Cape Shrinkage

Submitted by Tommy Sports on 9/8/99. ( tommy_sports@mail.enr.state.nc.us ) 208.25.241.195

I am having problems with the capes that I am tanning at home. I am using a citric acid pickle with pH level around 2.0. After, I have completed the pickle and shaving process, I am finding that my deer capes have shrank a considerable amount ... especially around the neck. Is there anything that I can do to avoid the shrinking of the capes or am I missing a step that I should be doing. My mixture is 1lb of non-iodized salt and 3 ounces of citric acid per gallon of water.

I am leaving the capes in the solution for 24 hours before shaving and letting them sit for an additional 12 hours afterwards. I have heard and read something about neutralizing the solution before removing the hide. What can I do?

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Neutralizing after you shave?

This response submitted by John C on 9/8/99. ( taxidermist118@hotmail.com ) 204.180.103.77

Ph of 2 -2.8 is where I pickle. I use Formic acid.

After shaving are you neutraling?

1 tsp baking soda to the gallon, adjust from there to keep it at a ph of 5 this should, get all your full size back. I do this only till it reaches the size it was before.

ARE YOU FLESHING THIN enough?


I do pull mine doen to about 2/16ths thin maybe a touch thicker. I can see light thru it from the fue side. A deer cape will look like a bobcat skin.

By going thin like this LIQUA-TAN will work over night, and in addition I dry a LIQUA TANNED skin in front of a fan. Then plain water with a touch of ERA laundry soap to relax it.

Doe you know someone woth a AUTO-TANNER, give it a try if you do. Leave out the oil.
Call Rittels tannery supply if problems exist after the nuetralizing. or see Knobloch's site.

These are some things that work for me. John C


Why Pickle only 1 day?

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 9/8/99. ( rittel@ici.net ) 207.180.42.217

Citric Acid is a good pickling agent - however 1 day simply isnt long enough with Deer capes to effect a good acidification. Try leaving it in for 3 days then work it on your shaver. Your formula appears to be right on - and the Ph is right, but after I let the skins in the pickle for 3 days - I generally pull them, allow them to drain for 30 minutes, shave them, and then I throw them back into the pickle for another 18-24 hours before I neutralize them in a seperate bath of Baking Soda and water. That way I get a homogenous acidification of the skin. As for the neutralizing bath I Always use 1 Oz. of Baking Soda to each 1 gallon of Water and neutralize for 30 minutes. I do not like to neutralize in the pickle. Then rinse and tan. Check with the Supplier of your tan for further instructions. They may have some additional suggestions.


TANNING?

This response submitted by () on 9/9/99. ( () ) 205.188.208.136

A PICKLE IS NOT A TAN ARE YOU APPLYING OR SOAKING IT IN A ACTUAL TANING SULUTION BECAUSE IF YOU TAKE IT OUT OF THE PICKLE AND SHAVE IT THEN LET IT DRY A LITTLE YES IT WILL SHRINK IF YOU DONT TAN IT


Thanks

This response submitted by Tommy on 9/10/99. ( ) 199.90.34.177

I appreciate all the responses. I look forward to trying the new ideas. And yes I am tanning the hides after they come out of the pickle. I am aware that there is a difference in a pickle solution and the tanning phase. What I have used thus far is Liqua-tan. Is there a better tanning agent out? It seems to work real well for me.


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