Where can I get a PH tester for testing the water to tan the hide?
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Supply company at the top of the page or do like I did and go to ebay and get the same thing with extra electrodes for half the price. Try this seller. http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZthesilvergenie
forget the gizzmoos. use the papers. and the ranging papers are extremely accurate. go to Rittels. he will fix you up.
Are far more accurate than the papers. Think about it.
john the mouth has spoken. he knows more than bruce and all the others.
don, good tanning you need to test often and be fairly accurate. to be so accurate like with in 100th of the point is really unnessesary.
maybe the metter will give you this unnessesary acuracy. but the sensor will go bad on you often and they need to be calibrated often as well. its just not what the big boys tanning hard and heavy use. they rather not waist their time calibrating, they rather be productive tanning instead. that is why john uses them. he rather fool around and spread his poor advise and play with equiptment. after all he said it. "tanning is not an art" i say bullxxxt. it is an art. and every hide is different. some hides will never tan properly no matter what aproach is used. and other animal skins will be very forgiving even to the novice that often does not understand what he did right.
but try both if you have the time and monies. or, listen to someone who has 1000's of pelts tanned experience. it's your choice in the end. the end.
Don asked where to get pH meters not pH strips. I don't know more than Bruce or all others, I only take their advice and not yours.I just so happen to talk to a few big tanneries and suppliers (Not your Podunk tannery) on a regular basis that depend on very accurate readings in the pH and they sure as hell don't use pH strips. In fact if you talk to Knoblochs they will tell you that it is highly recommended to use a pH meter for higher accuracy. Just because my opinion is different from yours does not make me any less qualified than you. How do you even know you are more qualified than I am anyway EJ. The tanning chemical I use, tans at an optimum pH of 3.8 to 4.2. You absolutely cannot get this reading with a pH strip. Knoblochs recommends that the tan pH be very accurate. I used pH papers for a very long time and switched to the meter when I switched to Knoblochs tanning chemicals. And what do you mean some hides will not tan properly? Explain it to me Mr. Expert Tanner. Any comments from experienced tannery folks like Mr. Patton, Oldshaver, or Mark Daniels are welcome to this debate. Tanning is not an art it is still a science. Did artist's create the skin? Did artist's create the chemicals? Taxidermy IS an art form but not tanning.
sorry john, didn't mean to step on your feel'ins so hard there. i'll stand by what i said. if mister patton, or oldshave or bruce says im wrong. ill except that im wrong. the truth is. i talked with bruce some time ago on this very subject and he concurred. ph testers are probably not for the average good tanner. as per the reasons i stated.
i think i've beaten this one to death. by!
I don't mean to step on anyones toes,but ph paper is all that I have ever used.I tan most capes with Liqua-tan,but also use lutan-f and ez-100 and I have never had a problem with needing to be exact on the ph.
It depends on the chemicals that are used. I used EZ for a while but switched to another chemical that in my opinion gives me a better product. EJ, why is it that you have to start a pissing match with me everytime I express my opinion? I was trying to help the guy out with his question.
"The tanning chemical I use, tans at an optimum pH of 3.8 to 4.2. You absolutely cannot get this reading with a pH strip."
Not to add fuel to the fire but....you most certainly can get pH test strips accurate to the 10th of a pH unit. Short range papers from HYDRION. Check it out.
They have been available to scientists for decades. Probably won't find them in a taxidermy catalog.
unless I read it wrong the short range pH strips only read to the 1/2 unit. The short range is for whole unit readings, for example 3.0 to 5.5 instead of 2.0 to 7.0.
Micro Essential Lab Double-Roll Dispensers with Hydrion pH Test Papers
Fisher Catalog > Water and Wastewater Testing Supplies > Chlorine and pH Test Kits and Test Strips > Micro Essential Lab Double-Roll Dispensers with Hydrion pH Test Papers > Details
Reusable dispensers hold two rolls of standard-size Hydrion pH papers—15 ft.L x 7/32 in.W (4.6m x 0.55cm)—plus matching color charts
Feature stainless-steel cut-off lips on each side
Wide-range papers provide a sharp color change for each full pH unit
Short-range papers change for each 0.5pH unit
Which should be good enough for your 3.8-4.2 spread. I don't knock anyone for whatever they want to use. I have strips in the lab accurate to 3/10's of a unit. For pickles I use the strips accurate to 1 unit.
Heck, I have a meter in the lab that measures to 1/100 of a pH unit. Every now and then I bring in a vial of my pickle and double check it against my strips. With a meter you are also going to have to buy certified standard buffers within the range you want to pH. Don't forget to adjust for temperatures as well. Some of the better meters have temperature probes also.
Keeping a tanning or pickling pH stable to within 1/100th of a unit or even 1/10th of a unit requires a buffered solution, one that resists change either way. The tans and pickles purchased might just be buffered, but it is overkill for most "within shop" tanning and pickling.
Here is some good reading as well as strips accurate to 0.2pH units.
Pay particular attention to the sections entitled:
The salt error
The protein error
The alcohol error
The temperature error
That is for the test strips. As for the meter, unless you are calibrating in the same type solution,(the same salt concentration, protein content etc.) you may not be as accurate as you think.
Test strips have a shelf life.
Meters tend to "drift" when the electrodes get dirty or are wearing out. Most electrodes need to be stored in a specific buffer or solution..which is best?
Does everyone with a meter rinse with distilled water and blot dry with a kimwipe? That is proper procedure..
Some test strips tend to "bleed" the indicating chemical. Do you dip your strips or do you place a drop of solution on the strip? It matters....
Lots to ponder before butting heads...
On a side note:
Just about everybody that posts here has their own opinions on what works, what doesn't work, what's good and what's bad, and what is downright insane. The old timers have experience and know what works; the newer crowd has technology on their resumes and can certainly teach this old dog some new tricks.
My bottom line...rather than name-calling and knocking heads together, try a little cooperation. Difference of opinion is great; in fact, the world would be a pretty dull place without it.
and thanks for the info on the pH strips too. I am not one of those hard heads that refuses to be corrected but I will comment to some the of the crack pot ideas that come from some people. I am not really what you would call young but I do embrace some of the new tech that is available. Thanks Cyclone!