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HELP! Can't seem to get egg tanning right!

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by dogisdead, May 14, 2009.

  1. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    Hey guys, long time lurker, new poster here!

    So, I've been trying various ways to tan small animal skins (mostly rats, but also other rodents, and I'd like to try rabbits) with no luck. I've been trying the egg method but am confused over different online sources.

    1. For a small rat, how much egg would be enough? Do I know when I used enough or should I just rub it in freely?
    2. Should I use just the yolk, or the whole egg? With or without water? Warm or cold water?
    3. Should I soak the pelt in a egg-water solution, or paste the egg into the pelt and leave? For how long should I leave a small pelt?
    4. Will I know approximatly when the pelt is done? Do I wash the egg off or scrape it? Does the pelt need any other treatment after the 'egging'? (besides smoking)

    If anyone could help, or even post some kind of step-by-step I'd be VERY, VERY grateful. I've tried this a few times (once with just yolks, once with the whole egg and water) and it just turned my pelts into hard, papery, fragile pelts which appeared to be glazed. Though... I think I got mixed up with the instructions and left the pelts overnight, while someone else told me that for small animal pelts only a few hours is really needed.

    HELP?

    My email is ravenwolfboy(at)gmail.com, or please reply here D:
     
  2. lightly butter frying pan,turn burner on to medium, crack egg into frying pan cook till yoke is firm but still runny.eat with a slice of toast while browsing through taxi catalog looking for a quality tanning product.thats just my opinion
     

  3. MHTaxidermy

    MHTaxidermy (307) 640-2602

    The best advice I can give you is to get the book: Deerskins into Buckskins 2nd Edition, by Matt Richards
     
  4. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    The whole reason I'm using eggs is because I'm in Wales, have very little money and am merely experimenting. I really can't afford to buy tanning products right now, they're also expensive here (it seems).
     
  5. nothing wrong with experimenting, i was just giving you a rough time.good luck with your tanning projects and have fun.
     
  6. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    No problem :) Man, I think I'm gonna go make scrambled egg on toast now though.
     
  7. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Egg tanning? Never heard of it. I've heard of brain tanning. There's a website on it somewhere.
     
  8. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    Eggs are used as a substitute to brains.
     
  9. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    hmm, learn something every day.
    Maybe there's something here that can help http://braintan.com/
     
  10. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

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    I have never heard of tanning with eggs, but egg yolk mixed in a tawing paste makes a fatliquor, because egg yolk is approximately 20% fat, used in alum tanning, 160g alum, 70g salt, 80g of egg yolk, 1 litre of water, flour .referred as a tawing paste to apply to the hide to tan it. The egg yolk is for lube not for tanning!!??
     
  11. Colonel

    Colonel Missouri River Rat

    I egg tanned a deer hide 2 years ago after reading for hours and hours on braintan.com and any other egg tan articles I could find. I ended up with a solid white buckskin that turned out great. It hangs on the wall in my home. It was from my oldest sons first deer.
     
  12. outhawkn

    outhawkn New Member

    Could explain the process a little farther? I've braintanned a lot of hides but have never heard of using eggs. Thanks
     
  13. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    Could you explain what process you used? : )
     
  14. dogisdead i googled it and did some reading and found a very interesting site, its called [traditional tanning Montana freetrappers.] It has step by step with pics egg tanning buckskin and also egg tanning a raccoon leaving the hair on. try typing the title [traditional tanning Montana freetrappers] into google and see what you come up with.
     
  15. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    Thats the site I used the intructions from, and I can't understand what I'm doing wrong... yet another ruined pelt T__T
     
  16. dogisdead,I noticed on that site that the guy had airdried pelts and he rehydrated with soapy water.i was suprised reading his article that he didnt loose any fur the way he did it because soaking skins in soapy water is asking for trouble.i am certanlly no expert but if your soaking your skins in soapy water that may axplain the hair slippage.do you salt your skins or are you doing it like him?I would try salting them first then if you need to rehydrate them do so in a salt water solution. good luck
     
  17. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    Ah, yes, I've been salt-curing them and then rehydrating using soapy water :0 You think thats what caused the fur loss? I'll try salt water next time, thanks
     
  18. why don't you use tea to tan your hides with. I f you take old tea bags and leave them in a large glass jar out in the sun for a couple weeks you should have enough tannin leached out of the tea to vegetable tan your hide also chopped up oak and chestnut bark wood work also. I would think the tea would work especially well for small skins. I would flesh the hides salt them and then pickle them in white vinegar with salt added to the vinegar and water. After the hides pickle for a couple days take them out rinse them in plain water and into the vegetable tan mix and leave them till the color goes clear through the hide if you take a slice of it off. And you could buy every thing you need at the grocery store. good luck Brad
     
  19. dogisdead

    dogisdead New Member

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    I've never heard of that method before :0 Though does it HAVE to be in the sun? I'm in the UK so we don't get much, especially in my area, haha XD
     
  20. DOGISDEAD...do they have any Borax up there in Wales???? Maybe try a little of that instead of egg...more surefire way of dry preserving for small mammals than brain/egg tanning...

    By the way are you doing this with the hair on or off the hides?