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First fox hide, tanning questions #8138599
05/13/24 06:27 PM
05/13/24 06:27 PM
Joined: May 2024
Posts: 2
Ireland
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WrenBaile Offline OP
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WrenBaile  Offline OP
trapper
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Joined: May 2024
Posts: 2
Ireland
Hi folks, i'm here to ask for a bit of advice if there's any to be found!

I am tanning a hide for the first time so i'm not certain on a lot of things here but i'll give the context before the question.
Its a red fox that has been skinned, frozen for a few days until i had the time to flesh it, fleshed to a standard that, to the best of my knowledge, seemed okay? but i also don't know just how much i was supposed to take off so that may be impacting things as well.
salted for 3 days, rather than 2 because it was just so wet still after the second day, soaked in saltwater bath for about 15 minutes. this was all per the instructions on the back of the orange bottle tanning solution i have- i found out later after i bought it that there is some debate over the effectiveness of this solution, but as i don't know if this will become a long term hobby i'm reluctant to invest in the real expensive stuff yet.
I scrubbed the flesh side by hand with dish soap to degrease it, but again i run into the issue of not knowing to what standard it is meant to be degreased to- i have no other frame of reference for what its meant to 'feel' like, so i wasn't sure what the deal was.
I then let it hang dry for a while before applying the tanning solution, and here is where my first issue appeared- the skins were outside(dry, no worries there) during a hot night/morning folded flesh side, and in a shed, laid out open, for a very hot day. i think they may have dried a bit too fast as when i returned to them in the evening they were quite stiff- not totally solid but definetly stiffer than they were meant to be. i wet them with water, then reapplied the solution, and now they are drying much slower which is probably ideal.
i have heard that you must "break" a hide by bending and rubbing it with rope while it is semi dry, so i will be making an attempt at that later today, but for now, my questions are these:

1- does the "orange bottle" tanning solution actually tan a hide? i've heard confliciting reports, but essentially what i want to know is whether or not the hide will rot using it.
2- does it look as though i sufficiently fleshed the hide? i genuinly have no clue at this point.
3- do i need to use leather oil to make it softer or is that something i should primarily be trying to acheive with breaking?
4- generally, does it look like i'm on the right track, or have i gone wildly wrong somewhere lol

any advice or thoughts, comments, questions, anything at all would be insanely appreciated!!

(note: the damp/whiter patches on the legs and just above are because i had them folded over to perserve their dampness and they are just a lot wetter still)

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

(Hopefully I've uploaded the images correctly!)

Re: First fox hide, tanning questions [Re: WrenBaile] #8138760
05/13/24 10:25 PM
05/13/24 10:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 45,805
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
I have never used the orange bottle stuff,but just follow the instructions on the bottle.
Generally speaking,when tanning slower drying is better,if it dries too much dampen it with a bit of the tanning solution mixed with a bit of warm water,I think the orange bottle stuff has the tanning agent and the leather lube all in one.
Fold it leather to leather to give the solution a chance to penetrate into the skin before it dries too much.Open it up once in a while and pull the skin.Then dampen it a bit and fold it up again for a few hours then repeat the stretching.

When you are starting off tanning keep detailed notes so after a few failures when you do get sucessful results you can repeat it.

Last edited by Boco; 05/13/24 10:27 PM.

Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: First fox hide, tanning questions [Re: Boco] #8139112
05/14/24 06:16 PM
05/14/24 06:16 PM
Joined: May 2024
Posts: 2
Ireland
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WrenBaile Offline OP
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WrenBaile  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2024
Posts: 2
Ireland
Thanks for the reply! I guess my only question is then, does it look like it is sufficiently fleshed? that's been my main concern for a while at this point!

Re: First fox hide, tanning questions [Re: WrenBaile] #8139217
05/14/24 09:53 PM
05/14/24 09:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 45,805
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
it looks ok for fleshed.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
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