The other day the kangaroo skin that I ordered from Weaver Leather showed up!
They said the skins average 6 square feet and this one is 6.4 square feet. The skin didn’t really have much in the way or scars, but it was a dry skin. For whip making drum stuffed skins are much better and normally cost about the same as non-drum stuffed skins. Drum stuffing is when the skins have grease worked into them while at the tannery in a big drum. It gets a nice even coat of grease and the grease penetrates to the inside of the skin.
When you get a dry skin you have to Hand Stuff it with grease. Basically to do this you rub grease onto the kangaroo skin and let it soak in. Once it has soaked in you buff off any excess. Repeat if (or as) necessary. Hand stuffing a skin is a pain in the butt and doesn’t get results that are as good as drum stuffing. Using the rub on, buff off method in my opinion won’t get the grease to penetrate as deeply or as evenly as a drum stuffed skin.
Part of the reason you don’t get as good penetration of grease into the skin is that the grease is semi solid, so it won’t get every little pore all the way down. When this skin from Weaver came in and it was dry, I just happened to be working on project (non whip releated) that used a heat gun. I was going to put a coat of grease on it and saw the heat gun out of the corner of my eye and hand a little brainstorm to melt the grease with the heat gun.
Here’s a little video of me doing it:
I don’t know if anyone has done this before, but it was an AH HA moment for me when it worked! Now you might be worried that the heat might dry out the skin…but you are using the heat to melt grease into the skin, so I don’t think that’s a concern. I had my heat gun at about 3/4 power and kept it moving so there wouldn’t be any danger of scorching the skin. I was amazed at the results, the skin had a nice feel to it, almost like a drum stuffed skin! I haven’t cut into it yet and cone I start to use it that will be the real test. But for now whenever I get a dry skin this is how I’m going to grease it!