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Author Topic: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread  (Read 13603 times)

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2015, 09:02:33 AM »
All you need is a slingshot




I was pretty good with wrist rockets and sling shots as a kid, but not in this guy's league!
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Offline kellama2001

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2015, 12:26:45 PM »
Tagging.  Very cool idea
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2015, 04:33:29 PM »
OK -- Leather tanning 101

First off you need to decide what you plan to use the leather for. Thickness of leather directly effects the stiffness once complete. Everything from Rabbit to Raccoon to Beaver or Deer, Elk or Moose. The thinner the hide, the softer you can make it, although you can make even an elk hide pretty soft. Also what part you plan to use... the belly is a lot thinner on most animals, where as the neck, back and butt is very thick, so when you dress out the animal, its good to know what your plans are.

I think the easiest skin to work with and procure is deer since most on here already hunts them and have buddies that do the same. Word of caution; if your buddy gives you his animal hides, copy down his Wild ID number and Name no different then if he was giving you meat. This way if someone questions why you have 15 deer hides this year, you can prove where they came from.

I like to clean the flesh side of the deer as soon as it comes off the animal. I built a simple fleshing beam and use a fleshing knife, although a draw knife or any type edge will work. I've even used a folding Army shovel before. Make sure the edge you are using isn't round, however not sharp either... sharp equals sewing later on. You should be able to run your hand over the edge without making a trip to the hospital. My fleshing beam is a half of a lodge pole tree. The end is rounded off and it's attached to a base with a hinge. This way I can lift up the beam and put the hide between the beam and base to hold it in place. It stands up so the front of the beam is at waist level on me, so I can scrape away from me by bending over it comfortably. If you can't flesh the hide right away or your getting them from a buddy, I just have them throw it into a garbage bag and freeze it. Works the same although it seems more difficult getting the meat and fascia (connecting tissue) off after it's been frozen.

I work from the middle of a hide to the outside. Basically you are scraping the meat, veins, fascia and anything else off the hide. You should be left with a clean (all most white) inside of the hide. Make sure you put down a drop cloth for easy cleanup! I also put a garbage bag around my waist to keep from having blood soaked clothing... your choice!  :chuckle:

Now, you can throw the cleaned hide back into the freezer, salt it, or just air dry it until you are ready to continue... or just keep going. I've been able to do an entire deer hide in one day; with hair on that is.
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2015, 04:54:04 PM »
Next step is removing the hair!  :yike:

I like to use a wet scrape technique to take the hair off. That means once you have the inside clean, I soak it in water to swell the hide and basically give it "dish Pan hands". As the hide soaks up the water the hair and connective tissue will begin to slip off the leather. There are a couple of key items to discuss here!

1) Make sure you do this out side because soaking a hide in water, more so in the summer will begin to stink.

2) You will need to exchange the water approximately every 12 hours to avoid the hide going rancid on you. I've heard of folks weighting the hide down in a creek to complete the same step; however I don't have a creek to use so never tried it. Weight the hide down so it's completely submerged.

3) You can add pot ash (lye) from your stove to help decrease the amount of time this takes.

You want to be able to grab a hand full of fur and be able to pull it out of the hide, that is when you know it's ready. I like to grab the fur on a spot that is thicker leather (neck, back or butt) because then I know if it's slipping there, it's slipping everywhere.

Now it's back to the fleshing beam to pull off the fur. Work against the fur by pushing to out of the hide. For this step you need to get the connective tissue the fur is being held in by. Failure to get this connective tissue off will result in stiff spots on the finished product. The hair side should look the same as the meat side...

There is a dry scrape technique you can use. This requires the hide to be placed on a rack and stretched tight. As it drys, you can use a scrapper to scrap the hair and tissue off the hide. I don't like to use this technique because....

1) It always seams that you dig to much into the leather. Thinning it in places you don't want thin!

2) Dry hides are very brittle and punching holes through them is not funny  :bash:

3) This to me is harder work then the wet scrape! Also running cord through holes and constantly tightening them is very time consuming.

If you do punch a hole through a hide, dental floss works great for sewing it closed and normally will hold during the rest of the process.
"By God, I are a mountain man, and I'll live 'til an arrow or a bullet finds me. And then I'll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent"

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2015, 05:13:27 PM »
I wish I had better pictures  -- When I'm tanning hides, I'm not thinking of taking pictures (SHOCKING)

OK - so now you should have a clean hide inside and out. Inspect it carefully and fix any area that might need more attention or sew up any holes. Its important prior to moving on to tanning the leather that you have cleaned it well or you run the risk of having hard spots on the final product.

Once again, you can stop here and freeze the hide, or dry it until you want to do more. As I'm sure a few of you are thinking, I work a few hides at a time moving through the steps.

