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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Sub $10 goatskin floor rug. (Read 23804 times)
Rhys
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Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Jan 12th, 2009 at 9:16am
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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 5:09pm 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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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #1 - Jan 17th, 2009 at 1:24pm
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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 1:33pm
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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
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #3 - Jan 18th, 2009 at 7:59am
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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 18th, 2009 at 10:22am
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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 24th, 2009 at 9:33am
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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 24th, 2009 at 11:07am
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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
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #7 - Feb 4th, 2009 at 2:32pm
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is the acid from an old car battery useable or do you need new fresh stuff?
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #8 - Feb 4th, 2009 at 7:11pm
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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.
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #9 - Apr 1st, 2009 at 8:48pm
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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 2:05pm
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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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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #11 - Oct 22nd, 2010 at 3:49pm
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Bill999 wrote on Oct 22nd, 2010 at 2:05pm:
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
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #12 - Oct 23rd, 2010 at 10:56am
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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 2:45pm
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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 7:06pm
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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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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #15 - Apr 9th, 2011 at 5:07pm
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Hey, thought I'd post these pics of my first tanning attempt, thanks to this post.








I've taken my time, and still not sure I've done it 100%, but it looks good to me Wink. It is only about 3/4 of the hide, as I originally skinned out the Tahr to have it mounted. It also meant that I had to sew the skin back together, up the back, and then cut it up the front legs and brisket. I think it looks great. 3rd pic is original owner.
cheers
« Last Edit: May 30th, 2011 at 4:16pm by blackbunny »  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #16 - May 30th, 2011 at 11:52am
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i have just phoned 3 auto electricians and 2 battery outfits here in auckland - all refused to sell to me as its now used to make P

i believe the alum as suggested from garden shops to be much easier - going to try a red skin tonight
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #17 - May 30th, 2011 at 6:43pm
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have just had a look through the workshop aand found some hydrochloric acid, about 2 litres that some guys left begind a few years ago when cleaning some  natural stonework.

i will certainly try googling, but doees anyone know if this can be used to the same effect as the alum or battery acids referred too
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #18 - May 31st, 2011 at 1:04pm
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Aunty wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 6:43pm:
have just had a look through the workshop aand found some hydrochloric acid, about 2 litres that some guys left begind a few years ago when cleaning some  natural stonework.

i will certainly try googling, but doees anyone know if this can be used to the same effect as the alum or battery acids referred too

I dont see why not Aunty. Just remember.. if your diluting strong acids, always add the acid to the water and not the water to the acid.
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #19 - May 31st, 2011 at 1:08pm
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cheers

i had a look at the hydrocholic last night and it says it 33% pure

most recipes state that the first pickle must be below a PH level of 2, so i guess its justa case of mixing water and salt then adding the acid till it reaches lower correct PH level
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #20 - May 31st, 2011 at 3:09pm
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Just as a point of interest Auntie what chemicals are now banned. Im too lazy to read the lot. I wonder as it is not that long ago qwhen I purchased a liter of Hydrocholic acid and nitric acid for making a blueing mixture. Hydrocholric is also called spirit of salts.

Ok I decided not to be a lazy prick and read it, battery acid.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #21 - May 31st, 2011 at 4:10pm
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i wouldnt have a clue bro, but obviously the sulphuric acid is what the P heads are after.

doesnt seem to matter what the chemicall is that is used to drop the PH, so long as its dropped to around a level of 2ph.

  

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Reply #22 - Jun 1st, 2011 at 7:46am
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Some years back Ive tanned a few skins with alum, its also called potash i think. Results were a bit variable, mainly I needed to soften the skins more they seemed to come out pretty hard, have done red deer, tahr, chamois skins.
Used to buy the alum the chemist.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #23 - Oct 23rd, 2011 at 8:00pm
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how did you get on with the spirit of salts aunty? I have wasted some great skins (a fallow spiker, soft chocolate hide) not knowing how to do this. Won't happen again.
Skin it, scrape it, washing machine, soak in acid mix -2PH, washing machine, stretch and dry, oil ...?
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #24 - Oct 30th, 2011 at 3:33pm
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ive been using this recipe with great success over the last few months. so far I've tanned two goats and two fallow and they've all come out mint  Wink. at the moment I've got a goat, two rabbits and a cow hide brewing away plus a red stag and another goat to do. my mate saw my room last night and told me it looked like a grave yard  Cheesy
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #25 - Oct 31st, 2011 at 2:26pm
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Aunty wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 11:52am:
i have just phoned 3 auto electricians and 2 battery outfits here in auckland - all refused to sell to me as its now used to make P


