The next, after-shooting of the skins, the process of processing them is curing, or mechanical degreasing of the skins. Mezdrovka consists in cleaning the medial side of the remaining subcutaneous muscles, fat and connective tissue films.
Skinning of the skins, the used tool, skinning of the skins on decks, mezdrilny boards and discs.
All these residues impede the subsequent successful preservation of the skins, making it difficult for the preservatives to penetrate into the skin, and drying if it is produced, which can lead to the appearance of defects, the main ones being fat burning and the charm of mezra. Fat burning occurs when fat is left on the mesenter, which, oxidizing, destroys the skin tissue over time, often to complete unsuitability for further use..
Mezra maturity is formed if skins with a thick layer of subcutaneous musculature and films are dried, especially if they are dried with high humidity. Unmediated skins dry slowly, and decomposition processes develop in them, primarily damaging the hair roots, which leads to hair loss, watery hair or bald spots.
There are conservation methods in which curing is not done or partly done, but they are not always applicable. The hinge begins immediately after the shooting of the skins, not allowing them to be stored in an unprocessed state even for a short time.
Tools for mechanical degreasing of hides.
A variety of tools are used for mechanical degreasing. They are used in the processing of skins on decks, mezdrilny boards and discs. Almost all of them should not be sharp. Dull knives, scrapers, fins, and metal spoons slightly sharpened along the edge, used to scrape off fat, films, and meat, should not cut the flesh. For the convenience of work, the knife edges should be thick enough so as not to stuff corns on the fingers.
You should not scrub the skins immediately along their entire length, but you need to peel off all excess from the mezdra of “knots”, i.e. prying along the border with the cleaned part and driving away with a tool blade, set at an acute angle to the surface, with small movements. If you scrape the entire skin at once, then breakdowns of the tool and damage to the skin or, with a large amount of fat, rubbing of its pieces and completely undesirable fattening of the skins, leading to the appearance of fat burning during storage, are possible..
Sharpened tools – a slanting knife, a sharp two-handed scraper – are used when processing the head of the skins to cut off the remnants of the nasal cartilage, massive parts of the lips and cheeks, trying not to cut the roots of the mustache (vibrissa). They are also used for the skinning of animal skins with thick skin and a layer of subcutaneous fat firmly connected to the skin, like beavers, bears, wolverines, sometimes wolves, for degreasing “cuts”.
This work requires great care so as not to cut through the skin and not to cut the roots of the hair (the formation of “draft”). It is convenient to use a two-handed two-handed scraper made of a plane knife or a strip of steel 4-6 cm wide.
On the one hand, there is a blunt straight blade for degreasing “knots”, on the other hand, a very sharp rounded blade with one-sided sharpening to cut off thickenings. When making scrapers, remember that the angles on the blades must be rounded to avoid accidental cuts of the skin by the sharp edges of the tools..
Toothed fins are rarely used. Only in those cases when it is necessary to gently loosen the mezra and squeeze fat out of it without risking to trim the hair roots. This is sometimes necessary, for example, when processing the skins of badgers or the skins of large animals (wolf, jackal) with fur that has not fully come out, i.e. when the roots of the hair are enlarged and lie deep. Mezdryak is held by the handle with the working part to itself, and the processing is carried out on their own.
Skinning skins on decks, mezzril boards, and blanks.
The procedure for mechanical degreasing of skins on decks, mezzanine boards and discs is as follows:
1. Scrub the tail from tip to root.
2. The skeleton part of the skin is fuzzy towards the head, the very edge is cleaned along it.
3. The hind legs are processed from their ends to the rump and groin.
4. Spinal part – in the direction from the rump to the head.
5. Boca – oblique movements from the ridge to the abdomen and from the rump to the head.
6. The abdominal part – from the groins to the ducky and from the sides to the midline of the abdomen.
7. Forelegs – from their ends to the darling and nape.
8. Scruff, darling and head – towards the end of the muzzle.
Operations 4, 5 and 6, i.e. cleansing of the spinal, lateral and abdominal parts on the skins removed by the tube and the stocking is carried out simultaneously by turning the skin on the mezdril board or together with the disc and driving off the fat and cut it with a roller in the direction from tail to head.
