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Hair removal for Deer Rawhide question

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Sakuntu, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Sakuntu

    Sakuntu New Member

    Hello, I'm new here so any help would be appreciated. over the past 10 years i've made rawhide out of about 4 or 5 skins (friends who hunt pass me their hides) I've never used the lime (or hardwood ashes) technique for hair removal- i've always just let it rot in a bucket of water until the hair pulls out -the only trouble withthis is that it starts to stink to high heaven. My question is, once i got all the hair out and rinsed it off, how should i stop the rotting process and kill the smell so i can dry it out for future use (I use it for drumheads). In the past i've used bleach water, but that really doesn;t seem to work. Tonight i used vinegar, but from reading here, thats really just to counter the lime wash-which i never did. will i just have to dry out a stinky hide or is there other ways that i can fix what i did and eliminate the stench. My wife would be most appreciative!!
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm not sure you can get there from here. Bruce Rittel will probably tell us both different, but I've yet to understand your reluctance to use ashes in your water. Why wouldn't you use that as it was what Indians used for ages. The smell is caused by the rotting epidermal layer of the skin and using ashes or hydrated lime or lye in your water will speed the hair loss up beating the rot cycle.

  3. Sakuntu

    Sakuntu New Member

    Its not a reluctance to use ashes, its just that I just learned about them in the middle of my last hide. (after it had sat rotting for 2 weeks) I learned from this guy who told me just to let it rot if i wanted to keep the grain of the skin intact. (he never told me how to stop the stench...) i found that over time when the skin drys (and I wipe it down periodically with rubbing alcohol...) the stench goes away. Believe you me, I'll always use ashes from this point going forward, I just was wondering what i could put on the skin now to stop the smell. I currently have the skin stretched out and laced up drying on a 2x4 frame.
  4. ace man

    ace man New Member

  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Active Member

    Not sure if it will help but the damage is already done. You might try rubbing it down with a paste of baking soda and scrubbing it off after a while drying on there. I have stripped many hides using lime and it was quick and left really nice, clean, white to golden hides with a nice smell. Febreeze will not work for rotted hide.
  6. Sakuntu

    Sakuntu New Member

    Good idea, once it's fairly dry i'll try that out. I really thought that the bleach water would kill all the bacteria and stop the smell but i gues not. Hey, I'm no taxidermist -just a drummer who likes to putter around and make instruments. This website has some great info. Thanks for all the help. I can't wait to try my next skin with lime. (THE RIGHT WAY!)
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Active Member

    I'm sure that there are many ways to do it. I went by an old book that I have "Trapping, Tanning and Taxidemy" by Frank Tose, C 1928 :)

    12 quarts of water, add 1 quart of lime, soak for 3 or 4 days. Rinse in clean water and scrape off the hair. After scraping, soak in cold water 2 days. .. You could stretch and dry the hide after this. The rest of the formula was for making glove leather from deerhide. :)
  8. BlackHawk

    BlackHawk The Champion

    If you like to do it the traditional way, all you have to do is make a mixture of hardwood ash and water. if you want to have a nice natural bleach white look, use only the white ashes.make this mixture thick enough to float a egg in it, literal a paste. leave hide in this mixture long as needed or until the fur comes off by just running your hand over it. when the hair falls off very easily, take a hose and hose off the hair. after this nail/stretch onto a board and let dry. to rehydrate simple dunk into water until soft(I'm sure you already knew that )this way is safe to feed to the dogs. my hounds absolutely love squirrel raw hide.

    if you want to do it the modern way, mix 1 part sulfide to 2 parts lime.WARNING Sulfide is very dangerous and difficult to obtain. If sulfide comes into contact with acid it will produce mustard gas and kill you. always wear rubber gloves and a resperator. once the mixture if painted onto the flesh side of the hide leave it for a few days. brush off the hair and rinse about 4 times in a lime/water mixture or until it has lost its toxicity. then dry it.

    this way is not reccomended for some one who does not know what they are doing.i would reccomend the first way.
    as far as your original stinky hide, i would try the baking soda technique
  9. jrosbor

    jrosbor New Member

    What about plain water? Ever taken a raw skin and soaked it over night? The epidermis seperates from the dermis and can be rinsed away along with the hair.