i just want to two places in south auckland and got some acid free ....(next time aunty go in and flash some panty's you mite do better) so i now have some possums skins in the brine and will let you know how it go's .
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #26 - Nov 7th, 2011 at 4:29pm
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I'm having the same issues as Aunty. Can anyone help in finding some battery acid. I'm not a P head I promise.  Wink
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #27 - Nov 8th, 2011 at 10:07am
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I work for stone masons and they have gallons of the stuff. Bricky suppliers will have it also- we use it to acid wash the walls down once it's finished- takes all the white lime streaks off etc. "spirit of salts" it's now called.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #28 - Nov 12th, 2011 at 6:16am
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ok so i have pulled the possum skin's out and have dried them but the skin is still very oily. how do i get rid of the oil or what did i do wrong.
thanks
LT
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #29 - Nov 12th, 2011 at 7:10am
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I must have a look in the shed....I might have some acid left, Then I can do the daughters Goat skin Smiley
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #30 - Apr 14th, 2013 at 10:34pm
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How much acid do i need for a fallow skin? And  does it have to be left for months?
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #31 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 5:00pm
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Follow the recipe for the proportions, and just make enough to submerge the skin in with allowance for slop and stirring. And no, months is overkill, I just put the bucket in the corner and forgot about it, a week or two should be more than adequate. The link to mother earth news has in the article the method for checking it is cured right through.

It only takes a cup or so of acid to a bucket of water and salt, you're changing the PH to pickle and change the skin chemistry,  not dissolving the skin.
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #32 - Apr 15th, 2013 at 5:44pm
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Cheers mate
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #33 - Jun 28th, 2013 at 12:41am
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nice. will be trying this out on the next goat skin I get Smiley
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #34 - Jul 7th, 2013 at 8:14pm
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howed ya go? gona try some sheep skins next day or two
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #35 - Jan 29th, 2014 at 9:49am
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awesome. you make it look so easy. might have to try it on a few bunnies and hare before I attempt a larger skin.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #36 - Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:31pm
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After seeing the results on this thread I thought I'd give it a go. I tried it first on a old skin I had in the freezer. That turned out alright, so I gave it another go with a nice Summer Sika Skin. Here's the pics.


I had this old drum lying around which was handy. Finding the battery acid was a mission so I gave Hydrochloric acid a go. I got it from the local concrete place, $25 for 2 litres. Plain salt from the supermarket (I just used iodised)




I scored a pallet off a local business, they were happy to let me have one.







I came out pretty good.
I soaked it in a mixture of half a cup of acid, kilo of salt and about 15 litres of water. I let it sit for a couple of weeks, then got it out and scaped any excess flesh off with an old paint scraper. Then back in the tub with another 1/2 cup of acid and bag of salt. I let it sit for a couple more weeks, then pulled it out and rinsed it in a bucket of water. Then I nailed it up onto the pallet. It took about 2 days to dry. After it was dry I gave it a rub with neatsfoot oil, to soften it up.   It definately is worthwhile taking some extra care in skinning the deer in the first place as it will make the job much easier down the track.
Probably cost less than $10 in materials and a few hours time. Next misson will be a Red skin. Smiley

I tried to keep the tail on but it got hair slip after the first soak, so I had to cut it off. Has anyone got any tips on how to keep the tail on?
  

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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #37 - Mar 6th, 2014 at 6:29pm
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With all the hassle of finding the acid ect I just ordered a bottle of Leders tanning solution for about $20. I tanned the skin off a young sika I shot a few weeks ago and have enough left over to do another few full size skins. Used the water blaster to flesh it and neatsfoot oil to finish it, came out as good as the ones i've had done professionally. 
  

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SCHMIDTa
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #38 - Oct 13th, 2014 at 10:58pm
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I have done about half a dozen skins like this over the past few months and I reckon they turn out great. The skin side is pure white and once buffed comes up feeling similar to felt. Although reasonably soft and supple, they aren't quite up to scratch with a skin I paid to have tanned a while back and I was wondering whether its just a case of them needing more working, or they haven't been tanned the same way so will never be identical?
I have read and heard from a taxidermist that this "tanning" solution is actually only a pickle, and does not truly "tan" the hide but preserves it?

Does anyone know how professional tanneries do it? I know that skins are put through a pickle first but then what solution is used? And can this be done at home?

Cheers.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #39 - Oct 13th, 2014 at 11:01pm
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And yes, the sulfuric acid was a real hassle to get hold of! However, with a bit of haggling, I managed to score 15 litres.
  
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Re: Sub $10 goatskin floor rug.
Reply #40 - Feb 27th, 2017 at 9:10am
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Thank you.
Taking junior wallaby shooting in may. He wants a skin for his room.

  
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