To mend the skins of large animals, stationary mezdral decks are used, made from half a log or a hewn timber and set obliquely at an angle of 30-45 degrees. The upper end of the deck can be made wedge-shaped for the convenience of processing paws and the head of the skin. It should be at the height of the upper abdomen of the person working on the deck..
Part of the skin is pressed belly to the upper end of the deck. Having put a rag, a bag or putting on an oilcloth apron, and make the meshes of the part of the skin spread on the deck in the direction from top to bottom, away from you. You can work both standing and sitting, but for sitting, you need to do either high sitting or a deck lower, but in the second case it will be inconvenient to work standing.
However, mezdrilny decks are very bulky and it is convenient to use them only if there is a special room (workshop) for the day of processing the skins. In addition, on large decks, it is bad to degrease the skins of animals of medium and small size. It is hard to work with even-skinned animal skins. For ease of storage, you can make a collapsible deck on an ordinary bench.
Collapsible Mezzanine Board on a Bench.
The bench seat bench should be sufficiently thick, at least 3 cm. In the seat with a chisel or a chisel, choose 2 through inclined holes of rectangular cross section. From a board with a thickness of 2.5-3 cm, they make the actual mezdril board (deck) of a wedge-shaped shape with hewn ribs. In the lower, wide part of it, a shank is left, in cross section corresponding to one of the holes in the bench seat.
For greater durability of the device, a support block should be made. One end is inserted into the second hole in the bench, and the other into the recess selected in the lower plane of the board. To process the skins of various animals for such a collapsible deck, you can make several mezdrilnye boards of different sizes. The length of the board and the angle of its inclination can be arbitrary depending on the growth and convenience of the person working on it.
The dimensions should be such that, sitting on a bench facing the inclined board, you can freely reach your upper end with your hands, since the head of the skin is cleaned at the wedge-shaped end of the deck. At the same time, the upper end of the working part should be located at a level slightly above the middle of the abdomen of a standing person, so that it is convenient to work and standing, as on a large stationary deck.
Leather skins in a city apartment.
In the conditions of a city apartment, where often there is nowhere to put such devices, it is convenient to make 2-4 wedge-shaped boards of different widths and thicknesses. You can work with them in the bathroom, sitting on the wide end of the board, laid on a stool and on the edge of the bath. The working part of the board is located above the bathtub, and its inclined position is convenient for working with skins.
Of course, oilcloth or polyethylene should be placed in the bathtub for basic hygiene reasons. The length of the board, like that of a collapsible deck, should be such that it is convenient to work on its entire surface, including on the end part.
So that the lower end of the board on which the worker sits does not create inconvenience, it can be fixed in some way, for example, leaving a small shank and inserting it into the inclined hole cut in a short wide board laid on a stool. But from experience I must say that this is unlikely to be needed.
Final work of skinning pelts.
At the end of the cure, the mash should be thoroughly wiped with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess fat and excess moisture. Heavily fried mesdra is wiped with dry heated (but not higher than 40 degrees) sawdust of hardwood or sawdust slightly moistened with clean (without oil!), Preferably aviation, gasoline or lighting kerosene.
Backache, cuts and tears of the skin must be sewn up. Otherwise, during further processing, they may increase or acquire a “familiar” shape (almost unchanged even after soaking and significantly complicating the furrier treatment), which will reduce the value of fur. Sew holes in a regular sewing or trihedral needle with a herringbone seam. Piercing the skin only from the side of the mezra. The stitches should be free, only tightening the edges of the hole end-to-end, without overlap and the formation of a thick roller at the seam.
Having finished work with the head side, the skin is turned upside down with fur. Wool should be cleaned of dirt, blood and fat, if such pollution could not be avoided. Dirt and blood are washed off the fur with lukewarm water, clean or with a little soap or wool detergents. Unnecessarily do not wash the entire skin; only contaminated areas are washed.
Greasy fur is wiped with non-resinous sawdust with pure gasoline, acetone or alcohol. Then clean with dry sawdust. If there are resin-coniferous trees on the wool, which is often found in sables, martens, and other taiga animals, they remove it with a cloth moistened with turpentine, acetone, or alcohol. Having cleaned the fur, it is dried and combed with brushes and metal combs. Then proceed to the last stage of the primary processing of the skins – dressing and canning.
Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of the Hunter.
Petrunin V.B., Nikashina E.B., Kupriyanov F.G., Nikerov Yu.N., Rymalov I.V..