Now it's time to tan the hide! Important that you wear gloves for this step! You can tan your own hide!  :bdid:

Depending on how you left your hide from the last step, I get mine wet again to tan it.

I use brains to tan the hides I have. Now you can open the skull of your animal and scope the brains out when you make the kill and freeze them until this time, or most butcher shops will sell brains by the pound. Every animal (expect humans) have enough tannin in their brain to tan their own hide. I don't know who figured out humans don't and frankly I don't want to know!

I blend the brains until they are spaghetti sauce thick (pour easily) hopefully there are no Spaghetti lovers out there gagging at my reference, adding water to thin them out. About a 1/2 pound of brains per hide. Don't start this step until you are ready to go to work. Brains don't keep but a day, so you need to complete this step.

Now I take the wet hide and wring it out. I rap the hide around to sticks and wring it out good and then right into the brains. "WITH GLOVES ON" I work the hide as it wants to soak moisture back into itself around in the brains. Maybe 5 mins of stirring it around and then let sit for 30 mins. Then I'll pull it out and wring it again and repeat the process. Basically you want the brains to penetrate all the way through the hide and in every corner. It doesn't hurt to repeat this process a few times, however there comes a point when enough is enough. I simple wring the brains back into the container I'm using and use the brains left for other hides.

This is you last chance for a break, so if you need one, freeze the hide until you want to proceed.
"By God, I are a mountain man, and I'll live 'til an arrow or a bullet finds me. And then I'll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent"

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2015, 05:28:04 PM »
It's time to dry and soften the hide.

If you left the hide to dry right now, it would dry hard like a drum. The brains will preserve the hide, however we want to make it soft. At this point, you need to continue to work until the hide is dry or freeze it until later. If you stop short of a dry hide, any moisture will cause it to stiffen up.  :tup:

I like to do this step in the summer time so it doesn't take forever... or you can use a wood stove in a garage to keep it warm. You need to break the hide as it drys.

Think of leather as a million Olympic rings connected that need to be separated. Breaking the rings apart is what makes it soft and it needs to be dry to stay that way... (If you make it soft and then let it dry it will be stiff. Water helps the rings reconnect). A lot of work for nothing!  :yike:

So -- you can work the hide around a cable, or here is where i like to tie it tight on a rack and work it with a axe handle and canoe paddle. You simple can't mess with the hide enough. When working an elk or moose, I used to invite all the neighborhood kids over and they would use the hide as a trampoline. You need to stretch the hide as much as possible by pushing the axe handle or canoe paddle into the leather as much as possible. Tearing the hide shouldn't happen at this point unless it's a thin hide (Rabbit is very hard to soften without ripping). Keep working the hide, pushing, twisting, running over a cable, or stretching it until you thinks its dry... then do it some more!

You don't want any moisture to ruin this process. Once soft, move on to the last step or make sure it keeps dry. Don't leave around your dog, I know a guy who lost a nice hide because he left it over a chair and the dog found it tasty.
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2015, 05:45:30 PM »
OK -- now its time to smoke the hide.

Smoking the hide puts "RESIN" from the wood into the hide and prevents the "Olympic rings" from connecting again if it gets wet. (hopefully that makes sense to everyone. It also can give it a nice color, lighter or darker depending on time and wood used. The resin fills the space inside the leather that you created by breaking it.

You need to use a dry smoke! I worked with a guy that smoked a hide just like you smoke meat using wet wood chips and it came out hard as a rock! What a waste and back to the softening step you go.

I use bone dry and rotten cottonwood. I look for punky wood and bring it home and keep it in my wood shed just for this reason. Punky wood so it doesn't start on fire, just smolders.

Take the hide and sew it together to form a sock, I have a pant leg from a pair of jeans that I sew on the bottom to keep it further away from the heat... we don't want to cook the hide, only apply smoke throughout the skin. I have a round charcoal grill with a smoke stack attached to it that I use. Sitting on the ground the stack sticks up about 4 feet. I hang the hide in a tree and lower the tube until the jean is over the stack. I use charcoal to start the fire inside and apply the rotten cotton wood over the top to keep it smoking good. About 30 mins then flip inside out for consistent color. If color isn't a big deal, then one side is enough. Once you are finished, with the smoke, you should be good to go!

I will leave the hides hang in the garage and let them off gas for a few days or a week to get rid of the heavy smoke smell prior to working further with them. Now if you get them wet or wash them, you might need to soften a little bit to get back to your original condition.

