Hey guys...Working on a deer that had a little bit of hair slippage, and sour smell...hair slippage was minimal, only in few places...Fellow taxidermist told me that I should get it into the pickle right away, and increase the amount of saftee acid about another .5-1oz per five gallons of water...I recently shaved my hide and I noticed that the thin skin I use to tuck in my lips, almost seems " dry rotted" you can almost crumble it in your fingers...to say the least I have lost a good bit of my tucking material, and am worried about how to mount this deer without it? ANY ADVISE ON HOW TO DO MY MOUTH WITHOUT PROPER TUCKING MATERIAL WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED! I think that the acid has eaten it away?
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Sew some more skin onto the area you want more skin to be from a different hide. Then you will have something to tuck into the form.
Just be careful when you do it not to mess up the bad skin. I am sure you will get more replies about this but this is what I would do.
That sour smell is decomposition-put it in the acid right away,I always tend to mix my pickle a little stronger than suggested ie...instead of 2.5 ounces of safety acid to 5 gal. of water,I'll put 3.5 to 4 ounces of acid per 5 gallons of water.
While Im not too sure about "crumbling lips" I CAN tell you its better to add acid by checking the pH, rather then just by volume only. Thats just to be safe. Remember, sometimes "saving" a cape to get it mounted doesnt insure a stable tan for the ages.
I dont know about the crumbling lips either, but for the love of God get some pH papers and just dont add by volume. Check your pH everyday and then add acid if needed.
You have to add more salt. Acid has eaten away the fatty tissue in the lip liner. Theres more to a good pickle, than keeping a proper ph. Thats why they make salinometers, to measure salt content.
A salinometer is the best 10 bucks I ever spent! Saftee acid is some easy stuff to work with. It bottoms out at around 0.8 pH and seems to work well at that pH. However, if your salt content is too high, it takes longer to work and the hide doesn't seem to want to "pump" up. If too low, you tend to get acid swell! I like to keep my pickles right at 42% salt @60deg. This seems to work quick without acid swell. If you do notic acid swell, usaly around the eyes, and lips. Just sprinkle some salt over the entire cape. This helps to leach the acid out of the skin.
As far as your lip problem. It's a tough call. I guess I would need to actualy see how bad they are before making a decision. Worst case you could sew the lips together like we did back in the old days. It would look like crap but so would sewing on more leather just to have something to tuck.
Hope this helps! Joe