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About KTWolf

  • Rank
    New Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Tanning leather and fur; leatherwork; foraging edible plants and mushrooms; environmental and climate science, reading, guerilla engineering, wildlife, ancestral technologies, canoeing

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Tool covers / holsters / tool-bags
  • Interested in learning about
    Everything leather-work
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    While searching for shoe leather

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  1. Thanks, @crazytailorlady, @Samalan, and @battlemunky. @chuck123wapati, Yesterday we went out bowfishing, and my archer friend shot four great big carp in just over an hour. One of them was 38" long and close to 40 pounds! Two more were about 35 pounds each, the fourth was just under 30#. After trading with a Hmong family for their fish's hide, I have 5 fish-hides cleaned and soaking in degreaser. Let the fish-hide tanning begin. Also, how am I going to eat 2 gallons of white fish meat? What great days these are!
  2. Ha! I resemble that remark, Jonas! After I finished re-handling my axe head, reshaping the handle to fit my hands, and then made a nice leather blade-guard for it, I just kept picking it up and fiddling with it, happy that it turned out just the way I'd hoped. At any rate, @Mulesaw what a beautiful creation! Thanks for sharing your pictures, especially all the functional details. I appreciate the link to that book, too.
  3. Thanks for the welcome, gents! Chuck, tanning a carp or a salmon is a different beast, to be sure. The nicest thing is how easy they are to skin. Since the meat isn't as important as the hide, I skin them as soon as they're dead, before gutting. Just cut along the edge of the skull, peel up a bit, and start pushing my fingers along underneath the skin. Almost no defleshing needed. I've only gone two rounds with tanning fish hides at this point, so I'm still working out the ideal chemistry. The key difference from a mammal hide is in the degreasing. I used standard degreasers, and it never quite got the fish smell out. After degreasing, last year I started with an alum tan, washed thoroughly, then finished it using my own odd formulation of Murphy's Oil Soap and WD-40. It made a pretty good result, flexible to a greater degree than my first attempt, and workable for making the quiver. The First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest supposedly used lart to degrease salmon hides, so this year I'm going to try out an ammonia soak; however, that can also disintegrate the hides if done incorrectly. I also have a new additive I'll be trying out, lecithin, the chemical in brains that makes brain-tanning so great. I'll be using sunflower-lecithin soaked in ethanol, then combined with vegetable oil, to finish and soften the skins. I'm still working out the kinks in chemistry, so here's hoping the third round of trial and error hits the mark. Wish me luck--my friend and I will start hunting carp this weekend, her with her bow and me with a net. If I get 10 carp I'll have plenty of skins to play with, and I can make some spiffy fishing hats.
  4. Hello, Folks. Glad to join the forum, I'm looking forward to seeing the techniques, projects, and equipment of leather crafters more experienced than me. I've been teaching myself to tan leather and furs for several years now, and I seem to be getting the chemistry and processes dialed in at last. I've made decent, wearable furs from raccoon, muskrat, chipmunk, and deer. I've made leather from the hides of squirrel, carp*, and opposum, and the more typical deer hide into buckskin. Each of these animals' hides have such unique, fascinating properties. When it comes to using the leather, my main focus is on making tool sheaths, blade-guards, and belt holsters. Recently made blade-guards for my axe and scythe. Currently I repair my own shoes, but at some point I want to learn how to make them from the ground up--or rather, from the upper down. *This photo is of a quiver I made for my bowfishing friend, from the skin of a carp she shot for me.
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