sulfuric acid

Submitted by johnny on 8/8/05 at 11:40 PM. ( )

i have read alot here and elsewhere i am new to tanning ihave done five deer hides two bobcats and a otter iused sulfurc acid i havent any problem so for i have read on here not to use why

Return to Tanning Category Menu

how about some punctuation

This response submitted by terryr on 8/9/05 at 12:12 AM. ( )

late at nite i cant think of more than 1 idea at a time

Sulfuric acid

This response submitted by = on 8/9/05 at 8:47 PM. ( )

Sulfuric acid is the same thing as old time battery acid. It is a sure way to "eat your pelts alive". Don't use it. It's not safe, it's not effective, and with hazardous shipping or handling what it is, it's not even cheap. Use something less "iffy", like Saftee Acid.

If you want to home-tan deer skins, why not brain tan? It's cheap! It's not easy, but all you gain is knowledge and beautiful skins, and all you can lose is time and some easy-to-replace skins.

Longevity-too strong

This response submitted by oldshaver on 8/9/05 at 8:50 PM. ( )

Some non-tans in a skin provide a natural protection from the environment. Without this protection, red-rot will occur over time. Sulfuric eats them away. Also it is a pain the rear to neutralize throughly. One more thing, sulfuric and salt will form hydrochloric acid when distilled.(remove water) Milder acids are much more suited for tanning purposes.

Geez, guys, when did all this happen?

This response submitted by George on 8/9/05 at 9:32 PM. ( )

For 20 years that's all I ever used, and some of that crappy work still exists in family homes in the south. I supervised and aircraft battery shop at one time and we routinely dumped the totally neutralized with baking soda "acid" down the conventional drains as per EPA directives. Now it IS a harsh acid and certain NOT my choice today, but I'm not sure how H2SO4 can combine with chemically inert salt and become HCl. Maybe my chemistry is failing. Even with distillation, it seems such a remote possibility that it wouldn't be a concern. Maybe electrolysis would do that, but I'm not sure. Someone set me straight here.


This response submitted by David Patton on 8/10/05 at 5:15 PM. ( )

Your chemistry is still in good shape. This is similar information that comes from reading old tanning articles and taking excerpts out of context. A full understanding of chemical processes is needed before interpreting the old tanning readings.

This type of information has been floating around this forum for awhile now. Try to put this information to the practical use and you soon will discover the errors in interpretation.

This is the same guy that defends Alum tanning based on how high the temperature must get to wash the tan out of the leather matrix. Then he mentions a distillation process that will form a damaging acid.

I don't know how you guys are tanning out there, but 140 degree plus temperatures and distillation procedures are not part of the way I have been tanning.

Old tanning readings?

This response submitted by oldshaver on 8/10/05 at 9:07 PM. ( )

Hydrochloric acid was first discovered around the year 800 by Arab-Yemeni alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), by mixing common salt with vitriol (sulfuric acid). Jabir discovered or invented many important chemicals, and wrote his findings in over 20 books which carried his chemical knowledge of hydrochloric acid and other basic chemicals for hundreds of years. This has been common knowledge for over 1000 years! David, you never as much as mixed a pickle or a tan until close to a couple of years ago, and now all of the sudden your an expert because you have a business degree? You bought a sheep tannery with nothing but shaving experience, and have gotten a few dumbasses on here to refer to you as an expert. How, I dont know. E-mails maybe? I know Im not an expert, and dont pretend to be. That alum tan you are refering to paid for your entire existance for close to 18 years or so, and now its the devil in desquise? Ever heard of polymerizing alum? According to the herald, the way you have been tanning, is the way you were told to by the man you bought your business from. Yes, you have been in business for less than 2 years and already have over 500 customers, but you left out the part stating that you bought a business with a list of 500 customers. So what do you have now, 501? Maybe you will get to that 1000 hide a year mark you talked about in the paper. Good luck, you are going to have a hard go of it on the east coast. George, pickle a cape with sulphuric, tan it, leave it on the shelf for a few months, re-hydrate it, and see what happens. In an earlier post, I didnt want to get into it, but I agree with Laurier.

i'm in between on this argument.

This response submitted by ej on 8/10/05 at 10:24 PM. ( [] )

i really do not think sulphuric acid. or allum based tans are all as bad as some would have you believe.

i personnally prefer sulphuric acid. and i avoid allum tans in favor of the new sys tans.



This response submitted by cyclone on 8/11/05 at 9:56 AM. ( )

Yep, you can indeed get HCl by theory...the table salt NaCl dissociates in solution into sodium ions (Na+) and cloride ions(Cl-)...(by the way, NaCl is hardly inert, in fact, it is quite reactive)...

The sulfuric acid also dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+), sulphate ions and bisulphate ions...Sulphuric acid is diprotic...i.e. it has two acidic hydrogens ions...One can possibly isolate HCl by distilling the mixture or boiling. The Merk index points this fact out...

