Hide breaking

Submitted by Tony on 11/17/99. ( )

will be doing some at home tanning and wanted to know how some of you break the hides down by hand. I dont have a big tumbler only 40 gallon and was told this will not break hides down all the way. There is special tools for this I am sure, where can you purchace these and which one is best. Is there something I can make at home that will do the trick. Would like to have a soft tanned skin when finnished. I will be using Rittel's EZ-100. Thank you in advance for the help.

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Hide Breaking

This response submitted by George Roof on 11/18/99. ( georoof@aol.com )


You're speaking of a lost art. Very few people "break" hides anymore as they are done commercially and to a much greater degree that the old way we did it.

The best thing to use is an old dull ax head in a vice. I use a stair rail that has been wedged at the top and it mounts to my table support through a hole in the table top. When I need to break a hide, I simpley pull the hide back and forth over the wedge (Hair side UP of course). This is tedious work and fingers will hurt for days afterwards. Always keep the hide moist with tanners oil while you're doing this. One finished, lay it out, hair down and apply more oil. When it puddles up and doesn't soak in quickly, I stop breaking the hide.

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