When finishing a pelt, how do you go about sanding,

Submitted by Leon on 2/25/01. ( mith124@hotmail.com )

After oiling and breaking how do you do the sanding, do you do it by hand ?or do you use those electric sanders, what type of sanding paper do you use. also how do you get the oil out of the hair.

thank you Leon

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This response submitted by Len on 2/27/01. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us )

Leon you and I are in about the same league when itg comes to this tanning. I wish I had the space for tumblers and such but I don't. Something I have found as a home tanner to get a nice feel to the hide and soak up excess oil is use corn meal. It roughs up the hide real nice. I just rub in by hand. You could add some mineral spirits to it to take it out of the hide also. Sawdust would work too as most people use it.
The sander I have found to be most successful for me is an odd one. I made a two inch diameter dowl about 2 feet long on my wood lathe at school. I contact cemented 2 inch strips of 50 grit sand paper from a belt sander. While turning at a low rpm I hold the hide in my right hand and in the palm of my left the hide is pressed to the spinning sand paper. The action of the spinning dowel pulls the hide in. I pull it back with my right hand. The left hand governs pressure. It does a great job. I position a vacume to suck up most of the leather dust. It makes for a very managable sanding job.

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