I've got a couple of hides in the freezer that have been fleshed, ears lips and eyes turned and salted. I was planning to use Mackenzie Tan on them but the last two I tanned with the stuff shrunk to the point I couldn't get the hides on the form. Ruined one hide trying to get it thinner for more stretch. Seemed like I lost about 2-3" of neck. Now that the hides have been salted, can I rinse the excess salt off and still use Krowtann or has the salting procedure already started the shrinking problem I'm trying to avoid? I hit the search button and called Mackenzie but this stuff has me scared to use it anymore.
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did you put salted hides in the freezer? It's not the tan. It's the tanner. You probably didn't shave thin enough to have any stretch what so ever. With thicker skin the capes will shrink. 2 to 3 inches sounds excessive. Are you sure you measured the capes correctly?
The problem I have had with the tan is I had no stretch,I didn't have the hides shrink like Ron says,just no stretch.Thinning was not the problem,I thin my hides down to the "blue" and have no "clue" why it wouldn't work for me like all the testimonials say it does.It might work for these fellas but not for me.Thats the ticket Ron,you have to find out what works best for you and go with it.
to the question about why the hide went into the freezer was, at the time I caped the hides out, I was out of Mackenzie Tan. The instructions stated you can stop after any step and freeze the hide so I did. Also, I did thin the hides down, so much so that thats how I ruined one, I cut so many holes in it with a mini flesher that it wasn't worth sewing up the holes. I don't know what else to try to get more hide. I measure the capes for all three neck measurements Mackenzie calls for but I just ain't had no luck with the stuff.
but i am sure you will figure it out sooner or later, but i would look at how i measure the capes to begin with. How are you measuring them? loosely around the fur after you skin it out, or do you measure the carcass? You are getting a fake carcass you know, that's what a form is, you don't need to measure the hide, you are buying a hide, measure the carcass and that is what size you want. I am willing to bet that will help you a load. Unless you are drying the hides out you ARE NOT shrinking! Shrinkage can only occur when the moisture is taken out. It isn't the tan, i've used it and had no problems, and if you think it is the tan, rub it on then mount right away, you can do that with McKenzie tan, but doing that won't help any cause that ain't your problem. You just have to get your measuring style to correspond with your suppliers measuring style.
But then again i might be totally wrong, but i am betting you measure the hide then order the form then see that you are two to three inches off and assume the cape shrunk. Cause the form is the size that you ordered. But in all reality you should have pulled the tape tight around the carcass instead of loose around the hide. Cause your measurement around the hide is prolly the same as it was when you took it. But i am rambling, so i hope you get it straightened out, I'm sure it will all work out. You'll get it figured out.
Did you oil and sweat the skins?
the skins since it wasn't recommended in the instructions. As to measuring, I always measure the carcass after skinning unless they took it al the way to the back of the head as some will do around here. Recently, I mounted a large 8-point for a guy. nose to eye was 7 1/2" deer weighed around 160 lbs in September (opening day of bow season, still in velvet). I measured the carcass at 18 inches, went to mount the head and could not get the hide on. Thinned it, tried again, no luck. Ended up ordering a 16" nech and using a change out head. came out looking like a doe with horns and small in the shoulders. Man picked it up and didn't say anything but I was not at all pleased with my work.
And what type of tanning oil are you using, are you letting it soak in long enough, are you using enough?
Mackenzie Tan just as the directions called for. I had always DP'd in the past but thought I'd try tanning to give my customers a better product. Used Krowtann last year liked it but wanted to try the Mackenzie tan as it's more of a "tan" than a strong pickle and it looked fairly simple to do. And no, I did not break the hides since I was not looking for a rug. Didn't think it was necessary and the instructions did't mention it as such.
It is not necessary to break the hides but it is necessary to oil them. The oil will make the skin quite a bit more stretchy if you will.
Why did you put the hides in the freezer after you salted them? You risk not having them freeze solid. You could have let them dry, and rehydrated them when you were ready to tan them.