Jumped the gun, Pull out of Pickle and resalt?

Submitted by joe on 12/17/99. ( Fiddler@fidnet.com )

I salted a deer cape for three days and it was still flexible to semi hard. I noticed a little slippage and put it in a saftee acid pickle at noon. I just read the forum about salt drying until hard and dry.
Can I take the hide out of the pickle and start over by resalting until hard or stay the course?

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This response submitted by CRITTER on 12/17/99. ( CRTTRS99@PALACENET.net )

Joe I never HARD salt a hide that I tna, never a problem. I don't use Safety acid I use formic but really shouldn't matter. I salt for 24 hours, resalt for 24 hours, rehydrate, wash and pickle always works fine. Just remember to keep PH down.
Good Luck

Let it dry

This response submitted by Ripper on 12/17/99. ( taxiderm@lcc.net )

Hi Joe,
By no means am I an expert on tanning, but I have had better luck over the last ten years by letting the salted capes dry hard before I try to tan them. I salt the capes and resalt after 24 hours, I then lay out the hides flat to dry sometimes using a fan on them. In Texas where I live, it doesn't take long for the cape to dry...normally just a couple of days or so due to the hot climate. Like I said earlier I am not an expert and I have had some problems in the past but never with slippage. Usually the problems come from me getting in too much of a hurry and cutting corners which is my fault. Some folks let the capes dry for a couple of days or so and then pickle them, while this may work for them fine I have had better luck letting them dry fully before I go any further...
good luck

Do not remove from pickle and resalt!!!

This response submitted by Craig on 12/17/99. ( CRtracker@aol.com )

Do not remove from pickle and resalt!!!

Fleshing: Remover as much meat as possible, slit lips, turn ears, split eyelids, remove nose cartilage.

Salting: Salt, Fold flesh to flesh, and again hair to hair, place on sloping surface and allow to drain 24 hours. This begins the process of removing moisture and begins to prepare the skin for tanning by allowing some of the soluble proteins to be expelled from the skin. Also this breaks down the blood albumin and some other globular proteins.
*Remember: moisture + heat = Bacteria growth = Hair Slippage

You didn't mention if you left the hide for 3 days on the original salting but the reason for the re-salt is to get that first batch off the hide which also becomes contaminated with bacterial growth. Don't ever re-use salt for this reason.

After 24 hours unfold, scrape on a beam removing all loose salt and as much flesh as possible and resalt rubbing the salt into the hide in a circular motion. Re-fold or roll and let set for another 24 hours.
*Some taxidermists add to pickle solution after directly after salting.
Drying or re-hydration: Unfold and hang to dry for later shipment to the tannery or re-hydrate prior to the introduction into the pickle with a solution of plain cold water with bacteria-stat until it is somewhat pliable (This step also cleans any dirt out of the cape and saves my pickle solution for more than one cape). Some people add some salt to this solution but it is my understanding that salt, in solution, slows the re-hydration effect( due to the hydrophilic nature of salt, excess salt in solution will hold the water outside the skin preventing solution penetration). Some form of bactericide is very important and must not be omitted. Remember once you re-introduce water whatever bacteria was present in the cape will begin to grow again. Once re-hydrated add to pickle solution and any bacteria will instantly be killed in the lower PH of thuis solution.
* Remember to check PH levels every few hours as they can change and you might have to add more acid.
*The purpose of the pickle solution is to kill whatever bacteria is present in the skin, puff the skin for easier shaving and remove the soluble proteins. This creates a positive ionic charge in the skin allowing the skin fibers to attract the tannins.

You also mentioned some hair slippage after salting. If it was just a few hairs it was probably nothing to worry about as amimals are always shedding. If it was coming out in clumps that's when heart failure starts. 24 hours...re-salt.

I would suggest purchasing "The Breakthrough Mammal Taxidermy Manual" and read chapters 3-4. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had about this subject.

I myself am one for keeping the tanneries in business. I do taxidermy and leave the tanning to other professionals.

Breakthrough Mammal Taxidermy Manual

This response submitted by C on 12/18/99. ( )

This manual'S fine except it doen't have very mucH detail on LIP, EYE SPILTING(fine detail)? Also, not much help with ear, nose work to(fine detail)!

What's your resource...

This response submitted by Craig Rusin on 12/19/99. ( Crtacker@aol.com )

for this more delicate and detailed work? Just because it doesn't have colored pictures you can't see the detail?

This manual has the best definition of the physical properties of skin and hide prep that I have found. I would like to thank all of the authors for that very detailed information.

I always said,"If in doubt get out the knife and explore". You can't learn by not doing.

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