This is in response to a post in another categorie, about 3 days ago. Comparing a Taxidermy tannery, and a furrier, is a lack of knowledge at best. Their turnaround times will be much different, because of the types of animals tanned, and the difference in detail. A furrier doesnt have to worry about getting stretch from legs, shaving paw pads, turning lips, saving wiskers, cutting eye lids, etc. Legs are removed before a shaver gets them, and the lips and eyes are shaved right over, and cut off. A furrier is only concerned with the pelt, not the detail required for a Taxidermy mount. A furrier also, is NOT tanning elk, moose, dozens of african species(warthog-sooo much fun), deer, cows, crocs, gators, bison, and more animals than I can list! Their trade is confined to a dozen different animals, at the most. Until you have pulled a few big moose, and bison bulls , across the shaving machine, you havent seen work! Tell the guy shaving fox all day at a furrier, to shave a skin, that it takes two men to put in front of his machine, and lift up and down a few hundred times, and see if he doesnt walk out the door. Thats all I got to say about this.
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the detail work required in other areas of the operation. Without them, a Taxidermy tan will never happen. You can shave a hide thin enough to read the newspaper through, but without the rest of the operation, doing its job, your screwed.
Carolina FUR DRESSING = you know what fur dressing is? Got it! Tanning for the fur industry.
Shaving to the roots is shaving to the roots regardless if it's done under the aegis of a dresser or a tannery.
What about the guys that do 300 mink a day? What about the Chinese plants that dress a million mink a season? SOMEONE is lifting those million mink and someone is getting those dressed mink to the suppliers on time, each year, every year, to make that year's furs. In the fur industry that timeframe is 2 months from purchase to patternmaking. Your 'lifting something several hundred times' argument has no merit - if something needs to be lifted, it is lifted, regardless if it's being tanned for taxi or for fur.
The skins I sent in were sent in to have all that fine detail work done. Special care of the faces, tails, feet, claws, bodies. The trappers did most of the prep work like shaving the main toe pads and all the turning and splitting.
That's how most of the taxidermy tanneries get their pelts - with everything done for them. Pre-split, pre-turned, pre-shaved-paws, eyelids turned, noses split, etc. The shaver just has to shave, they don't have to split or turn unless the customer has asked for it and paid the extra fees.
I just talked to my fur tannery yesterday and if it hadn't been for a 3 week delay in getting my voice messages (my fault!), the skins would have been here 3 weeks ago which would have been 3 weeks door to door. Now they will be here on Wednesday upcoming. 6 weeks door to door is pretty dang good.
The best turnaround I have ever had from a 'taxidermy tannery' was 4 weeks door to door and that is because I sent the skins in fully prepped, pre-shaved, pre-pickled, and frozen. I did get a substantial discount. The pelts came back with no tannery damage whatsoever because the tannery guys didn't touch them.
With all this hulabaloo about proper shaving and care of skins, why did my pelt from Carolina come back with a blown ear and a small overshaved place on the neck? That ear wasn't blown when I sent it in, in fact it wasn't even turned - the tannery was ordered to turn it. You'd think every skin coming out of Carolina would be perfect with all this marketing hype and big talk and all the extra time they take with the skins with 4 months of storage and all.
Stretch from legs. Hahaha! I sent in skins for taxidermy tanning and I got them back with shriveled up little front legs with some cracking in the paw pads, a very minor problem. The tannery failed to oil them. Now, the fur dresser, I get back excellent stretch from the legs and face. As you know, paws + legs and faces (and bellies) are used to make cheaper fur garments and stretch from the legs is just as important as stretch from the head or body.
The feet are cut off skins with feet by the manufacturer after tanning, if the skin had feet to begin with. The tannery doesn't cut them off.
Why did I get perfect skins back from the dresser?
What's your capacity?
What's your excuse?
It sounds like my guys could put your guys wet room in their warehouse. That's not true, I'm sure, as real estate in North Carolina is about 1/50 the price of real estate in the urban metropolitan East, but you get the point.
Get on the ball, guys. You have a fine product but the attitude is very poor. Nobody's trashing your product at all. Don't be so defensive. We just want to know why there's so much time available for people to type on the internet and yet such a long lag in getting skins back. Humanpower is probably the answer. Instead of hyping the product online, start training more fleshers.
Your product is already good. Let it speak for itself as it can. Obviously the more product you turn out, the better chance it gets to 'sell you' for you. If you are letting skins sit for months in a series of bins, that is not selling product.
You sir, have a serious lack of knowledge on this subject matter. What does a mink take to shave, one minute? Are you from one of these wanna-be furriers, that are branching out into Taxidermy tanning, because unions broke your back, and cheaper labor is getting it all? A fur shaver will take a moose cape, and turn it into something that looks like a jigsaw puzzle, after tumbling and staking, because they dont know how deep is safe, and how thick is not enough. That goes for dozens of other species, not just a half-dozen. Your math in your previous post, in the Taxidermy Industry, " whos the big dog at CFD", around the 6th I think, told me you had serious math problems, or you were drunk. 25,000 coyotes a month, and a total of 125,000 skins a YEAR, doesnt add up. Last time I checked, there was 12 months in a year, and that would add up to 300,000 skins a year. Im being defensive? Do you think the Boss hasnt already thought of training more shavers, after close to 30 years in business. Na, that just totally slipped his mind! The Cheese doesnt hire crack heads and gangsters off the street, and put them on the knife. Three shavers have been in training for over 4 months, but are not ready to be cut loose. Next fall will be a different story. You didnt mention anything about the ear in your origional post? What gives? I would be more worried about that, than a small thin spot. I saw a man today, at a stop light, holdin a sign. He was younger than me. It said, "HUNGRY". I told my wife, the SOB wouldnt be hungry if he would get a job. You succeed from hard work, not begging. That is why I have always nagged at other Tannerys for advertising for free, on here. The quality has spoke for itself, for decades, and always will. I have never told where I work, until it because obdvious from a couple of jealous folks, that I made the mistake of telling, what my handle was. The oldshaver name is being retired. When I start posting under a different name, lets see how long it takes for someone, with nothing better to do, to trace the IP, and spill the beans. Later
This response is going to all that have responded to the "Poll). Any further comments I may have will follow.
