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Tools for Hide Tanning
Wet-Scrape and Dry-Scrape Tools for Fleshing, Dehairing, and Scraping Hides
The wet-scrape tool is essential for the hide tanning process. It is used for fleshing and graining or dehairing hides, including for removing the epidermis and membrane.
The best wet-scrape tools we have ever found are recycled planer blades from saw mills, due to the high quality of the steel. The blades are resharpened at the mill again and again until they are too narrow to fit in their planer equipment. These are secondhand blades, and often difficult to obtain. Once properly dulled, you may not need to mess with the edge ever again. The blades should be dulled slightly for wet-scrape use. If the blades still cut into the hide at all, then you should dull the blade some more with sandpaper or sandstone.
These blades come with simple rubber hose handles that will sometimes bleed black onto your hands after tanning many hides. We use them because they work very well, you don't need anything better and they allow us to keep the cost down. If you want something fancier, you can always replace the handles.
Having the right tool makes a huge difference in dry-scrape work. You need a tool that will hold an extremely sharp edge and is comfortable to use. This quality, hand-crafted scraper is primarily used for the dry scrape method of tanning buckskin, as well as for thinning buffalo hides to prepare them for robes. The head is fixed at the proper angle for easy scraping without hitting the handle against the hide.
This dry scrape tool features a high quality steel blade to hold that keen edge needed for pleasurable, efficient scraping, plus the solid weight of the tool helps do a lot of the work for you. The blade is oil-quenched tool steel tempered to a Rockwell hardness of about c-58. The blade is joined with 1/4" fine-threaded machine bolts to a 5/16" thick cold finish steel core, which in turn is set in a hand-planed wood handle and fixed with brass screws. The handle stock is mostly Douglas fir or Oak.
Please Note: Because this dryscrape tool is made with high-carbon tool steel, it is susceptable to rust if allowed to stay wet. Also, be careful handling this tool, since the blade is razor sharp. Cost: $75.00
Also see these related pages:
Braintanning Books & Videos
Finished Braintanned Skins for Sale
Glover's Needles and Thread
Sinews and Hide Glue
Deer Toes for Crafts
For additional information, supplies, and raw hides
Return to Granny's Country Store Home Page
for tanning or finished skins, please check out
Melvin Beattie's www.braintanbuckskin.com
and Matt Richards' www.braintan.com