Monday, September 14, 2015
Rawhide, is a product many read about but have no way to get it if they are not a hunter or know someone who is. Here is an easy trick to get your mitts on some rawhide for cheap. It can be used for many projects from securing wood to hold in place to patching a broken wood handle on a broom or a hammer etc. So how do you get hold of this magic piece of product. Any pet store and many markets carry those rawhide bones for your dog to chew on, but the little trick is dont give it to your dog, place the whole bone in a bucket of water , let it sit for about 48 hours and it will begin to unravel , creating with the large size bone about a 12inch by 12inch sheet of rawhide, the longer it sits in the water it will become more pliable , that is when you need to cut it to size for whatever your project may be. Use as fast as you can as it will begin to dry out very fast Be sure the whole bone is covered in water and you might have to weight it down as it will float
A broken handle needs about a 4 inch wide piece and as long as the piece of rawhide is , while it is wet wrap the handle withe rawhide as tight as you can , even using pliers to pull it tighter, now tie a cord around the rawhide at the edges and the middle , set aside and let it dry out. the rawhide will shrink tight as a drum securing the handle in place. In the old days rawhide was used on broken gun stock for a repair.
You may want to cut several pieces of "whang " like a cord to wrap and leave in place. If the rawhide drys out you can soak it again and it will become pliable in a short time so you shape to what you need. I have used whangs on knife handles for a better non slip grip. Made sheaths for knives and rawhide containers like many Indians did . Rawhide is a remarkable tool to hold anything in place, you can varnish it so that it is water proof or wax it...Rawhide is easy to shape . The orgininal Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, used rawhide to hold the huge beams in place , they have never been replaced , I toured the temple just to see the beams and the rawhide .
While working with rawhide it gets slippery so it takes a little bit to get the hang of it. I also have used it to wrap on the place where my hand grips a hiking staff , provides a nice grip. You can keep adding a few layers if needed. but once it drys it like iron , you will not be able to unwrap it and is a bear to get off. so be sure it is what you want. I learned this the hard way .. it looks good added to any gear for a rustic look Making a container will need a form that can withstand the pressure of he rawhide shrinking. I underestimated this once and it crushed the frame .leaving me with nothing I could use, just resoak the rawhide . A container looks cool when you paint a design on the. You can make a container without a form but takes a bit of practice , rweada bunch of practice , the good hing is you can reuse the rawhide over again .
Try some rawhide project it's a low tech tool that works well , would be glad to hear if anyone tries it.
By Dude McLean