Opinion not worth burying in the pile of Garbage

Submitted by Len on 1/14/00. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us )

I am a teacher in a community in Western Alaska with fewer inhabitants than found on most city blocks. (150) I live over 500 miles away from the nearest library,(or road for that matter) that would even consider stocking up on the archives mentioned by JC in his earlier post, (adjusting and maintaining ph (1/14/00). The personal connections with qualified people willing to share their information (Bruce Rittel especially)has made more difference in my tanning in a matter of weeks than I have been able to make in 8 years. I have books and numerous phone calls to suppliers and people in the industry to try and figure out the tanning process. I was still not satisfied. It was the unconditional help that I received from this forum and the people in it that made the difference for me. Talking to someone who has done it and does it everyday with the newest information and products is what I think it is all about. I guess that is why my blood is boiling after reading the dialog that pursued in the post(adjusting and mauntaining pH (1/14/00). JC your obvious wealth in information is greatly overshadowed by your lack of respect for the post writers. I took it as a personal insult. I can't imagine how sleepy felt. You can blast me if you want. I am used to it. I trap the animals, you forum users mount, at -30 below. You won't keep me from going to the forum. But I sure hate to see you chase people away from it with your ill lack of respect for the readers. If you are not willing to help then stay away. It is your decision to post or not.

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Acid is VERY Dangerous

This response submitted by Bob B on 1/14/00. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

Point well taken, but before lashing out at John C, think for a minute about who often
asks questions here. Beginners with little or no experience and kids, yes young kids
starting out in the hobby.

You know tanning, so you also know how dangerous an acid with a pH of 1.5, truly is.
John doesn't know the experience of the person asking the question, neither do you
or I. So John's suggestion that sleepy, create a knowlegde base by reading a book is
not the terrible answer you took it to be.

I wouldn't type out, how for you to reload my 300 Wby ammo, and I don't believe you
would either. But if asked, I bet you would too, think about the novice's safety and then
suggest that he read one or more books on reloading, before tackling that 300 mag reload.

With home accidents increasing at such an alarming rate that the national press last
week ran stories about OSHA getting involved with the safety of the home workplace,
John did the best thing, suggesting that this person seek the basics before risking his
safety by mixing a home acid. I for one can not fault John at all.

Please reconsider your position on this matter Len. Either way thanks for your imput.

Not to start a fight but......

This response submitted by MarkV on 1/14/00. ( fishspec30@centurytel.net )

Dear Len, I just wanted to add that I agree with you as far as my personal experience goes Bruce Rittel is the most knowledgeable tanning authority I know of. Not to say that there isnt anyone out there that knows as much but I havent talked to one yet. Before I learned of Bruces stuff I used formic acid, phenol and other chemicals that you could have serious health problems from. Now I feel confident that the stuff I use isnt gonna give me burns or gang green at the touch. Has anyone ever had formic acid on their skin? Im sure there is a few out there. Anyway I just want to say Hats off to Mr. Rittel for all the great products and a vast world of knowledge to all. Good luck to everyone, MarkV

What helps is help!

This response submitted by Len on 1/14/00. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us )

Point well taken. I agree that researching is a key. It can be done
here or at the lib. Some don't have that luxory of a library.To answer a post as JC did

hum looks like you need some books

This response submitted by John C on 1/14/00. ( )

Not being a smart XXX on this but go to a libary and check some out/ JOHN C

This is no help to anyone. Especially to some one who needs help fast. It wasn't until the tif between wayne and JC became apparent that JC offered his knowledge.
If you don't want to help. Let someone else reply. All I know is that I felt very upset at the dialog that was used. I won't post that. Lets keep it to advice that betters the forum and doesn't alienate the readers.
How about the name of a good book. Now that would be helpful. I have yet to have a good one reccommended to me to purchase. Lord knows I can't check one out at the local library.
Sorry to add to what I am speaking out against but I hate to see people get shot down and I want all to know it so it can be avoided.
Waiting to be bit

BobB is right on again.

This response submitted by George Roof on 1/14/00. ( georoof@aol.com )

I can appreciate your thick skin. Mine has enough scar tissue to hold its own too, but Bob hit is square on the head.

These forums are the best thing in this industry since we stopped using brains and urine to tan with, but it is NOT the panacea of all the neophytes who want to jump right into the middle of the industry. Look at the recent entries in the last 5 days and you'll see that even in that short period, we've had the same questions asked more than once. This generation wants to jump in, screw up, and bail out when things go to hell, and it's our (the old guys) fault for not giving them enough information soon enough. All coments like yours do is to drive us from even bothering with ANY advice.

How about me coming up to Alaska and going grizzly bear hunting out in the bush alone? How about running your trap lines depending on a Gortex jacket, long johns and leather boots? How about hunting sheep, or salmon fishings, or going after big halibut in a row boat? That's a field of YOUR expertise. How would you react if you were asked about that? And just why can't I hunt the same day I fly in?

John C might not have the tact of a politician, but I hope and pray he never has to stoop that low to become politically correct. Remember that small paragraph that follows the main body of the US Constitution. Because you don't want to hear what someone says, has absolutely nothing to do with their right to say it - just like you just proved- I might add. In America I can't weld commercially without a certification, I can't scuba dive, I can't fly, I can't drive, I can't be a bank teller, a tax preparer or a GRADE SCHOOL TEACHER without some formal training and certification. But I can jump in and call myself a taxidermist and work with chemicals that can easily kill or maim myself with impugnity. Picking up a hide and trying to tan it doesn't make you a taxidermist any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.

