I am a rookie at taxidermy and have only done birds for a hobby for the last two years. A friend of mine came in the other day with a huge rattler and asked me to try to tan it for him. I told him I would try and ordered a reptile tan kit from a supplier. The directions aren't really that clear. I have cleaned all the meat from the skin with a wire wheel and rolled it up in salt for about four days. I then have to salt it in salt water then apply the tanning oil. My question is do I need to remove the scales if I am going to display the snake stretched out on a board. Better to remove scales or not? Have I screwed up? Thanks.
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The tanning kit method. usually you salt dry if you do not have the kit yet, then when it arrives, you pickle it, add the tanning solution, and then after it is neytralized in a day or so, descale and then oil. Doesn't sound like Rittes so do not know what to tell you. I am just curious where the picling and tanning solution step was. If it is just a tanning oil, then I suppose after it is descaled after the salt water bath, it would at this step be descaled using a soft bbrass bristled brush and then the iol applied to the fleash side till absorbed?
It is called reptile tan made by Knoblochs. It says you can remove or leave the scales on. If you remove the scales will it not make it look different. Thanks for the responce earlier.
No, it will really have no effect as like when a snake sheds, its shedded skin really contains no pigment. If the epidermal layer slips, you tend to lose color as it is actually the skin and not the scale coverings that slip. Descaling is fine