I am going to back a longbow with rattlesnake skin. I bought two 4' Prairie Rattlers that have been tanned. Can the skins be effectively leached to remove the chemicals. I have heard from bowyers(bow makers) that the chemicals are not exactly glue friendly when it comes to high stesses of bow limbs.
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On wehter they were actually TANNED or glycerin methanol fixed. If the skin was actually tanned, there is no problem with using contact cement to hold in place, and it will be fine. So many people out there who fix the skin using glycerin and methanol, also think this is a TAN which it is not, and there is where the problem exists as the oily nature of glycerin will not adhere with adhesives.If tanned properly, the skin should appear dry just like the leather used in gloves or embossing. It will adhere no problem. If the skin feeels oily or PLUMP so to speak, get another skin as the glycerin method mentioned above was probably used!
I believe you'd be better of with a properly tanned skin like Tom mentioned, then one that is stiff and brittle especially for the bow use. Using a flexible skin will recude the risk of the skin breaking when using the bow.
They are definitely glycerin treated. Can this be removed or leached and re-tanned. I tan hides using Rittels EZ tan. I think I read somewhere in the archives that it could also be used for reptiles. Am I correct? I hope I can leach the glycerin or at least wash it out. Thanks guys I appreciate the positive input.
You probably can wash it out.Glycerine is water soluable.That would probably put you back to a raw skin.I asked a custom recurve builder once how he did it and he said it was better not to use a tanned hide,but a dry,raw one.I don't remember what kind of glue.I assume that the 2 part epoxy or urethane bow finish went over the top to seal every thing.If it were me, I would talk to a professional and find out exactly how it's done.
It's always nice to meet someone with good information. I backed my first bow with rawhide and used hide glue (not to be confused with hide paste) to attach to the bow. I may back this one with rawhide for strength and the rattlesnake for looks. Thanks again.