Now you can turn your hard work into something!
"By God, I are a mountain man, and I'll live 'til an arrow or a bullet finds me. And then I'll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent"

Offline JJB11B

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2015, 05:49:10 PM »
I know this guy will have 3 deer hides next week I foresee some new early fall hunting togs out of them next season. ;) gonna have to make a traditional bow too.
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Offline JJB11B

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2015, 05:50:05 PM »
OK -- now its time to smoke the hide.

Smoking the hide puts "RESIN" from the wood into the hide and prevents the "Olympic rings" from connecting again if it gets wet. (hopefully that makes sense to everyone. It also can give it a nice color, lighter or darker depending on time and wood used. The resin fills the space inside the leather that you created by breaking it.

You need to use a dry smoke! I worked with a guy that smoked a hide just like you smoke meat using wet wood chips and it came out hard as a rock! What a waste and back to the softening step you go.

I use bone dry and rotten cottonwood. I look for punky wood and bring it home and keep it in my wood shed just for this reason. Punky wood so it doesn't start on fire, just smolders.

Take the hide and sew it together to form a sock, I have a pant leg from a pair of jeans that I sew on the bottom to keep it further away from the heat... we don't want to cook the hide, only apply smoke throughout the skin. I have a round charcoal grill with a smoke stack attached to it that I use. Sitting on the ground the stack sticks up about 4 feet. I hang the hide in a tree and lower the tube until the jean is over the stack. I use charcoal to start the fire inside and apply the rotten cotton wood over the top to keep it smoking good. About 30 mins then flip inside out for consistent color. If color isn't a big deal, then one side is enough. Once you are finished, with the smoke, you should be good to go!

I will leave the hides hang in the garage and let them off gas for a few days or a week to get rid of the heavy smoke smell prior to working further with them. Now if you get them wet or wash them, you might need to soften a little bit to get back to your original condition.

Now you can turn your hard work into something!
Thank you for breaking it down the way you did, Tons of videos of this on youtube but most do a poor job of explaining the process, Great posts Thanks for sharing!
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Offline JJB11B

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2015, 04:30:03 AM »
I registered on bushcraftusa forum today. Spent some time poking around, Its giving me lots of Ideas for this category already. I may have to link some of the things there if that's ok with the Mods.
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Offline jasnt

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2015, 07:27:33 AM »
I registered on bushcraftusa forum today. Spent some time poking around, Its giving me lots of Ideas for this category already. I may have to link some of the things there if that's ok with the Mods.
great forum over there. Nothing like hw 
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2015, 07:57:46 AM »
This might be a great idea for a new category and fits right in with hunting. Mods? Dale?
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Offline Wanttohuntmore

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2015, 09:05:25 AM »
Another useful sub-category, local edible plants/foods in the NW.

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2015, 11:16:32 AM »
Another useful sub-category, local edible plants/foods in the NW.

This is a category that I am always shocked at how many people have no idea whats edible out there.  We were taught from a very young age which plants we could eat and not eat, which berries and mushrooms were safe, and how to forage. We weren't a hunting family. 
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2015, 12:12:12 PM »
Another useful sub-category, local edible plants/foods in the NW.

I would think that would be part of Bush Craft and Survival
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Offline WoodlandShooter

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2015, 01:27:15 PM »
taging for later

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2015, 09:15:19 AM »
What's the best local materials for a hand drill to make an ember?



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Offline Wazukie

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2015, 09:22:01 AM »
Cotton wood or cedar is suppose to be two of the better in the NW 
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Offline jdb

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2015, 06:30:02 PM »
What's everyone's bush crafting knife?
nuke the gray whales for jesus!

Offline Wazukie

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2015, 06:32:32 PM »
What's everyone's bush crafting knife?

Slef-made "scandi"

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Offline KFhunter

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2015, 06:42:43 PM »
nice  :tup:


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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2015, 06:54:00 PM »
Stole this from the web buts what I carry
nuke the gray whales for jesus!

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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2015, 05:58:06 AM »
What's everyone's bush crafting knife?

Slef-made "scandi"

Wazukie made mine, too. The smaller one I use. The larger one went to my brother for his 60th.  :tup:
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2015, 04:32:39 PM »
Tomorrow I have to go shop around for some candidate material to play with stock removal knife making....need to rig up something to use as a forge. I know the owners of a large scrapping company and some of their employees, Ill see if I can get one of them to rough me out the start of an anvil out of some RR track
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Re: Bush Craft Field Craft Survivalist thread
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2015, 04:39:42 PM »
Tomorrow I have to go shop around for some candidate material to play with stock removal knife making....need to rig up something to use as a forge. I know the owners of a large scrapping company and some of their employees, Ill see if I can get one of them to rough me out the start of an anvil out of some RR track

A weed burner and 4 fire bricks works well for a simple forge.  Leaf springs can make a good knife.  I use 1084 and 1095 high carbon steel for all my knives.
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