has anyone ever thinned a thick hide with a belt sander? here's what i'm thinking. after completing one buffalo hide, it turned out great except that it's a bit thick and not as flexable as i would like. i am an amature tanner and don't have access to expensive tool nor do i do enough to justify the cost. I have one more buffalo hide to do which has been scrapped clean of meat and fat and is currently dried hard as a rock. can i use a belt sander on it to thin it out? has anyone tried this?
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. . . recommend that you DO NOT use a belt sander. It is not controllable enough and won't give you any consistency, let alone the sand paper will 'load up' and you'll end up polishing instead of sanding. Best to do it the old fashioned way - buffalo hides demand a lot of hard work and there really is no way around it if you want it done right (and you are doing it yourself). Send it off to a proffessional commercial tanner and you will probably never try to do a buffalo hide yourself again (time is indeed worth money).
Hi Chris, I've tried almost everything once and if it worked (or I liked it) I did it again. I tanned up some beaver for a guy (using EZ100 of course) and when I was done I didn't feel the hides were thin enough so I used a belt sander with very corse grit paper. It didnt load up on the belt as much as I thought it would and when it did , I just cleaned it with a soft wire brush. I would lay the hide on a CLEAN beam (if there is such a thing) Stand with the pointed end of the beam facing away from you and pull the belt sander toward you. It wont be perfect, but it will thin and soften the hide. Good luck and get ready for a workout !