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Rawhide Lampshade help!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jolt, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Ok, I searched the archives but could not find my answer there.

    I am trying to make a rawhide lampshade. I fleshed the deerhide, then soaked it in a covered pail with equal amounts of water and hardwood ashes. I let it soak for a week, took it out and easily scraped off all the hair. According to the book I am going by it says that next I must soak in 3/4 pound of borax to 3 gallons of water. However my question is this.. The skin is gawd awful dirty from soaking in the ash water, I did rinse it and tried soaking it in some Kemal 4 & water.. but I can't seem to get the black specks all off of it. I tried scraping it with a knife and it helped a little. Should the borax water clean it up? Any suggestions ????? Thanks!
  2. nibjones

    nibjones Join your States Taxidermy Assoc.

    I am not experienced in your situation but, Borax is soap. I would think it would help.

  3. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    you can achieve hair off skin by over neutralizing in baking soda and that shouldn't stain your hide ;)
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Jolt, you can bleach the skin to some degree, but I have a question. This lamp shade: how are you ever going to put rawhide over the frame? That frame will need to be out of welded rod steel. Rawhide shinks to extremely high pressures when dried. That's how they make drums, remember? Just curious.
  5. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    I was thinking the same thing George..

    Borax is not a soap. It is a salt and considered a soap and detergent booster...

    Baking soda would certainly do the trick but would probably take a month or two to achieve the same results..Try sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide (aka lye) next time. You also would have to acidify the skin with a white vinegar solution afterwards....

    I would scrub it with a good old fashioned scrub brush and some dawn detergent. You might try soaking overnight in a 3% peroxide solution and/or even tossing it in the washer a couple of times...

    I remember a couple of old cowboy/Indian movies where the Indians used a wet rawhide headband tied tightly around their prisoners heads as a form of torture. It shrank tremendously when dried....
  6. dc taxidermy

    dc taxidermy Me and My Baby's senior picture

    In boy scouts we washed ours in a peroxide solution It didn't take very long.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I did scrub it with a scrub brush ( & soaked in the borax water per book instructions) it is still quite dingy on the flesh side so I thought maybe I could dry it and then sand it? The skin itself is fine, it;s just all of the black specs won't some off. Think that will work???? How long does it take to dry?

    George & Cyclone, I never thought of the strength of the shrinking. This is my first time making rawhide, and the book mentions nothing about the lampshade frame. I was gonna grab one from the dump, strip it and use that. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU disaster averted!!!! Luckily for me I work in a machine shop, I'll see if I can make one up.
  8. If you look closely at most rawhide lampshades the rawhide is not "Stretched and Dried" on the shade but instead it is Dried in a traditional stretching frame, Cut to shape and laced on to the frame with buckskin or other lacing. Then there is no tension applied to the lightweight frame.