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Home tanning beaver #6463877
02/16/19 11:19 PM
02/16/19 11:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 9,740
WI - Wisconsin
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AJE Offline OP
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AJE  Offline OP
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I've talked to 2 people that have used the orange bottle to tan a beaver. Both struggled. They couldn't get the pelt to soften. Is home beaver tanning tough, does the orange bottle not work well for beaver, or might they be doing something wrong? 1 of the guys was discussing it with me tonight. I couldn't think of a good remedy.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6463907
02/16/19 11:54 PM
02/16/19 11:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 42,836
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
Beaver leather is uneven in thickness over the pelt.The flanks are thin enough but the cheeks and shoulders need to be thinned down to have a useable pelt.
Beaver leather is also dense in the fibres,and more difficult to get the tan and oils to strike thru the leather than other skins.
It is best to start off with a thinner skinned beaver pelt which would be a medium or LM,early spring or late winter pelt.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6463969
02/17/19 01:05 AM
02/17/19 01:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Buffalo, SD
Wanbli Offline
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Boco, as usual, is absolutely right. If you're going to attempt a beaver hide expect to spend extra time thinning the tougher areas. If your fleshing knife has a good edge you can skive it thin with that. This takes a lot of time and one must be very careful. I, as others here have mentioned, have sanded the thick sections after letting the pelt dry. I believe Boco is the one who freeze-scrapes his hides and that's another great way to thin the thick areas. I use an elk antler scraper to shave the frozen hide thin before pickling. If you thin and pickle well the stuff in the orange bottle is fine but I would recommend you also use a quality leather oil as the leather is drying and keep working the hide as it dries in order to get it supple.

Good luck.


"There is value in any experience that reminds us of our dependency on the soil-plant-animal-man food chain" Aldo Leopold
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6464009
02/17/19 02:11 AM
02/17/19 02:11 AM
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Posts: 42,836
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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True,frost scraping is a great way to thin leather for tanning.I have also dry scraped stretched and salt dried beaver to thin the leather somewhat in prep for tanning.Until you get a bit of experience with this method it is hard to guage how thin the leather is getting until you pop a hole in it..You can further shave the thicker parts during the pickle stage of preparing the pelt for tanning.I occasionally use a spokeshave on pickled skins to thin thicker parts of a hide,Tanneries shave the leather with a circular flesher at this stage of processing.And like was said,you can also use coarse sandpaper on thicker parts of tanned skins before oiling the leather.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6464867
02/17/19 08:12 PM
02/17/19 08:12 PM
Joined: May 2016
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Maine
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Jonnytrapper Offline
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Maine
I use orange bottle for beaver. These guys know what they are talking about. If it's not thinned way down the oil won't penetrate. First one I ever tried cracked on the fur side. If you took a cross section you would have been able to see the flesh side was tanned and the fur side was raw hide. I kept trying to soften it until it cracked. Also beaver really need to be degreased well.

Guys that have a lot of experience have crafty ways to thin them down but I just use a right angle die grinder with 60 grit disks.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6464883
02/17/19 08:21 PM
02/17/19 08:21 PM
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Maine
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Jonnytrapper Offline
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Cruddy picture but here's a couple I finished a few days ago and are ready for smoking. They are both small pelts but the large ones can be done just more work. I scrunched them up so you can see they are soft as sweat cloth.
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Jonnytrapper; 02/17/19 08:25 PM.
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467214
02/19/19 11:11 PM
02/19/19 11:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 182
North Jersey
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TrapprChris Offline
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following

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467221
02/19/19 11:22 PM
02/19/19 11:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Buffalo, SD
Wanbli Offline
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One can wash hides with Dawn dish soap to degrease. There are other things you can buy from taxidermy supply for degreasing. I do a good wash with Dawn and rinse thoroughly then I wring it out and put it in the pickling solution.


"There is value in any experience that reminds us of our dependency on the soil-plant-animal-man food chain" Aldo Leopold
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467272
02/20/19 12:19 AM
02/20/19 12:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Buffalo, SD
Wanbli Offline
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Buffalo, SD
No, the orange bottle doesn't discuss a pickling solution. One can tan a hide without it but it's better to pickle a hide. A pickling solution is a salt-acid bath with a pH of 2. One can pickle hides with vinegar but the pH doesn't get very low. Use non-iodized salt. I buy a bag from the local feed store for about $5/50# bag. I prefer to use McKenzie Safety Acid to get the pH down to a 2.
FWIW, I have tanned hides pickling with salt and vinegar. The pickling solution draws moisture out of the hide and helps to chemically break down some structure of the hide to allow the tanning agents work into the fibers. For a thick hide like beaver I pickle for a couple days, pull the hide out and work on thinning the hide then place it back in the pickle for another couple days. Stir the hide and check the pH a couple times a day.
Following the pickle, be sure to neutralize the hide with fresh water and baking soda. After the hide is well neutralized I wring it out and roll it up in an old towel to dry. While the hide is still damp I rub on the tanning oils that are warmed. Fold the hide leather side in and roll it back in the damp towel overnight.

