George Roof on acids and sulphates.

Submitted by Huffy Glen on 11/13/05 at 7:07 PM. ( )

Now that we're on a roll...........

Seems like when I do 'splainin' folks don't understand me when I say things like crystaline organic solids, or hydrophilic or hydrophobic proteins. Alchemy one feller called it. Alchemist does make a better title than Huffy. I could just see me know with my cone shaped black hat with stars and a crescent moon on it, stirring a cauldron over glowing red coals. Wait, wait, wait, that's not what I'm here for.

George how about explaining all this for me. Here's the background info and questions.

This cape was tanned in the '97, '98, or '99 season. I rehydrated a sample from it today.

This cape was not salted before going into the pickle. As far as the pickle, neither salt as sodium chloride or potassium chloride were used. However, the pickle was a high SULPHATE pickle.

I put the skin piece I whacked off in a bowl of tap water with a pH of a ballpark of 8. NO SALT was added.
How's come there's no acid swell?

Why didn't this piece disintegrate?

Why doesn't it have acid swell?

How and why do the fibres appear to be moving and changing in shape?

To go along with it all, I do have all the photos and a little more data at this address:

This should confuse the Hell out of someone, if not everyone. Have fun. (Evil Alchemist's grin)

Return to Tanning Category Menu


This response submitted by ej on 11/13/05 at 7:43 PM. ( . )



This response submitted by John on 11/13/05 at 7:49 PM. ( )

that you would find this boring EJ. You know everything about tanning and don't need any more information that might help out. You do realize that Glen is the Guru behing Stop Rot don't you? I may be wrong but I think he is a chemist and knows what the hell he is talking about. Thanks Glen!

It was-

This response submitted by oldshaver on 11/13/05 at 7:56 PM. ( )

put straight into an alum pickle.

Affluent vs. Effulent

This response submitted by PA on 11/13/05 at 8:23 PM. ( )

Totally different meanings last time I checked.

My dictionary sez:

This response submitted by Glen on 11/13/05 at 8:36 PM. ( )

3. flowing freely: an affluent fountain.

It showed nothing for Effulent

However, for effluent:
1. Flowing out, or forth

Made me look.

john the mouth!

This response submitted by ej on 11/13/05 at 10:36 PM. ( . )

yep, don't use stop rot in the garment tanning field, so i know nutting 'bout it. i thought this was the tanning forum.? what i do know is john is a big mouth with an empty head.

The last time we had a "guru" here, he called himself "Cur"

This response submitted by George on 11/13/05 at 10:37 PM. ( )

Guru's ain't something I associate with so what the hell would I know. But Glen, somebody ran over a stray pussycat in front of my house as a kid. Since it was a dirt road in those days, it took a couple days of pounding before it became a sailcat and all the bodily fluids had dissolved into the dirt. I was in the second grade so I was probably 8 by my standards (12 by others). I picked up the sail cat and put it in a King Edwards cigar box and set it in the barn. When I was 21, I got back from Vietnam and helped tear the barn down and found the box and the sailcat. Now that cat didn't have any affluence, alum, pickle, or any other things from Mr. Wizards kit, but the cat still looked as flat and hairy as it did when I was in the second grade. Now since you're an annointed guru, would you mind 'splaining how that cat was neutralized so that it didn't disintegrate? BTW, Alum is still a SH1T tan. LMAO.

Affluent v. effluent

This response submitted by George on 11/13/05 at 10:49 PM. ( )

Just like "further" and "farther", "anxious" v. "eager", and "affect" v. "effect", today's usage MAY have made them mean the same thing, but the Latin will get you every time.

AFFluent comes from "affluens" which means "flow TO"

EFFluent comes from "effluens" which means "to flow OUT".

I don't write the words or the meanings but I know the difference. LOL

That's what I said, AFFluent.

This response submitted by Glen on 11/13/05 at 11:04 PM. ( )

Take a look. The AFFluent flowed to the pH test strip.

