Tanning After Acid Swelling

Submitted by Phil on 2/6/06 at 10:28 AM. ( )

I have a situation with a deer cape that I would like some help on concerning acid swelling. After the Lutan-F tanning process was complete, I noticed some minor areas on the cape that must be acid swelling. I am relatively new at taxidermy and I have read about swelling, but have never seen it or encountered it. The steps I took to process and tan the cape are as follows:

Salted cape for 24 hours, then resalted for another 24 hours
Pickle bath solution (I was careful to watch the pH) for 4 days
Removed from pickle to shave thin and replaced in the pickle for 1 more day (pH still monitored)
Washed cape in a mild solution of water and Dawn dishwashing soap
Neutralized cape in sodium bicarbonate solution for 30 minutes
Placed into Lutan-F tanning solution for 16 hours per instructions.

After reading many posts on this forum, I realize that I should omit the washing of the cape with Dawn due to its alkaline properties and will modify my procedures.

I noticed the areas of acid swelling while I was oiling the cape. My question is: do you think the tanning process "took" or should I reshave, re-pickle and re-tan the cape? I was ready to mount the cape today, but will wait for some experienced advice.

Thank you in advance!


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I'll bite

This response submitted by AndyO on 2/6/06 at 11:54 AM. ( ajossola@yahoo.com )

Why do you think there's acid swell? After you salt dried the cape did you neutralize it before putting it in the pickle?

Not neutalize

This response submitted by AndyO on 2/6/06 at 11:56 AM. ( )

I meant to ask if you rehydrated the cape after salt drying.

Right into the Pickle

This response submitted by Phil on 2/6/06 at 3:05 PM. ( )

No, after the salt process I put it right into the pickle. After salting the cape for 48 hours, its still supple and wouldn't need to be rehydrated in my opinion. I've done several coyote skins and deer capes and this is the first time I've had an apparent problem with swelling...areas of the skin are puffed up and somewhat rubbery.

What do your instructions say?

This response submitted by AndyO on 2/6/06 at 5:03 PM. ( )

My say to rehydrate cape after salt. Anyhow, dont think that is the problem anyhow. Are you sure you added enough salt to the Lutan F solution? Did you take ph readings while in the tan solution? Some people even put salt in the neutralization bath.

I would say to put the cape back in the pickle and start over if your worried about it.

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