Introduction: How to Tan Rabbit Hide (with Egg Yolk)
I am going to show you how I tan a hide. It is not the only way, it may not be the best way. It is my way. My way is cheap, easy, and quick. :)
Step 1: Materials
To tan a rabbit hide you dont need much.Every hunters has his own way but for me this works just fine.
All you need is: a rabbit
Step 2: Skinning
The skin of a rabbit is very thin so you dont even need a knife.After you have skinned him take a bucket of water and wash the skin to take off dirt and blood(no need for scrubbing).
If you dont know how to skin a rabbit here is a video that helped me:
Step 3: Stretching and Salting the Skin
Take the skin and nail it to a board to keep it stretched.I like to use finish nails. Staples do a lot of damage and are hard to remove. Large nails put large holes.
Put a 1/4 to 1/2 inch(0.6 cm to 1.3 cm) layer of salt on the exposed hide. This is an optional step that I always do. The next step takes time. I usually let it sit in the salt for a few days. If you do not have the time to do it right away, salting will preserve your skin until you are ready. It can also make the next step easier.
Step 4: Fleshing and Tanning
Remove all of the salt, brush off as much as possible. Take a dull knife, spoon, file, or anything handy and start scraping all of the meat and fat off the skin. You kind of push it off. Depending on your skinning skills, this can take a long time, or no time. All of the fat and meat must be removed. If you do not have time to finish, just re-salt and you can start back up later.
I use egg yolks to tan my hides. This is a version of brain tanning. I prefer it because I don't have to dig around for the critters brain. If you have an extra brain laying around you can substitute it for the egg yolk. I used one egg for the rabbit skin, it was barely enough. beat the yolk until it is smooth. Gently rub it into the skin. You should cover every bit of the skin, but it should not get on the hair side of the skin. Now take a wet rag and cover the skin to keep the egg from drying out and let it sit over night.
If you need to keep the flies away cover the rag with borax.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Remove from the board(dont worry about the holes you can sew them) and wash the hide to get rid of any salt,egg or borax off it. While the skin is still damp work it over a rope,board or anything smooth to soften the skin.
Smoking the hide gives it a measure of waterproofing. If you don't do this and the hide gets wet, you will have to rework it. Smoke over very low heat with a hard wood for about 30 minutes. Don't cook it! I have a smoker, which is great for small hides, but for larger hides you may have to use a fire pit.
Thank you for viewing this instructable ,i hope you have a good time. :)
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What kind of salt did you use? Non-iodized or regular table salt?
How long do you leave the egg yolks on?