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Rawhide tutorial


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#1 rgerbitz

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:44 PM

Here's how I did it. This is about my 9th or 10th time I've done this and I still have quite a bit of room for improvement. Hope this helps anyone thinking they may want to try this. And if there are any thoughts on what I might have done diffferent or better I would be happy to hear them.


First I purchased the hide from the local meat locker for $40 and was able to start working with it within 3 hours of the last heart beat.

All of the excess fat and meat was removed first
Attached File  Taking_fat_offf.JPG   256.84KB   1111 downloads
It is a great way to get some peace and quite, cause nobody wants to be around for that.

Next, drop the whole works in a barrel of water with a coffee can of barn lime mixed in. I have found that starting with warm water seems to speed up the process alot. (Thank you KAW for that)
Attached File  hide_in_lime.JPG   206.93KB   1246 downloads

After 3 days in the lime the hair was ready to slip or push off, I layed a 2x6 between 2 barrels and pulled the hide over that.Attached File  hide_on_barrels.JPG   240.39KB   1251 downloads
It's best to do this in a shady spot, so as not to get the hide sunburned.
If everything has gone according to plan the hair should come off fairly easy, it did this time but I have had to wait close to 2 weeks before the hair would slip. I think it was because it was in the fall and it was to cold.
Attached File  scraping_hair.JPG   267.57KB   1035 downloads
After I get the hair all scrapped off I rinse the hide with the garden hose trying to get as much of the lime and hair off as possible.
Then it's back into the barrel for 24 hours with a gallon of vinagar and enough water to cover the whole hide.

(continued on nex thread)

#2 rgerbitz

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:12 PM

After pulling the hide from the vinegar and water I rinsed it again, but you will see later that I didn't get a good job done of that.

Then it was layed out and strethed on a frame made of some old fence posts.
Attached File  hide_streched_out.JPG   230.76KB   1069 downloads
The hair left on the hide is there because I was running short on time and had to quit on it.

After the hide had dried completely I was able to remove the remaining hair with a knife held perpendicular to the surface the hide and scrapped it off. I scrapped all the hair off the first hide this way, I don't recommend it, it really sucks.
Attached File  dry_scraping.JPG   243.45KB   1193 downloads
Attached File  all_finished.JPG   249.59KB   1275 downloads
After finishing up on the hair I took a home made compass that can mark out up to a 3 foot circle, and layed out the cirlces I could cut out trying my best to avoid any weak spots in the hide that might make for some junk string later. I then used a pair of tin snips to cut those circles out while the hide was still dry.
Attached File  circles_out.JPG   232.79KB   1147 downloads
I will later soak those circles in water for an hour or so then temper for the better part of a day then cut a skive into string to be braided with. Maybe I can make a tutorial of that someday.

You can kinda of see in the last picture some chalky areas on the hide, I think I either didn't leave it in the vinagar long enough or I didn't do a good job of rinsing it out that last time.

Please feel free to question or critique anything I have done, like I said earlier I know I have some room for improvement.
If there is something that isn't clear please let me know, there are a few more pictures that might help.

Have a good one

Rob

#3 Timothy

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:48 AM

Thank you Rob,
I've been wanting to try this, and the pictures really help.
I do have a couple of questions.
About what size is your frame?
Just out of curiosity, was the big circle the butt? I haven't worked with many large pieces so I can' tell.
Timothy

#4 rgerbitz

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:28 AM

Hello Timothy,
Glad you like it. The frame is 7 1/2 foot square and it could be a bit bigger, maybe 8 x 8. But this one works just good enough that I can't bring myself to change.

The big cirlce was from the neck, usually I can't cut across the whole neck like that cause of bug damage to the top line but this one was in really good shape.

Hope this helps

Rob

#5 carr52

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:43 AM

Great tutorial. Thank you. I wont be happy till I try it now.

Thanks again, Tom

#6 Timothy

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 03:29 AM

Thank you Rob.
I'm going to build one and try to find a hide locally.
Timothy

#7 pavilionpony

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:38 PM

Oh wow Rob. Thank you for posting. I wish I knew this before we butchered (and buried the hides of- the shame of it!!!) two cows last month. I'm always late and never win on a lottery ticket either! Darn. I will definatley hang on to this info! :)

#8 rawhider

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 09:43 AM

Great post! Thats how i've done most of my hides, but I love seeing how other folks do it. I always learn something new.
Question: What is the purpose of soaking the hide in a water/vinegar mix after you've slicked the hair? :popcorn:

#9 rgerbitz

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 06:17 AM

The vinegar helps to nuetrilize the effects of the lime and dissolve what may be remaining off. I have had hides that I did not leave in the vinegar long enough turn out with a kind of chalky film on them in places.

Rob

#10 Hennessy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:09 PM

The vinegar helps to nuetrilize the effects of the lime and dissolve what may be remaining off. I have had hides that I did not leave in the vinegar long enough turn out with a kind of chalky film on them in places.

Rob

rob an old tree maker from n z told me he slipped hair by laying hide over a rapid in a fast running creek.lay a few rocks on it as an anchor,move rocks around every day or so hide will enlarge n hair will slip.whats left is rawhide ,make sure you drink from creek above rapid adios peter john

#11 RockingMleather

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:42 PM

This thread was very helpful! Now where can i find out how to start cutting strands and braiding etc. Im sure i can figure out how to do different braiding patterns and how to make certain tack on this website but i am more concerned on learning the process after the tanning, like starting to cut to make thread and everything else i need to know. Thanks for any help.

#12 Hilly

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:45 AM

This thread was very helpful! Now where can i find out how to start cutting strands and braiding etc. Im sure i can figure out how to do different braiding patterns and how to make certain tack on this website but i am more concerned on learning the process after the tanning, like starting to cut to make thread and everything else i need to know. Thanks for any help.


One of our members "Whitebuff" makes a nice string maker for thinner leathers, such as calf. I bought one when I was a total newbie to braiding. I learned to use the string maker in about 20 minutes. Of course, I only make small items for now - bracelets, key fobs, scarf slides and such, and I use kangaroo hide, but the method is pretty much the same for anything braided.

I still want to take a stab at braiding with calf rawhide, but I just can't find the time right now. :bawling:

#13 TexasLady

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:51 PM

[quote name='RockingMleather' date='Jul 29 2009, 10:42 PM' post='118153']
This thread was very helpful! Now where can i find out how to start cutting strands and braiding etc.

I agree with 'Rocking'. I'm searching the forum today because I've purchased an entire small rawhide and I need to learn about cutting it into strands. I own an Australian Strander (from Tandy Leather). It doesn't look too difficult to figure out, but I haven't used it yet. It would be great if rgerbitz would show up again with the next steps. Somebody please come tell us how to make strands out of rawhide. (Something about needing a certain moisture content?) And if you know where there's a good rawhide whipmaking tutorial, better yet. - TexasLady

Edited by TexasLady, 01 August 2009 - 05:53 PM.


#14 JSaddlery

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 08:46 PM

First time at doing this, do you just use food grade vinegar or some other kind

#15 D.A. Kabatoff

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 11:46 PM

Rob,

thanks for that tutorial! I've heard different treemakers talk about making their rawhide before but I now have a new appreciation for what they go through!

Darc





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