Fur Removal - Buckskinning

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Hota

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Hi All,

I have a question about fur removal from a hide. I have read that i need to use slaked lime. Does anyone know where I can get hydrated lime? I went to home depot and in the fertilizer department they have gardening lime. Will that work? I thought it needed to be caustic lime and didn't see that on the bag a home depot. I also read that I can use a gallon of wood ashes. Can that be bought? I don't have a fireplace nor anyone I know. I prefer to not bury the hide since the ground is frozen solid.

Is there another method?
 

chipper

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You can soak the hide in plain water until the hair slips. No chemical needed.

Regards
Wounded Knee
 

Bill Austin

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Hota, the hydrated lime is available at most gardening or feed stores. I use about 2 cups to about 10 gallons of water and stir twice a day till the hair will just rub off.If your wanting to braintan you can soak in plain water and then scrape hair and grain off at the same time.
 

bnail

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Loyd said:
You can soak the hide in plain water until the hair slips. No chemical needed.

Regards
Wounded Knee
I soaked my hide in the straits of Mackinac. by the time I got it strung up I could spray off most of the hair with a garden hose; the rest I scraped with a shell.
 

brubincam

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maybe you could use your wifes razor,,, :shake: :shake: :shake:
 

djnye

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i would recommend that you just use water. i don't know what you are using the hide for, but i make a lot of babiche to weave snowshoes and strength is critical. i don't use salt and i don't use woodash(by the way if ash is used it should be good hardwood ash--such as maple) because they weaken the hide. when retting for hair removal, watch it closely and get it just when the hair starts to slip and it just begins to smell"fresh". that way not much decomposistion has set in which would also weaken the hide.
one last thing. flesh the inside before retting and the task will be much more pleasant and less smelly and slimy.

take care, daniel
 

Hota

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Thanks to all who responded. I fleshed before anything else. Then yesterday I set the hide in a plastic trash can with about 10 gallons of water. Stirred about every 4 hours. I dumped out the red water and put in fresh water today. I added two cups of lime to another 10 gallons of water. I checked tonight and I am already seeing hair coming off. I think in the morning I will try getting the hair off. I was thinking of either using a hack saw with the blade turned upside down or a car ice scraper to get the hair off. Any better ideas?

I will next plan to rinse the lime off, then soak with vinegar for a day. After that I will stretch and hang the hide for drying. Is this correct or should I tan before drying? I am not sure if I am supposed to dry then soak/tan, then dry again or if I can just go right to the tanning solution after rinsing off the vinegar.
 

tg

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There are many tanning formulas/methods, your best bet is to find one in print and follow it, many differ a bit but all will work if the instructions are followed, and dry scraping is another alternative that results in a hide somewhat less degraded from time in water or water/ash mix, before the tanning begins, some think is a better option as you are tanning a "fresher" hide I have not seen a noticable difference, but do like the dry scrape when brain tanning, as I can see the epidermal layer comming of better than I can when wet.
 

Gametracker

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Hota said:
Hi All,

I have a question about fur removal from a hide. I have read that i need to use slaked lime. Does anyone know where I can get hydrated lime? I went to home depot and in the fertilizer department they have gardening lime. Will that work? I thought it needed to be caustic lime and didn't see that on the bag a home depot. I also read that I can use a gallon of wood ashes. Can that be bought? I don't have a fireplace nor anyone I know. I prefer to not bury the hide since the ground is frozen solid.

Is there another method?

I've recently used Red Devil Lye drain cleaner about 1/3 container in 15 gallons of water. You can get it at any grocery store. Hair removes easily when sprayed after a couple days.
Also, as a carpenter, I bring my straight-claw hammer home from work because the claws make an exellent scraper. Just have to make sure the claws are blunted a bit so as to not gouge the hide.
 

Piper

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It's been a couple of years since I did any brain tanning, but when I did I always got the best results from dry scraping. Once I got the hide, I'd soak it overnight in water, then flesh it out. After fleshing, I'd stretch it in a frame, let it dry, and then scrape the hair and scarf skin (grain) off. I have two scrapers, both pieces of antler. The larger one is a piece of elk, with an old plane blade lashed to it. The other is a smaller tine off the elk rack, with a blade made from an industrial hacksaw blade. The blades have to be ground with a slight arc, so as not to have any corners that could gouge the hide, and they have to be shaving sharp (naturally). I tried both dry scraping, and wet. I always felt that dry gave me a more even finish and softer feel to the end product.
 

musketman

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Hota said:
I also read that I can use a gallon of wood ashes. Can that be bought? I don't have a fireplace nor anyone I know. I prefer to not bury the hide since the ground is frozen solid.

Is there another method?
I used wood ash with great results, no fireplace, no problem...

Are you allowed to build an open fire outside? (zoning wise)
You can obtain wood ash that way...

If no open fires are allowed where you live, use your BBQ grill with new charcoal, the spent charcoal ashes is wood ash...

Place your hide in a tub of fresh water and add a shovel full or two of wood ash, stirring twice a day, check for the hair to slip, once it starts slipping you can take any flat surface and rake the hair off with ease...
 
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