Taxidermists- Comercial Tan Questionaire

Submitted by oldshaver on 05/15/2004 at 19:15. ( )

I figured I would take a little break from the politics of late, and conduct a small survey. Dont tell who does your tanning. I dont want this to turn a big advertisement. What are the top 3 things you look for in a comercial tan, besides stretch. {what are first things you look at, when you pull that skin out of the box} I have talked to quite a few taxidermist over the years, but it never hurts to learn a little more.

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OS, you MUST be talking WET TANS then

This response submitted by George on 05/15/2004 at 19:43. ( )

Since a dry tan right out of the box would have none. I use only wet tans except for rugging.

I look at the stretch, the feel of the oil and the smell of the tan. This tells me if the hair has been cleaned as well. For the tan itself, I use the fingernail to insure it's a good tan and I see how the shavers work compares with mine. A tanner seldom gets a second chance at my hides if his shaving is worse.

Thanks George

This response submitted by os on 05/15/2004 at 20:07. ( )

What shaving points do you look at the most?

tanning quality

This response submitted by Martin on 05/15/2004 at 21:26. ( )

The first thing I look for in either type of tan is the lack of damage that wasn't aready noted.Shaved to thin in incision areas,uneven shaving,sometimes to the point that the hair roots have been cut and the hair has fallen out,cut eye lids,tear ducts,ears,etc.Don't get me wrong no one is perfect,so a occasional boo boo is acceptable.With that said now comes my part of that responseability.Did I turn the lips all the way?,split the eye lids?turn the nose and take out as much meat as I could?I feel these things are my part of the job.Tanneries are in the tanning business, noy the fleshing business.If I was a shaver and had to stop what I was doing to finish someone elses job first before I could do mine I would have a hard time careing anymore about the cape than they did.

The second thing I look for is the quality of the hair.Is it clean?lively and fluffy?is it shiney?Or is it matted,tangled,greasey feeling,

The third thing I look for is for lack of a better word,stretch.I really don't want to stretch it.I want it pliable and supple enough to work with and put on a form to reconstruct what it once was.Also to have a minimal amount of shrinkage when it dries.I think part of this goes along with the first thing I look for.Shaved uniformally and properly along with using good oils in the tanning process.

Just my 3 cents worth.Martin.

my thoughts

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 05/15/2004 at 22:28. ( )

I look for membranes to be present and the color to be evident, within reason. I like a uniform edge where the seam is shaved. I prefer the brisket not be overshaved to cause distortion later. I like clean ears. I hate having to comb boar hairs out of deer capes. I dont like cracked leather around the lips. The best tanneries will call me in advance if there seems to be problems with a shipment. I like my deer to have that natural sheen to the hair, a thinness to the skin without being too thin, and a memory to the stretch. I hate when some leave the shave attached to the eyes, nostrils and edges. I prefer to have my capes come back dry leather for me to rehydrate. Im very thankful for the work the people in the office do, when it comes to invoices, payment and shipping.

How about timely returns.

This response submitted by Ron on 05/15/2004 at 23:37. ( )

I don't use tanneries much because of bad experiences, like this last time. Almost 14 months from the time i delivered till I got it back. I don't blame them cause I've been behind myself, but I'm the one who has to deal with the irrate customer.

How important is--

This response submitted by oldshaver on 05/16/2004 at 08:05. ( )

How important is it not to cut those pre-orbital glands?(tear ducts) Could you also explain drumming, and your opinion as to cause?

three things

This response submitted by *** on 05/16/2004 at 21:32. ( )

My biggest peeve is damage to the cape. Holes where they are hard to hide makes me cuss. eyelids especially make me mad. i took some salted hides and frozen hides to a tanner this year. the salted ones had multiple places where they had been manhandled and broken when they were still hard. one i have to do this week has most of the nose pad missing.

i like them shaved thin. but equally as important, i like them shaved consistently.

third, i like them clean. the statement about hating to clean boar hairs out of the cape really strikes home.


This response submitted by Susan on 05/16/2004 at 21:57. ( )

To cut down on the shaving damage to your hides, do it yourself! You'd be suprised at how much money you can save by doing it yourself! I've had several comments(CALLS) from our tannery, complimenting us on the shave already done on our bear hides, ALSO informing us that the "required fee" for the processing would be less -because there was no need to invest any of THEIR time in shaving it before starting their tanning process. Think about it .....if you shave it yourself-YOU control how the ears,lips,nose, paws,tear ducts, and eyes are treated. You will also have a better idea of any cuts left in the hide-and how much time it'll take you to repair them.-Susan


This response submitted by Bill Yox on 05/16/2004 at 23:20. ( )

I dont get the last post, really. I dont know how you accurately shave a bear when its raw. I learned to shave the swell created by pickling. I think if I went as far as to prep it to that extent, Id tan it too. Hey, they say theres more than one way...this must be proof of that.

OS, as for tear ducts, I dont feel theres an issue there as others might. I split out the top part where the fold is, and maybe thin the bottom slightly. I often purposely cut them out, so as to not have too much there for tucking. Especially elk, as an example.

My experience with drumming is usually my fault, with fitting the cape properly, or adjusting the skin correctly. I seldom work with a tan so bad that its shrinkage was the cause.


This response submitted by *** on 05/17/2004 at 09:40. ( )

i agree with bill about the preorbital glands. i try not to cut any holes there when caping or green fleshing.... but then i usually thin that area very well during the tanned detail fleshing and then on nearly every deer i cut part of it out so that there isnt so much to tuck in. but even though i do all that, it still ticks me off when i pull a commercial cape out of the bag and find that i can stick my thumb through that gland with room so spare. there is no excuse for that.

as for susans post... the survey was for commercial tans. and i just answered the question.

Thanks all

This response submitted by oldshaver on 05/17/2004 at 19:50. ( )

Thanks for the responses. I pretty much am already aware of everything mentioned. I guess I was looking for another pet peeve that I have not been made aware of yet. Always room for improvement. Last but not least, Susan. I could make you and anyone you know look silly on the round knife. I could also name quite a few other people that can do the same. Cut up skins comes from sending your skins to the wrong tanner! I might make a small damage on 1 out of every 300 skins handled. No offense to Taxidermists with a shaving machine, but I think some of them should throw their machines in the garbage. Alot of the time they do theirselves more harm than good. I have to keep a list at work, of skins that the Taxidermist messed up with a shaving machine. The list is to cover our butt when the Taxidermist calls and trys to blame us. We also do quite a few retans for Taxidermists that tried to tan their own skins and failed. To each their own.

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