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Dear Editor:

Any articles or advice on Faraday cages for EMP protection of electronics, electronic appliances, cars, etc.? That day may be rapidly approaching.



Dear CD,

We’ve had several articles written on EMPs and Faraday cages, and a radio show as well. There are things you can do to protect your delicate electronics in the event of an EMP attack. Here are some links:


The Editor



Dear Editor,

Your article on brain tanning was interesting as an overview, but there were a few things that, while workable, are doing it the hard way—primarily the sections on fleshing, braining, and smoking.

The best way to make a fleshing beam would be to get about an 8 foot log, about 12 to 18 inches in diameter. The fewer branches the better. You can cut the log in half lengthwise to cut down on the weight. Make two legs and put them in one end of the beam about a foot or 18 inches from the end, thus creating a tripod with the two legs and the far end of the beam as the third leg. The legs should be cut to make the upper end of the beam just above the user’s belt line. Skin off all bark and smooth the beam for about 3 to 4 feet from the upper end. Round off the upper end of the beam so there are no sharp edges or corners.

You could use a very dull drawknife, but a beaming knife would be better. You can make one out of wood quite easily. The hide is laid across the beam and the knife is worked down the hide away from you, not towards you. You hold the hide in place with your belly while you are working it ( thus the reason for the height just above the belt line). Work the hide by moving across it and turning it so you always have some hanging over the end so you can hold it with your belly. A leather apron will assist in keeping the user a bit dryer.

Regarding the brain tanning. It has been said that all animals have enough brains to tan their own hides except teenagers.  🙂

I was taught to remove the brains from the skull and to boil them until they have the consistency of soft mushy bar soap. After they have cooled, split the brain in half and then rub hard into the hide, using half of the brain on each side. The brain is mostly fat so you are forcing fat into the fibers of the hide. After you have rubbed the brains into the hide, roll it up and wring it out and work it from one end to the other to work the brains further into the hide. Tying to a fencepost and twisting with a stick like a tourniquet works well. Save any brains that wring out. Unroll the hide and rub the drippings of brains back into it and then roll in the opposite direction and wring again. Remember, the main idea is to get the brains into the fibers of the hide.

As a safety note, there are several nasty diseases that affect the brains of mammals (rabies, mad cow etc.) and that can possibly be transmitted through careless handling. That is why it is best to wear latex or other type gloves when handling brains and why it is best to boil them and handle safely.

As regards smoking, the best way I have found is to make a teepee-type affair out of a tarp. Dig a fire pit next to the teepee with a piece of 4-inch stove pipe running uphill underground from the pit to the center bottom of the teepee. Build your fire in the pit until you have some nice coals and then dump damp hardwood shavings over them and cover the pit enough to force the stovepipe to act as a chimney. This also works well for smoking other things like meat. It’s even better if you just build a smokehouse. One the size of a phone booth is all you need.


I hope you find this information useful. My family was in the tanning business from the late 1800s. I grew up in a tannery. Unfortunately we are no longer in business due to government rules and regulations. But that’s another whole story.



Dear John,

Thank you so much for that additional information! These arts that are lost due to government intrusion into our lives make it that much harder on successive generations who come along when “civilization” fails them. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with our readers. God bless!

The Editor


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