I've been tanning various types of lizard and snake skins using lime, then boric acid, then chrom alum, then sodium carbonate and finally neatsfoot oil. It's OK, the skins are strong and after breaking somewhat flexible BUT i'm losing a lot of the patterns and colours in the skin and I really think they could be softer.
I'm wondering if an alternative process would give better results. I've heard thast there is a process using ash, kerosene and other common substances. Does anyone have a recipie so that I could try it? Any alternative recipie at all?
Living in Central Australia I don't have easy access to the reptile tanning products I've seen on the web and would really like to be mixing the stuff up myself. That way I hope to develop a deeper knowledge of how it all works.
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Liming destroys the markings. You are better off not liming and then later removing the scales by hand. If you Lime them then you have only the leather to work with - no markings.
E-Mail me for a copy of our Snakeskin Tanning Kit instructions at: Rittels@mindspring.com
We now have a Distributor for our products in Australia. I can give you his name if you think you need it. Please let me know.
The reason you are losing the colors is the fact that you are using LIME! It is really rough on the skin and especially on color patterns. If i were you i'd talk to Tom Voyer. I've done business with him on several occasions, and not only is he a nice guy, he's also one of the best reptile guys around. Just start a post with his name and i'm sure he'll answer. He's helped me through my problems on more than a couple occassions.
Hope this helps,
As usual, Bruce Rittel hit it right on the nose! Go with the advice Bruce gave you to solve future problems. He is the best in the business! Now send me my $5.00 Bruce! LOL LOL