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2016 Deer Hide is Done (one of two)

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors!!!' started by MontanaResident, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident ArboristSite Guru

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    I’m going to call this done, or maybe a little more edge trimming. Not professional, but for the first attempt, it is good enough.

    A month ago this was stiff as a board. I was shy about being aggressive with it, fearing I would cause hair slippage. I finally said the hell with it, and raked the leather side against a tree. Immediate results, that I finished up with the Dewalt Angle grinder with a sanding attachment. I’ve one more 2016 hide that will get the same treatment in the spring, and I’ve two 2017 hides fleshed, salted and put away for the winter. In the spring, I will start the tanning and be more aggressive with them nearing the end of that process. Hopefully this will give me the desired goal of a more complete and softer finish. Not hobby grade, but something of actual value (if only to me).

    Also this year, I used a fleshing board, which is just a 4 foot long round log piece cut down the middle. What this did for me is to make the hard and long fleshing process a very quick and simple task. Work Smart!

    The question now, is what to do with this tanned deer hide? I guess I’ll hang it somewhere. A decent size bear is what I really want. A bear throw rug is what this aging man needs for winter.

    And now for the pictures....

    2016DeerHideFinished 003 (1024x768).jpg 2016DeerHideFinished 004 (1024x768).jpg 2016DeerHideFinished 005 (1024x768).jpg
     
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  2. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You have more patience than me, looks good!
     
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  3. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident ArboristSite Guru

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    It was a lot of work, and I had to figure it out as I go. For a first attempt it was the way to go. Now it is not nearly as much work. Deer hair is considered hollow and will get brittle over time (or so I read), and is good for hair off, or with hair on as a (wall) decoration. To me this is getting educated to do a bear or Elk hide. I feel I am ready. Now I just need the bear or elk (or a moose) to volunteer.

    If you have this in mind, get a lot of salt on it. I mean a LOT of salt on it, while you figure how to proceed.
     
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  4. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I tried one when i was a kid and since then have given up. I got a bear this year and dropped it off at a taxidermist to be skinned. $1300 better make me one helluva nice rug. Since being at his place I've been kicking the idea of trying a deer again. Then I read your post and the wheels start turning faster.....
     
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  5. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How well did you scrape it clean before salting it??
     
  6. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident ArboristSite Guru

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    I scrape away all meat and fat. In case I miss some the salt keeps it from rotting and I deal with it during the stretching and drying phase.

     
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  7. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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  8. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident ArboristSite Guru

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    Damn! I brought the hide back inside and after a couple of days it stiffened right back up. I put it back in the garage and it should reabsorb moisture and get pliable again. Then I will aggressively rub some warm water and neatsfoot oil into the leather. The DIY hide tanning school continues....
     
  9. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I read for 3 hours last night on it. There is LOTS of info out there.
     
  10. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident ArboristSite Guru

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    No kidding. There is no bullet proof process. Hence the trial and error. But it's leather, and like a baseball glove is can be worked and worked til right. Initially it is all about salt. Rot is the enemy, and salt is the weapon. Get past the rot and you can make all kinds of mistakes and recover from til success.

     
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  11. MechanicMatt

    MechanicMatt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That's pretty much what the conclusion of all the reading was.
     
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