Making trap dye

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by warcraft1975, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    ok so i was thinking about gathering up walnuts from the back yard for dye, and was wondering what else will dye traps?i was thinking there was some sort of tree bark out there but cant think of it off the top of my head,any suggestions?i think i will crush the walnuts to save space anyone got an idea on how to crush or even powder such a hard shell?sledge hammer?lol
     
  2. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Wear gloves or you will dye your hands!The softer outer hull of Black Walnuts is what you use for dye.When they are green,they will give you a weird off greenish dark color.When dry or blackish,they will give you the brown.You can get from light to dark by the concentration of and time immersed.The inner hull is almost useless for dye.You "Shuck" the walnut shells,saving the outer shell.You can store it in a sack for years by hanging it in a dry place.Many of us old folks also dyed all types of fishing nets with walnuts back when they were made of Sea Island Cotton.Hemlock and Pine Trees.There is a soft inner layer of bark between the white wood and rough outer bark on these trees.People used to strip the saw logs for this prier to sawing.It was called and sold as "Tan Bark".It was mainly used as a dye for leather.People used to boil their traps all day in river water(NO CITY CHLORINE)to get the preservative out of the metal.Then dry them so that the dye would take better.Many just boiled and let the film of rust form.Some melted paraffin in a kettle of boiling water and slowly dipped and retrieved the trap in the pot.The floating paraffin was supposed to rust proof the trap.I heard of mixed results with this.Luck.peewee-williams
     

  3. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

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    1,190
    thnaks a bunch that clears it up i thought it was the inner shell,but since its the outer that will make it awhole lot better to deal with
     
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

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    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Yea! Nearly any one will give the outer shells for asking.Be careful where you poor your dye water or old hulls when finished.It will kill many kinds of plants and flowers.peewee-williams
     
  5. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Tom, I've used black walnut hulls to die traps before and here is a tip. To get the hull of of the walnut just throw them out in the driveway for a few days. Repeatedly driving over them knocks off the hull and then all you have to do is pick them up.

    ST
     
  6. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    I use the entire walnut, you don't need to crush or peel them. Some guys put them in a mesh bag to prevent any "chunks" from clinging to their traps. A 5 gal bucket-full will do over 100 traps.

    There are several other types of "natural" dyes, from bark to berries (sumac being one I think), but can't think of any of them now to save my life. I use walnuts, so have never had to look for an alternative.

    Be sure & let the traps dry completely before waxing though....moisture (even in the smallest amount) & hot wax don't mix well.

    Smitty
     
  7. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

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    5,299
    State:
    Kentucky
    Name:
    your first name
    I dont trap but the guys that I know that do use sumac berries. They are small red berries that clump together kinda like grapes. They say they are easy to work with.
     
  8. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    State:
    Louisiana
    Sweet Gum saw dust works well also. It makes a thick black liquid that will turn your traps black as can be. I use to get it from a saw mill locally.
     
  9. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

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    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    my best friends family when i was a kid would use walnuts when their still in their husks and boil the traps with them to stain them.
     
  10. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    783
    State:
    collins mo
    maple leaves and tigs green, or close to green, usualy produces, blueish,
    color, oak has alot of tanic acid, in it leaves bark etc, walnut probley the strongest , sumac good also, anything with alot of tanic acid should work.
    Jim
     
  11. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

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    1,190
    smitty i thought you wax them in the water?put wax on top and bring them up?
     
  12. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Nope, never have done it that way. I know some do & swear by it though, I just don't think I'd be happy with the end results.....lol & I've worked on some traps that looked like they'd been caked with wax, which makes them a pain to weld on.

    Waxing is a dangerous step, and extreme caution needs to be used when doing it. You need to do it outside & away from any buildings. Also, be sure to have a lid or flat piece of metal that you can set ontop of the waxpot, should the need arise to smother the flames......remember NEVER spray water on a wax fire.

    You can put your wax pot into a larger pot of water (like a double-boiler) and it would be basically impossible to overheat the wax. I know another guy who uses an electric deepfryer so he can control the temp with the thermostat.

    I do mine on an open flame (propane), and start-out with an extremely low flame to get the entire pot into a liquid state. Then I heat it to just about the point of it smoking & add the 1st batch of traps (which will lower the wax temp). I leave them in for acouple minutes to let the traps heat to the same temp as the wax (which helps ensure an even coating). When you 1st put them in, you'll notice they "fizz" alittle (very small bubbles), and it takes a minute or two for this to stop. Wire a few traps together (or however many you can safely wax at one time) and leave enough excess wire to use as a handle to remove them. A few seconds before I remove a batch from the wax, I grab another batch, lift the ones out & hold directly over the pot to drain excess wax for several seconds (don't shake them) then add the new batch & hang the waxed ones to cool. Repete the process until you're done.

    A couple additional things. NEVER attempt to move a hot wax pot until it has completely cooled (which may take hours, depending on the capacity of the pot).

