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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Sub $10 goatskin floor rug. (Read 19633 times)
Rhys
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Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Jan 11th, 2009 at 8:16pm
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Why buy a $60 Leders kit and use over half the solutions to do a manky old goat? try $2 of acid and $3 of salt, lubed with $4 worth of saddle shop Neatsfoot oil, and that's being generous, it cost me less. Wink

I've been playing with a goat skin recently, shot it last autumn and dropped it in a tanning solution comprising battery acid and salt. Then it got cold and it sat in the solution all winter because I couldn't be bothered freezing my arse off in an unheated shed. By spring I was procrastinating, and now it's summer, I finally did something with it when someone else on another forum was asking for help with their tanning (lambskin with leders kit) so I got busy with this again.

This was a bit of an experiment, I usually use bark tan for larger animals like goats, and stick to using the battery acid + salt method for smaller skins such as rabbits. But in this case I had a nicely patterned and coloured skin and no dried bark handy and wasn't in the mood to go strip some trees. So I used up the last of a pottle of battery acid to make some solution.

I use a recipe I found in the archives of Mother Earth News, Kiwis may be familiar with "Growing Today" (now "LifestyleBlock magazine" since GT's owners bought up LSB Mag.) Mother Earth News is the American equivalent, aimed at small block holders and those wanting to get back to their rural roots, with an additional sustainable/renewable slant. The tanning recipie is from 1983, an OLD back issue Cheesy
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1983-01-01/How-To-Tan-Rabbit-...  see page 2 for the recipe, but i advise to read the whole article to get a feel for the entire tanning process.

I only had enough acid (2/3 of a cup) to make up half the strength of the mixture, since the recipe includes cleaning the membranes off the inner side of the hide half way through and adding extra acid and salt when returning the skins to the mix. I intended to go buy more acid, but never did. So the skin sat in a mix of 600gm salt and 2/3 cup battery acid with 12 Litres of water in a 20Lt bucket over winter without being touched once I gave up stirring it after the first week... it sat in the back of the shed workshop through winter spring and well into summer. That gave it plenty of time to work Cheesy

Here it is straight out of the salt and battery acid solution, rinsed and strung on the frame made from manuka saplings and baling twine:


A word of advice guys... Doggies love skins, all that hair makes a wonderful addition to their diet, lots of fibre and roughage to help the bowels along Grin In a separate thread sparked by this one, several people have commented their dogs have been found eating the skins they so lovingly prepared, I've had one chewed in the past myself.
So make sure you tie your dogs up and then tie up anyone who might untie them, In greendog308's case you might need to use a stunning chick in a leather outfit to lock the furry handcuffs on Wink Grin
Otherwise, lock the skin up in a dog-proof area or be prepared to stand there with a stick until the skin is finished and inside on the floor.

All I did was whip it off the beast, a quick rinse in cold water to get the blood off and into the solution, no salting first. Any large basin will do the job to wash the skin, I used the bottom third of a 44 gal/210Lt drum I got free from an apple orchard and cut up, just fill with water, rinse and massage skin to remove blood from the skin, tip the drum over and refill with clean water and repeat until the water stops coming red. Still smells goaty, but thats cured later on with the washing machine. Then it went into the solution in a 20L bucket and it sat, and sat, and sat, for a few months... then I got poked into dealing with it again.

Make sure everything is under the surface of the solution, anything poking out won't cure, and having a lid or cover on the bucket is helpful, the surface of the solution goes rather ugly and manky looking!

Once I got around to dealing with it again months later I hauled it out and rinsed it off, strung it on the frame in the first picture, then applied salt to speed the drying, just as if salting a green skin, but it is faster to dry. Once it was dry and taut as a drum skin I attacked it with a rough rounded clean stone off the driveway. All the membrane etc just peeled off under the stones rubbing. After the membrane was off, it came down again, and went through the washing machine to remove the last "goaty" smell from the fur side. back up on the frame to re-dry again and after another rub down was covered with neatsfoot oil and left to absorb it, once it stopped absorbing neatsfoot oil (about 4 coats of oil painted on thickly) it was left for a few days, then the excess oil scraped off with a blunt blade. the skin next got trimmed neatly.

here is the finished product after oiling with neatsfoot oil and trimming off the edges:




See how nice and smooth the result is from stretching. it is flexible and bends like a sheet of heavy oilskin or a rubberised raincoat like the green Line 7 farmers coats.

Here is the fur side Cheesy :




It's currently in the lounge on the floor as a rug Cheesy
« Last Edit: Apr 12th, 2009 at 5:09am by blackbunny »  

Of course I'm compensating. If I could kill stuff at 200 meters with my dick, I wouldn't need a gun.
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Tuamotu
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #1 - Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:24am
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Wow man that's awesome!! Very professional finish on it.  Cool Much better than the cardboard possum skins I tried to tan once   Grin Grin
  

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Rhys
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #2 - Jan 17th, 2009 at 12:33am
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Yep, it's nice and smooth Cheesy you could give Roaring_Red a PM and get an independent opinion of the skin Cheesy he got to look and play with it while he was here and took some skins back home with him. Smiley
  

Of course I'm compensating. If I could kill stuff at 200 meters with my dick, I wouldn't need a gun.
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #3 - Jan 17th, 2009 at 6:59pm
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Where did you get the battery acid from Rhys and what was the salt, rock, iodised ect?

