I found an earlier message submission and reply indicating that Lutan F, as long as it is kept dry, should be ok to use after keeping it for several years. Is this the same for WASCO acid bath crystals?
The reason I ask results from a recent experience I had tanning a mule deer hide. I fleshed, salted for 48 hours, pickled (WASCO acid bath crystals), neutralized (baking soda)and then tanned using Lutan F. The hide lost a lot of hair. It came out in clumps. Once I finished, I rinsed in cool water and let dry. The hair is not uniform and smooth. The hair dried in small bunches. It also has a find dust to it and the hide side is discolored in several places.
My first thought was that I used an incorrect mixture, didn't have the correct ph (the paper is older but has been kept inside of a plactic bag and it appeared ro work when used), etc.... or the materials were too old. I'm not sure. Thanks.
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WASCO Acid Bath Crystals are made of oxalic acid in an airtight container, which should have an indefinate shelf life if kept dry. The nature of your problems does not seem to be related to the pickle. If the pH test papers registered 2.0 or below, then your pickle solution should have been satisfactory. Perhaps some other Forum contibutors have an idea of what the problem was.
Maybe you left it in the neutralizing agent to long or the hide was not prime.
It's doubtful that the pickling crystals (Oxalic Acid) or Lutan F could have caused such a problem - if mixed correctly and the Ph checked. I've personally used this method many times in the past with great results. Both chemicals hold up well for years without any breakdown. Did you salt - then dry the skin and rehydrate it - or simply salt it and then pickle it? The drying after salting tightens up the hair roots!
Also John C had a good question about neutralizing - did you neutralize it for 30 minutes (like you should) or longer (like you shouldnt). Over neutralizing tends to loosen the hair.
After tanning it in Lutan F - did you rinse it with water (only)? This removes any residual from the tanning bath that could cause that dusting effect you mentioned. And did you Oil the cape? I didnt see that mentioned.
These are all areas worth reviewing in your process.