bison hide drying and softening

Submitted by Els on 02/17/2004. ( )

I'm home-tanning my first bison hide using Lutan F, and the finished product will be a large furry rug. We finished the salting, fleshing, pickling, thinning, neutralising, degreasing, and it'll come out of the tanning solution tommorow, so far so good. It is a large hide and will likely take a few weeks to dry. I've been rereading my instructions and searching these forums (and read Bruce's article, but still have some questions about drying this hide as soft as possible:
1)What good quality tanning oil do you recommend using for bison hide?
2)If we want to stake the hide to stretch it, should that be done right at the beginning of the drying process and left that way until it's almost dry and ready for tumbling? Should it be kept horizontal or can it hang vertically?
3)Can you recommend the most effective ways to manually work the hide, and gear to use (we're also trying to negotiate access to a taxidermist's tumbler)?
4)If while it's drying we notice the edges becoming hard, do we re-oil them, and/or should they be worked manually to soften them (at the time, or when the entire hide is almost dry)?
5)I've just read on this forum that Lutan F does not leave a very washable product - we've been rinsing the hair with water in between the different solutions, but were hoping to still wash it at the end with some clean-smelling product - any recommendations for any cleaning product to use at the end that will not break down the Lutan F tanning process?
Many thanks for advice any of you can provide, either on this post or in e-mails to me at

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give steve gossard a yell. he

This response submitted by Ray on 02/17/2004. ( )

He does alot of bison and tans also. he will gladly help you out. best of luck Ray.

thanks Ray

This response submitted by Els on 02/17/2004. ( )

thanks Ray, I'll send Steve an e-mail right away, cheers, Els

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