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New Guy Tanning

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by flyineng, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. flyineng

    flyineng New Member

    There's so much information here, but I'm in need of some advice. I've got a whitetail hide, rolled and frozen. I don't want to send it off to be tanned, I would like to do it myself. Again, I know this question has been asked before, but I'm looking for suggestions on how what equipment/materials to buy. I plan on doing more of these in the future, but for now I'm looking to make a soft hair-on hide for the couch. I know I need fleshing equipment, but when it comes to methods and chemicals, I'm lost. Thanks in advanced.
  2. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    My suggestion would be if you have the means to get one, get a coon, or rabbit, or heck even some squirrels. Practice on them. As far as a Whitetail, they are thick skinned and without shaving them you'll never get them "soft". Commercial tanneries have tumblers, Sanders ect that will break thicker skinned animals to achieve the soft flexible finished product.

    If you can skin, flesh, salt, rehydrate, pickle, (degrease if needed) and tan and break a thinner skinned animal to the softness you like then move up to thicker hided animals.
    flyineng likes this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Unless your going into this as a business you have a lot of hard work on your hands to make them soft. It's not you can't but elbow grease will help
    One thing to remember is deer hair is hollow and will break very easy as a throw or and abuse you give it. So their kind of not recommended for couches.
    With this said and as stated above you will need a fleshing machine to thin your capes down. Tanneries use tumblers to do all the hard work of breaking the skin to make it soft. You can do this over a blunt edge when the cape is about 85% dry.
    You need to make a pickle first before tanning and you 'll need some kind of acid to use. There are many on the market you can use plus they all work.
    If you have greasy hides like coons bears etc your going to have to degrease them to get the grease out or in time those areas will rot.
    chemicals can range from rub on tans which makes it very simple to static tans that are simply the best to use.
    Don't forget a good oil also