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Tanning Beef Hide

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Katie H, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    Hello, I am thinking about tanning a beef hide and am wondering what the best, low cost, method to use.
    I've used EZ-tan 100 in the past with deer and smaller hides, and I really like the results. Will that work with a beef hide as well? Will it penetrate the whole hide? I am going to get it thinned before I tan it. I would prefer to not switch my tanning method, but if I need to I will. Thank you.
  2. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

    If it worked well for your deer and smaller hides of course it will work for a beef hide, thin it good though as there is a little more work involved in the finishing than a deer tighter fiber structure, and do not be in a big hurry to remove it from the pickle, after a few days remove from the pickle drain and shave, you can do this as many times as it takes to thin to a manageable state, after shaving return to the pickle, that way you are sure to get good penetration throughout.

  3. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Dont forget a degreasing step.

    Use a solvent based degrease, DURING the pickling process.

    Sometimes they dont feel that greasy to the touch, but will be shocked by all the grease you get out of a beef hide! :eek:

    That is why you always hear of folks having trouble getting beef hides soft. They didnt degrease them.
  4. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    A good commercial tannery....that is the answer. Cow hides are very hard to shave and handle. A cow/bull cape tan is average $250. A rug is average $10 a square foot......YOU CAN NOT tan it that reasonable yourself if your time is worth money.

    Not only that, beef hides are VERY prone to slippage......let a professional handle it.

    That wouild be my experienced advice. Been there, done that & tasted that apple.......tannery all the way! :)
  5. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Agreed! You will probablly get nothing close to the results you want or expect, doing a cow your self, without ALOT of equipment. All this assuming you send it to a REAL tannery.
  6. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    Please understand; I only tan hides for my own pleasure. I will get it thinned by a professional taxidermist and the rest I will do myself. If I don't every try, then I won't ever get better. ;)
  7. You are absolutely right!!!!
  8. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Beltonbanger, since you are the cheerleader to this scenario please tell me how she is going to break the hide?

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  9. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Katie, as Mike said, cows are VERY prone to slippage, and as I said, you probablly wont get the results you want, ESPECIALLY without a tumbler. Wet tanning a cow cape, is VERY possible "at home", but hides are a different ball game.

    If you INSIST on doing this yourself, well, all I can say, is, "you go Girl"

    I will make a deal with you. YOU USE the products I tell you to use, and follow MY directions to a "T", and I will provide you with the formulas, and instructions you need, providing you post pictures of your finished product.

    I hope this Taxidermist you know can shave worth a damn? Pm me with a phone# if you are interested. I want history on the hide, and the Taxidermist, if we are going to post pictures?

    If you agree, I will provide you a shopping list, and you will throw everything you ever thought you knew about tanning, out the window, and listen to me.
  10. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Re: Re: Tanning Beef Hide

    Hmmm..sounds like a good deal....maybe I want to tan a beef hide so I can get some of this knowledge:)

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  11. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    Give it a try, what do you have to lose? It will be a lot of work but it can be done.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Katie H. the advice to send it to a tannery is good advice. I hope you know a taxidermist that will wrestle that thing to shave it for less that $300.00. I used that price because that is what I just payed Moyle to tan a cow hide that was 81 square feet. Good luck, 3bears
  13. msbraintan

    msbraintan New Member

    I was glad to hear the advice about tanning it.. but only as reference for working on calf skins I sometimes get from my neighbor.. May see additional positive effects from adding the solvent degreaser to my process. Never gave that a thought. There seems to be a great deal of membrane on the calf skins!
  14. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    I am only planning on tanning a small part of the hide. I know that I could not handle a whole hide. The local taxidermist here said he would probably be able to shave it for $20.00. I'm tanning it because I have the hide, and thought it might be cool to have a cow rug on my bedroom floor.
    Ps. I like challenges and learning these skills, so please don't tell me to get it professionaly tanned.
  15. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Why? It's the CORRECT answer :)
  16. msbraintan

    msbraintan New Member

    Might work out okay for a rug. I don't know how 'tanned' it'll get.

    Cow skins are good rawhide for lariats as they're nice and even in thickness.

    I think a calf skin would actually be able to be tanned soft with this degreasing.

    Some Americnan Indians used longhorn cattle skins for their lodges.. not sure how soft those were but possibly the edges where sewn may have gotten some tannage. Bison and cow tipi's had to have been fairly dark inside.

    I think large cattle skins are not shaven but SPLIT.. so there's a thought there. Don't happen to have one of those machines! maybe the cow skins with the hair on tanned have been split? dunno.

    I'm not so into 'challenges' anymore.. lol. I'm not into tanning coyotes anymore either, way too many of those around. I would take on the project of tanning more calf skins.

    Nice to be tenacious Katie H. No one can take away what you've learned! Thanks for asking the question as I've learned a bit from yours!
  17. Katie H

    Katie H New Member

    Why I like the challenge? Because I'm young and have time on my hands. I enjoy learning this stuff. I don't do it for income whatsoever; it's just a hobby. ;) Braintan, what exactly is different when splitting the hide then shaving it?
  18. Hartung

    Hartung New Member

    Katie, go ahead, do it! Here are some videos showing how shironameshi is made, an ancient Japanese art of dressing a cowhide hair off with rapeseed oil/colza oil.

    See post #23 and follow the instructions.

    Some years ago, for a historical project, I’ve dressed a heifer hide fur on with brain and liver. The hide was not thinned and I got it soft. Not as soft as if it was shaved or as soft as buckskin. But perfectly soft to make shoes from it. But expect a ton of softening/staking work.

    The fur supports rehydration (flesh side only) for more than 24 hours and another 24 hours for the dressing without any fur slipping. Those hides are very tough if you know, what you do. BUT: I would not recommend starting your tanning experience with a cow hide.

    Good luck! And get yourself a good book about tanning.