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curing animals pelts

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by noway, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. noway

    noway

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    I picked up 2 squirrel pelts on sunday and would like to know whats the proper way to cure them? I was thinking about trying to make a soft knife shealth for a fixe blade buck.

    Also whats the best way to "shave" the hairs from the pelts? Anybody have a clue outside of saddle leather what would be the best animal hide to use for make belts and knife shealth ?


    I was going to start with somthing small and free or I might scarpe the whole idea and just buy a leather belt/pouch kit and cut & sew my own pattern.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    i'm such a newbie to this stuff i wouldn't feel right giving and specific advice.

    i've been getting my hides tanned by a local taxedermist and have only found out a few things not to do on my own. if you have a local taxedermist he would be your best source of info. if the guy sells supplies too, he'll probably be more than happy to get you started.

    a good place on the web is at the predator master's bulliten board in the trapping and fur handling forum. this forum has great info on stretching, fleshing, tanning, the whole works.

    once i get a couple successful projects under my belt i may be able to help more. until then i'm as unsure as you are ;f one thing i did figure out pretty quick. don't use good pelts to learn on. i wrecked 2 good coyote pelts. once i get a chance to go out an bag some jackrabbits i'm going to try again.
     

  3. noway

    noway

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    THanks , that's exactly what I need.


    Mpol777, I got the tree rat furs just for the fact that they are free and if I do mess them up , no big concern. I just want ed something cheap and easy to play with before messing with any bigger hides. Thanks for you're suggestions.
     
  4. Bruz

    Bruz

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    Ya going to use the brains? I have always wanted to pop an eye and squish a brain of a dead animal...added Dashell to my list today. ;g
     
  5. WalterGA

    WalterGA Millennium Member

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    "curing animals pelts"

    When Pepper barks at other dogs, instead of ambulating DemocRATs, I pelt him with sticks and that cures him.
     
  6. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Noway....

    Hey Hoss.
    We use the kit from Cabelas called.. "Lutan F Kit"

    You can use this for "hair on, or hair off."
    There is enough in there for a full size deer hide, so you would have to cut way back on the formula.

    Also, "borax," works very well also. after the hide/s have been scraped and cleaned of all blood and other mess, rub the borax in and with the hide streched out, let it sit a day or two, then do it again etc, untill you arive at the desired hide quality you want. then rub in warm neets foot oil, and stretch the hide and work it till you got it where you want it.

    This following method has always worked well for me also. It is centuries old, and gives a good white colored leather. (on deer), see no reason it would not work just as well on anything else.

    ***NOTE*** This is a "summer time" project!

    I take the hide, and stretch it "fur side down," (after scraping).
    Put it fur side down up against a tree trunk, sized just right for your project,(the hide), and nail it to the tree stretching it as you go and nailing about 1/2" in form edge of hide. then i soak it down with water, rub salt in it very briskly, and then go about your business, and let the summer sun "draw it up." Then soak it with water again, and rub more salt in, and allow the sun to shrink it up again, etc. keep doing this for about 4-6 days, "or" untill the hide looks real "WHITE." What is happening here...DUH, is that the strecthing with the water, and the shrinking of the sun, is doing most of the work for you...i.e... streching and shrinking back and forth, "working the hide." Take it down and scrape any excesss junk off it you see, (which will be almost none, if you cleaned it well at the start), and then rub the warm neets foot oil in it while pulling it over a wooden board that is the shape of an ironing board. (no sharp edges). pull and stretch, and rub in more oil etc.. etc.. till you got what you want.

    This really is easy, and inexpencive, and turns out a great looking hide. I have done this, and made kinfe scabbards, and other items out of it. Works really well.


    HTH

    Have Fun!

    CanyonMan
     
  7. noway

    noway

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    looks Like I'm going to be very busy plus I need to find a good size tree. If I master these "tree rats" hides than I might be looking for a bigger piece of fur to play around with.


    {rub salt in it very briskly,}


    if you don't mind me asking, is their any special quality of salt? I have about 20lbs of morton pickling salt that I would like to figure out away of getting rid of.
     
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Noway,

    I am sure there is probably better... but we have always used plain old Morton salt. This has worked "very well," in the way described on my post above.

    Again, the Lutan F Kit, from cabelas, no doubt, makes for a softer and more "workable hide," .... But, the "tree method," does work "very well", for a floor rug, or a wall hang, and if you really work it with the neets foot oil, and the stretching board, as i mentioned, it will be even softer yet.

    Get out the old elbow grease, and roll up the sleves, and get after it. :)

    It really isn't all that much work, if you let the water and sun do it all for ya....Let me add this, i don't think i mentioned it above. But obviously, after each drying of the hide from the sun, and then the 're-soaking,' from the water hose, rub more salt in like crazy, then repeat, repeat, etc.... till "you" are satisfied with the texture of the leather... ***NOTE***... I came back to edit this part. "The length of time on the tree, if it is really hot out, can be even as long as 10 days. All depends on how the leather is looking to you, if it is getting real white in color". Then take it down and do the neets foot oil, (warm), and the stretching. "If you tend to it regularaly, and keep an eye on it, it will not get any magots, on it, so 'don't worry' about that part".. :)

    The stretching board can be easily built, using two saw horses, and a 2x12 that is rounded off like an ironing board, and "NO" sharp edges on the wood.


    Just regular old salt has been used this way for a long long time.
    I just know it has worked very well for me. In fact, i still got a scabbard i made, and some other stuff, from a hide i did back in 1981, and it is still very "white in color, and very pliabe. I've got another deer hide in the freezer now, that i will do this summer.

    Later Hoss.


    CanyonMan
     
  9. Bruz

    Bruz

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    is their any special quality of salt? I have about 20lbs of morton pickling salt that I would like to figure out away of getting rid of.

    That salt will be fine...salt is salt. You won't be able to squish brains though! If you need more you can get water softening salt in 50 pound bags for a couple bucks. Can be used in ice cream makers also. ;)
     
  10. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    No offence to anyone here, but "salt is salt," isn't altogether correct..... :) You would think it would be, but it isn't. Some salts have aditives in them that can screw up a hide. Rule of thumb... If it is salt you can safely put on your eggs, it will work.

    "AND" yes, there are some other salts as well, that will be ok as well.

    But try and stick with plain everyday salt for the above mentioned project Noway.


    CanyonMan
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    Damm I wanted to get rid of this Pickling salt. I guess I'll head out to wally mart and look at the cheapest bag of regular table. I can't afford to waste my Kosher coarse grain salt on a squirrel hide.
     
  12. Bruz

    Bruz

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    No offence to anyone here, but "salt is salt," isn't altogether correct.

    No offense taken, but salt IS salt. It is assumed everyone knows that the salt we are referring to is sodium chloride. Salt can be mined, sea water can be evaporated, but in the end you just got salt. There are different qualities of salt, some are not as "clean" as table salt, but salt IS salt. Salt can be in the form of pellets, flaked, granulated, crushed, powdered, even "blessed" and made kosher, but salt IS salt. Salt used to be rare and even used as money but now is plentiful and cheap. For use in a water softener, ice cream maker, or tanning a hide it does not matter if you use expensive salt or cheap salt, it all works the same...why? Becaue salt IS salt. ;Q
     
  13. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Noway, i am not saying that the pickling salt won't work man, just that i stand on the fact that some salts will give a different effect on the hide....... :)


    CanyonMan