In reality:

Many have sulfuric acid successfully for pickling hides...Those that know how to properly neutralize it will have hides that last for long periods of time...Unproperly neutralized hides will develop "acid rot" as water vapor from the air combines with the residual sodium bisulphate left in the skins forming an acidic condition within the dried and tanned hide...

The "used" solution that is obtained from car batteries also contains lead. It is a quite poisonous combination. It shouldn't be used for pickling hides.

This subject has been covered time and time again in this forum. The "old timers" and pros will recommend you use something a bit safer. Listen to them..

Thanks guys

This response submitted by George on 8/11/05 at 2:33 PM. ( )

VERY interesting reading.

Yes, Thanks Cyclone!

This response submitted by David Patton on 8/11/05 at 6:43 PM. ( )

You have provided details that I should have added. For example, the big tannery out West that has been using sulphuric for many years.Which by the way Oldshaver, those very formulas were applied to many of the big game species your company used to send out for those 18 years.

Proper neutralization is required for any acid. The biggest difference that sulphuric adds is the lower pH point reached. You still have to neutralize no matter how low you start from. I have seen Mt. Goats fall to pieces within 6 months because of improper neutralization and they were pickled with Formic acid.

Oldshaver, you don't know anything about what is going on in my tanning experience. I first mixed tans and pickles when I was working for your Uncle back in Texas, God rest his merry soul. I have mixed pickles and tans for many years, you just weren't around to know about it, much less witness it. Anyone who doesn't believe that is telling you the same stories that you have always gotten.

As far as your statement: "have gotten a few dumbasses on here to refer to you as an expert. How, I dont know. E-mails maybe?", this is now out here for anyone to read.

Anyone I have coerced into making claims about my tanning knowledge please step forward at this time and tell Oldshaver I coerced you into making those statements. Please, anyone.

The fact is I have talked to people and given information about tanning freely and without assumption about their mental abilities. I answer tanning questions as best I can and try to correct false information when I encounter it. If you have a burr under your saddle about that, then that is your problem, not mine.

And lastly, you obviously know very little about the sheep hide market on the East Coast. I could really run you to the ground about that if I wanted to, but I won't. Here are some places you can check out if you are interested: Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, New York Sheep and Wool Festival, New Hampshire Wool Growers Association.

And while you are at it, get a copy of Sheep magazine and check out the extensive list of sheep and wool festivals all up and down the East Coast. By the way, my most recent customers mailed me hides from Arizona and Oregon.

PUHLEEEEEEZZZE. Lay off it man! I am no threat to the 1.8 million dollar company you work for. I am however, very happy doing what I am doing and being in control of my own life. I don't have to sell my talents to the highest bidder like a hired gun!

I can now add you to the list of all the people that are either saying I will have a hard go of it or won't make it at all.

What is your comeback now? You want to continue trying to discredit me? Give it your best shot. This is an open forum.

Who tried to discredit who first?

This response submitted by oldshaver on 8/11/05 at 8:04 PM. ( )

Dont start nothing, and I promise there will never be nothing. I hope everyone reading this will remember this post, and see who starts this petty crap, every time. Any of you old timers ever heard of Knobbs brothers?

sorry guys

This response submitted by johnny on 8/12/05 at 12:43 AM. ( )

i didn't mean to start any crap. i do neutralize with baking soda.both hide and my pickle and i olny use it once then dump. i use 6 oz acid and 1 pound salt per gal. soke over night wash hide out in baking soda lay flesh side up streach and pull on it till it dries then work neatsfoot oil in it. so for turns out well. no way to thin.(knife) and by the way i'm not selling anything, just for myself


This response submitted by David Patton on 8/12/05 at 8:19 AM. ( )

That is the end? That is how you always end these converations. You always accuse me of being petty and you always accuse me of starting "it". Yet, you post in this forum weekly jumping into people's threads and cussing and ranting about this and that, but that is OK I guess because you can't see much beyond your own keyboard.

Fine, if that is all, then we can debate another day. Maybe some of the forum "dumba$$e$" as you call them will find the opportunity to disagree with your point of view and they can be called petty too.

Johnny- you didnt start anything

This response submitted by oldshaver on 8/12/05 at 8:08 PM. ( )

I applogize for your question getting side-tracked. I think you are using too much acid, and above all, I wouldnt use sulphuric, or muratic acid. They are basically the same thing. Have a good one, im out of here.

Not true

This response submitted by cyclone on 8/13/05 at 9:56 AM. ( )

Sulfuric is H2S04, Muratic is a common name for Hydrochloric, HCl.

your right

This response submitted by oldshaver on 8/14/05 at 3:23 PM. ( )

just read it 5 minutes before I posted it. Brain fart. Had sulfuric on the brain.

Return to Tanning Category Menu