Yesterday I tried to wash a beaver hide and a coyote hide that had been tanned last fall. I put it in some water with dawn dish soap and let it soak for a little while. I went back and pulled it from the water 1/2 hour later and it was like a wet kleenex. It was literally falling apart. I'm just wondering why this happened?
The hides were tanned by me in my auto tanner with the buck tann tanning crystals. Shaved, tumbled in corn cob grit, tacked to a board to dry some, oiled with the buck tan tanning oil and then tumbled in the cage tumbler to soften. They have been hanging in my showroom ever since. The beaver was a little oily yet on the hair side so I thought I would try to clean it up some I just threw the coyote in for a cleaning also. I'm wondering why they would just fall apart like they did.
Thanks for your help.
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I won't even go into the alum tan I suspect you used, but the fact remains that most tanneries won't warrant their work if not mounted in over a year. All hides, whether wet or dry tanned should be frozen until ready to mount. Either way, what you describe is typical of acid rot.
Grease rot. It was oily, and you never mentioned degreasing them when tanning. Leaving hides out for a year isnt the best either, as most tans have a shelf life for "workability" later.
The coyote and beaver both were just wall hangers.
If I am going to mount the hide then I wet tan and freeze until I'm ready to mount.
The beaver was oily but the coyote wasn't.
You just said it was tanned last fall. Im suggesting that a tan just out in the air will not soak up and mount up as well, due to shelf life of the tan. You didnt degrease the coyote or beaver, then theyre greasy. Those are two animals that do need degreasing. I hope you see my point, Im just trying to help you.
I know your just trying to help and I appreciate it.
Bill what do you to degrease your hides?
Thanks for you help