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  1. #1

    Post

    Now that I know that I'm not the only backwoodsy person on this forum, I shall ask:
    Have any of you used your smoker for hide tanning? It seems like it would work really well- just make a "tipi" of the hide around the smoker. The contained burn would be a lot less trouble than maintaining a smouldering brush pile, and no worries about the hide falling onto the fire if one of the support sticks gives way.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Post

    >Now that I know that I'm not the only backwoodsy person on this forum, I shall ask:
    Have any of you used your smoker for hide tanning?

    I assume you just mean for smoking a hide you've already tanned, because smoke won't tan a hide.

    I have not used a smoker. I have used a can of sawdust, a pile of sawdust, wood chips etc. If you make the tipi and make sure the wood is just wet enough to smolder it works well. I think the smoker will go out too easily.

    But then I haven't tried it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Post

    My favorite is to just take it with me camping and hang it in the smoke in the tipi. The real tipi, not one made out of the hide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Freedom, PA USA
    Posts
    222

    Post

    Isn't there some sort of brain tanning method you use smoke with?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I have always just used the smoke for color. Chemically it does very little except help with water proofing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Post

    Smoking's practical use is waterproofing. When you "tan" leather you break the grain so that instead of being hard and shiny (like raw hide) it gets soft and supple. If it is not smoked then when it gets wet the fibers in the "grain" can get glued back together. If it's smoked the smoke keeps them from sticking to each other.

    Of course the aethetic use is to give it a nice brown color. Brain "tanned" leather is white, which is pretty, but shows dirt very badly and, as we said, isn't very waterproof.

    In theory "tanning" involves tannic acid, usually from oak trees or box of chemicals. Brain "tanning" is not technically tanning. It has a similar end result (soft leather instead of rawhide) but gets there by different methods.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    edited

    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited September 16, 2004).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tiller, Oregon USA
    Posts
    209

    Post

    I've brain tanned using the Sioux Indian method. It is work intensive but effective. Right now I've got angora goat raw hides, stiff as cardboard, laying all over the place Just not enough time to tan. It's on the list of "things to do". Right around #8,672 I believe.

    [spelling again] [/spelling]
    ------------------
    the ~ox-{ at www.singingfalls.com

    [This message has been edited by ox (edited September 16, 2004).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    Brain tanning is really just preserving it with oil. The test is to boil a piece of the leather. If it is tanned it will not curl. If it curls it is not a "true" tanning.

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