How long to degrease a swine?

Submitted by Bob Mead on 10/13/99. ( )

I had a slippage problem on the last boar I mounted...I skinned, split eyes and ears as usual, then skipped the salt and went straight to the degreaser (white gas). I left the pig in the gas for approx. 3 days (covered), then put it in a 1.0 ph Safety Acid pickle for 3 days. Into the EZ-tan he went for 20 hours then was oiled for 4 hours and frozen. Upon mounting there was substantial slipping behind the ears (naturally) and even under the chin. The cape also had a slight pungent odor. As the hog was my own trophy (fortunately...or not), there was no question as to its proper field care. My question: Did I leave this dude in the gas too long? I skipped the salt stage under the advice of a well respected trade magazine which said salting could be skipped if the skin was going straight to pickle (I read this to mean degreaser/pickle on critters that need to be degreased). I have never had a swine or peccary slip like this before, so I thought my tanning procedure was adequate. Any help/advice/revisions would be appreciated!

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A Couple of Things

This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 10/13/99. ( )

First, DON"T skip the salt stage! I don't know what respected magazine would've suggested this, but they need to do a better job of editing their articles. The salt pulls a lot of the greaze and fluids out of the skin, and sets the hair and epidermis (very important on a boar unless you really like to paint) and stops the bacteria by getting the moisture content down. Petroleum solvents aren't preservatives, so your skin will pretty much just sit there and rot if left in gas for an extended period.

I realize that people have been using solvents for degreasing for years, and it's something I really wish they'd quit doing. It's not only dangerous and hasardous to your health, it's also hard on the environment since most just dump it out when it gets dirty. Use one of the de-greasers on the market that are made for tanning. Knobloch's and Rittels both have them. They're safe to work with, and do an excellant job. Jsut use them in accordance to the instructions.


Salt is good!!!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 10/13/99. ( )

Keith is absolutely right about salting - and since he manages Arlington Capes Tannery he is very much aware of its benefits! As to a magazine saying to skip it - even I question the wisdom of that statement. Usually to degrease - you double salt, dry the skin, rehgydrate it, then pickle for 3 days, pull out the skins, drain for 30 minutes, shave, DEGREASE (in your favorite degreaser), Wash, rinse well, throw back in to the pickle for overnight or longer, until you are ready to neutralize and tan! DONT degrease and skip salting!

I'll try it...

This response submitted by Bob Mead on 10/14/99. ( )

Keith and Bruce...thanks for the input and advice...I'll try it on my next greasy project!

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