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How do you tan a squrrel or rabbit hide after you salt it????? Answered


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user
Re-design (author)steveastrouk2010-08-01

That's an excellent link. Tanning DOES NOT produce soft skins. To get soft skins you have to work the tanned hide. READ step 6 on page 6 of the link steve gave.

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user

Why not just chew the pelts? It was good enough for the Native Americans....

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user

Sometimes we must suffer for our art. ;-)

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user
orksecurity (author)2010-07-31

You've looked at "curing small animal pelts" under Related at the right, right?

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user

yea i have looked at them all and i never got a straight answer i want some nice soft hide

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user

See Steve and Re-design's comments above. Tanned hides don't start out soft. Hence the phrase "as tough as tanned leather."

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user
Pippikins (author)2011-03-21

If it was scraped well, smoking it helps soften the hide after you salt it or brain it. You want to smoke the hide side not the fur side for about 2 hrs or until you like the look of the color then completely bag it for a couple of days while it sets.
Here's a thing I found about salting hides and there's a recipe for tanning at the bottom.
Salting Fresh Skins

Fresh hides right off the animal should be cooled immediately. Trim off any flesh and scrape visible fat from the hide. Place the skin in the shade, laying it completely flat with the fur side down, preferably on a cold concrete or rock surface. When the skin feels cool to the touch, immediately cover the fleshy side completely with plain, uniodized salt.

Use three to five pounds for a sheep or deer skin. Don't skimp.

If skins aren't salted within a few hours of removal of the flesh, you might as well forget it. They will have begun to decompose and will probably lose their hair during processing.

Transport the skin flat. We've had problems with predators gnawing the edges of skins, so put the hide somewhere out of reach. You don't need to stretch the skin; just make sure it is perfectly flat, with no curled edges. If you've lost a lot of salt while moving the pelt, add more. The salt will draw moisture from the skin and liquid may pool in low spots. Just add more salt. Let the skin dry until it is crispy. This may take a few days to a couple of weeks. When completely dry, the skin is very stable and won't change or deteriorate appreciably.
Tanning Recipe

When you're ready to tan the skins, assemble the following:

7 gallons water
2 pounds (16 cups) bran flakes
16 cups plain or pickling salt (not iodized)
2 large plastic trash cans (30 gallon) and one lid
4 foot wooden stirring stick
3½ cups battery acid (from auto parts store)
2 boxes baking soda
wood rack or stretcher
neat's-foot oil
nails
wire bristle brush

This recipe makes enough tanning solution to tan four large animal skins; or ten rabbit skins; or about six medium-sized pelts such as groundhog. (Cut the recipe in half for fewer skins).

https://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/how-to-tan-a-hide.aspx

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user

Ok thanks but that battery acid sounds alittle iffy lol but how long do you leave is in that tanning solution?

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user

I just copied and pasted from this site:
https://www.motherearthnews.com/modern-homesteading/how-to-tan-a-hide.aspx

but someone replied to this article saying:
"First, I'd rather use a different method, so as to not have to deal with toxic battery acid. Not only on my hides, but in disposal. Second, rabbit hides do NOT need to be tanned with an acid. lay flat (slit up the belly), salt, and sprinkle with alum (like you use for pickling), fold flesh side in, and roll up neck to tail, and pack into zip-lock freezer bags until you are ready to process. Give it at least a couple days in the freezer, with the salt, before processing. Pull out the fur you want to process, lightly rinse off excess salt, but don't saturate your fur. Scrape the flesh off, starting at the tail and work towards the neck. It rips easy, so be firm but gentle. Once fleshed, hand wash in your favorite mild detergent or shampoo, only using squeezing action, never wring it. Rinse well, squeeze out excess water. Blow dry for a bit to kick start the drying, and fluff the fur a little. Hang in a warm, dry place, out of reach of pets. Once they are nearly dry, but still cold feeling (damp), start stretching and working. Work each fur a while, then let it dry more, before working it again. As you work the fur, the hide becomes white, soft and pliable. If it doesn't soften enough the first time around, dampen the hide, and start again on the stretching."

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user
Pippikins (author)2011-03-21

I've done taxidermy before from ages 12-16 but I bought a tanning solution and long lost and forgotten my books and magazines.

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user
frollard (author)2010-07-31

There are a lot of instructions here on this very site. https://www.instructables.com/pages/search/search.jsp?cx=partner-pub-1783560022203827%3Anpr2q7v5m6t&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=tan+hide

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user

but not to tan those are to dry it out i want it like all soft

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