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Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Gina, May 19, 2008.
Whats the best and most reliable way to mark your hide for the tannery?
punch code them in a place the tannery doesn't use, preferably along the skirt of the hide. And before you ask, here's a simple punch code for you
That reads 8/3/9/5
On multiple skins, such as deer flatskins, I take a rotary leather punch and assign numbers to each hide. Example, 111 would be three dots in a row..., 121 would be .:., Place these on the lower leg of the hide. My tannery (Wildlife Gallery) places its identifiers at the lower part of the back, so I stay away from that area. You can see the tannery ID, which is made with a sharp cape needle, and my ID, in this case 132, which I made with a rotary leather punch. Pick an area, ad stay with it, so you will know where to look for identification when you get your skins back.
I punch my capes and lifesizes in the forehead with a scalpel using the same method as George. The scalpel leaves a nice clean cut/slit that closes up nicely when mounted. My flat skins are done the same way except punched in front left leg.
D.Price, I'm sure you're safe with the scalpel on the scalp area, but it can be dangerous. A straight line cut with a scalpel can and will tear if placed in an area to be stretched. The small square punches sold by supply companies produce a *shaped hole that is similar to a stop-drill hole in a sheetmetal crack. The * transfers its weakest points 360 degrees so it won't tear. They don't tear the hair side of the skin either like a punch will.
George, thats why I mark it in the forehead, deer are pretty tough there and not a lot of streching, Im careful on all small game for the very reason you mentioned of tearing. I use a #11 blade and only let it penatrate about halfway up the blade also in the forehead. Never punch small game like that in the flanks or belly area. I should have been more clear, thanks Goerge.
Check with your tanner and see were they place their customer number punch marks and then place your punch marks in a different spot. It can get a little confusing to you and us tanners when we end up with 2 different sets of punch numbers in the same spot. If you punch a wet cape/hide and then dry it prior to shipping to the tanner sometimes the holes will close up after the hide has dried. It can be a good idea to place a tag on the hide in case you need to identify it for any reason prior to shipping. We place our punch marks on the right rump most of the hides we tan but have found that its not the best area to mark Mt. Goat hides. Mt. Goat hides can be an inch or more thick in the rump area and are difficult to punch in that there and sometimes the marks are tough to read even after tanning. We now mark the goat hides in the flank area where the hide is thinner.
I attach an identifying tyvek tag with a zip tie until the hide or cape is hard dried, then I code with a very small drill bit. When the hides are dried they drill very easily and the drill marks are obvious to whomever marks hides for the tanneries, so that they will not mark over the drill marks. Of course, as stated before, always check with your tannery for their marking location.
One other method is to use plastic electric wire ties to attach the round ear tags that have numbers on them. Also, the wire ties have numbers stamped on them, but they are hard to read without a microscope!. The drawback is the ties can be cut by a shaving machine and lost, ripped out in a tumbler and lost, or ripped off by the staker on dry tans.
Best to use a back up coding system if you choose not to punch codes into the hide.
Also, be careful not to code too far down on a leg for a flat hide. Some shavers will cut off the end of the leg to "square it up" thereby cutting away your identifier code.
Carolina Fur will be offering a seminar at the NTA in July that deals with this topic for those that are interested in learning firsthand how to accomplish these methods.
OS, Do you know any of them?;D
I punch mine in the forehead too..
This concerns me. Why would a shaver/tanner cut anything off of a hide? Aren't yall paid to tan it...not "square it up"?
It should concern you. It is one of the type of questions you should ask before choosing a tanner. Oldshaver has covered the topic of "Questions to ask and Things to consider when picking a tannery". Check out the hides that a tannery will bring to state and regional shows and see if you can tell if the "squaring off" on back legs and long front legs is happening. You will find that the better tanneries will not allow this type of work to be done. Unfortunately, you will also see the trimming going on too.
We don't do it here. Carolina doesn't either.
Another problem you will find with trimming are African capes that have long shoulders and legs still intact. We charge square footage for long shoulders and we don't cut the legs open. That trimming often cuts away codes that are in the bottom of capes.
I use a med sise phillips screwdriver and a mallet & punch code the forehead as well.
I hate punching the hides, and capes. I never thought to wait until they were dry and use a drill. I will try that. I attach a waterproof tag, marked with permanent marker to the colored zip tie that CFD asks you to use to mark your hides. I do that to all my hides, and capes, even if I tan them in house. I asked, and oldshaver said it was okay to do this. The name tags stayed on, and I didn't have to spend any time deciphering my marking system. I did this with the hides I sent to Lonestar, but I tied them with string, and the string came off of a few (not their fault). The zip ties worked much better. I still will use a punch system, in case the name is illegible, or the tag gets lost, but I just got 16 capes back, and I could read every one.
Not always but a better pertion of the time any zip ties or small tags are cut off of my Hides so Punch coding them seems logical to me.