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Tanning A Deer Hide

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by BLACKOUT, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. BLACKOUT

    BLACKOUT New Member

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    Full disclosure, I don't know what I am doing.
    My son killed his first deer, we skinned rolled and froze the hide, no salt. We thawed it, fleshed it and heavily salted for a little over 24 hours. Here is where it goes south.
    We bought one of the basic home kits with the small pack of aluminum sulfate and bottle of oil from The Tannery inc. Their directions were less than desirable. So i did a lot of reading, a lot from here actually. Ultimately decided to do a citric acid pickle, followed with neutralizing, then an aluminum sulfate tan and eventually oil.
    Problem is I greatly under estimated my ability to get a ph tester of any kind faster than sunday afternoon, 48 hours from now. I was worried about losing the hair so went ahead with a 7 gallon mix of 3 oz to one pound salt per gallon mix. I am about 48 hours in but starting to sweat not knowing the ph. Should i add more acid solution to be safe.
    No hair is coming out and the pinch test is starting to leave the indentation. I know another rookie, thanks in advance!
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    First off you should never start any project without having all the proper tools. As long as you followed the directions on mixing a pickle you should be fine but adding a few ounces of citric won’t hurt if you’re that worried.
    From here on make sure you have all the information and ingredients prior to moving on. The skin will be safe in your pickle for ages as long as you mix twice a day so no airborne mold grows on it.
    Now take your time, read, ask and enjoy your first try at tanning
     

  3. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Go buy a red cabbage... 56938FF1-FBD3-43A9-97C6-6AD659B040FC.png
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  4. BLACKOUT

    BLACKOUT New Member

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    Thanks Frank! I complete agree with the fact I was not prepared. I had everything I thought I needed, I just didn't realize I was probably using the wrong method, therefor i was not prepared at all. I appreciate the info about the length of the soak. I got a little lucky and the ph strips are being delivered early, today actually. So tonight finjshes a 72 hour pickle and i will know the ph for the aluminum sulfate soak. If you have any other advice on my rookie process to this point i would appreciate it.
    Thanks again.
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    My advice is always the same, read, reread, get all the equipment you need, then ask and follow directions to a T.
    Even saying this doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a perfectly tanned hide but we all go through a learning process doing this on our own. Good luck and remember we’re all here to help