to shave or not to shave

Submitted by Garrett on 3/23/99. ( )

Sorry I do not have an Email. Thank you Mark for the Knobloch catalog. My question is whether I should shave hides before or after I salt them? If I do not shave before salting, how long can I expect the hide to last before I shave it and pickle it? Every time I think I have the process figured out a new topic arrives and new suggestions are provided. This is great! Thank you all for your time.

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Wiat until they're Pickled!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 3/23/99. ( )

Garrett - Its a lot easier to shave a pickled skin or cape than TRYING to shave a raw one. After its been in the pickle 3 days or longer, it is firmer, and since the pickle has a temporary preserving quality, its the perfect time to take them out, drain them for 30 minutes, then shave, degrease if you have to, wash, and rinse. I then always throw them back in for another 24 hours so it takes the pickle evenly. Then I neutralize and tan. If you shave them before pickling - its a lot like trying to shave a rubber band! They are too gummy and stretchy. If you want good shaving like the Tanneries do - wait until they are pickled.

Thank you

This response submitted by Garrett on 3/23/99. ( )

Thank you Bruce. I assumed that was the case, but I wanted to make sure. If you do not mind, I have another question for you. If I cannot pickle the hide right away, how long can I wait, after the skin has been salted twice, before I need to pickle. I just want to be sure that I do not cause any problems by waiting to long. Thank you

Salt will keep it!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 3/24/99. ( )

I usually skin, cut away any fat, meat and Salt for 1-2 days and put it on a slant or over milk cartons so it drains. Then I put the skin or cape on my Beam and flesh it thoroughly. Then I resalt it for another 1-2 days folded, and then shake out the loose salt and hang it over a line to dry completely. The Salt besides helping to dry it quickly, also leaches out all the fluids, and has a preserving quality too. Once its dried hard, if you can keep it dry, it should last 2-6 months, until you have to rehydrrate it and pickle. Some guys freeze them - but I prefer hanging them dry. It sets the hair up better before pickling, and I like to keep my freezer for Deer meat instead! I dont like to keep dried capes over the summer months, the heat that builds up sometimes causes problems. Its usually a good habit to get them in the pickle before the warm weather moves in.

Thanks again Bruce

This response submitted by Garrett on 3/24/99. ( )

I really appreciate you sharing your time and experience with me. I believe that I am ready to try my hand at this. I am sure I will be back for more help, I hope you don't mind? You guys and gals are very much appreciated!

Thanks again

This response submitted by Garrett on 3/24/99. ( )

Thanks again for your time Bruce. I really appreciate you answering my questions. All of you that take the time to help others is greatly appreciated. I feel that I have spent enough time reading from the forum and other areas that maybe I am ready to attempt this process. I hope you don't mind, but I am sure I will have more questions later. Thanks again.

Looks good

This response submitted by kent doyal on 3/24/99. ( )

Good answer MARK


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