I have a badly damaged mink pelt from this season. I decided to try my hand at tanning. I got a home tanning kit. So far it seems to be working ok. Does anyone have any opinions or tips? I've never done it before.
I tried my hand at it for the first time. Use the EZ100 kit on a raccoon. Came out great. Lots of steps to follow I had to write out my own to better understand them. Had to time the time-sensitive processes right so it took some planning ahead.
I've had mine for a few years, There's a bag of crystals (I assume Alum?) but I may be wrong, and a bottle of tanning oil. I lost the instruction manual so I watched some Youtube videos. I rehydrated the pelt in some extreme salt water. After that, I broke the pelt over a breaking post that I made from a beaver stump. I got all the little bits of flesh and membrane that were still on the pelt. I then, mixed up the crystals with flour and warm water, per the instructions on the bag. I spread it all over the leather side of the pelt and lightly pinned it to a stretcher in a couple spots. I waited 48 hours and "broke" the pelt again over the beam. This time I noticed that it had started to turn to actual leather. I spent quite a bit of time breaking the pelt, and I noticed that there were a couple spots, that seemed to be glossy like a raw pelt would look. I found that I had missed some of the saddle in those two small spots. I sanded the pelt with some very course sand paper and managed to remove still more little bits of membrane including that over the two glossy spots. I then re applied the tanning gruel (my term for it) and will let it set up for another 48 hours. I think at that point depending on how it looks I will rub in a few applications of oil, and see if that does it. Do I have it about right? Anyone with experience?
The mink was an early season thinner skinned pelt so breaking it wasn't bad. I saw quite a few methods on Youtube about it. All of them involved rubbing the leather over something to make it soft and pliable. I just cut a medium sized beaver stump about 4 inches thick, and mounted it to a scrap of 2x12. I can sit in a chair and step on the base and just work the pelt over the pointed end of the beaver stump. It works pretty well. I'd assume that the thicker the actual skin is, the more it would take to break it in. Get yourself a sheet of sand paper that they use on floor sanders, probably 40 grit, that really brings the leftover flesh off the pelt and softens it as well.
Post by brooklynbeaver on Dec 4, 2019 14:27:05 GMT -5
I've tried to do whitetail deer skins twice and figure out it is much easier and cheap to ship it to a professional tanning facility. Should be great to share those tanners you know and compare prices to find the decent one that does pelts at fabric quality.
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