Shadow, I considered the lye, but how hard is it to get back out of the hides and is there something to neutralize it when you're done. I expect this is what I'll need to do. Since these hides have been tanned I don't guess the hair will "slip" very well. AJ
I don't think I would use lye solution on an already tanned hide.It is used on raw hides to remove hair just like in hog processing. Maybe you could find a trade for some tanned hides without the hair on them. As they say on so many products test in and inconspiuous place first, or even try on an old pair of leather gloves or boots to see what the lye does. Beware, wear a plastic or rubber apron, old shoes, full face mask, and heavey rubber gloves. Lye, because it is cautic is just as nasty to work with as acids. Bill
Duh! I am not trying to start a fight, but really. See if you can, do a trade. By what I read you are in for a lot of work to say the least and at the minimum you might just ruin some nice hides. May I suggest that you contact a tannery and see what they have to say. Let those fingers do the walking. There is one in Southwest Wisconsin but the name escapes my memory now. Darn if I was in the same boat I would try a trade. Who gives a hoot where the hides came from or what memories you might have of their origin. You want clean leather to work with, if I am not mistaken. Bill
AJ- I believe your best option is to shoot a few more Elk and remove the hair before tanning. You may have to wait a year to do that, but it looks like any method of getting the hair out now would take about a year.