I've been doing taxidermy for a while and have read so much about how great tanning is that I've decided to give it a try. I'm going to attempt a domestic rabbit. I won't be mounting the rabbit, but instead just tanning it soft for a craft project. I going to proceed with the following steps:
1. Salt the skin for 24 hrs.
2. Remove old salt and re-salt the skin for at least 24 more hours (Can I leave it salted for longer if needed?)
3. Remove salt and pickle using Van Dykes pickling crystals while maintaining a PH of about 1.1 for 3 days (Can the hide be left in the pickle for longer if needed?)
4. Remove from pickle and neutralize to a PH of 4-4.5
5. Soak in Lutan F for up to 16 hours
6. Remove, towel dry for about 30 minutes, and apply tanning oil according to instruction
7. Work the hide to soften.
This will be my first attempt so please give me any tips for rabbit hides. I want to see how much better tanned hides are than DP for myself. Thanks.
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You got the steps down right,,,,,,,,,,, for a deer hide. If you can skin a rabbit without it looking lice Swiss cheese, and because they have very thin skin, a 12-hour salt would be plenty, and a 24-hour pickle would be plenty. As small as a rabbit is, you wouldn't make a dent in the PH of the pickle, and it should stay a low ph, but check anyway for practice, and yes, you can leave it in the pickle longer if you like, IMO.
way too long for an animal the size of a rabbit - probably more like 5-6 hrs -
you can save a ton of steps and time on a thin skinned animal like this by just using krowtann and oiling b4 breaking - probalby do e'thing in about a day and a half - on somehting this thin skinned you wont notice any difference on softeness