You have the unique opportunity to teach younger people that along with knowlege comes responsibility. Freedom has never been free, and simply by living here doesn't obligate others to indulge in assuming it for them.

Len read my e-mail to you

This response submitted by John C on 1/14/00. ( )

Let me make one thing clear. Another taxidermist in a near by state tried to help a KID learn to tan. This beginner thought that he could use bleach as a acid. Well this child now is in the ICU, with less than a 30% chance to live. THe crap he tried blew up.

Now guess who was found accountable and liable. Yes the taxidermist. This kids hospital bills are now over $100,000, Damages have been negotiated and a out of court settlement reach of the punitive level.

Now do you want the responability?

References is a must for tanning or taxidermy.


Wayne was not any help to that person.

WAYNE could get the person killed with the simple explanation.

Do you Len buffer your solutions before disposale? Few do!!! I do have to do the politically correct crap.

Firm correct conditions should applie and the reference have the receipes you and Sleepy need. Sincerly John C

thanks len!

This response submitted by sleepy! on 1/15/00. ( )

sorry fellas if i started a riot but i would like to comment on a few of your posts first of all you ain't dealing with no youngster,m second of all i as len is a hard working trapper who supplies much fur to friends and buissnesses alikeand needed a little input. just for the hell of it i use citric acid for pickling don't think i will get hurt with that nasty stuff huh fellas. and as far as that generation crap, you are the ones that passed the torch if i am correct. personally all i wanted was a little advice from some differant people. so don't ASSUME you are always dealing with a kid. i do trapping seminars and am also frequent on the trapping forums, i am asked the same questions by new and old trappers all the time but i try to answer each respectively. if you can't help out "DON'T" I COULD CARE LESS! happy trappin, gotta ck the line, sleepy!

I didn't mean to insult you sleepy

This response submitted by Bob B on 1/15/00. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )


I do apoligize, if I offended you. I wasn't trying to imply that
you are a kid. The point is you could have been. Had your first
post explained a little more of your background, assistance with
such a dangerous question, may have been more quickly and freely

As an example, now you mention how safe you are with citric acid.
Guess what sleepy, a pickle with a pH of 1.5 achieved with citric
acid with burn you as bad as an acid with a pH of 1.5 reached by
using formic acid. This is exactly why John C was trying to be so
careful in this question. Citric is often used by those concerned
with possible carcingenics, and or chemicals that may cause later
damage after being disposed of. That was the basis of that John
Travolta firm "A Civil Action".

After all the question, wasn't about mixing a hidepaste, it was
about rising or lowering the pH of a very acidic pickle. One thing
that still stands out from my Organic Chemistry Professor was his
very loud screams - that you never add water to a pickle, it wasn't
because water will raise the pH (water usually being more neutral)
but because that's how accidents happen, by creating a splash.

Sleepy, you splash a citric acid pickle with a pH of 1.5 into your
eyes, you'll lose your sight, just as fast as any of your trapped
critters die to your connibears. I hope you care appreciate John's
concern for your safety, or that of others thinking of pickling
their hides or capes, without a solid knowledge base.

Sorry Sleepy how do I know your expertise level???

This response submitted by John C on 1/15/00. ( )

Were you 6 years old or 60? You did not give much information. Since you are in a learning stage, it is still better to be reminded of the research needed for becoming a tanner. Your question was a simple one, yes it did show to me and many other lack of experience. Your are learning!

Just finished watching Civial Action.

Many states are now adopting a HAZWOPER license. WHat this concerns is handling HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, guess what TANNERS AND TAXIDERMIST are includeed in the FEDERAL OUTLINE of those to be licensed by 2010. Most samller city sewer systems can be screwed up but just one vat on acidic coumpounds that are not neutralized. End result can be fines that will force you to shut down.

Use the info that apllies and blow the other off. You are not the only one that will read the post, what would happen to someone just starting out????? This is always a concern for me, I don't want to get anyone hurt of killed with the info I put out. John C


This response submitted by sleepy! on 1/15/00. ( )

guys, here the deal i am currently tanning a few yote and coon hides. i use the curatan kit out of van dykes. pickling crystals are the enviornmentally safe, non burn type. i can attest to this as i have gotten this on my skin, no oxalic or sulphuric acids present with this kit. i like the tan it produces nice soft stretchy leather hardly any breaking required. now for the problem i have noticed traces of hairslip especially with fox and yotes, the problem area seems to be around the ears, yes they have been turned and salted till the cows come home. another question how do you fella feel as borax for a fat lifter during the fleshing process. nowhere on the curatan kit is mentioned ph, now on getting slight hairslip ( i am a perfectionist who takes pride in a good tan) i follow the directions to the letter ratios etc. i just needed a little more understanding of the ph and how it affects the hide while pickling. its the same as asking a trapper which trap or set he prefers, fistfights have started over this. yes i also now there are some morons out there who can't tie their own shoelaces. but if i need help i want a straight up answer much like i would try to give you if you needed my help. may your furs be prime, and stretchers full. sleepy!

we try to help guys...

This response submitted by Bill on 1/15/00. ( yoxtax@aol.com )

and here we go again. I read this whole post as it progressed, even emailed one of the guys to clarify. I say that, yes, we have to take precautions when we give certain advice. We dont expect you guys with easier questions to give us background checks, but we sure as hell do expect that you might undestand that we dont know what level you ARE at. Based on the question, I still wouldnt. You ask a technical question, yet you are using a basic beginners type kit for tanning. Who knew? I even got a piece of what I call "hate email" that I think a guy screwed up and forwarded to me by mistake! You guys would have loved to read THAT one! All that, and the question STILL gets asked? Unbelieveable!

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