How to Home Tan Cow Hide
Here are a few methods for how to home-tan cowhide. Some tanners use a fleshing beam, a smooth board scraped over a draw knife. Others use a slightly sharp rock or a block of wood on a hunting tip. If you don’t have any of these tools on hand, it’s worth looking around to find one that suits your needs.
Using a fleshing machine
There are many reasons why cowhide is an ideal product for home tanning. This hide is extremely thick and rigid when you first take it out of the tanning kit. Therefore, it is important to trim the hide before soaking it in the tanner. Once you have trimmed the hide, you can begin the process of home tanning the cow’s hide. In this process, you can follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to prepare the hide for the tanning process.
Using alum and soda
The first step in tanning your cowhide at home is to clean it thoroughly. Remove any excess skin or fat. Next, mix one gallon of water with a half cup of borax. The hide should be immersed in the solution for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly after each application. Repeat this process as necessary. The tanning process will take anywhere from 6 to 8 days.
Using tree bark
You can tan your own cowhide using tree bark. It only takes a few days to skin a cowhide and about 9 months to tan. The bark will take several months to fully soak in the tannin solution. The tannins will discolor the hide, so you should plan accordingly and store the hide in a cool place. This method is not recommended for preserving hides. It also requires some materials and equipment, such as an oak tree.
Using salt to home-tan cowhide is a simple process. First, you need to clean the hide. Salt is used to dehydrate the hide, drawing moisture from it. The hide will begin to appear pliable and soft after the salt treatment. You should work the hide while it’s still slightly damp. Native Americans chewed cowhide to soften it, but this method isn’t safe for people with teeth!
Using a tanning solution
There are many ways to make a tanning solution at home. You can purchase the ingredients separately or mix your own. To make the solution, stir the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. Stir the mixture for 15 minutes, or overnight if you have time. Then, remove the hide from the solution, wash it in freshwater, and bury it in the bark. The process can take up to six weeks, depending on how large your hide is.