I hope this helps some. Keep in mind these are very basic instructions and I find that every hide is a little different in what it needs in the softening process. Generally, the more you work a hide while it's drying the softer it will be.


"There is value in any experience that reminds us of our dependency on the soil-plant-animal-man food chain" Aldo Leopold
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467493
02/20/19 10:13 AM
02/20/19 10:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 2,237
SW WI
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i home brain tanned a beaver to make a hat for my nephew. it turned out ok. a little stiff and a pain in the butt to work with. now I only tan them to hoop them, so I don't need them too soft.

I did brain tan 2 for a friend for throws. they turned out fairly soft but I had a lot of work in them!

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467788
02/20/19 03:04 PM
02/20/19 03:04 PM
Joined: May 2016
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Maine
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Jonnytrapper Offline
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I do like Wanbli and use dawn to degrease but be warned some people seem to have problems with it. I used vinegar to pickle and citric acid powder to get the PH down. I'm new to pickling but it was an easy thing really. Also, take the hide out after 24 hours and reflesh. All the membrane you missed will turn yellow. Then throw it back into the pickle for at least 2 more days.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467872
02/20/19 04:52 PM
02/20/19 04:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Buffalo, SD
Wanbli Offline
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Yes, that's the stock salt to use on hides. No iodine in that stuff.


"There is value in any experience that reminds us of our dependency on the soil-plant-animal-man food chain" Aldo Leopold
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6467953
02/20/19 07:04 PM
02/20/19 07:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Buffalo, SD
Wanbli Offline
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VanDyke's Taxidermy which is now owned by McKenzie Taxidermy supply. They sell a whole line of stuff for home tanning. They also have the pH strips to check the strength of the pickle bath.


"There is value in any experience that reminds us of our dependency on the soil-plant-animal-man food chain" Aldo Leopold
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6850901
04/21/20 11:19 PM
04/21/20 11:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 9,740
WI - Wisconsin
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AJE Offline OP
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Glad to see this thread resurrected.

I didn't get around to tanning any beaver this year, but I'm hoping to next year. I bought the EZ-100, and plan to practice on some mink, muskrat, a squirrel, & a beaver tail that I have in the freezer.

Last edited by AJE; 04/21/20 11:24 PM.
Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: ] #6851038
04/22/20 08:17 AM
04/22/20 08:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 4,305
Aliceville, Kansas 43
Yukon John Offline
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Did it turn out soft and supple? A guy told me the orange bottle makes them as stiff as, well...anyway, I just assume he didn't break it good enough.


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Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: ] #6851583
04/22/20 04:43 PM
04/22/20 04:43 PM
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Aliceville, Kansas 43
Yukon John Offline
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We didn't get into specifics. He just said it was stiff as a board.


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Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: Yukon John] #6851957
04/22/20 11:55 PM
04/22/20 11:55 PM
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WI - Wisconsin
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AJE Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Yukon John
We didn't get into specifics. He just said it was stiff as a board.

That's similar to the experience my uncle had tanning a beaver with the orange bottle.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6890463
06/04/20 10:45 PM
06/04/20 10:45 PM
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Frazee, MN
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I did a badger a couple of years ago with the orange bottle. That hide is a tuff one also. I used a wire wheel on a drill and thinned it out a bit in areas. That seemed to help a little.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #6898192
06/13/20 01:10 AM
06/13/20 01:10 AM
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I wonder how a dremmel tool would work for thinning.

Re: Home tanning beaver [Re: AJE] #7791885
02/05/23 06:33 PM
02/05/23 06:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2023
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Indiana
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Lontra Offline
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Does the hide need a salt cure to do the initial drying or is a trapper dry with no salt ok? Want to try some tanning, just donít know if I need to salt or not. I think most kits assume your starting with a salted hide?

Last edited by Lontra; 02/06/23 03:24 PM.
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