Rehydration bath- salt or no salt?
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Author Topic: Rehydration bath- salt or no salt?  (Read 1903 times)
oldshaver
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« on: May 19, 2017, 09:41:29 AM »

Do you use salt? Some say yes, some say no. Life doesn't always give you a freshly salted skin.

You have a elk cape that is slipping bad. You decide it needs replacing. You purchase a dry salted cape. You receive the cape and discover it is literally 3/4 to 1" thick in some areas and is super hard. Obviously it's been dried for close to a year or more to get this hard! How will you handle this situation?
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3bears
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:32:26 AM »

I'll play. I don't add salt to rehydrate a salt dried cape or skin, I do add a degreaser/relaxer though. From what I understand and seems to make sense is that, if you add more salt, it will slow the rehydration process. There is likely a bunch of residual salt on the hair and skin to make the bath a brine solution that helps to impede bacteria growth. I have and do use a salt brine to thaw some things such as cow, buffalo and bear hides that come in frozen and it works, but those are unsalted raw, frozen skins.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:01:08 PM by 3bears » Logged
George Roof
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 11:37:39 AM »

LMAO. Aubrey, you KNOW what I do.  When I absolutely MUST buy a salt dried or even a flint dried hide, it's in the box and and on the way to be professionally tanned.
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oldshaver
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 12:32:04 PM »

LMAO. Aubrey, you KNOW what I do.  When I absolutely MUST buy a salt dried or even a flint dried hide, it's in the box and and on the way to be professionally tanned.

I was just fixing to fix that option George! You beat me too it! Have to admit, probably the best options- send it out, or call AAA Animal Exchange and buy one already tanned.....LOL My first call would be Ann at Sivko to see what they have in stock? LOL

All kidding aside, let's add this scenario- you're under big time restraints, and you don't want to pay a tannery rush charge.
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oldshaver
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:40:47 PM »

3bears, have you ever had a skin like I am speaking of? Maybe a gemsbok you could drive nails with? I can see where your method is ok on fairly fresh skins. Not my cup of tea, but that's just my opinion.

How long in your estimation will rehydration take on this type of skin. Of course, this is all hypothetical.
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3bears
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 12:47:00 PM »

With the luck I've had with tanneries as of late, other than bears, my answer doesn't change.
No I have not had them that hard too often as I am the one that salts them. I have had a deer cape dried for 2 years and rehydrated it and it was good enough within 8 hours and tanned up fine. I'm sure it was rehydrated sooner, I just got busy and kind of forgot about it.
What's your cup of tea? I'm listening.
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oldshaver
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 02:42:54 PM »

Skins like this will NEVER rehydrate during the course of a workday. Basically, you have two choices. You either go ahead and put it in pickle long before its rehydrated, or you leave it in rehydration.

Some interesting things I have been reading on bacteria.
1. One bacterium under optimum conditions, can theoretically multiply to over one BILLION in 10 hours.
2. A salt level of just 10% , which is close to the 1/4 lb per gallon standard, will greatly interfere with bacteria reproduction.
3. A pH of 4 will inhibit most bacteria growth, and start killing most bacteria.

Knowing this skin is going to take overnight or more to rehydrate, what can you do to get close to a total rehydration, without jeopardizing the skin? I guess you could do it the hard way, and keep pulling the skin in and out of pickle, cutting down the thickest areas, then putting the skin back in pickle, but you're probably going to at least double the pickle time. Wasting time.

There are many areas of tanning that require "process flexibility ". Just like neutralization, one size doesn't fit all, if you're using your head. What about now? I'm trying to get some suggestions on what could be added to this particular rehydration bath to safely allow this skin to stay an extended time in the bath. Protection.
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3bears
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 03:01:46 PM »

Does making the water "Wetter" with a low Ph soap help expedite the rehydration as well as keep bacteria at bay? What about agitation?
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Missouri Fur
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 05:18:17 PM »

I would and have used 2 to 4 grams of formaldehyde per liter of water.  I have keep freezer burnt deer capes in this solution for over a week

zero hair loss
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TIMBUCK
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 07:20:36 PM »

I would use 1/2 ounce of Atesan LPW per gallon of water and add a little Formic acid(keep above a 5ph for penetration) and about a 1/4 pound of salt per gallon. Soak for 48 hrs and check it.'longer if needed...

Now we're did I screw up?

