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As far as braintanning cowhide, as far as I know it can't be done. I know a guy in Michigan that has tried to braintan and he says it is the only mammal he has tried to braintan that would not take to brains.

Benjamin Pressley
TRIBE, P.O. Box 20015, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA

You can use a cow brain from the market. I've heard a lot about trying to get around the old way and I think the key may be in the lecithin. Lecithin is in the brain material suppose to make the hide soft. One fellow I heard of used Crisco and lecithin but if memory serves me it didn't work very well. Too smelly or something.

Howard Barker

There's a book out on dry scrape brain tanning that I found to be an excellent resource. It's called Blue Mountain Buckskin by Jim Riggs. It Costs $12.00. Write him at 72501 Hiway 82, Wallowa, OR 97885. The book is very well written and Jim has a great sense of humor. You'll find it answers a lot of questions. Even ones you haven't thought of yet! There was a question of how do you get brains. Supposedly, each animal comes with enough brains to tan its own hide, but friends of mine that do a lot of brain tanning get pork brains out of the meat section at the grocery store ( you might have to hunt a bit).

Ferrell A. Peterson

Cow or Pig brains work great.

Gary Lowell

Sometimes I do take the brain out of the deer whose hide I am tanning, In general, one brain will do 2-4 hides, depending on the method of braintan you are using. As far as brain use goes though you can use any kind of brain. I just as often buy the frozen pork brains in the frozen foods section of my grocery store. Once, at a demo at a national park, I ran out of brains and could not find frozen anywhere and used the canned variety in gravy. It worked just fine, but was a little more expensive.

Benjamin Pressley
TRIBE, P.O. Box 20015, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA