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Breaking Cowhide

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Shebeast, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Shebeast

    Shebeast New Member

    I was recently handed a Scottish Highlander to brain tan... I’ve done plenty of deer, elk, etc... but this is my first cowhide...
    Not only does the dang thing weigh 150lbs, but fleshing it is not like fleshing a deer... it’s seems like the meat attaches directly to the hide itself... I know this isn’t the case, but that’s how hard it is to hand flesh!
    My question comes to breaking it when I get to that step... I don’t own a tumbler and dont know anyone with one... is there a good way to hand break this thing with out calling in the Hulk or am I just signing up for a headache and heartache??
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    You've got heartaches by the number and headaches by the score
    By the time your done with this your body will be sore.
    It would be best to call the hulk if he could fit through your door
    Once you're done with this cow you'll never do no more.....
    Nancy C, Lance.G and Valley Fur Shed like this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Totally agree back breaking not worth any money cause you’ll need repair work on yourself and that’ll only be a down payment for it.
  4. Shebeast

    Shebeast New Member

    Lovely... thanks
  5. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    I almost hate to say this -but I did work with an outfit that tanned Buffalo and Cowhides. The first step was using a 22" X 4' (Long) wide fleshing Beam and then a right angles Car Sander on it's lowest coarse sandpaper. You could sand the bulk of the hides thin but not the edges! And the Sander always had to be kept moving or it would cause a burnt spot on the skin. After the sandpapering they next had to be fleshed by our Shavers - to clean up the edges. And be sure to build a Block and Tackle system to pull them out of the soaking and other solutions and let them drain and move them - they were heavy skins.

    I would also advise following the Other advice - and send them to a Tannery. They have Drums can handle the larger skins and keep them from folding in and rolling like a Ball. You will also need a 6' By 6' or Larger Drum to prevent them from folding inward and ending up as a Ball for the tumbling if it happens.

    Send it out!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018