I smell like wet dog.

Well, actually, I smell like wet MOOSE… because I managed to flesh and mostly membrane a moosehide today.

I learned two things:

  1. Keep pressure hose off concrete, or else vibration will eventually wear a hole in said hose.
  2. Moose softens INCREDIBLY easier than cow. I’m starting to really understand why the brain-tanners refuse to even touch cow. I’m very likely, should I be able to source hides for tanning, to start working more in deer and elk and moose, simply because it’s so much less work to soften.

UPDATE:  It’s looking pretty good now, and is sitting in the frame sun-to-fur so that it can finish drying out.  I’ll take a couple of pics once I take a break.  I’m beat, and I’ve gotta be at the gym in two hours.

  1. (on softening)  Yeah.  That in spades.  Unless somebody wants tooled saddlery stuff, I’m not looking back.  Fergit cow.  I just softened sections of that hide that would have taken a semi-industrial process in cow, on the fly as an impromptu “break,” as I hot-stuffed another side of leather.
  2. A bigger and better (bulk-rate) frame would have helped.  I had to lose a couple of corners by the back legs because my frame wasn’t big enough to let me work them right.
  3. The fur itself has a really nice russet shine to it: the alum bath really seems to have brought out some of the color.  I’m thinking of rolling it up when it’s done and I’ve cleaned the fur off, and storing it wrapped up in a bag with cinnamon oil or something to block the scent, so that my wife objects.  She’s never had a dog, let alone a wet, dirty dog, and while the smell will diminish rapidly once it’s dry, it just seems like the “married” thing to do.

Or, maybe, I could rub it down in rosemary or lavender or something like that.  Rosemary, probably.  I just can’t see “lavender moose” as anything other than a bad disco trip.

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