To Oil or Not to Oil??

Submitted by John M. on 3/29/99. ( )

On a whitetail cape, after pickling,shaving, and tanning with LutanF.
If I'm going to mount it right away, is it really necessary to oil
the skin?? It seems to me that the oil would prevent the hide paste
from sticking to the hide itself. Just wondering. John M.

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It's Gotta have Oil!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 3/30/99. ( rittel@ici.net )

EVERY tanned skin should be oiled. Simply because it maintains "Size" to the skin and doesnt allow it to shrivel as it dries. Without Oil in the skin you can expect hellacious shrinkage!! The Oil binds to the fibers, binds water in the skin and keeps the fibers from collapsing. You need this combination of oil and water to maintain the size of the skin, as well as to provide lubrication to it. Without oil, the fibers collapse and slowly, by shrinkage, expel all the water from the fibers until the skin becomes hard, brittle and will crack! Oiling is absolutely necessary! What you are confusing is the amount of "surface oil" left present, that naturally interferes with skin pastes and glues. Fortunately, there are some oils that penetrate deeply but leave little surface residue. Our Lite-Oil (LO-306) is one of them. It leaves a dry feel to the leather. There are others I'm sure, but this is the one I'm most familiar with, and why we recommend it.


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