Annoited guru? That sounds awful. Makes it sound like someone has been prepped for inner tubing, or something.

I never once said anything about ALUM. I did use the sulphate word.

You are the one 'splaining on this one. The questions are above.

I do like your cat story. Brings up another area I've always had questions in. It's been known for some time that proteins are capable of cross linking. By what means, or chemical mechanisms, are available in a system to allow this?

Conley. I love TRYING to jerk your chain

This response submitted by George on 11/13/05 at 11:59 PM. ( )

You give me just enough to think I may have a hand on it, and then you pull it back. Damn, you ain't much fun. Now let's talk about the exhumed body of Abraham Lincoln a few years back and reports that he looked just as good as the day he died. Is arsenic really that good, or was it the combination of the element along with the cast lead casket?

Screw Lincoln.

This response submitted by Glen on 11/14/05 at 5:11 AM. ( )

I want to see what those reporting people look like that saw him the day he died.

Quit tryin' to side step.

"affluent coming out of the skin"

This response submitted by PA on 11/14/05 at 7:57 AM. ( )

Its' not my horse in this race, but affluent should in this case be listed as "effluent coming out of the skin". Unfortunately, I'm not affluent enough to retire at this point, or I'd enter the debate.

From my limited reading, formalin does cross-link proteins (and DNA) which prevents it from being a good preservative for DNA analysis years after the specimen is preserved. It is THE only good fixative for initial preservation of fluid specimens, but even the brief time in formaldehyde will ruin much of the DNA. Specimens preserved only in Alcohol don't hold up as long or as well, but supposedly the DNA is still complete enough to get long chains of the amino acid chains that make it up. Most serious museum collectors save frozen tissue or that preserved only in EtOH excised from a fluid specimen, or skin/skeleton mount, for later tissue analysis.


This response submitted by George on 11/14/05 at 8:48 AM. ( )

I must've been using my reading time on more constructive thought patterns. Did you ASK something? Glen, you seem to forget, most of us here are TAXIDERMISTS. I'm also pretty skilled in a few other things, but like this computer, I don't need to know the theory behind quantum physics and silicone chips. I just need to know that when I type, the letters appear on the screen and when I click the "Submit Response" icon, it appears here.

That would be a wizard....

This response submitted by cyclone on 11/14/05 at 11:29 AM. ( )

Alchemists were the early chemist that were bent on turning lead into gold.


1 : a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special.

There are literally hundreds and thousands of crosslinking agents. Metals like aluminum, chrome, magnesium, zinc...etc... aldehydes like formaldehyde, gluteraldehyde or acetaldehyde will crosslink...There are many...

Ever wonder why older animals have thicker tougher hides and meat than the younguns? Crosslinking of proteins is also a natural process as part of aging...

Here is some good reading on crosslinking and protiens.

By the way, where is the start of this thread? What did I miss? Where?

Beginners category

This response submitted by PA on 11/14/05 at 1:58 PM. ( )

11/11 What the "heck" did I do wrong.


This response submitted by John on 11/14/05 at 6:53 PM. ( )

This is the taxidermy tanning forum not the garment tanning forum. It looks to me like you would find somewhere else to show your ignorance. If the subject is boring to you don't read it or open your big mouth. Did you ever figure out a way to cool the Gulf of Mexico? And look who's calling who empty headed! Go back to the hole you crawled out of 6 months ago EJ.

Sodium Bi-sulphate pickle?

This response submitted by oldshaver on 11/14/05 at 8:09 PM. ( )

Forms a weak sulphuric acid pickle when added to water. Sodium content prevented acid swell.

now thats the kind of bantering im talking about

This response submitted by paul e on 11/15/05 at 1:35 PM. ( )

i think im going to cancel cable
Glen and George are better entertainment
now wait ive got it
all we need to spice it up further is
Mr.Rittel to tell us we dont need any of those aux. products

I am thinking of this one.

