Steve at Taxidermy Arts Supply has been out of chemicals for quite some time now.....what is everyone with the auto tanners using for chemicals? And what has the outcome been on what you have been using? Any info will be helpful. Thanks!
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We've been using Krowtann, actaully like it alot better, alot more stretch and very easy skiving of hides.
I have had my tanner for 5 or 6 years now and the cost of shipping Steves chemicals to the west coast in bulk was the first thing that I had to deal with!
After a conversation with him one day about freight costs and his tanning chemicals I began seriously investigating locally for a supplier for alum in bulk.
I called Bruce Rittel and discussed alum formulas for the autotanner, and he helped me arrive at a formula that works well in the machine.
my basic formula is 8 oz alum and 10 oz salt per gal of water; with one caveat, check and adjust if needed whenever I open a new bag of alum.
I buy "technical grade" aluminum sulphate from a local supplier, but there is some variation in purity in that grade, so whenever I open a new bag, I take a few minutes to mix a batch of the base recipe and then check the reading on a Baume' hydrometer (Bruce carries these).
If I understand correctly, the baume' reads specific gravity; in this case, the concentration of alum in the solution.
The reading should be 7.8 ideally, if it is not then the formula for that bag will need to be readjusted; add alum and salt if the reading is low, or water if it is high.
Always use alum and salt in the 4 to 5 ratio of the basic recipe.
Bruce can also supply you with formulas for using almost any tan in the autotanner.
Added plus for me of an alum tan; no hazardous by products from pickling or tanning!
I have a septic system at my place and cannot dump solutions in my tank; but with this tan I can dump the liquid on the ground without environmental damage.
It will kill grass and weeds short term, due to the salt, but they come back quickly.
I have listed the 3 chemicals
with percentages of Steve's auto tanning crystals in the forum before; check the little orange button.
was given to me by Steve.
K.y - Don't know what chemicals your looking for, but I placed an order for 100 lbs of the regular tanning crystals on December 29th & received it on January 3rd. With the holidys and weekend, that was only 2 shipping days. In fact, he double shipped and I received another 100 lbs on January 7th. (Yes, I called to make sure I didn't receive someone elses shipment. We settled up and I agreed to keep the product with a shipping discount) I only do about 30 deer capes a year, so I have plenty for the next couple of years. Is there a shelf life on this stuff?