Making Soft Skins

Submitted by Thomas on 3/1/00. ( )

I tan my own skins using the Saftee Acid and Liqua Tan products. I shave the skins with a mini flesher. When I do a soft tan on skins, they do not turn out as pliable as I would like. I shave the skins pretty thin, but do not want to risk making any more cuts than I have too. I also sand, manually break and tumble them. Is is just a matter of getting them thin enough or is there a certain product or secret I don't know about? The ones I have most trouble getting soft are the axis skins. Please Help!!! Thanks in advance!!!!


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What I did!

This response submitted by Len on 3/1/00. ( )

I had similiar results with beaver hides using Chrometan. I now use safety acid, Rittel's EZ100, acid bate, and proplus oil. I can't believe the difference. My hides are softer than ever. I break them manually as I have no room for a tumbler. All products are available from Bruce Rittel and other tanning suppliers found here on the forum.


This response submitted by MARK on 3/1/00. ( KNOBLOCHS@WORLDNET.ATT.NET )

Hi Thomas,
what you can do to help you out in this matter is use a softening oil like Tanning Oil #1 or Liqua Soft. Once you have Tanned the skin with the LIQUA TAN then you can swabb the skin with a good swabbing oil about 18 hrs later. When you do tan the skin try to extract as much water as you can to Liqua tan. Also you can warm up your oils and tans for better penetration. The tumbling will always help break and clean the hide as well, you can add some of our Hair Sheen to help.What kind of skins are these? do they need to be degreased? This can make a big difference. Yes chrome is hard to work with and require finish tans and different temps.
During your process thier can be one or two things to change or tweek, you can contact me or get me your Ph # instead of tying up a lot of time and space.
Knoblochs 303-666-9045

Sorry to offend!

This response submitted by len on 3/2/00. ( )

Didn't mean to step on any toes here but I had similiar results no mattter how many things I tweeked in my methods. My hides were not as soft as I wanted. Now whether people want to know it or not I recommend what has turned my skins from marginally soft hides at times to consistent results. Not only that but I am retanning my chrome tanned hides with ez 100 and getting great results. I am sure there are other fine products on the market but I wish someone would have turned me on to a different product 8 years ago. I needed a tan that would not leach out as I sew garment that periodically get wet. I hope there is not any hard feelings I am just one satisfied customer.

If you had problems did you contact us

This response submitted by Mark on 3/2/00. ( )

You can feel free to contact us if you ever have a problem,
or would like to acheive different results. I do not ever
remembering any problem such as this. Yes we do have other
Tans like Para-Tan for Flat skins.

I am sorry if I made myself unclear.

This response submitted by len on 3/2/00. ( )

I have never stated that I had problems with any of Knoblochs tanning supplies. Sorry if there is a misunderstandings. Actually the chrome tan I was using (tannium)was from from Van Dykes.
I really wanted the water resistance and I hung in there for years. Some of my beaver hides were fine some weren't. I was calling anyone I could get a number for. I talk to the specialist from Vandykes repeatedly and also Tanning companies. I would have called Knoblochs had I known they existed then.
Everything but beaver came out fine. Beaver left me unsatisfied. I fleshed thoroughly, tried 4 different types of acid and and many different variations of salinity and ph and a number of other additives.
Being in western Alaska 500 miles from the nearest road and with little access to what many take for granted I was left to searching for help however I could get it. This forum should be advertized in every outdoorpublication in the world. Especially all trapping and taxidermy publications. This forum has been a blessing. I have read many many archived posts. I stayed up late hours the first time I found the tanning forum. Two years ago you could not find an article on tanning on the internet. Now it is amazing. If I need help I know where to get it now thanks.

Tell me more Len

This response submitted by Steve A. on 3/2/00. ( )

I was just wondering if EZ-100 is considered a garment quality
tan? I had some beaver hats and mittens that I made using
Lutan-F. They worked super for a few days of Mountain Goat
hunting in the snow, but eventually the tan began to wash out
and they shrank up and became very stiff. Trying to dry them
out around a camp fire probably didn't help. Where abouts in
Alaska are you located? I've been up there a few times working
hunting, and vacationing. I hope to make the move up there sometime
before I'm too old to hunt anymore. Thanks for your input.

I would love to!

This response submitted by Len on 3/2/00. ( )

I would love to tell you more.
I live on the Yukon River 90 miles from the Bering Sea. A small Eskimo village of about 90 people. I have been teaching school in our district for 15 years, in four villages
My first eskimo hat was made from my own beaver that had been commercially tanned and it lasted two years. It began to crack and tear at the seams. The chemicals had leached out and it was just shaved too thin. I vowed then that I would tan my own hides and sew my own garments. I had witnessed the wonder of wearing fur in our frigid temps and I would never go back. The links below show some of my creations.
I also tried the lutan once but was uneasy about how it would last. I have had great luck with the chrome tanned skinns getting wet from snow etc.and coming back to their original quality. Apparently the ez 100 does the same. It is just not able to withstand high temperature water. Bruce can shed more light on this. The parka featured in the link below got wet yesterday so I will see how it worked. I have only been ez 100 tanning for a few months so I don't have any results in from how they wear. I have a chrome tanned beaver hat that has been worn hard for 6 years and it shows no sign of stiffening. Fur is great to put on yourself and not just a manikin!

Len, How do you like teaching in the bush?

This response submitted by Steve A. on 3/3/00. ( )

I guess I'm getting way off the subject of tanning, but you
really have my curiousity going. I teach here in Montana and
have dreamed of teaching in Alaska for years. I went to a
job fair in Fairbanks several years back, but there wasn't many
jobs available and there was lot's of competion. I had young
kids at the time and was hesitant to take a job out in the bush
Today my kids are about grown, and I'm about ready to make the
move up North. The hunting here in Montana has really changed
especially in the past ten years. It seems like there is a
Californian behind every tree in the west, and most of the
good hunting in the East is leased out to outfitters. One of
the highlights of my life was a caribou I killed, with a bow, in Alaska on
a do it yourself hunt in Alaska. I really envy anyone who lives
in your state, but I know it's not always easy with the long
winters and bugs in the summer. Thanks for the info.

Teachers wanted

This response submitted by Len on 3/3/00. ( )

Steve email me at my address. The time for a job in bush alaska is Now! They are crying for teachers. If you like the outdoors make the move. Starting salery for first year teacher is around $32,000 but it varies. the top of the pay scale is around 64,000 for a teacher. You won't see that in Montana. I am from Anaconda Originally. I am in a hurry but please feel free to email me. Alaska is crying for teachers The job fair will be a sellers market for sure.

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