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Pounding Trees and Finishing

Now for the time consuming and very boring chore of pounding trees.  We count on it taking two weeks for a tree to fully dry, depending on hide thickness and humidity.  And they get “babysat” that whole time.

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The trees are dried on flat pieces of marble and weighted to keep them from twisting
as the rawhide dries.
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Initially, the seams need to be pounded twice a day so they lay flat.
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As the trees dry, tensor bandages are used on the horns for part of the days to allow time for the hide to dry and yet keep the rawhide tight to the horn. At just the right stage of drying, the nails are put into the seat.  Earlier and they can cause bunching
of the rawhide.
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There is a stage when it looks like the seams are as dry as they can get.  But they are fooling you. That’s the time if you really get after them, they flatten out fully and stay that way.
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The rawhide loses thickness as it dries, so the nails have to be reset at least daily. And when you think you are done – you have to reset them again…
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Once the nails have been good for a few days, the trees get two coats of marine varnish to protect the rawhide and they are ready to ship.