I visited a taxidermy shop yesterday in NC that pickles
their customer's hides but does not tan them. They use
battery acid and salt in water and after 3 or 4 days pull them
out of the vat and puts them right on the manniken. They say
this is the way they have been doing them for 18 years and the
take in 200-300 deer a year plus other animals. Anyway, I am
sure this would be considered a no no by most taxidermists, but
I just wonder what sort of problems this is going to cause down
the road? Another taxidermist friend of mine was so impressed
by what they are doing he is considering not sending any more of his hides out to be tanned and doing just what they are doing. I
believe it could be a big mistake, and I'd like to hear some good information this.
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Battery Acid is mostly Sulphuric Acid. Left un-neutralized in the skin the acid (the Sulphate portion) slowly breaks down the fibers and weakens them to the point where they physically will "fall apart" after 8-9 years. They self-Destruct! Obviously its very cheap way to punch out mounts - but do you want the reputation of offering less than a quality piece of work? Thats the decision that only you can make. I personally would not do it.
The sulfuric acid can be neutralized w/ a borax and water solution
This was a very common practice in our area 30 years ago. However, we neutralized the capes after soaking them in the H2SO4- salt pickle and we shaved the capes down. If you are going to do this why not then apply the EZ tan or the liqua tan minimally and give back a product with more longevity to it/ Years ago we didn''t have these easy tanning products and so some people used alum methods. Maybe we weren't doing things right but we always lost a lot of stretch with alum. At best you will save a couple bucks and 5 minutes per cape by pickling only.
Thanks for your replys. I didn't have any intentions of doing
my mounts as I stated. I appreciate the good info. I knew it shouldn't be done, but I also like to know why for arguing purposes. :)