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Oct 24, 2021 - 9:34:42 AM
58448 posts since 12/14/2005

Somebody turned a rather nice looking coyote into road kill, so I brought it over to my unheated storage shed.
Planning to remove the tail.
But, as long as it's here, who knows and/or who guesses that the skin might make a good tack-on banjo head?

Oct 24, 2021 - 9:58:22 AM
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317 posts since 4/3/2012

Dog skins are highly valued for certain types of drum heads in Asia. I have handled many of these instruments and thought that the skins would be ideal for banjo heads.

Just to be clear, I don't condone or condemn the butchering of dogs for food or other purposes. I am just observing the way things are in other parts of the world.

I'm not sure of differences between dog and coyote skins and each skin is unique, but I suspect it may be very good.

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:20:24 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

1122 posts since 8/9/2019

probably way too thick imo

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:29:34 AM
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4140 posts since 11/29/2005

If you do attempt to use it, be sure to remove ALL the hair! (You wouldn't want to get a 'wild hair' up your banjo 8). )

Oct 24, 2021 - 11:31:22 AM

rmcdow

USA

1032 posts since 11/8/2014

I'd suggest that you cure it and tan it, then work it with a stone or something to stretch out the fibers first. Not a lot of work, but it would likely last longer on a banjo.

Oct 24, 2021 - 1:49:36 PM

58448 posts since 12/14/2005

Watched a video on how to skin a coyote.
Gave it a try.
With my limited skills & tools, too much effort involved.
Body has been disposed of.

Oct 24, 2021 - 1:56:20 PM
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14019 posts since 6/29/2005

I once tried to skin a road kill skunk that didn't seem to smell bad, with over-the-phone instructions from an expert.

Big mistake.

Sounds like the Acme co. was at work. Was the coyote killed by having an anvil fall on it, or being hurled into a billboard by a big slingshot?

Oct 24, 2021 - 2:29:25 PM
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2761 posts since 3/30/2008
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Mike, You may have made the right decision to discard this coyote, I hear the skins create a lot of wolf notes in banjos.

Oct 24, 2021 - 4:01:30 PM
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14019 posts since 6/29/2005

Oct 24, 2021 - 5:19:39 PM
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TomL

USA

70 posts since 1/26/2008

You may have a problem with wolf tones on the high strings

Oct 25, 2021 - 7:34:30 AM
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598 posts since 1/28/2011

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow

I'd suggest that you cure it and tan it, then work it with a stone or something to stretch out the fibers first. Not a lot of work, but it would likely last longer on a banjo.


You need rawhide for a banjo head, not tanned leather.

Oct 25, 2021 - 7:44:59 AM

rmcdow

USA

1032 posts since 11/8/2014

quote:
Originally posted by latigo1
quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow

I'd suggest that you cure it and tan it, then work it with a stone or something to stretch out the fibers first. Not a lot of work, but it would likely last longer on a banjo.


You need rawhide for a banjo head, not tanned leather.


That's interesting, and I don't disagree, as I have stretched a few hide heads, and the starting material looks raw.  One thing I notice though is that they don't rot like uncured hide.  What do you think is done to them to keep this from happening, possibly a salt cure then rinsing them out?

Oct 25, 2021 - 3:59:10 PM

58448 posts since 12/14/2005

There's probably something about making rawhide in the FOXFIRE series on Appalachian living.

Oct 25, 2021 - 7:14:42 PM
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95 posts since 2/7/2017

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow
quote:
Originally posted by latigo1
quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow

I'd suggest that you cure it and tan it, then work it with a stone or something to stretch out the fibers first. Not a lot of work, but it would likely last longer on a banjo.


You need rawhide for a banjo head, not tanned leather.


That's interesting, and I don't disagree, as I have stretched a few hide heads, and the starting material looks raw.  One thing I notice though is that they don't rot like uncured hide.  What do you think is done to them to keep this from happening, possibly a salt cure then rinsing them out?


Nothing, they keep them dry.

Oct 26, 2021 - 1:16:31 AM
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727 posts since 2/15/2015

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

Mike, You may have made the right decision to discard this coyote, I hear the skins create a lot of wolf notes in banjos.


The big deal on the east coast is the wolf- coyote hybrid which seems to have occurred naturally and is the predominant species of the Northeast. So if you were to use one of those hybrid hides I guess it would help to develop hybrid picking somewhat.

Oct 30, 2021 - 2:31:20 PM

banjo roo

Australia

55 posts since 5/12/2010

Foxes are a major pest in Australia. I plan to use a fox hide in an up coming banjo.

I have prepared one hide before (not coyote)
Preparing rawhide was not hard and easier than tanning (you don't want to tan it as it for a banjo). Skin the animal.
Dump it in a bucket of ash and water slurry from a fire for about two days (the ash is alkaline, making the hair loosen).
Pull/scrape of the hair (soak longer in ash if needed)
Stretch out and nail hide to a wooden board to dry. Once dry trim and your good to go.

Oct 31, 2021 - 6:44:36 AM

9088 posts since 8/28/2013

The heck with coyotes. I only hope that someone catches that Gecko from those insurance company commercials, and turns him into a banjo head.

That would probably ruin the banjo's tone, but at least we'd be rid of that nauseating spokeslizard.

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