was reading in my Breakthrough Magazine and there was a mention of useing deluted alcahol to tan small critters. can some one go alittle more into how to do this and does it work. i have allways sent my deer and all to carolina furs and have a couple small guys ( squirrel and a mink) when this was mentiond i though i would give it a try.
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I've done a lot of small mammals up to rabbit size over the last 25 years with denatured alcohol,undiluted.I skin and flesh the animal,wash and degrease.Turn the leg skins right side out before going into the alcohol.Leave in for at least 4 hours,but they can stay in indefinitely and will keep.I usually do them over night.I have pulled squirrel skins out after 3 years and mounted them.After soaking in the alcohol,the skin will shrivel up and be rubbery-this is OK and normal.When you want to mount it,soak it in a solution of Kemal-4 and water to which you add a handful of borax.Leave it in there until it is softened to your liking.Sometimes this takes minutes or it may take an hour.These skins are very stable after the alcohol and can be refigerated for long periods of time with no ill effects.They are tough and the hair is tight.Don't leave white skins in the alcohol more than 1 day-they may yellow.After the alcohol you may want to do some additional fleshing.At this time you can get them really clean.I also occasionally thaw small animals that are questionable in the alcohol.Just remember,you are using a flammable liquid and always treat it accordingly.Be safe.Also,I believe Larry Goldmen has an explanation of this process in the most recent Breakthrough.Good luck.
When you leave it in the alcohol for 4 hours or over night can you mount it then or do you have to still soak it in the Kemal-4.
It will be stiff when it comes out of the alcohol so it needs to be soaked in the Kemal-4 solution to soften it back up.Some just soak in plain water,but I find that addition of a little Kemal-4 works a little better.The borax helps too,and acts as a bug-proofer.
when storing alcohols in the fridge. In industry and labs alcohols and any other flamables must be stroed in "explosion proof" refridgerators. The alcohol will vaporize even when chilled...non-explosion proof refers have the controls on the inside.. one spark can lead to an explosion.
There is no mention of storing alcohol in the fridge.The alcohol has been rinsed out of the skin before any work is done on it or before it is refridgerated or frozen.I do caution though,as with all flammable liquids to treat the alcohol with due diligence.