thanks for coming on board that was interesting about the buffalo hides, never heard that before but stands to reason because of the great number of them on the prairies and the western USA
cattle hides around here were the big sellers, the long belt we used at UCV to harness the power of the steam engine to the gearing of Bellamy's Mill machinery, came from England, it was 120 feet long 12" wide and 2 ply riveted together--the sections of leather that made up the belt was feathered out and glued--it was put into use 24 years ago and is still in excellent shape yet-our procedure was to soak it well once a year with neetsfoot oil to keep it plyable and preserve it.
as a fleeting mention, I give you an A plus for being able to square a 20 foot white pine in 4 hours, you got to be in great shape, are you using the chainsaw to score --that would sure help
In my book using only axes, that would have been 8 hours of hard work, not many knots either!!, and a few watery blisters to deal with