I have seen a preservative mix in a few very old books on taxidermy. It is made of 2oz of burnt alum 1/2oz of saltpetre. I have always wonted to mix some up and give it a go to see how it go,s ,but do not know what burnt alum is, many of the old books call things by differant names.
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Danial, do a yahoo search on burnt alum. Everything you need should be there. From what I read, it is just alum that has been dried out to remove the water.
Thanks I give it a go.
is made by heating potassium alum to 250 degrees, it removes water. There are 24 molecules on each molecule of potassium alum. My guess is that your formula calls for mixing this burnt alum with water. That puts the 24 molecules of water right back on the alum molecule..
The saltpeter, or potassium nitrate is used for many different things including the curing of meats(in low concentrations). It is also used for making gun powder. It is a strong oxidizer, meaning that it pulls electrons from most any compound it comes in contact with. Too much in such a tanning solution will eventually cause the hides to literally fall apart.
Experimenting with such formulas is fun but there are more modern and much better tanning methods out there...
The book was riten in 1884 the mix is used dry, the writer also talks about borax and its uses in taxidermy ,but after hearing it will came apart I do not think I will try it.