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oldshaver
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 07:51:57 PM »

Does making the water "Wetter" with a low Ph soap help expedite the rehydration as well as keep bacteria at bay? What about agitation?
The pH of degrease, as well as most surfactants is on the upper side of the pH scale. Yes it helps a great deal. You were also correct earlier about the fact that the more salt you use, the slower the rehydration. Agitation would be great if you had a round drum like tanneries have. They will work wonders for speeding up the rehydration, and all other steps for that matter. To each their own, but, I think 1/4 lb salt should be added to any rehydration bath. Slows bacteria growth, and will prevent osmotic swell to some degree.

Monte, I'm kinda scared of formaldehyde, and would use a different bactericide if I thought I needed one. Never used one any place I was employed, nor was there any formaldehyde on the premises. LOL

I would like to hear more opinions, but here is what I would do.

I know this skin is going to be a problem to rehydrate, and is going to have to stay in the rehydration bath overnight and at least a good portion of the next day.
1. Use a surfactant and keep the water warm when possible.
2. Add just enough acid to bring the pH down to 4 to help fight bacteria growth, or add a tried and true bactericide. Both wouldn't hurt.
3. Add 1/3 lb salt per gallon of bath. This is not enough salt to slow the rehydration too much, but it is enough to retard bacteria growth, and prevent swelling.

I have used this method before, and it works pretty well. I am kinda wondering now if this might be a little overkill?
Would a small amount of salt like the usual 1/4 lb per gallon, surfactant, and a quality bactericide be "good enough " to keep the skin "safe" 36-48 hours in rehydration?  Just food for thought and a chance to see how others would handle the situation.
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TIMBUCK
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 08:47:23 PM »

I just tanned 2 moose capes that were like you described. They had been dry salted for 2 years. There were thick and super hard. I used the process I described, soaked them for 48 hours and they rehydrated maybe 80%. I put them in a Formic pickle for a week. The first shave was a mother. They went back into the pickle for a week. Second shave was much better. Back in the pickle for 2 days and by then they were really limp..
Man it was a lot of work though but they are now tanned and very nice and thin.

Many thanks to Frank Katoula for answering a few questions I had along the way.


And Oldshaver, I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge on here.. Also Last night, while at work, I was looking at the "TrueBond" website.. I clicked on the "video" drop down and watching you shave with that S&S machine BLEW MY MIND!!!!.. I just thought I was fast..... All of those videos where extremely informative... Thanks.
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Sonnyknight
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 08:56:39 PM »

A good way is to just get your water and add some ammonia not much but wen it is re-hydrated wash it out and drip dry and dun.
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3bears
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 09:08:57 PM »

I'll seconds Timbuck's sentiment, Aubrey thanks for sharing your knowledge. I just started tanning my customer capes this past season, before that I only did some of my own, but my tanning knowledge is pretty limited so I get involved with these discussions to learn all I can. I use to bug a guy about tanning that went by Hudson. He helped me along the way as well. Please keep it coming, like I said, I'm listening.
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oldshaver
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 11:20:29 AM »

Timbuck, did you know Tom Piewitz?
I would use 1/2 ounce of Atesan LPW per gallon of water and add a little Formic acid(keep above a 5ph for penetration) and about a 1/4 pound of salt per gallon. Soak for 48 hrs and check it.'longer if needed...

Now we're did I screw up?



I would have used more of the Atesan LPW. I think you can use up to 4oz or a little more per gallon if you need it. I don't know if keeping the pH above 5 has much to do with penetration? Maybe, I just never heard that. Salt is the one thing determining penetration in my opinion.  If you had used more LPW, I would think you were on the money. If you had no slip, it would appear that you already were on the money? I would be like you, and not wait for full rehydration on those moose. After 48 hours, I would start getting nervous, and feel the need to get them in pickle!

I mentioned Tom Piewitz earlier. You wanna talk about the perfect rehydration bath, Tom had it down pat. He could rehydrate a WHOLE LARGE African Safari, and have it ready to shave in 48 hours. I mean REALLY READY TO SHAVE. Eland and Cape buffalo limp as a dish rag, and totally ready to shave ALL THE WAY DOWN! He used some kind of a bate(enzymes) to accomplish this. He never let me in on his secret, and now that he is gone, I guess it went with him, unless Mark Daniels knows it? Mark and him were good friends. I'm not in the tanning business anymore, but I sure do miss it. It might not be a glamorous career, but I was proud of it!  All I can do now is just talk about it. LoL
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 11:40:07 AM by oldshaver » Logged

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