Beginners...a helpful hint about where you lay your specimens and capes to thaw...be careful not to leave skins or specimens laying on a concrete floor. Concrete has lime in it, and lime is the active ingredient in chemicals designed to remove hair from hides for hair off tanning.
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The only way it will effect the skin is if the floor is wet enough toi bring the lime up. Most of the lime is hydrated and is chemically bonded with the cement paste in the concrete. If the floor is old, say around five to ten years, it will have a patina on top that will mostly be safe.
It is a good point though as the lime will change the ph of water that may be on the skins. I would sugest thawing on a counter any way, but I have a completly different reason. Mice love ot make nests in fur. They can destroy a cape in one night by making a nest.
Once they get in the shop and start making nests, you'll have a tought time getting them out. I like letting them sit on a large wod board on top of my freezers. Space that I like to keep free so I can getin and out of them. I can then put the boards outside ot keep smells out of the shop as well as let them air dry from any water that may have leaked on to them. In my neck of the woods, I can go out side and look at the board the next day after putting it outside and there will be dermestid beetles on the board from just the liquids. I do not want to draw them into the shop. Anyway, as little as possible.
In my case, I actually prefer the concrete floor for skins. I like the cool surface for slower thawing, and also the cool surface to keep tanned stuff from getting too warm. Its easy to clean, too. Its all in your own situations, I guess. Keep an eye out for those mice though, like Steve says! Dogs are even worse...