Lutan tan and problems are occuring

Submitted by Leon on 03/22/2004 at 12:42. ( )

I have been using Lutan F for my tanning, and i am not that satisfied, maybe someone can help me. I first salt my hide, then rehydrate, then i pickle for two days, flesh some, repickle for an additional two days, then do final fleshing, i use a fleshing machine. After this do the neutralize stage using borax in my clean bath, i soak the hide for about one half hour and drain, then i put into the Lutan F solution which i mix by the directions supplied. This is where i run into problems, i tan for about twenty hours and pull from tanning to mount my deer. I begin to notice that the hair is slipping and i dont like this at all, i just finished a nice ten point buck and i am loosing way to much hair, help i need to get this resolved as i have another in my pickle back thanks much Leon

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What pH are you neutralizing to?

This response submitted by JOhn C on 03/22/2004 at 12:54. ( )

Whats the neut. pH? Then what pH are you tanning at?


This response submitted by George on 03/22/2004 at 12:56. ( )

Leon, what's with the borax? That's a base chemical and on the other end of the spectrum from acid. You use BAKING SODA to neutralize a tan.

i need to know the ph levels

This response submitted by Leon on 03/22/2004 at 13:14. ( )

I dont find in my directions for the pickling solution and ph levels to strive for, nor do i find anything listed as a ph level for my neutralizing solution, help lol. Thanks George for clarifying the borax vs baking soda dilema, and thanks to you John in hopefully pointing me in the right direction on this ph thing, looking forward to hearing from your expertise.

Two questions for you - Leon!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 03/22/2004 at 14:02. ( )

When you say fleshing do you really mean shaving the actual flesh thinner? Or taking off the meat, fat and membrane? Most guys flesh the skin of meat, fat amd membrane "before" they salt it.

Also - What do you use for pickling the skins? Formic, Saftee Acid, Oxalic, etc.? And what PH do you keep it at.

The above advice on getting away from using Borax to neutralize, and using Baking Soda instead should also be well taken! Baking Soda is much more gentle on the epidermis.

Fleshing and ph levels

This response submitted by Leon on 03/22/2004 at 14:43. ( )

When i say fleshing, i do have the skin fleshed of meat, fat, and membrane. I flesh to take the skin to a thinner point, the pickling seems to make the skin "raise" where i can get it much thinner. I am using an Oxalic pickle, i do need to know the ph level for all processes, as i do think this may be where my problem is stemming from, anyone that can submit the proper ph levels for the pickling, neutralizing, and tanning process, this info would be greatly apprecialted. I got to using the borax as on my Van Dykes info sheet it does call out borax if baking soda is not avaible, hmmm seems this could be incorrect on their part from the get go. thanks Leon

Leon I think its a bit of both that caused the problem.

This response submitted by John C on 03/22/2004 at 14:47. ( )

Lutan works at a pH of 5.0 , you probley over neutralized.

When I do Lutan, I use clean water and adjust to a 4.5-5.0 then place the hide in the vat. I check the pH as it normally drops a bit, easy adjustment with Baking soda to the 4.5-5.0 then add the Lutan and allow the skin to set for about 12 hours. Stir several times during the 12 hours.

My thoughts

This response submitted by Steve A. on 03/22/2004 at 16:41. ( )

Ph levels are very important. Monitor these carefully. Neutralizing correctly with the right chemical is also a vital step. I've experienced some hair slippage if the cape stays wet for extended periods of time. I do most of my work in a cool humid basement. One trick that almost entirely stopped my hair slippage problem was tumbling my capes prior to mounting to eliminate a lot of the moisture still in the hair. After tumbling I'd take an air compressor and blow out the extra saw-dust. I don't have a caging drum, so the air compressor works okay. Spinning them dry in a drier and wrapping them in a towel after oiling also eliminates a lot of moisture. This is what works for me. Don't give up. There is a way to get this to work. I also turn the heat up in my basement and use a dehumidifier now. All this helps.

Here's a simple solution to your tanning.

This response submitted by Bruce Anderson on 03/22/2004 at 16:48. ( )


I am amazed at all the methods of tanning capes for mounting. In my opinion most people go through more steps than they need for tanning a cape. Why let a cape dry hard and then rehydrate it to put it in the pickle? What's the point? Some shave, then put back in the pickle, and shave again. What's up with that?
Here's the way I have been doing it for almost 20 years and have not had one cape slip! (And I do have some credentials if anyone wants to inquire)
Here it is: Flesh and turn cape and salt rolled up for 24 hours.
Pickle for at least 3 days at a PH of 2, and salt content at 40%. Remove and shave everything including lips and eyes (ready to mount). Neutralize 20 minutes in baking soda. Liqua tan and roll up for 4 hours at room temp. Freeze or mount. Befor mounting, wash
cape to remove surface oil. (And you wont need a tire tube to stretch it either!)
That is a method that I guarantee will work everytime!
I will be glad to answer any questions concerning the method I use.
Good luck!


This response submitted by eric on 03/22/2004 at 17:11. ( )


what ph factor for the neutralizing

This response submitted by Leon on 03/22/2004 at 17:33. ( )

I want to thank all that responded, i have now the ph levels i need to get the tanning done, 5.O, and the pickling 1.5-2, but i would inquire further as to what the ph level should be when i am neutralizing the hide. Any input on this would be appreciated, is the Liquatan like the Krowtann i am reading about? thanks one and all for your input Leon

Not that critical

This response submitted by Bruce Anderson on 03/22/2004 at 18:32. ( )

I have never measured the ph of the baking soda. Just enough water to cover the cape and a small handfull of baking soda will work.
We're not building a rocket here...... just make sure to check your ph in the pickle everyday and move the cape(s) around often. (I use Muriatic acid for my pickle.)
I am not familiar with Krowtan, so can't make any comparisions.


This response submitted by Travis on 03/23/2004 at 08:49. ( )

Switch to Krtowtan and you won`t have a thing I really like about Krowtan is the fact that you don`t have to salt and dry the cape...In shops where there is no climate control I believe this is where most of the problems occur in the tanning process...if there is high humidity then there will be problems eventually..I used Lutan for a couple years and really liked it but Krowtan is so much easier...

Great info from the guys above tho...always good to learn all ya can about tanning...

Definitely the Ph Level

This response submitted by John Brown on 03/24/2004 at 21:43. ( )

Listen to the pro in this forum. Bruce Rittel. I use Lutan and had problems in the beginning. I emailed Mr. Rittel and he set me straight. Check the Ph of the pickle as often as you can. Using Lutan F the cape or hide must stay in the pickle for not less than 72 hours. Borax will ruin a skin. Trust me. It is good for boiling skulls and that is it. My wife uses it for a detergent BOOSTER.

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