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First time tanning greasy boar hide

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by misanoel, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. misanoel

    misanoel New Member

    (Posted this earlier to the wrong category--oops and sorry!)

    New to the group and to tanning. We raise Guinea Hogs--small hairy black pigs--one of which we harvested and skinned 2 days ago. His coat was so nice I couldn't resist the urge to at least try to preserve it.

    I scraped it the best I could--there was a LOT of fat, and when I cut past that, I could see the black hair folicles, so I hope I didn't cut too deep. There is still a little fat in places--maybe 1/8" in some spots, but it's mostly clean, with no meat, though it remains very greasy. I did trim off the edges that were just too gnarly for a beginner to deal with, especially considering that there was a lot of pork to be processed, too. I didn't wash or pickle it the hide.

    After 50 hours of combined storage and scraping in the shade in temperatures ranging from 50 to 65 F, the hide was starting to smell a little funky so I folded in quarters, flesh side out and put it (unsalted) in a plastic bag and into the freezer this afternoon. No slippage yet, which is good.

    Meanwhile, I've been trying to decide the best way to tan it. I did harvest the brains to the best of my ability, but the bullet scrambled them pretty badly, and I wound up with maybe a quarter cup of bloody goo that I blended with 8 oz of water and stuck in the refrigerator. I don't know how much brain pigs are supposed to have, but this doesn't look promising. I could probably buy pork brains someplace, yet from what I've read, a stretching frame (which I don't have) is essential to that method. (Is that true?) So I began researching alternative techniques. I would like to steer clear of ordering expensive, noxious chemicals. I have on hand a few pounds each of non-iodized salt and washing soda. No alum (yet).

    So my questions are:
    1) Does the fact that the follicles are visible mean that I should abandon this project? If so, how is it possible to remove all of the sub-Q fat without exposing the follicles, since there seems to be no intervening layer?
    2) If the project is not already a lost cause, can you recommend any inexpensive, user-friendly tanning procedure for greasy hides that will still potentially produce a soft, supple fur-like end-product?
    I am looking for specific recipes/procedures (or links to them) as opposed to generalizations

    Looking forward to your suggestions, especially if you've tanned a hair-on boar hide.
  2. Amerz

    Amerz New Member


    I also have just fleshed out the pelt of a wild boar and am noticing the same thing with the follicles. Def would like to find some info on this as well as how to cut the grease.

  3. silent sniper

    silent sniper Member

    I don't have much experience but I have tanned a few wild boar skins. The follicles are fine, the hairs are deeply rooted in the skin as you can obviously see. I shaved my hides as thin as I could afford and didn't have any hair slippage. As far as grease your going to need a good degreaser to cut the grease out of those hides. Dawn will get some of it but a heavy degreaser will probably be needed. The boar skins I tanned were not butter soft like a well tanned fox or deer skin but they were not overly stiff. I used lutan FN on the hogs. Good luck SS.
  4. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    Lutan-FN and Bollmans Greasebuster. Degrease and rinse after fleshing and during the pickle. Let the hide pickle at least 24 hours then go straight into degreaser and let soak for about two hours. Discard the previous pickle and make a new batch. Once degreased wash it really good in dawn soap and water, rinse good and throw it in the new pickle. Make sure to check your pH routinely since it seems to need adjusted after degreasing if a little residue remains. Visible follicles are good, and hope you removed the whole back shield; its a bitch sometimes, especially on large russian boars. 50 hours in 65 degree is amazing it hasn't slipped. If you see hair in your pickle solution you may have problems. Hope I helped.