First time tanner

Submitted by kdm on 11/25/05 at 1:19 PM. ( )

After reading volumes of articles and posts on the net I am now thoroughly confused.Here is the deal and my plan.I have three recently skinned deer hides,they spent one day on deer and one day in an ice chest. they are currently in a solution of 20gal water,20# salt and 2 # alum.I plan to soak until I have the time(tomorrow maybe next day) to flesh (scrape?) the remaining meat off,then rub with vegetable oil or eggs,stretch and dry? Will this work?How can I tell when I am done fleshing? p.s. I want a hair on hide and won't be dissapointed with some slippage. Thanks

Return to Tanning Category Menu

The alum might work.

This response submitted by Rorie on 11/25/05 at 7:44 PM. ( )

Never heard of rubbing veggie oil or EGGS. But the alum should set the hair and firmup the membrane on the inside of the hide so you can use a butcher knife to scrape the crap off the hide. Then return to the solution for a day or two longer and scrape again.

Your soulution should do two hides, but three would be pushing it.

For oil, use Neats foot oil and mink oil to help soften the hide warm the oils and rub in allow it to dry sort of and the run over the edge of a dull axe flesh side to the axe this should help soften the hide.

Rorie, Neats foot oil is not for tanning

This response submitted by George on 11/25/05 at 9:55 PM. ( )

It's actually a leather finishing oil and it provides sort of a flexible candy coating on tooled leather.

Grocery store tannin.

This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/26/05 at 4:55 PM. ( )

What the hell is in the grocery store that says it will tan hides?

You guys don't know how many people call my shop asking this very question. It allways starts the same way, "Some one told me..."
I have used neats foot oil on tanned skins before only to help with the breaking or the final softness. Back in the day it was all that was avi. so thats what people used. If you think about it, How much does alum cost when the only way you can get it from the grocery store is in 4oz bottles? And when you go to the shoe store or walmart to get the neats foot oil, How much are you spending there?
Instead of beating around the bush trying to make a peice of crap leather that will be stiff and fall apart in a few years. Why not spend half as much money and just buy a kit from one of the suppliers?

C'mon now! I have a deer hide I did with EZ-Tan when I first heard about it nearley 18 years ago! And I HAD some hides that were tanned after that with some strange grocery store contraption that didn't last half as long.

Look, Do your self a favor and try a kit! If you are one of them people who are adimint on the grocery store thing, The oil must be "kicked" or treated before it will work as a tanning oil. The closest I have ever came to this is by adding dawn dish soap to the neats foot oil and shake it up till the oil becomes creamey. When it gets to this state, You should make a 50/50 mix using the creamey oil and hot tap water. I will say, This will be the worst home tan you will ever do!

The primary question is?

This response submitted by kdm on 11/27/05 at 11:03 AM. ( )

What is in the kits , what are the steps? How did the Native Americans and old fur trappers do it. If the Alum and salt set the hair what preserves the hide? I read eggs and veg oil would soften it, but will it preserve it? I am starting to see the $20 kit may be the way to go but my curiosity is killing me!

the fun way

This response submitted by Brandon Mayfield on 11/27/05 at 5:20 PM. ( )

Most of the time Native Americans would tie the cape around a tree and they would then use a hell of a lot of elbo grease. They would take a stick and push it against the cape and twist this would cause the hide to pull tight and strech this would cause the hide to break in and become soft but strong but I think that, that is just a crap load of work.

Brandon Apatchee culture

why in the world....

This response submitted by terryr on 11/27/05 at 5:34 PM. ( )

are there so many people that want to reinvent the wheel - why not just do it the right way first - buy the %**(^() kit and be done with it


This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/27/05 at 6:49 PM. ( )

If you buy a "Lutan F" kit from Van Dykes.
An acid, In this case you will get safetee acid 1pt.
A neutralizing agent, In this case you will get sodium bicarb 8oz.
A tanning chemical, In this case you will get Lutan F 1lb. (alumiunm chloride)
An oil, In this case you will get Pro-Plus Oil 1pt.

The example is Lutan F from Van Dykes. You could also get a "kit" from Rittel's, Knobloch's, WTDS exc... All have there advantages and disadvantages.
Have a good one!

he just wanted to know

This response submitted by Brandon Mayfield on 11/27/05 at 7:56 PM. ( )

this first time tanner just wanted to know how to tann a hide the old fassion way.

Thank you much



This response submitted by kdm on 11/27/05 at 8:23 PM. ( )

I'll buy the damn kit! I have the three hides in a salt/alum/water solution in a drum outside.Current ambient temps are 60's days and 40's nights. Will it be OK till I get the kit?

Oh and thanks for all the input although some of you guys can get a tad hostile.

Kyle p.s. how long does the kit process take? Is it labor intensive?

It's the "old fassion" way for a reason.

This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/27/05 at 9:02 PM. ( )

A kit will take about 4 days total. Not as labor intensive as what you are trying to do now. Your hides are toast for now. You can maybe save them with an alum tan. But they will fall apart in a few years.

Behind times

This response submitted by France (john) J on 12/1/05 at 3:01 AM. ( )

You guys have lost the plot. What your doing is time consuming complicated and is making you agressive. Je wan a tip?

Just go buy a skin from a local rug rat.

It can't be that hard

This response submitted by kdm on 12/1/05 at 2:03 PM. ( )

I just need a simple step by step process. I shot the darn deer and I want to tan the hide, if you want to sell me something then do it, if you want to help then I would greatly appreciate it

Don't feel too bad

This response submitted by Josh on 12/1/05 at 7:35 PM. ( )

Hi. dont feel bad. I'm screwing up my first one as well. Although after reading these post I would be thoroughly frustrated. Half the posts are just WASTING space on this page because all they are saying is BUY A KIT BUY A KIT! IF they are so upset about it they should buy it for you. I did read about using eggs too. I read it on which tells you just enough to get interested so they can sell you the "How to" books and videos. Now if you actually read the questions you will realize that they are valid ones. If ya don't know the answer then dont give them a hard time and swear at them (even though you used the stupid symbols you might have typed what you meant because everyone knows what you meant) I hope you who were jerks feel bad. Having said that is anyone willing to type out directions for this poor soul? try,,

Ya'all say women are bad!

This response submitted by Malissa B. on 12/3/05 at 1:03 PM. ( )

My husband, Tommy, and I are interested in tanning hides with fur and we don't know the first thing about it. I have some questions that I hope someone will kindly answer. How do you dispose of the chemicals bought in these kits? And, what is the simplest way to do this as just a wall hanging? Thanks guys, keep the peace

another first timer

This response submitted by roger on 12/4/05 at 2:11 PM. ( )

i just bought a kit to try myself! my question is: what kind of dye to use & how to go about it to produce different color leather?


Return to Tanning Category Menu