I tanned my first bobcat yesterday and the hide is drying nicely. I have had no slippage except for the ears, which i am sure some paint and minor repair is in order. However, I do have some transparentcy in the belly skin. is it the liquatan? Did I use too much or not enough? Everything appears to be nice. The head ant the neck are pretty thick, does that affect the tan? I dried it out and the flesh seemed to absorbe the tan well. What should it look like when it is done? Should it look oily? What do i use if any of the liquatan gets into the hair?
I used curatan on a deer cape and although similar, the Liquatan is 100% better. Curatan is just a big smelly mess and the cape did not tan well.
I saw an earlier post about too much handling with a bobcat pelt. I find that turning the ears and fleshing the hide in a cold bathtub or cold enviornment is the best way to avoid slippage later on.
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Paschall,it should absorb in the skin,if you have any pooling just rub it into the restof the skin.It will leave a cream like color.The main thing when using this tan or any other tan is to make sure you dry the hair real good,this is so you don't end up with loose hair.It might be just me,but I think the Liqua-tan helps to lock the hair up in the skin.
I mount between 30 and 50 bobcats per season, used Liqua-tan for years and now McKenzie Tan mainly because it is more convenient to buy. Both in my opinion are about the same thing.
One thing you absolutely need to be doing is pickling your skins. I could not tell from your post whether or not you did this but to get a good tan this needs to be done.
I shave around the neck and front shoulders all of my cats. They are really thick in these places and it helps fit the manniken better, also it takes longer for the tan to penetrate in thicker areas.
Just follow these simple steps and you will have no trouble at all (this works with either tan)
(1) Skin cat, pre-flesh and split and turn all areas needed, do this quickly as you can. I usually salt the ears as I am turning them
(2) Salt skin and let drain for 24-48 hours
(3) Relax skin in room temp water ,1 cap of brown Lysol to 5 gallons water, usually takes about 3-5 hours
(4) place skin in pickle for 24 hours
(5) remove from pickle and flesh with whatever tool you use
(6) Neutralize skin for 30 minutes in 3 gallons room temp water with 3 tablespoons regular baking soda added
(7) Wash skin off with regular water for a few seconds and let drain, roll up in a big fluffy towel for an hour or so to help dry skin
(8) Apply liqua-tan with a small brush, roll up skin in a loose ball and set somewhere to tan (I always let mine tan for about 12-24 hours)(TAN BOTH SIDES OF THE EARS)
(9) unfold skin and wash it in the sink. NO SOAP! Just wash it off real good
(10) Put skin back in a dry towel for about an hour
(11) unfold skin and do any final fleshing need then either mount it like it is, freeze it or tumble it if you like a real dry skin to work with
I like to mount my cats right out of the towel, I do dry the ears with a blow dryer and compressor after I bondo them or use an earliner but the rest of the skin will mount up nicely and then you can blow it out and fluff it up real good before you close up shop for the day
hope this helps!
Thanks so much! I did pickle the cat, but I did not shave the neck areas. Should I use more in those areas? So I can wash the hide in cool water after the tan? 24 hours is good enough? How do i know if the thick neck is tanned? I dont want to mount it and have it rot off the mount if the liqua tan did not penetrate. i did apply liqua tan on both sides of the ears as well as both side of the feet and nose. Your instructions helped me so much I am saving them on file! Thanks a bunch!
24 hours is plenty for a skin as thin as a bobcat to tan, even the thicker areas on the neck are nothing compared to a deer skin and I sometimes mount them after 12 hours. You do not have to apply any more tan in one area than another, you do want to get plenty of tan on the skin but if you put so much that you end up with a dripping mess then you are just wasting tanning oil. Just get a small 1" or 1-1/2" brush and brush it on the skin, some 'pooling' of the tan is going to happen but normally in a few hours after it is rolled up the pickled skin will absorb most of it. It is kind of a hands-on thing, once you do one or two then you will get an idea as what is too much or too little. I shave the neck ares on my cats as a personal preference but it is not neccesary, I just like to get everything as thin as possible to avoid as much shrinkage as I can. Both of those tans I mentioned are water soluble (sp). They will clean up well with water and the tan will not wash out. You may want to rinse the tanned skin off two or three times before mounting to be sure and get all of the tanning oil off the hair. I read somewhere a long time ago that Liqua-tan will penetrate up to 1" or so of a pickled skin in about 6 hours or so. I just tan whatever I have due up next in the shop in the evening before I leave, roll it up and let it set overnight and work it the next morning but yes, 12 hours is plenty of time for a bobcat to tan and no, the skin will will not rot off the manniken.
I do the same, except that I add a degreasing step. I freeze the skin after the liqua tan has penetrated over night and wash it before I am ready to mount. I think I read once that the liqua tan will still be working even though it is frozen.