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How long to leave Borax on Hide

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by xeon, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. xeon

    xeon New Member

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    Ive fleshed a deer hide I have and now I put Borax on it. How long should that stay on the skin?

    ps: im not mounting the hide.
     
  2. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Since you didn't say what the end product is to be, I'll have to wing it. If all you want is the dried skin, let the borax stay on until the skin is dry and then shake the excess off. You're done at that point. If you want to tan the skin, you should have used salt instead of borax. The borax has a basic Ph and will effect your tanning solution(acidic) to a degree.
     

  3. xeon

    xeon New Member

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    To be more specific, how long will it take to dry the skin, and yes, I just want to use borax, im not going to tan it.
     
  4. 458okie

    458okie Jeff "458okie" W.

    If you are just drying the skin to store it, salt would have done just fine to draw out the fluids. Then scrape off old salt after a day or two, resalt and air dry. ;)

    Then you have a dry-preserved skin to do with what you want to later (pickle and tan, de-hair, etc.)

    Keep away from rodents and insects, though.

    What do you plan on ultimately using the skin for, as you eventually will have to tan it or toss it out? Just curious....
     
  5. xeon

    xeon New Member

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    I was just going to hang it up. I didnt think you had to tan it though, as some people just borax, then mount.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Where does this idea of putting borax on a deer cape then mount come from? It is not the norm. I can see borax on birds, but not thick skinned animals. Why would you want to do this?
     
  7. xeon

    xeon New Member

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    just for decoratoin, i was going to hang it in my basement. If borax works for birds it will work for hides. I dont need it for anything, i just wished to try something different.
     
  8. 458okie

    458okie Jeff "458okie" W.

    Here's an idea..... :eek:

    If you want to preserve the hide on the cheap....you could rinse the borax off the hide real well....and after drip drying for about 30 minutes, pour vinegar on the flesh side and let it sit for a few hours to bring the pH back to close to where it should be....THEN rinse well in several washes of clean cool water.

    Then go to the local ag store (Atwoods, local coop, Souther Agriculture, etc.) or gardening deptment of a local store, and buy some aluminum sulfate (about $5.00), mix about 3 lbs into about 5 gallons of water, mix in 3 pounds of salt, and immerse the hide in the solution for about a week, stirring 2-3 times per day. Oh, yeah, use a plastic container...not metal.

    Remove the hide and rinse in 5 gallons of clean water with a teaspoon of baking soda to relax and neutralize the skin a bit. Then rinse in a couple washes of cool water, and hang on the clothesline for about 3-4 hours to drip dry a bit.

    If you have some sort of leather oil, rub it into the flesh side of the hide. You might be able to get by with mink oil......if that's all you have.

    As the hide dries over the next day or two or three, strech and pull and toss the hide around a lot to soften it as it dries.

    Kind of a primitive and outdated method, but you can produce a nice soft "tanned" (actually "alum-tanned") hide this way.

    The real key is in the pulling and stretching of the hide....a "staking" method also works great over a broom handle or old wooden baseball bat.

    Hope this helps and good luck! ;D
     
  9. PIPI

    PIPI New Member

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    I have a question about the Borax on the hide. A friend scraped and salted a hide for me. I thought now it has to be boraxed. What dose that even mean. I have never done anything like this, please help me.
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    PiPi , Borax is laundry soap. What do you want to do with the hide? Tan it? If you want to tan it, do not use the Borax. The salted dried hide is now stable and will be suspended in that condition until you go to the next step of what ever you want to do. Forget the Borax.
     
  11. hunterray2002

    hunterray2002 http://www.finandfoto.com

    xeon, are you maybe planning on using this hide laying it out flat and dried as a rug for the wall?
     
  12. PIPI

    PIPI New Member

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    Thankyou Mr.T, I was worried that it needed care right away. Since, as you say, it is stable then it will be fine until I decide what to do and learn how to to it. I just want to lay it on the floor or hang it on the wall. I'm going to do a little reading on the subject.