    When setting your pan tension, you need to do this last, after the traps are waxed as the wax will lubricate & speed-up the trap. If you set it before waxing, it'll be inaccurate after waxing. I loosen the panbolts to allow as much wax to flow between the panshank & panposts as I can. I use a pan tension tester, but you can weigh different scrap pieces of lumber & cut them down until they reach the exact weight of tension you want, then mark the weight on them. Set it on the pan, and adjust the panbolt so once all the weight it applied, the trap fires.

    Before actually setting the traps, be sure to remove the excess wax from the end of the dog & from the pan notch......that is if you like your fingers :wink: . If you're running dogless traps, the same applies, just to the area of the back of the pan & the area of the jaw where the 2 meet.

    Don't wax your bodygrips (Conibears), it makes them too "unstable". You can use speed-dip, paint them, or dye & omit the wax process. If you are using them on land sets, treat them early enough to allow them a few weeks to "air-out". If they are for watersets.....they're good to go once dry, as the animals can't smell underwater.

    Once your traps are treated & final adjustments are made, store them in plastic tubs in an odor-free enviroment away from gasoline, exhaust fumes, extreme heat, etc. until season arrives.

    Smitty
     
  13. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    is waxing not a nessary step then?to be honset i am not sure why i even do,just was taught to do so i have all ways have
     
  14. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    I once had a pet Coon and a dog that would readily smell out and locate submerged fried chicken bones.Dogs are now trained and used to find submerged drowning victims.Many people can smell bedding Bluegills and Shellcrackers.It makes me believe that some smells will come to the surface.peewee-williams
     
  15. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Warcraft- Waxing will help protect a trap (from rust, and corrosive antifreeze chemicals used to freeze-proof a set), as well as speed it up, as it basically lubricates the traps moving parts. Some trappers will skip the dye process & wax only on their (clean) land traps which will be burried anyway. I do both (dye & wax), always have, always will, but it's just my method of doing things. I do however dip my bodygrips, as I feel it adds more protection than dye only, some I have painted also.

    Many times 1/2 way through season, I'll swap-out traps that have had the treatment removed from them (from catches) for fresh ones & re-treat the "used" ones, depending on the amount of sets I have out at any given time. Speed dip (or painting) offers protection of the steel, but does little speedwise.

    Peewee- I agree with your statements.....I think somewhere back in one of my posts, I made a statement about animals not being able to smell underwater, I was meaning an animal swimming underwater. Rats, coon, mink, etc. seem to be either less sensitive, or less concerned (and I say this as kind of a "general" statement) with odors....than K9's (coyote & fox).

    I'd recently read a post (in the Bluegill Section) about anglers smelling bedding fish, and had never heard of that until I read it.......pretty interesting. lol....makes me wonder if I ever have & didn't know it.

    Smitty
     
  16. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Trapper.You most likely have smelled the fish and paid it no mind if you didn;t know that is what it was.I have only known of or smelled it in still water.It has to be there in running water,but I guess it gets diluted.I think smell alerts us to a lot of things without us realizing it.I learned on the Santee that Ducks and Geese can smell you.I confirmed it later in life with Mallards one generation from wild and Canadian and tame Geese digging Peanuts.The geese will wiggle their head back and forth right above the ground,stop and dig with their beak.You can let them clean out your garden and field.Then plow and search it.Every peanut that you find will be rotten.They will have smelled out and eaten every good peanut,and left the bad.I think that is why ducks will shy off from a blind at times and you wonder why.peewee-williams
     
  17. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    State:
    Louisiana
    Good point Pee-Wee. Never thought very much about it.

    The only traps that I wax are my land traps for cat, fox, and coyotes. I wax the cat traps as a rust control measure. I wax my fox and coyote traps to control the smell. I have wax some old coon traps to speed them up, but it is a real pain due to the fact that I use long spring #11’s. They tend to miss fire while adjusting the springs even after scraping the wax from the dog and pan.
     
  18. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Many old trappers used to go over their traps with small files and fine emery cloth.Polishing up and such on the parts that contacted each other.It was and is much like doing a "Trigger Job"on a gun.You can really improve the action,speed and release setting on many traps.Now that said,you can overdo it.A hair trigger is not wanted on ever setting.I do think that it will improve your success ratio.A faster operating trap has to catch more.You want it all to feel SMOOTH when it releases.peewee-williams
     
  19. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    State:
    Louisiana
    The wax works wonders on the speed of the #11's, but they were so old, I just through them out and use the newer ones. I set down last year and worked every trigger over. I don't like a hair trigger as much as I like a clean trigger break. I learn this past season how ever that I need to have a hair trigger on mink. I would say that 50-60 of the mink I would catch would be caught by both front feet. Had a fellow tell me that my pan tension was too high and it was taking both feet on the pan to trip the trap. Makes sense to me. What do you think?
     
  20. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    I would agree with that guy about the speed of the trigger it is very important in traping. A key example is when trapping feral cats. If you set cage trap out you will get one at a time but if you were to make a very heavy trigger you would catch 4-5 at a time. That is the difference in 50 dollars for one set and 250 dollars for one set. or if your trapping chipmunks you want to make sure thier whole body is on the rat trap before it goes off or you will miss them 90% of the time.
    Stephen