This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/15/05 at 9:23 PM. ( )

I will hopefully have an answer on this one by tomorrow afternoon. Later, Joe


This response submitted by Marc A on 11/16/05 at 10:52 AM. ( )

I have it from a good source that Lincoln was DP'ed. LOL

Is it just me?

This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/16/05 at 6:26 PM. ( )

Or are them photos "gelling" up?
Hey Glen, What are the odds of you telling us how the cape was tanned? N/S pickle. If no salt was added in the form of sodium chloride or potassium chloride. What type of salt was used? Epsom salt has a high sodium content and a "mineral" that can potentially tan a hide? And contains sulfates. Or am I making things worse? LOL! Joe

Must by your monitor, Joe, the photos look fine to me.

This response submitted by Huffy on 11/16/05 at 10:58 PM. ( )

If you can get your monitor straighteded out, you should be seeing movement of the collagen fibers in the fluid suspension. I had already fooled away over five hours on that little blurp you guys saw. I could no doubt have used some of the stuff I've got around here and had those fibers going all over that slide. Ever wonder about collagen movement in a live skin? After all, it's just three proteins in a helix. What makes it do those tricks that we call life?

What was really needed, and still is, to make that article of any real value as a learning tool, would be a piece of dry/acid rotted skin, such as the guy with the mountain lion had. At that point we should have a lot of contrast. The reality is, if someone isn't already familiar with some of this "skin stuff" a lot of what we're writing wouldn't make a lick of sense.

I almost cut that piece of skin into three pieces awhile back and was going to send a piece to Uncle George, PA, and Bill Yox. I was going to give them the same background on the skin as you just read, and say, "Have at it, torture it, see what you come up with." The only reason I didn't send it was because........I forgot to.

I think all too often we all might be just a little inclined to try to paint with too broad a paint brush. I can't say that I bought into the sulphur theory as I have copied and pasted from another thread. Uncle George wrote it:
"Bruce Rittel subscribes to the "theory" of many of us that the sulfates in the alum combined with humidity to form sulfuric acid that disintegrated the hides. But again, that's never been proven either. It might just as well have been the red paper forms or the dextrine hide paste that did them in prematurely."

You can see the acidity of that skin by the test strip on the affluent (I birthed the stuff, so's I gits ta name it, the next time I do it and it comes out a gurl, I'll name that un Effulent).

The formation of acid is obvious, a sulphuric form at that.

The skin is at least six years old. It did not disintegrate when rehydrated, the reason being, the collagen fibers are to a high degree intact. That's the same reason why it could be rehydrated with water, and there wasn't any acid swelling. Acid swelling and water swelling could actually appear pretty close to the same. But here again, this is where photos of a dry/acid rotted skin are needed.

One last note, Epsom salts does not (or should not) contain sodium.


This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/17/05 at 12:29 PM. ( )

Retard samige(sandwich, for those of you who can't spell) for breakfast! No salt in Magnesium Sulfate! LOL! But, What causes "salt" to prevent acid swell, And "Water" swell. I do know for a fact when you add epsom salts to water and test it whith a salometer you will get a reading just like you do when you add salt. I know, any hydrometer will do this. Salometer's are just calibrated to measure the density of salt (sodium chloride). I know I am just hanging on the epsom salt thing, But would adding epsom salt and a " mineral" acid (like sulfuric acid) prevent acid swell, And to some technical degree "tan" a piece of hide?

Sorry Glen. I think it is my monitor. The dry rot I have seen in alum tanned skins causes the collagen fibers to turn to powder and desolve in water. I will check around to see if I can get my hands on some older alum tanned skins with dry rot. At any rate, I will think and post more tonight. You kids have fun! Joe

and the point is

This response submitted by dubedube on 11/17/05 at 8:53 PM. ( nosuchnumber )

how is all this going to help me as a taxidermist? are you saying you're so smart and i'm just a dumb taxidermist. or are you trying to sell me something? i think you are trying to sell me something but i dont know what. if you are you have a funny way of doing it

Return to Tanning Category Menu