I just put an illustrated article on at this address:
Guys, I am having a really hard time in writing articles of this nature. I want them to be of benefit to the taxidermy community, BUT the taxidermy community is such a broad spread of ages, life experiences, and educational backgrounds that a "stereotype" isn't going to exist. That makes it really hard to try to figure out a "level" at which to communicate.
I know the microphotography articles on deer hair structure on TaxidermyReference.com have helped a lot of people to understand deer hair structure. Being able to see something with your own eyes instead of trying to decipher from the written word makes it one heck of a lot easier.
But once we move on to skin, things can get a little more complicated real quick, and I can't help but notice that most people, taxidermist or otherwise, have "No Idea" about skin structure, or it's contents. All most all think of skin as nothing but cells.
I am not an authority, or expert, by any stretch of the imagination, such people no doubt exist, but I am not one of them. I am simply one of those people that bothers to take a look, and then works at coming up with answers. Coming up with answers can be hard to do if you are working by guess work alone.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this article. Did it help your understanding? Did it answer questions you have had in your own mind?
Were things entirely different than what you had mental images of? Was the article understandable? Am I wasting my time by doing such things, or should I do more? You folks tell me.
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LOL.....Just kidding. The article was nothing but very informative, easy to read and understand. As a matter of fact I copied it on disc for my son that want to get into taxidermy. And do it by himself! Hard headed damn German. Wonder where he got that from...LOL Keep up the good work.
I have been a believer in formic acid over other acid, but you have changed my mind.
Could maybe one of you guys send that to my email. I only have the net at work and would love to be able to read this. I could print it from work and read later at home thanks. Jack F
First off Glen your article was great you find a nice balance between scientific terms and common terms.
What acid are weak enough to avoid the heating of the collegen strands? I'm using citric acid which I belive is not as strong as formic acid but I'm not sure if it is considered a "hot" acid.
Thanks for the info and time you put in on all the research you do. Haven't found an article yet that wasn't useful...some times I feel like I'm back in school in Advanced Chem. but hey that's learning.
I can tell by your responses that you read text and looked at illustrations.
Coyote, the fact that you saved that to disk for your son was the ultimate compliment. Thank you.
Joe, citric is a "milder" acid. As with the use of any acid, there is always a lot of variables involved. Your water source for the pickle can be a huge player, even the skin of individual animals can have profound effects. If you are having results with the citric you are using, stay with it. You might want to also keep purchasing from your same buying source. The reason I say that is because of the number of commercial citric acid producers that seem to be popping up all over the world.
The basic principle of production is still the same, molds are used on vegetable matter, and the citric acid produced by the molds is retrieved. It's just that now a lot of different food sources for the molds are used. The current claim is that all these citric acids are the same. That movie has been seen before, a lot of things were claimed to be the same initially, but later lumped into a genus, and then broken down to species once chemical structures were figured out. A compound can have the same chemical formula, but have a different chemical structure, or configuration, and that can produce different chemical properties. Citric acid also comes in different grades. The best rule of thumb to go by on grades of chemicals, is by the percentage of purity.
The use of acids is really a lot like the use of any other tool. The individual's talent, skill, knowledge, and even luck all enter in.