View Full Version : Help ! Anyone done any Brain tanning ?
I am picking up a Deer carcass tonight, and am hoping to do something with the hide. Ideally i would prefer to leave the hair on and brain tan (preserve and soften) it using the deer's own brain.
Anyone got any ideas ? I have had a look at Brain tan.com, but there is so many different methods, and mainly for making buckskin (maybe that is easier ?) that i don't know where to start !
Rich is your leaving the hair on - stretch the hide first and flesh it. Once thats dont PROPERLY - no short cuts.
Boil the brain in with a little water until it turns white, you can use it like this or I mash it up into a lumpy pastey mess and then massage this into the hole hide.
LEAVE IT IN THE SHADE FOR A DAY OR TWO.
Then go out and scrap off all the brain mush with a graining tool until the hide is dry.
Lastly then you need to wash the hide (not compulsory) and then work it over a beam or round a tree trunk to soften it up - then your finished.
Any questions drop me a line - its hard work mate.
That sounds like magic ... Is it the fat in the brain that softens the skin ?
Just curious :?:
I have no idea, but the saying goes that every animals has a brain big enough for its own hide.
There must be some chemical reaction hence the leaving it for a couple of days to soak in!
Asked the same question some time back so try here http://forums.outdoors-magazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=756 our US friends have wonderful experience with brian tanning.
This should hopefully answer some of your question's, it did mine.
Not the brightest lights on the christmas tree are they Jack! :wink:
But theres a good tip for you Rich - for tanning your hide use factor 15! :o):
Have you read Ray Mears on the subject it looks ok to me.
I have followed his book up to make rawhide of a deer skin , which is sitting in my garage as we speak. I havnt got any brains to turn it to buckskin.
Scrapping the hide to remove the flesh and fat and hair was the most revolting thing I have done recently. Probably because I left it soaking too long and it was getting a bit high.
Got a little chemical tanning kit from Snowdonia Taxidermy supplies at the Midland Game Fair last year.
Tanned an otter pelt and a few rabbit pelts.
Dead easy and very good results
There are a lot of sites that go into brain tanning. Here's the first one I encountered.
Brain Tanning (http://www.braintan.com/articles/furs/george1.html)
If you don't have any experience with handling furs, this site will give you the needed info and should be used in conjunction with the first link.
Tanning furs (http://www.braintan.com/articles/furs/miller1.html)
It is a lot of work and don't forget to smoke the hide when you're done tanning it. It will help to protect the hide from infestation.