rgerbitz

Rawhide tutorial

27 posts in this topic

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

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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)

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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.hide_on_barrels.JPG

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.

scraping_hair.JPG

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)

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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.

hide_streched_out.JPG

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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

Thanks again, Tom

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Thank you Rob.

I'm going to build one and try to find a hide locally.

Timothy

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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! :)

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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:

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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

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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

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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.

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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:

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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

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

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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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I just use whatever they are selling at the grocery store.

Rob

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Rob,

Very good on the tutorial. I may have to try this some day.

I just did an article on how I make rawhide for the APWA, (Australian Plaiters and Whipmakers Association) Journal. Not that I am an expert or anything. I was taught to make and braid rawhide by Mary Field who is in the Bruce Grant books.

I will chat with Johanna in the near future and see if she will help me in putting together my story with the pictures to post here.

I don't claim that my way is the best or easiest but think that the more info we have and ways to do things we can adjust our ways to improve what we do.

You did a great job on this. Keep up the good work.

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Ok, thanks Rob and just a question

1) What do you use for scraping all the excess fat and meat off the hide

I just use whatever they are selling at the grocery store.

Rob

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I use a boning or fillet knife and cut all the fat and crap off. I know some folks use a draw knife and have what the call a fleshing beam, something like what KAW uses when he is removing the hair in his tutorial.

Rob

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I revisited this tutorial many times, made a few hides of rawhide (or should that be rawhide hides? Ha, Ha) and the recipe works like a bomb. I also discovered the limitless uses of rawhide. Sheep makes a beautifull thin rawhide that can be used on drums, tambourines and banjos but is useless for braiding. When dry, rawhide takes on a natural yellowish colour, very different from the white ones that you find on the mentioned musical instruments. In the Tandy catalog they advertise "bleached rawhide" that will probably have the white colour. Does anyone know how to bleach rawhide?

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Howdy Rob

How hard is it to get the fat and meat of after ya soak it in lime, because I got most of the fat and meat of but than had to run and just through it in the lime is that going to work or does the lime make so it does not want to come of.

Thanks for your help Rob. Thomas

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It should come off though it may take a little longer. The Leather Chemist's told me that lime works at removing the hair from the flesh side, so the better job you can do taking the fat and meat off the better and quicker the lime will work. If you through in some soap with the lime it will help some.

Rob

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Anyone de-hair w/hot water? I would like to know how hot and how long you soak. Also what the best heat source would be. Any other steps to be careful of.

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Read through this.

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Thank you so much for this post! With the pictures and your description, it's helped me immensely. I was gifted a beautiful elk hide, and in looking at your pictures finally was able to reassure myself that there really wasn't any fat on it, and very little meat. I'm pretty sure I've taken off all the flesh that needs to come off, and it's currently in a lime bath in the shop. I'm in Canada, and it's about zero here, so it will take longer for the lime to work. I'm being as patient as I can checking and stirring daily. It's a big freakin' hide, so I really don't want to ruin it as it's destined for spirit drums. I suspect it will be more than a week of soaking in the cold water before I can do any hair removal.

The rest of the pictures are really helpful too. I think I can rustle up a couple drums and 2 x6's or 2 x 8's for the de-hairing part of the job. My fingers and toes are crossed anyhow.

Thanks for a great job, and for sharing what you know with us newbies...I'd be lost, lost, lost without ya!

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