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Make Your Own Braintan Buckskin!
Books and Videos for Wet-Scrape and Dry-Scrape Tanning
Now you can learn the magic of transforming raw skins into velvet-soft braintanned buckskin! Braintan is soft and light in comparison to the dense, slick commercial leathers. Lecithin is an oil in the brains that is used to lubricate the fibers of the hides so they can be stretched until soft and dry.
Some braintanners utilize a wet-scrape process where the wet hide is draped over a round log and dehaired with a dull tool. Other tanners utilize a dry-scrape process where the fresh hide is stretched and dried in a frame, then dehaired with a razor-sharp tool. Wet-scraping is an easier way to remove the hair, but dry-scraping usually allows better penetration of the brains. Scroll down the page to see our entire selection of books, videos and tools for either method.
Stone Age Living Skills Video Classics Series
Disc Two: Hide Tanning
Wet-Scrape and Dry-Scrape Tanning on one DVD!
The Stone Age Living Skills Video Classic Series brings back to life on DVD some of the best primitive skills videos ever produced on VHS video. Disc Two: Hide Tanning features both dry-scrape and wet-scrape tanning methods with Robert Earthworm and Melvin Beattie.
The Ancient Art of Tanning Buckskin with Robert Earthworm
Learn to transform raw deer skins into soft tanned buckskin using the dry-scrape method. Robert Earthworm teaches how to properly skin, flesh, rack, scrape, brain, stretch, soften and smoke deer hides. This has been one of the most popular videos ever produced on dry-scrape brain tanning.
Earthworm has taught hundreds of people how to tan using the dry-scrape method featured in this video. Throughout the video he highlights details that might otherwise be missed and repeats essential points to make sure you remember them. The video is professionally produced and includes the necessary close-ups to reveal the details.
Matt Richards, author of Deerskins into Buckskins describes The Ancient Art of Tanning Buckskin as "easily the best video on the dryscrape method of braintanning, and probably the best braintanning video available period. If you are interested in learning the dryscrape method, this video is well worth the investment... Earthworm is also a master at keeping things simple, yet telling you all that you need to know. He takes you step by step from skinning to finished, smoked buckskin."
Tanning Spirit with Melvin Beattie
In 1978 Melvin Beattie brought his brain-tanned buckskin to sell at a black-powder rendezvous with some 300 people. He was the only one there with genuine braintan. At the same rendezvous ten years later there were 3,000 people in attendance, and it seemed that everyone had braintan to sell.
Melvin was one of a few people around the country who helped recover the nearly lost art of braintanning. Today there are individuals all over the West who learned wet-scrape tanning directly from Melvin, or from others he has taught.
This 45 minute video features Melvin and his wet-scrape tanning method. Learn to efficiently skin, flesh, scrape, brain, soften, and smoke hides to make your own durable clothing, moccasins, and bags. It is an easy, informative step-by-step presentation of the tanning process. Additional notes on the tanning process are included at BraintanBuckskin.com.
We recommed using Melvin's Tanning Spirit for an overview of the process, along with Thomas J. Elpel's book Participating in Nature for details and trouble-shooting, for a combination that will easily guide you through the tanning process. This process uses only water for soaking the hides and brains for the tanning agent. No chemical treatments are used.
"I finally managed to take advantage of the information I obtained from you on brain tanning hides. I found that Melvin Beattie's video "the Tanning Spirit" most beneficial. I have done three hides so far and have been able to pick out the mistakes I have made--all of them are correctable. When I was reading the books---they are all very good---tanning seemed to be a very complicated process and I couldn't help wondering if I really wanted to get into it. Watching Mel's video helped me to realize just how easy hide tanning really is. I would definitely recommend Mel's video to any one interested in tanning hides!" (--Tim B.)
Check out the entire Stone Age Living Skills Video Classics Series.
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