TANNING ANIMAL SKINS
Tanning the hidewe have cured out , alright the tanning process is fairly easy one simply mix this solution:
Dissolve 1 lb ammonia in 1 gal water. Dissolve 4 oz washing soda (crystallized sodium carbonate) and 8 oz salt in 1/2 gal water. Pour the soda-salt solution very slowly into the ammonia solution while stirring vigorously.
Immerse the skin in the tanning solution for 2-5 days, depending upon its thickness.
or apply the liquor as a paste:
Mix the tanning liquor with sufficient flour to make a thin paste, adding the flour in small quantities with a little water and mixing thoroughly to avoid lumps.
Spread the skin so it lies smoothly and tack down, flesh side up. Using a brush or scraper knife, coat the skin with paste about 1/8" thick. Let stand until the next day.
The next day, scrape off most of the paste and apply another coating. Apply two or three coatings at daily intervals. Only thick skins should need as many as three treatments. Leave the last coating on for 3-4 days.
Scrape off the paste.
Rinse the hide clean in a gallon of water Rinse again in clear water. Put the skin on a smooth board and use a dull edge to press out most of the water.
Let the wet, tanned leather dry somewhat. While it is still quite damp, apply a coating of suitable fat liquor oil (such as urt oil). The amount of oil required will vary depending upon the natural oiliness of the skin. For instance, a bosk skin, which is naturally very oily, will require proportionately less oil than a tarsk hide. 2. Place the hide on a flat surface hair side down. Apply part of the fat liquor solution to a portion of the hide and spread it evenly with a paint brush or your hand. Continue until one-half the solution has been applied to the hide. Allow the hide to stand for 30 minutes, then apply the remainder of the oil in the same way.
3. Cover the hide with a sheet of plastic and let stand overnight. If several skins are fat-liquored at one time, they may be piled flesh side to flesh side.
4. The next day, drape the skin, hair side out, over a pole or sawhorse and allow the hair to dry.
5. Nail the skin, flesh side up, to a plywood board, stretching the skin slightly. Space the nails every 5 or 6" around the circumference and about 1/2" from the edge. Dry the flesh side at room temperature.
6. When the skin is nearly dry but still slightly damp, work the skin in all directions, stretching it from corner to corner and working the flesh side over a stake or a wooden edge, such as the back of a chair or piece of board clamped in a vise. The skin may also be worked this way through smooth metal rings.
Success in producing a soft skin lies in repeated working, which must be done while the skin is drying out, not after it is dry. This process may be repeated several times if necessary; simply dampen the hide evenly and work it again while it dries