Hair Slippage

Submitted by Cliff on 1/23/01. ( )

I have been doing taxidermy for about 3 years now and feel like an idiot to have to research this question. But here goes. When I tan and I do all of my own tanning I do the whole routine first flesh clean then salt the heck out of it, re-salt in 24 to 36 hours after about 3 to 5 days clean salt off put in pickle using Van Dykes pickling crystals. I'll pickle for about 3 days ph 1.5 to 2 then I'll reflesh the hide to get the membrane off or most of it anyway (by the way were talking about deer hides here) I'll put the hide back in the pickle for another 3 days at least. I will the nuetralize give a quick wash and rinse and put hide into Lutan F solution. I have done about 20 tanning jobs since I started. The big question is, is it my imangination or is easy to pull hair out of a hide when the hide is wet whether it be wet from the pickle or tanning solution. I find it, that if I dont handle the hide with care especially when re fleshing inbetween pickle sessions, that you can pull allot of hair out. Now I'm not talking about hair falling out on its own it needs some assistance but not much. Yes when the hides dry completely the hairs lock up, must use force to pull them out. Please can anyone shed some light on this subject. And what is the real defenition of hair slippage. Please excuse the spelling erors.

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What acid are you using?

This response submitted by John C on 1/23/01. ( )

If you are having that problem consistantly. Its possibly body fluids not draining or the type of pickle you are using.

I tried citric when it came out, found that it did have the loosness you refer to. I have tried saftey Acid and it seems to work well.

I stick with formic acid, because I have never had the problem you talk about with it.

Next question is Ph paper or meter, Is your meter calibrated daily in a buffer solution? John C


This response submitted by John W. on 1/23/01. ( )

Cliff, any time the hair is wet, you do halve to be careful as far as being rough with the hide,regardless what type of pickle you use. Now if the hair is slipping without any pressure than you may have a problem with the pickle you are using.As I said before about the wet hide,anytime it is wet try to be as careful as possible, if there is any doubt about this, look at any good taxidermy manual and the first thing they tell you to do with an iffy hide ,this is with the mounting procedure, is not to groom the hide and to put a fan on the mount until completely dry.The manuals from Breakthrough are some of the good manuals I refer too. Hope this helps.

Thanks guys

This response submitted by Cliff on 1/23/01. ( )

Thanks for the input so far. Van Dykes highly recomends the pickling crystals that I'm using. Maybe I will try another brand. I use the papers to calibrate my pickle.When I salt the fluids do drain properly I always have a puddle to clean up and I never fold or roll the hides up when salted, the flesh side is exposed.

Pickling Crystals

This response submitted by Mike B on 1/23/01. ( )

I used to use the pickling crystals and never had the problem that your describing. I would say its probably a problem before the cape gets to the pickle. I am no expert though. I have just switched to the saftee acid and I like that better. Seems easier to control the ph at least for me. By the way I would let all my capes dry rock hard then rehydrate before they went into the pickle.


This response submitted by Steve A. on 1/28/01. ( )

I've been having the same problem when mounting wet hides when mounting deer and antelope. I think I finally have it figured out. After removing from the final rinse solution before mounting I dry the hide out as much as possible before mounting. I have a fur drum that I use. I tumble for about an hour and then blow out the saw dust with an air compressor. What a difference. No more slippage while mounting. This has been giving me grief for years. Hope I helped. Steve

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