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The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning: A Complete Guide to Working with Pelts, Fur, and Leather Paperback – November 1, 2002


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The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning: A Complete Guide to Working with Pelts, Fur, and Leather + Deerskins into Buckskins: How to Tan with Brains, Soap or Eggs; 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 1st edition (November 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585746703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585746705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This volume belongs on your "Most Wanted" list!"-- Whitetails Unlimited

From the Back Cover

Here is the complete guide to a skill that may be mysterious to some, written by Monte Burch, an authority who practices many of the traditions of tanning and hiding. Starting at the beginning, Burch introduces the hunter to the tools of a tanner, and even gives complete plans for making many of these implements. Instructions are given for making fleshing beams, stretchers for pelts, fleshing knives, and many others. He also covers tanning formulas and materials, both traditional and modern. From the oldest method to the newest twist, Burch's guide will be indispensable to the modern hunter. (6 x 9, 240 pages, b&w photos, illustrations)Monte Burch has been trapping and tanning since the 1950s, and writing about the outdoors for four decades. He has written thousands of magazine articles and more than fifty books-including Field Dressing and Butchering Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Wild Turkeys; Field Dressing and Butchering Deer; and Field Dressing and Butchering Rabbits, Squirrels, and Other Small Game. He lives on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks, where trapping and tanning are a way of life.

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Customer Reviews

Very easy to understand even though full of detail.
Harry E. Smith Jr.
This book is an excellent reference for use when tanning hides from different animals.
Carl Robinson
Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the art.
Mark Sweeney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Valerie on November 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is written by a professional book writer, not a tanner. He seems to be getting most of his information from hide tanning kits and some tanning he has done himself. Since the book has no bibliography or footnotes, it is hard to say where he gets his information. He does refer to a Bruce Rittel of 'Rittel's Chrome Tan Products' a few times, as if having consulted with him.. He doesn't appear to have worked with or interviewed any professional or advanced amateur tanners along the way while writing this book.

There are several pictures in the book of someone skinning, fleshing and working with hides. I don't know if this is the author or not. It could be more than one person as the face is usually not visible. From the text, the author describes his working with hides, but I do not get the impression that his work with hides is extensive.

He refers to the 'Native American' several times, as if to suggest that they were some sort of authority on hide tanning. This would be absurd because when the English landed at Jamestown in 1607, they were much more advanced than the 'Native American' in tanning hides. The only method that he connects to the 'Native American' is the buck skin making process that he shows.

He gives some good drawings and pictures of how to make some of the tools needed for skinning, fleshing, stretching and so forth. This is perhaps the most instructive part of the book. There are also pretty detailed drawings and explanation of how to skin animals. There are some pictures that look rather gruesome. (Well, if you can't stand to look at the pictures, you had best forget about tanning hides anyway.)

He makes an attempt to explain some of the chemistry, but it is weak.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joesph T. Holloway on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the back of the book it refers to the author practicing ancient traditions of tanning and hiding. This is what interested me into buying the book. After getting it in the mail today I read through it and concluded that I wasted my money on the product. I have found more information googling with "how to" articles then reading this book, especially concerning the traditional methods that have been used for years before all these solutions and such have came out.

My advice, google what your looking for. This book mostly refers you to other products, like the bait on the fishing hook.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan21 on November 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We home butcher and it would be such a shame to waste the valuable hide or pelt. This book has complete easy to follow instructions for all you need to know about skinning and tanning successfully. There are a wide variety of techniques and formulas discussed including environmentally friendly choices. I have made some lovely rugs and a saddle pad from sheep pelts using Rittel's EZ-100 "Ewe Tan It" plus this book as a guide. They turned out very well and the hair stays on. I have also tanned some small furred pelts, squirrels and rabbits, and they turned out nicely as well. A note: For accurate amounts, I suggest weighing the tanning agents, especially the salt, rather than using a measuring cup. Also, if pH is important in the process you are using, don't guess. Take the trouble to get some pH paper in the right ranges and use it. A little extra attention to details will really pay off in your finished project!
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By jade on April 23, 2014
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It helped me tan multiple hides including a cow and snake hide so I recommend this book to someone who wants to learn to tan
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This book is an excellent reference for use when tanning hides from different animals. It includes the regular fur bearing animals and also shows how to preserve the scales of snake and lizard skin.
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A well written guide for those that would venture a try at preserving furs/ hides.
I recommend it, good information.
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By kenny hannaford on January 6, 2014
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When I start skinning and tanning different species of animal it will come in handy!!! I really like the diagrams and how-to's!
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I am giving a five star rating because it's exactly how it was described. I was able to find a section in the book that applied to my need.
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