Borax...then tan?

Submitted by Chris on 5/28/06 at 10:32 AM. ( )

My friend and I were driving down to another friend's house when I saw the one of the best road-kill squirrel ever; it looked fresh, no one else had run over it, ect. So I grabbed it thinking 'Hey, I could use the skinning practice'.

It was still warm when I skinned on my friend's drive-way.

Now the problem is that they didn't have enough salt to coat the squirrel, but they did have Borax, so I covered the squirrel in that.

This is a really nice looking squirrel and I would like to tan it. Can I go about the regular tanning process even after boraxing it? If so, would I just wash as much as the borax out?


Return to Tanning Category Menu

Sorry, you may have screwed the pooch

This response submitted by George on 5/28/06 at 11:15 AM. ( )

Borax is on the other end of the pH scale and once it's applied,it's likely to play havoc with your tanning process. You can try washing it with salty water, but you'll still have to watch the pH. If you're using a paint on, it may not be as effective as it would have without the borax.


This response submitted by ej on 5/28/06 at 7:56 PM. ( . )

i tanned 600 grey fox a couple years ago that were treated with borax. something they do in the southwest down around new mexico way. i saved most of them. if i had it to do again i would rinse each one of them about 10 times. then use a strong acid like sulphuric at about .65 oz. to the gal. holding the ph at 1 or slighly below 1. it's strange that even though sulphuric is one of the stongest acid pickles, it can safely be used at a higher rate. i'm still waiting for bruce to explain this to me. but it's true!

Acid is acid, ej

This response submitted by George on 5/28/06 at 11:49 PM. ( )

Sulfuric acid is a harsh acid but it's not the stuff that science fiction depicts. The concentrations of the acid make the difference. A 1.0 pH from Safetee Acid will burn you just as badly as they will from any other. Most of us quit using sulfuric simply because it was so delicate to use. The acid had to be poured into the water very carefully. The pickle seemed to always make the skin tougher and harder to work with than the newer substitutes. The pH of Saftee Acid is 1.0 if you add .5 fluid ounces to a gallon of water. If you put 2.5 fluid ounces of acid in a gallon of water, it's still not going below 1.0 in pH, but the concentration is much MUCH higher. Tanning and pickling are used by taxidermists and most don't know how to use a Mr. Wizard Chemistry Set, much less concern themselves with % of concentrations. All we need to know is if it works or not.

just one question for you george?

This response submitted by ej on 5/29/06 at 2:06 AM. ( . )

who? in the hell! would screw a poor little pooch?

ej - Formic also "bottoms" out at around a 2.2 PH!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 5/30/06 at 12:41 AM. ( )

When you use a Formic (85%) Pickle - you can use the "prescribed amount" (0.90 fl. ozs./Gl.) and get the 2.0-2.2 PH it often attains (depending on your local water PH) - or - you can add gallons of it and it will still read the same PH. Just like Sulphuric Acid - it has a point at which it no longer influences the PH. No matter how much you add.

acid bottoms out

This response submitted by ej on 5/30/06 at 7:12 PM. ( toomuchspam.ccc )

ok! Bruce, but what effect does that have on the fur skins?
or does Glen C. have the answer here?
thank you.

Return to Tanning Category Menu