Turned out nice, well done.  Cool.
  

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Rhys
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #4 - Jan 17th, 2009 at 9:22pm
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In the NI I got it from an Auto Sparky in Te Awamutu down the street with the KFC on it, and had to bring my own bottle, they decanted it out of a larger bulk container.

Down here I drove round nelsons industrial zone and found a battery wholesale place. Many such places usually receive batteries dry from the manufacturer and fill them themselves before delivering them to the retailers that ordered batteries, so I got a bottle direct from them.

In both cases the acid was ready diluted to be poured straight into the battery, if your sparky or battery shop uses neat acid and dilutes it themself, the ratio to use is in the link I posted in the first post here.


The salt was the cheapest bulk iodised table salt in the Pack n Slave Baking Isle Cheesy
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #5 - Jan 23rd, 2009 at 8:33pm
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Excellent post. Will try the alum one on a skin Bellbird has.

I notice they say use non iodised. Does it really matter?
  
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Rhys
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #6 - Jan 23rd, 2009 at 10:07pm
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I don't think it matters with the battery acid tan, and I've done a number of rabbit skins without any problems cropping up from the iodine, plus the goat skin in the photo was done with iodised salt.

I'm not sure if the iodine would react to the Alum tho, I've only ever done one alum skin and gave it up and tossed it half way through, the alum gave me hives... and the powder when measuring is light and puffs up and inhaling it left me with a clocked nose and sinuses for several days. Haven't gone near the stuff since so can't comment.

You could get a bag of plain rock salt from the rural supplies store if you want, it'd be cheaper than non-iodised gourmet salt from the supermarket Cheesy
  

Of course I'm compensating. If I could kill stuff at 200 meters with my dick, I wouldn't need a gun.
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #7 - Feb 4th, 2009 at 1:32am
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is the acid from an old car battery useable or do you need new fresh stuff?
  
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Rhys
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #8 - Feb 4th, 2009 at 6:11am
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no idea about that, I would suspect there would be dissolve lead contaminates in the used acid but so long as you don't eat the rug I can't see the harm. Probably not wise if theres a baby in the family.

Given new stuff is so cheap, I'd stick to new, at least you know what it's strength is then.
  

Of course I'm compensating. If I could kill stuff at 200 meters with my dick, I wouldn't need a gun.
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #9 - Apr 1st, 2009 at 7:48am
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i jsut made a rug using the acid from an old car battery it turned out fine
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #10 - Oct 22nd, 2010 at 1:05am
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was the skin dry when you put it in the washing machine?
My Tahr skin smells very Tahrrey and is pretty stiff now that its dryed
i used the Kero/baking soda method if that makes any difference
  
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Rhys
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #11 - Oct 22nd, 2010 at 2:49am
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Bill999 wrote on Oct 22nd, 2010 at 1:05am:
was the skin dry when you put it in the washing machine?
My Tahr skin smells very Tahrrey and is pretty stiff now that its dryed
i used the Kero/baking soda method if that makes any difference


Geeze, I haven't been on the forum for a few months, been busy otherwhere.

yep, it was quite dry when it went in the machine.
The process basicly was rinse blood off, into tanning solution, sit for months, dry and salt on frame, rub down to smooth and remove membranes, wash in machine, dry and rub again, oil and drop on floor.


Hmm, BS&Kero eh? thats not a tan, which chemicly alters the actual makeup of the skin, changing the celluose bonds in the skin to a more rot-resistant form. Kero "tans" are actually just a preservative method, changing the Ph of the skin with the baking soda which was carried into the skin my the solvent action of the kero, and rendering it hostile conditions for bacteria and moulds. BS and Kero does not actually change the skin itself, just impregnates it with outside substances.

Washing your skin will remove all the kero and baking soda again along with the Tahr-y smell and leave you with a clean raw hide once more which you will have to re-preserve.

Cheers
Rhys
  

Of course I'm compensating. If I could kill stuff at 200 meters with my dick, I wouldn't need a gun.
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #12 - Oct 22nd, 2010 at 9:56pm
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Hmm interesting. I may just leave it to be then.
Thats interesting to hear the difference thanks
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #13 - Jan 25th, 2011 at 1:45am
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The other recipe with the alum may be easier to do. Alum can be bought at just about any garden centre. It's called 'Hydrangea Blue'. Used to make the flowers of hydrangeas go blue instead of red. Pretty cheap from memory.
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #14 - Jan 31st, 2011 at 6:06am
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nice coloured skin, brain tanning works well, alot of hard work and you have to get it right, but the finnished product is incredibly soft leather..do a google on brain tanning, basically every animal has the right amount of brain in its noggin box to tan its own skin.
  
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