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Failure To De Flesh A Bear Hide

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Toby Hudson, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Toby Hudson

    Toby Hudson New Member

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    Hi everyone, I’m trying to tan my first bear hide. I bought a fleshing knife but for the life of me I can’ t seem to get it to work. I stretched it over a garbage can at an angle and watched lots of technique videos, but still not down to blue hide. What’s the secret? Someone said a power washer could be used? I don’t want to damage the fur. Please help, I’m at my wit’s end!
     
  2. Westcoast

    Westcoast Member

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    Maybe try a wood beam or a rounded surface with no forgiveness.i feel like a trash can would give too much and flex during your stroke. Making it less effective. Your goal is to get all the meat and fat off at this point, be less concerned with getting it down really thin. Yes you can use a pressure washer just as well as many other techniques. There are a million different tutorials on any technique you could possibly use. DONT OVER THINK IT! Stretch the hide tight over a rounded surface and remove anything that is red or fat. End of story. I think the secret that you are looking for isn’t a secret, it’s just going to take time and experience for you to figure out what works for you. Good luck
     
    Toby Hudson likes this.

  3. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    As stated above use a wooden beam or you can use a a large PVC pipe. If you're going you use pressure washer you will need beam or PVC pipe as well you could also use a piece of plywood. One thing is a must if using a presser washer is a turbo tip regular tips don't work.

    Good luck
     
  4. Toby Hudson

    Toby Hudson New Member

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    No
    Thanks for the reply. I salted it last 24 hours and in meantime built a beam with rounded surface. I tried it again and it is working. But, I’m taking divots that show fur roots. I stopped and resalted and going to give another 24 hours.
    Any tips on avoiding divots?
     
  5. Toby Hudson

    Toby Hudson New Member

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    Thanks
     
  6. Westcoast

    Westcoast Member

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    Divots are from pushing too hard and at too deep of angle. Start slow and lite until you get the feel of it.
     
    Fallenscale likes this.
  7. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    You keep salting and that’s just making it harder for you to flesh , fleshing isn’t something that you can keep starting and stopping and salting without having any issues later down the line .
     
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Stop salting right now and get it into a brine to hydrate it and save it from more issues.
    Once hydrated ( dried fat only make issue later on) any of what’s suggested for beams is ok to use. Now as your seeing hair roots is now telling you you just to deep and need to be just above that area.
    Sometimes seeing what we call blue is very difficult for newbies to understand.
    It’s one of the reasons we say send it out get it tanned and then learn from that piece what it should look like.
    Once you push off that lower layer of fat , and see little pockets you need go no further.
    Bear are not an easy specimen to learn from not just these issues but after the pickle, shaving down more, then degreasing ( which may need more than one soaking) neutralizing tanning piling breaking etc it’s not easy. There’s a lot of knowledge plus skill to do it properly.
     
    rogerswildlife and Toby Hudson like this.
  9. Toby Hudson

    Toby Hudson New Member

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    Well, angels go where fools fear to tread....or something like that
    I’m into it now and will try to do a good job. The answer to the fleshing was the wooden beam. I just couldn’t do the correct pressure or angle before. I think I did a fair job for a novice.
    I’ve pickled for 3 days, neutralized, degreased, and 3 rinses. Now have put neats foot oil and water and soap emulsion and rubbed in well. Tomorrow I hope to begin to stretch and break down fibers....
    Thanks for everyone’s help. It was a godsend.
    This may not work out but I had a great time trying. Not sure if I will attempt again! You guys don’t get paid enough.....
     
  10. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I hate to say this but your bear is not tanned at all.
    The products your using does nothing but gives you a cape that’s oiled and nothing else. If you think soap and oil is going to change the structure of the fibers, your wrong.
    It’s a shame having folks being mislead that soap and oils tans a cape.
    Enough said as it’s trash
     
  11. Westcoast

    Westcoast Member

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    I was just thinking the same thing, I didn’t read any mention of it being sent through an actual tanning process.
     
  12. Westcoast

    Westcoast Member

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    You are putting wax on a car without paint
     
  13. Toby Hudson

    Toby Hudson New Member

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    Frank, ok, I understand. I’m in a pickle as I have to head out of town for 4 days. Can I store this hide flesh to flesh until I get back and then tan it properly?

    It is still moist but beginning to dry!
     
  14. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    That’s where your bear belongs, IN A PICKLE BATH . Put it in the freezer till you get back .