the hide off the board and work it a little and put it back on the board...
    (4) you will have to do steps 1-3 2 or 3 times then your done...

    It works great and leaves the hide soft & pliable and no bad smell... Acorns has tannic acid in them and the darker colour yellow the acorns are, the stronger the tannic acid content is and thats why acorns are bitter tasting...
    Thanks! I have been looking for a post like this

    Does it matter how old the acorns are in relation to falling from the tree?

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    It takes around 2 days for the cracks to start forming in warm sunny weather... As for the age of the acorns, the newer fallen they are the better... Once they dry out they loose the natural oils and wont work properly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckdan View Post
    I have a raccoon in the freezer I will pull out and give it a try. I'll let yall know how it turns out.
    How do you keep it from eating all your food???

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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhawk View Post
    It takes around 2 days for the cracks to start forming in warm sunny weather... As for the age of the acorns, the newer fallen they are the better... Once they dry out they loose the natural oils and wont work properly...
    I guess I will have to wait until next year

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    I've got a bear hide (skinned him last night) and have never tanned a hide before but want to practice on him. I was going to use salt and alum but this sounds interesting, just not sure if I can get enough acorns to grind up for 3 applications to an entire bear hide! Thanks for posting this, maybe I'll be able to give it a try on something smaller scale first.

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