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Thread: Brain tanning

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    Default Brain tanning

    I have brain tanned a few hides over the years. I am by no means a expert by any stretch of the imagination. Last year i found this site with a slightly different method it seems to be a little easier to me. It worked out well dor me so i thought you guys might like it.
    The bigest difference is the pre-smoke before braining and that the brains are mixed in water so it soaks in well without trying to rub in a even coat. Let me know what you think.
    http://www.tuckahoedanceteam.freehom...m/custom4.html


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    Just thinking on starting leatherwork...so in a couple of years, I may use this to start tanning my own hides!

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    Great post! Alot of time saving info there.

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    Thanks. Very useful since I'm attempting to brain tan a deer hide I got a few weeks back

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    Thanks! Great info. Something i will try very soon. I have used other tanning methods but never brain tanning.

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    I read a saying once a while back. "Every animal has enough brains, to tan it's own hide." Tried it once on a badger. I don't think I fleshed it enough because it rotted. Talk about stink!

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    yea you have to get all the meat off and the membrane thats beyond it it will start to look kinda fuzzy when its ready to to finish. personally i like to use a wire brush to finish getting the rest of the membrane off

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkXstar View Post
    I have brain tanned a few hides over the years. I am by no means a expert by any stretch of the imagination. Last year i found this site with a slightly different method it seems to be a little easier to me. It worked out well dor me so i thought you guys might like it.
    The bigest difference is the pre-smoke before braining and that the brains are mixed in water so it soaks in well without trying to rub in a even coat. Let me know what you think.
    http://www.tuckahoedanceteam.freehom...m/custom4.html

    I too, have used this method in the past with very good results. Instead of brains I substituted egg whites. To me, it worked as well as brains....

    Kaywoodie

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    i really need to try this.

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    Default Thoughts on Tanning

    The Beam: A fleshing beam is a quick and easy way of taking the meat, fat and hair off of a skin. If you do a lye soak, you can easily remove the grain, too. It's a great tool if you set it up right.

    Unfortunately, I see a lot of them set up poorly. The reason for this, I think, is that folks see examples in old photos and simply mimic that.

    In an article I wrote for the Bulletin of Primitive Technology many years ago, I spoke of small muscles in the lower back and how weak they were compared to the muscles in the upper back, shoulders and arms. Look at any pro body builder



    and you see just how small they are in the waist compared to the upper torso. The Latisimuss dorsi, Deltoids, Trapezius, Triceps and Biceps all play a part in pushing a drawknife through the gunk on a hide and they are all significantly larger than the Spinal Flexors found in the waist.

    So, when you step up to a steeply-angled beam and simply use your body weight to push through the meat and fat, you're using gravity more than anything else. Then you have to stand up straight, fighting gravity with a very small group of very small muscles. This is why a lot of tanners complain about back pain!

    What I do, and strongly recommend, is that you use the body more efficiently.

    By raising the beam up so that it hits you just below the sternum, and leveling it out so there's only a slight angle, there's no bending over. You push with the strength of your arms and shoulders, and you return to the start position with the strength of the arms and shoulders. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!

    Do you go slower because of this? Absolutely not. Not only is my control of the blade better, but I don't get sore and tired towards the end. This is especially important if you are working several hides!

    And one KEY trick is that I place a foot-long long piece of 1"x8" lumber between me and the board.

    Not only does this keep me a bit back from the sloppy wet hide, but it provides a comfortable place to lean into. Think about the set up like it was a vise. The beam provides one jaw of the vise, and you are the other. The problem is that you're flabby self makes for a lousy vise jaw! Trust me, I'm very flabby.....

    By placing the 1" lumber between me and the skin, I have a nice comfortable place to lean into and the skin is pinched snugly between two hard vise jaws.

    It's more comfortable, cleaner, and more efficient. And, my back doesn't hurt even after a few hides are cleaned and ready for the freezer!

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