Tuffed hair and funny pattern after tumbling

Submitted by Steve on 4/1/99. ( Slacer@in-motion.net )

This is a great forum thanks to all that answer all the questions, and those who ask most of mine. But I have a tumbling problem I think.
Here is my process.
Skin and rough flesh,salt overnight, resalt for 3-4 days ,shake off salt let flint dry, rehydrate and pickle in vinegar and salt 24 hrs,
flesh with machine, pickle 24 hrs, neutralize 30 mins or what ever it takes to get skin to 4.5-5.0 ph I mean the skin not the solution.
Towel dry and spin dry, warm liquitan and apply. I work the skin by hand for a week and let dry till ready to mount. Rehydrate for about 1.5- 2 hrs and sweat in frig overnight. I like to wash in dawn and rinse well because of the vinegar smell and it smells better than the naptha in the tumbler and it keeps the grit in tumbler cleaner.
Then I tumble 15 min in a dryer that I converted into a tumbler and use 2040 Grit. I really like the process I like working with a skin that is clean and not dripping wet. I like this process and with the help of Keith and the questions of others in the forum It has made my life much easer I have been in taxidermy as a hobbiest for 5 years, I think this is great, BUT where is the pattern coming from too close shaving or coming from
the tumbler. After mounting not all of these patterns and tuffs come out even if I us mousse or spritz or hairspray.
Thank you so much Steve

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what Type of critter are you talking about?

This response submitted by Perry on 4/1/99. ( pgk@ncentral.com )

I assume you are talking about whitetail. Where exactly is the tuft
and odd pattern occuring? Does it occur there consistently with every
mount you do? There can be several causes. Bruce and some
of the other experienced tanners can give more inside,
but depending on where the "unrulely" hair is, it could be something as simple as
a lump of clay, mache, bondo or some other material that fell and is
sitting between the mannikin and skin. Lumpy glue? hide too small for
the mannikin? uneven shaving? or you may just be off a little on aligning
the skin on the mannikin. Antlers set too high/low, ears attachment too far
back/forward? see where I'm going with this? we is ready to help, just
give us some more clues.

Just Deer

This response submitted by Steve on 4/1/99. ( )

Im sorry Im new at this. Ill make it simple
Befor it is on the form.
If you lay a cape out like you would to measure it for a form right after you skin it, the hair lays and grooms straight. Most of the time. After I tumble and lay it out again the hair does not flow ,groom Im not sure how to explain. Wavy comes to mind, It just does'nt lay straight. Some times they are like cowlicks and after mounted and sponged and groomed most come out. Is this common with tumbling and I need to spend more time groomming, Im not used to doing it this much. What is some tricks
Thanks again Steve

I'm not sure this is a tumbling problem

This response submitted by Perry on 4/1/99. ( pgk@ncentral.com )

I don't tan my own capes anymore. But I did take a look at
several of my commercially tanned capes. They all had some
waves and curls. they were tumbled dry. and are fresh back from
the tannery. It seems to me, and makes sense that the hair
would lay different when the cape is layed flat. remember, the
skin is wrapped around an oval, circle, whatever shape you want
to call it, before skinning and the hair grows out from the skin while it is
in a "Rounded" shape( around the deers neck). when you lay the skin flat, you are
changing the direction the hair roots are pointing. This is
just a guess. cow licks and other odd hair patterns do occur
naturally. The most important thing is to have good reference
when mounting the deer, not just the eyes, ears and nose, but
general photos which show brisket hairlines and other hair
patterns. I believe yoxy did an article on just that topic for
breakthrough not too long ago. maybe he can jump in and give
us the real scoop.

Straight Hair

This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 4/2/99. ( arlcape@bright.net )

Hi Steve, glad we've been able to help, but this question is one of the ones that plagues tanners and taxidermists alike. As Perry said, the tumbling isn't the problem, it's somewhere else in the process. The only connection between wavy hair we've been able to make is with deer through Carols shop, and the ones that do have bad waves in them seem to be the ones she had marked with notes like, green, stinks, might not tan etc. But if you're having this on all your capes, that's probably not the case. Here's other possibilities. If a deer is shved to inconsistent thickness', it will give you swirls when it dries, this is why we leave flat hides a little thicker when tanning them. As hair dries it will get a set in it, just like sleeping on wet hair. If you've ever done this you know it's much tougher to get that set out of the hair then, than it would have been if it dried straight in the first place.

So my suggestion would be to try and maintain as consistant shaving thickness as possible, that's more important than trying for an extremely thin skin anyway as a begginer, and maybe let your skins dry without working them once and see what happens, you might be handling them a little too much, and getting the hair twisted around in this process, and I know overstretching on a form will cause this problem too. Hope this helps, Keith

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