Thursday, July 2, 2015

Before there was plastic there was Raw Hide.

  A while ago I replaced the end on one of our garden hoses. To hold the new fitting in place I used a hose clamp and the result looked like this:

The clamp is doing the job perfectly but it is not very nice to hold on to while splashing water around the yard. Having a nasty thingy on the end of the hose is not really an issue for grown ups.....but shortly there will be grand children playing in the yard and I don't want a four year old's hand messed up by a rough edge.

 The solution:
before trimming

 a raw hide wrap.  
after trimming.

   Once raw hide is wet it can be shaped easily and once it dries it is very hard.

  I started out with a cheap cheap piece of raw hide for a cheap cheap bag of raw hide chew pieces for dogs. I bought the bag at a $ store, not even a pet food place.  There are a dozen irregular hunks of raw hide about the size of the palm of my hand.

 First stage to making the raw hide workable is to soak it for a good long time.  Usually I soak the piece I want to work with for at least over night and usually more like 24 hours. Once the hide is that soaked it is kind of spongy, a bit slimy and ready to be shaped and stitched.
  I cut the wet hide with a sharp utility knife and punch holes in it with an awl. After getting the wet hide shaped I leave it to dry out, usually a couple of days. Once dry it is a bit rough but quite hard. For this project I will probably smooth the dried hide down some how, sand paper I expect.

  Yesterday was Canada Day and as I rode my bike around the neighbourhood I saw some school kids playing road hockey. 

   The great Canadian summer tradition.  There is even a reference to playing road hockey in one of the Murdoch Mysteries episodes. Aside from a part of my history as well as Canadian Identity I just love it when I see kids outside playing. 


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