USA salt&drycape Rehydration methods, did search.........but

Submitted by samantha on 02/13/2003. ( )

I have read thru the archs and havnt really found what im looking for exactly - i dont think anyway!A few of the posts seem to conflict with each other.I thought someone might be able to clarify some points for me?

1) Is this the right mixture to rehydrate a salted & dried cape = 2pd salt /1 gall water.? I take it the hide has to be at least moving freely in enough water.

2) In Australia i am not sure what bacteria inhibitors we have (if any), do i need it with this mix? (i am having enough trouble getting PH papers low enough to use!)

3) Is 2 - 4 hours soaking long enough - or if not, how do i tell when its fully rehydrated, is it just when its pliable?
(* i tan with lutan f)

Actually, this site is the first place i have heard/read, the term "REYHDRATION". All these yrs i was told to split lips ect,rough flesh, salt, salt again,bag n freeze if not working on it straight away,(or chuck the whole thing in freezer without skinning). It seems so much easier (as in storage wise), to dry them out.
I know you guys say - "dont salt when freezing, put in as is" but nearly all the taxo's i have spoken to for advice here, say the opposite.

4) Also - dont the flys and bugs get to the skins when drying?

and (sorry), lastly,

5) Where/how is the best place to store skins when dry, ie, flat/rolled up/ folded up in a hessian bag,inside the garage or outside somewhere,where its cool or does it matter?

Oh no, 1 more,
6) Is this the same thing to do with "whole body mounts", with thier feet/hooves on?.... ie say a fawn,adult deer or fox.
Thanks ,samantha.
PS happy valentines day all!xx

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No Salt

This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 02/14/2003. ( )

Your right, there's a lot of conflicting information on re-hydrating. I'll give you a quick rundown of the way we do it. No salt at all. Salt hinders the re-hydration process. If you have heavy skins that are dried hard, a relaxing agent will help, we just use a relaxer and bacteriacide in all re-hydrations, you'll just need to check and see what you can get there. Leave your skins in until they're loosened up and in the same condition as what your raw skin was basically in. It might be in a few hours, or it might take overnight. If you have bacteriacide in the solution, there's nothing to worry about during this time period. A skin that's really loosened up, will pickle much quicker and more thoroughly than one that's still stiff. If you use salt in your re-hydration, the skin won't loosen up to this state. If the skin is pickled better, it will shave much easier and take the tan more consistantly. I have a lot of customer that tan their own deer, and send us the bigger skins, and every single one of them has started getting much better results when the re-hydrated properly before going into the pickle.

Bugs and flies won't be a problem as the skins is drying, but dermestid beetles can be a problem when skins are stored during the warmer months. Keep an eye on them, and if you see sign of bugs, get the skins sprayed or fogged with insecticide.

Store your skins in a cool dry place after they've been salt dried. As long as they aren't exposed to heat, they'll keep real well for quite a long time. Handle your full mount skins the same as your capes, just make sure and get salt down in the feet/hooves real good, then make sure and get it out for drying.



This response submitted by allen on 02/14/2003. ( )

when you say relaxer,please give example ie over counter or what thanks


This response submitted by Keith on 02/14/2003. ( )

I don't know of anything over the counter, if you mean available locally. Most products you can get, in the way of detergents are alkyly (sic) and you don't want to subject a skin to that situation for a long time period. If you're here in the states, it's pretty simple. All the different tanning chemical suppliers have relaxers available, and they'll all work. Off the top of my head, Knoblochs relax-r, Van Dykes van-wet and Rittels us-609 are some. Don't yell at me if I got the names wrong, I think i was close anyway. We buy relaxer/re-hydrator in bigger volume and it doesn't have the same name as when packaged for taxidermists.


ok, great, but,

This response submitted by samantha on 02/14/2003. ( )

Thanks for the informative response keith.
Just reading your paragraph on whole body mounts,
re : hooves,
Am i supposed to brush the salt off (after the inital 48 hrs),when drying & storing?
I havnt heard of dermse -y thingy bugs here, will have to check that out.
Thanks again.


This response submitted by Keith on 02/14/2003. ( )

Unless you have it split down into the hooves, or paws opened completely, the salt will pack down in the pocket when salting. If this is the case, just knock most of the salt out when you pull it up to dry. You can just shake the salt off the skin when you pull it up, and as it dries, you can just shake it, or rub over it and the dry salt will fall right off.

It's possible you don't have dermestids there, but I'm guessing there is some of some kind. Other common terms for them are fur bugs, and carpet beetles. If you do have them, you'll see small shells left around that the larvae have hatched out of. After they turn into beetles they can fly off, or lay more eggs where they are. The larvae are what does most of the damage. They'll look somewhat like a fly magot, or a meal worm.


This response submitted by samantha on 02/15/2003. ( )

now, just to make sure i have every thing - do i dry the skins layed out, (say, on a wire rack ), as flat as possible or do i have to peg and stretch them?
thanks again. :)

Hang Them

This response submitted by Keith on 02/16/2003. ( )

Take a board, like a 2 X 4 and prop it up so it would be up in the air like a tall saw horse. Now hang the skins so they're draped over the board. The thickness of the board will keep the folded skin seperated and allow air movement which will speed up drying. If you can place a fan so it keeps air moveing better they'll dry even quicker. If you lay skins flat, they will dry, but you're only getting air to one side, and you'll need to turn it periodically. laying them on a rack will work since you're getting air to both sides, but make sure it's plastic, otherwise you'll get rust stains o the hair.

thanks keith

This response submitted by samantha on 02/16/2003. ( )

Thanks, ok i can use a big plastic (refrigerator?)rack flat OR have the skin up like say,(without offending anyone), a teepee? = /\ .
No worries.


This response submitted by Keith on 02/17/2003. ( )

Either way will work, the teepee is probably about the same as what I was trying to convey with hanging over a board.


Thankyou Kieth

This response submitted by samantha on 02/17/2003. ( )


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