I've just started to learn how to tan, and I'm of to a bad start... I have followed te directions i have to the best of my knowledge, but the hides seem to come out about the same way the go in. I know i have to work the hide to break the protiens, but I'm affraid that i will damage the hide if it's not fully tanned. My directions were not very clear how much i needed to scape the skin side, but again, I'm hesitant to scape to hard for fear of ruining the hide... How can i tell when the skin has been scraped enough, and how can i tell when the hide is fully tanned?
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.. - cut hide - should be pearly white all the way through
A Moose,as long as you get all the fat and red meat off, the hide will tan.Its really great if you have a fleshing machine so you can get the membrane off but this is not a necessity.If you follow your directions the skin will tan,your skin should look white.If your gonna make this a throw piece you need to break the skin.Grab the flesh side and stretch the hide, you won't hurt a thing.After the skin dries you can sand the membrane off the leather for a nice finish.
John W, I don't agree with the statement that as long as you get the red meat and fat off the skin will tan. It is an absolute necessity to get all the membrane off. How will the tannins get into the skin if the membrane is not removed? It sure as heck ain't gettin there through the epidermis.
I don't think I'm having an issue with my deer hides with the membrane... But i think that i am with my squerrel and rabbit pelts... Any advise on how i can break that membrane with out ripping the hide?
On smaller animals you can scrape it off with the edge of a serrated knife.