Thanks for the reply!
The reason for the poll was to give information to a company called Narrows Creek Trading CO. They are a company that deals more with the fur trade but has a facility that could be turned into a tannery. I have seen the work they do for the fur trade and their customer service is A+.
The figures I got from them was
1. $33.00 for a wet or dry tanned cape
2. A turn around time of 2-3 months
3. Repair or replace skins or capes damaged by the company.
4. Located in southern WI
5. This company preps furs for the fur auctions in Canada. It also buys and accepts deer hides to be shipped to a tannery in northern WI (WB Place & Co.) It would have access to many deer hides to be sent as samples.
Now, This company is working with a taxidermist (yours truely) to get the ball rolling. They have no desire to "add on" to this company but rather start a new company.
Why would they do such a thing? Well it has been a topic for a few years now. They were going to start a trapping/hunting retail store for the local patrons. Or, start a smaller tannery for some of the patrons who wished to have their catch tanned for wall hangings. They sent some furs to be tanned by a "tannery" and when they came back, they were toast! I have seen cardboard with better quality! I gave them some info on tanning 101 and some of my "in house" furs and hides and they were very interisted in starting a "tannery" for the taxidermy industry.
My tannery is very small compaired to what this company could do. I have been asked to gather info from other taxidermist to see what they are looking for in a quality tannery. The only difference from any other tannery is this one is willing to ADVERTISE that they are willing to repair or replace their mistakes. Something every person who has answered the "poll" has said a quality tannery should do. The trouble is, NONE of them do this! If they do, I want to see the add for it. True, A good shaver should not make any mistakes. BUT I too cut through a lip or put a hole in a cape now and then. I grit my teeth and fix my mistake. The main reason I tan in house and invested all that time and money into my equipment is because I felt I could do a better job than some of the other tanneries out there. I hate to sew too! When you get a cape back from the tannery and YOU have to repair the holes for five hours do you charge extra for the mount? NO! You end up bitching to the tannery for messing up your cape! Then you grit your teeth and fix it!
A lot of taxidermist do in house tanning because it's "cheaper". Or because the quality of leather is "good enuff". I don't think this is true at all. It is like driving a chevette vs a corvette. If you had to pay $10.00 to drive the chevette, or $35.00 to drive the corvette, which would you choose? What about shipping? Well, the taxidermist has the choice to flesh, turn, split, and salt it and send it parcal post. Or the taxidermist can rough cape, freeze and ship next day air. What would you do? Time is money right?
This company had a few basic questions that needed to be answered by taxidermist's. No need to make appleorange juice out of the deal.
Joseph R. Osborn (Hunter's Dream Taxidermy)
I was never and will never be jealous over anything concerning you or your job. My problem with you was that you kept the lines of communication open for two months after you returned to CFD from South Texas. You talked with me on the telephone several times letting me believe that you were still in Texas. Then you repeated our conversations, that were private, to the ownership at CFD. That is where my hard feelings stemmed from. Just being honest with you. If you want to take your name away, fine. People recognize your message and your opinions more than the name anyway.
I don't harbor hard feelings anymore. Hell, it has been three years now and I am so busy, I couldn't begin to tell you. I am OK with how you operate and I don't disagree with much that you say anymore, not that you ever needed my approval. I just want you to know that however your name got out in this forum, concerning my part, it was not jealousy. At this point it is a mere triviality. We have known each other for over 20 years now and I think we know how the other operates.
This open admission comes not as a tannery owner conversing with another tannery's worker, but as a man to another man who worked side by side for more than a decade.
I was back for close to 2 months, before you found out I was here. I recieved 1 call from you, with no further contact till this day. I did talk to you a few times before leaving TX though. Airing out this mess on here is pointless. When my antics on here as oldshaver, are becoming synonamus with CFD, its time to quit.
Please don't quit on here. i was really interested in hearing more about different shaving depths for differing animals. A question i think you are more qualified than anyone to answer anywhere. Please!
I've seen some work by CFD recently sent to BJ's rugs High Ridge MO. it was outstanding. plus it seems CFD has been consistent for many many years. Even moyle can't boast that! I hope you continue to voice out load on here! Don't hold back either. Swing away! WE are all on here for everyones benefit. If that steps on some toes? So be it.
Your Admirrer. ej
But that is OK too. It really is not that important anymore. As far as jealousy goes though. I walked out of my own volition. I picked the time and left. You walked in under your own choice. You picked the time and came back. Not a problem. I had no idea I would be where I am today, but things just have fallen into place through a series of fortunate circumstances. I guess fate has a way of working things out. I hope you really aren't planning on leaving the OS name behind though. You are a top notch and IMHO qualified person for speaking about the taxidermy tanning trade. The fact that you are linked to CFD should be a good thing for you. I would not try to throw that away. Like Mr. EJ says...Keep on swinging!