Tanning for taxidermy in bath of formalin

Submitted by ours dur on 11/10/2002. ( qurs.dur@netcourrier.com )

I shall like to tan skins salted for the taxidermy
In a bath water + formalin.
Which dose of formalin, which PH, which time to have
Not too much hard but tanned well skins.
( Excuse for the translation)
A French taxidermist.
Hard bear

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Formalin no good

This response submitted by Raven on 11/10/2002. ( raven@trillium-hills.com )

Formalin is not a tanning agent. It is a wet preservative. The piece has to remain in formalin to be preserved. If you take it out of formalin it will rot. I do not know anything about tanning, but I do know about formalin and it wont work for what you wish to accomplish.

Answer has raven

This response submitted by ours dur on 11/10/2002. ( ours.dur@netcourrier.com )

The formalin is well a tanning agent.
Even taken out of the bath skins canned food very well.
I have tan many cape with the bath of formalin.
Only problem is of not not too much to harden them.
Hard bear

You are at risk

This response submitted by Raven on 11/10/2002. ( )

You are at risk of having damage done to your pelts and hides in the future if you use strictly formalin. Without a constant source of formalin the preserving qualitits are lost. Thats why in wet collections of animals the animals STAY in formalin until ready to use. If it were a preservative that continued to preserve after it was removed (like dry perservatives and true tanning agents) there would be no problem. I can take some of my fish etc that I have wet preserved and mail them to you if you like? By the time they arrive Im sure you'll agree that formalin is not a preservative that can be used long term - hehe =) Using formalin can kill bacteria etc initially - and as long as it is present it keeps it from growing - much like alcohol. But you wouldn't soak a cape in alcohol for a coupe of days then mount it on a form right? Same thing here. The use of formalin as a perservative does not guarnatee future preservation once it is removed. If you use this method you really are risking your work. I can't say it WON'T work as I havent done it on a skin per se, but anything I have ever left out of formalin for too long does deteriorate. You are taking a huge chance =(

An ammendment

This response submitted by Raven on 11/10/2002. ( )

Now after having said that Formalin is not the best way to go.. there are mixes you can use which offer better protection. Even such simple things as mixing a portion of white glue into the mix can fix the flesh better than formalin alone. I guess the only point Im trying to make is that formalin ALONE is not (from my understanding of wet preservatiosn - perhaps its differnet in skins) an adequate long term preservative. Not to mention the cancer causing potential of it!

I'll shut up now...

This response submitted by Raven on 11/10/2002. ( )

In re-reading the original post I realize I may have misunderstood what was hapenning. I thought you were seeking to soak a hide in pure formalin and not use any other treatment.. I got too hung up on the word formalin and missed everything else you said you were planning on doin. My appologies. Formalin still isnt healthy tho ;)

Raven is correct, that formalin is not a tanning agent.

This response submitted by John C on 11/10/2002. ( )

It is a preservitive, it will evaporate the water and lock up the cells, this and the astringent effect is what keeps a corpse from rotting quickly. Go to a funeral home and touch a corpse, you will find in most cases the corpse is solid, not soft.

It will kill bacteria and viruses. but has not taning abilities. You cannot make soft leather from a formalin bath, even the addition of just a few drops per gallon of water will lock up the skins cell structors.

A tanning salt removes the moisture from the hide and holds the cells open, then you relax the skin in a bathm this is sucked up by the hide and softens somewhat, Now using some type of acid, you pickle the skin, this will allow the skin to plump up for fleshing. Repickle and see if the skin was fleshed thin enough. If so and no pink remains, nuetralize the skin to pH of about 4. Drip dry wieght and in a fresh vat of water the correct measures according to the instruction of that taning compound. Soak and stir for the needs of agent and skin. Now remove drain semi-dry the skin and oil with a bisulfanated tanning oil. dry and break the skin to soften that it not much to it.

Thanks has raven and john c

This response submitted by ours dur on 11/10/2002. ( ours.dur@netcorrier.com )

You are very nice both.
I am going to hurry to follow valleys advices
And certainly has soon.
Hard bear

Formic acid

This response submitted by PA on 11/11/2002. ( )

Dur is french, and my guess is that when he looked into translating their word for formic acid. It came out formalin. Formic acid is in the archives over and over again as a pickle. Simply rubbing a tan like liquitan into the pickled skin would result in sufficient tanning for taxidermy.

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