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Thread: Making your own utility leather

  1. #21
    Member madmantrapper's Avatar
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    I am looking for the info about the tanning. I will post when I find it.
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  2. #22
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post

    and what do you think about bating?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AS6p...eature=related

    I think bating is gross, lmfao. This was passed along by a tanning friend on another forum. I thought it very interesting and just wanted to share.

    There is no way in hell, I would do what this guys does. I'd rather work my booty off making buckskin or wait for the bark tan and hand soften.

    toward the end you will see the kid's father kiss one of the skins.. ewwww
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  3. #23
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    You know it's a whole different set of living conditions when the voice over said - his friends say he is lucky because at least he gets to go swimming every day.
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  4. #24

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    That's something else. Seems like his legs would be pickled or worse.

  5. #25
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    I'm certain that it does something to his skin. lye water is not something to take lightly. Cut's burn like someone poured liquid fire on you.
    I would like to know what the chemical is in the bird droppings that makes the skin soft after agitating. I'm sure it's some enzyme that does some digesting. no way I'm swimming in that.
    Also of note is that he makes $2 a day. He said he could barely breathe the first time he walked in there...
    The world needs both perfume makers and tanners. blessed is he who is born the son of a perfume maker.
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  6. #26

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    I think it's nitrogen rich uric acid, similar to chicken **** or bat guano. So, instead of the alkaline lye, they use acid to break down the epidermis??

    So he's basically wading around in acid water all day.

  7. #27
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    The friend on the other forum has found info stating that it is equivalent to "Pickling" which is the opposite of bucking, but with the same effect, EXCEPT that the enzymes left in the dung digest ALL non-collagen protiens, effectively flushing out the skin and leaving a more "pure" fiber network.
    It's a different means to the same end. The acid and enzymes perform the same function as the buck. Removing the ground substance.
    Uric Acid. Thanks for that info.. will be doing some more "home chemistry class" this evening.
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  8. #28
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    If you are thinking of working with pigeon droppings, wear gloves and a respirator. Histoplasmosis and Cryptococcosis are two of a long list of concerns.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Another history lesson, or not?
    Quoted from 1500's e-mail

    "They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pea in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Pea Poor"
    But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...........they "didn't have a pot to pea in" and were the lowest of the low."

    Have heard of using aged urine (ammonia) to whiten buckshin.
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  10. #30
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    Hunter, I've heard the old sayings but didn't know they referred to tanning. that's pretty cool.
    I wonder if/how the ammonia would affect the smoking of the skin. And reckon how long you would have to age urine to get enough ammonia to use.. repulsive, but it makes me wonder lol.
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  11. #31
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    The job I did this week has a huge black walnut tree. The green husk contains lots of juice and it is super rich in tannic acid and stain. I got permission to collect as many black walnuts as I can find that the squirrels don't get. When they fall I will be collecting hopefully two or three 5-gallon bucketfulls, shucking them, processing the nuts and crushing the husks for tanning.

    I thought I'd mention what a great and immediate stain it is for you knifemakers and woodworkers. When the juice comes out of the husk, it is clear, but almost immediately will turn your skin very dark brown. My hands are stained from the one I played with while I was drinking some water.
    If you have light colored wood, just a few of these husks will stain it very dark brown. Of course, you'll still have to seal the wood with something, but it's a great alternative to expensive stains at the store, laden with chemical pollutants and toxic manufacturing processes.
    WEAR GLOVES and an apron! It will ruin your clothing and stain your skin.

    I got hold of a nice black angus cowhide. The guy asked me to make him a piece of rawhide from it and I could have the rest. It's all knifed up.. shamelessly. Anyhow, it's thawing now and is my project for today. I'm going to save some of it for a walnut tan, most likely for more shoe-soles or something of the like. I intend to do a whole deer skin with it, so I should have some scraps and pieces for sheaths and bags.

    Also of mention for anyone interested in home-made leather... Save your used tea-bags. Tea is full of tannins and makes a nice light-brown leather. It can be used as a wood stain also, but will require more soaking time and condensing the liquor to concentrate. (If you take your tea without milk, you are literally tanning your insides).

    Just a few alternatives I've come across in recent months and since hunting season is coming up (It's already small game season here) I thought this thread could use a bump. Don't throw away your skins! Ancient peoples the world over realized them to be a valuable resource, and we should too!
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  12. #32
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I used to use walnut hulls to dye wool. I would boil the hulls before dyeing after about one week mouldering in a 5 gallon bucket in a cast iron pot used only for dyeing. If I wanted a darker color I would use vitriol. Vitriol is an iron vinegar solution that causes the iron to rust). You can get an almost black on fabrics depending on how you prepare the cloth and the PH of the water.

    Here is a link I used to experiment with.

    http://www.bayrose.org/Poppy_Run/dyeing2_web.pdf
    Karl

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  13. #33
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    I understand blood mixed with the tannic liquor makes the blackest of blacks.. any experience with that?
    Looks like a cool site. will take me a little bit to read it and absorb it. Thanks for the link gryff!

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    Hey.. theres some good info on mordants.. this might be quite a valuable link! Something I need more study in!! Thanks!

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    Did a little video showing a bark tanned hide, and how to check the neck for strikethrough.


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    I let that hide stay in the liquor for MONTHS. I lost count of how long it was in there.
    I curried it twice with a heavier oil:soap ratio and this thing fell out so soft and limp you'd swear it was a chemical tan. After being curried and softened, it lost it's purple color and turned a much more earthy brown. Very nice piece, if I do say so myself.

    Drying in the sun for curry
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    Almost dried and ready for curry. Don't let it get completely dry!
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    On the staker and this pic is really the finished product, but I wanted to model the staker hehe.
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    My intention is to make some pouches and use my new surplus of beeswax in some experimental waterproofing tests. I'm thinking of snake leggings, too. The armordillo style.

  17. #37
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Now that came out super, congrats!....I can see possibles bags made from that.......Nice job.
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  18. #38

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    That is some incredible leather! It's a shame to cut it up! Man, every time I come back to this thread I marvel at the texture and coloring!
    If you could make one huge project with the leather that would make the best use of it!
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  19. #39
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    That really is gorgeous. Very nice job.

  20. #40
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    Excellent looking leather. Really well done YCC.
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