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Beginners, Training & Tutorials => Tutorials => Topic started by: Amy on December 09, 2007, 08:55:17 PM

Title: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Amy on December 09, 2007, 08:55:17 PM
I have had several requests for this lately. This is a write-up I did on tanning that I had on my website for quite a while, until I took it off (on my business website I really don't need to be telling customers how to tan!). Since then I have had many ask for it and while everyone has their opinions on tanning and what I have written is not the only way to "skin a cat", this is what works for me. Although it may look like I'm a spokesperson for Bruce Rittel, I'm not (unfortunately I get no free products! LOL  :P), the Rittels products are just what I have been using for the past 8 years and I am extremely happy with them. I feel this is a good article for beginning tanners who have no idea what's what, and may help to give a better understanding of the steps. Enjoy...

     TANNING WITH EZ-TAN, STEP-BY-STEP

Are you a taxidermist who has been using dry preserve for your mounts and are interested in what's involved in the tanning process? Maybe you've been sending your hides off to a tannery, and are tired of waiting months for your hides. Or perhaps you are just looking for a way to tan a special pelt. Tanning in-shop is a lot of work but the results can be very rewarding. I am going to go over the steps I use in my shop for tanning all my hides, from squirrel to elk. The process is exactly the same.

You may already have some of these products in your shop. If you are a beginner and have no products, this is what you need to order:

1. RITTELS SAFETY ACID, 1 qt.
2. RITTELS EASY TAN (EZ100), 1 lb.
3. TANNING OIL ("PRO PLUS OIL") 1 qt.
4. 25 lb. bag of salt
5. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
6. Ph testing strips

You're also going to need water, a large bucket, measuring spoons and cups, and a fleshing/shaving tool.

Let's begin with the first step. This comes right after you finish skinning the animal...

1. SALTING

Salting is very important because it makes the skin dry fast, leaches out unwanted liquids, and sets the hair tight. Some swear by placing a hide straight into the pickle, but wait til you see the amount of liquid the salt will draw out!

Salting is the very first thing you should do after the animal has been skinned. Do not waste time trying to remove small pieces of flesh; you can do that during the pickling stage, when the hide is easier to shave. As long as the skin is in it's raw state, unsalted, it is collecting bacteria. And bacteria is the main cause of hair slippage.

Remove all large pieces of meat. Turn the ears, lips, and eyes. Thin down any areas that feel thick with meat (such as the area around the nose of a deer).

Apply a heavy layer of salt to the flesh side. Rub the salt into the flesh, making sure that it reaches into tight areas such as the ears. Then, fold it flesh-to-flesh, roll it up and place it on an inclined surface for several hours.

When drained, open the hide up and shake out the excess salt. Re-apply another layer of clean salt and hang the hide up to dry. If you desire a very hard-dried hide, or the humidity is high, a fan placed in front of the hide will turn it rock-hard in no time.


2. RELAXING

When you are ready to pickle your skins, you'll need to relax them in a brine solution, as they will be stiff from salting. One good product for this is Rittel's Ultra-soft relaxing agent. Or, you can just mix 2 lbs. of salt to every 1 gallon of cool water. Salt-dried skins usually relax easy (all my deer capes I simply relax in a salt and water solution) but other types such as air-dried and African flint dried skins may not relax easy. The Rittel's Ultra-Soft is definitely recommended for these kinds of skins. Add 4 tablespoons of it to each gallon of water needed to submerge the skins (8 tablespoons per gallon of water for greasy skins). Watch your hides to see how well they are relaxing. A deer cape usually relaxes in 8-10 hours, with thinner skinned animals taking less time and thicker ones could take 24 hours or more.

The salt content in the water keeps your hide safe "for now", but the sooner it can relax and get to the pickling bath, the better.

3. PICKLING

A pickle is a low pH acidic solution that is used to stabilize skins in the tanning process and stop deterioration. Pickling plumps the skin, which makes shaving easier, and helps to sets the hair.
Salt alone simply creates a poor environment for bacteria to live; but it doesn't always kill it. The acidity of a pickle does, however.
A pickle also helps remove the non-tannable proteins in the skin. Skin is made up of two types of protein - globular and fibrous. Globular protein is the unwanted protein in the skin, and that is what the pickling solution will remove. It will wash the protein away, leaving open sites for the tanning chemicals to attach to.

So, once your skins have been salted and relaxed, they are ready to go into a pickle bath! Make sure you have removed any blood stains before you put the skins into the pickle. This will not only keep your pickle clean, but you will have less problems controlling the pH of the mixture.

Pickling acids…

There are many acids used to create pickle solutions. These include Formic, Citric, and "Safetee" acid. Formic is a very stable chemical used by many but is dangerous, with harmful fumes and will burn skin on contact. Citric is common as well, but tends to be weak. I use Safetee acid. While it is still an acid and care must be taken, I have put my bare hands into the solution with no ill effects other than a slight reddening of the skin (I do recommend gloves though). My dog even drank some once, and was alright. In the world of pickling acids, it is very safe.

For every ONE GALLON of water, mix:

1/2 oz. Safetee acid
1 lb. Salt


A 3-gallon mix will fully cover an average whitetail cape. A two or three gallon mix works well for a fox-sized animal or smaller. Just make sure the capes or skins are completely submerged in the pickle, no sense in overcrowding things or you could get folds in the skin and the pickle won't penetrate.

No matter what acid you use, after mixing the pickle up, you should check the pH level using quality pH papers or pH meter. It should read below a 2.0. Best is to have it around 1. You should not let the pH go about 2.5 during pickling, and definitely not about 3.0, because then bacteria will continue to grow.

If the pH is too high, add more acid. If it is too low, add more water and salt or a little baking soda diluted in water.

The time it takes to thoroughly pickle the skin will vary depending on the thickness of the skin. You can tell it is completely pickled when the skin is a milky white color all the way through, with no pink color.

The minimum time to pickle is at least 48 hours for small game, bobcats, fox, etc. and a minimum of 3 days for whitetail capes.

Be sure to check the pH levels on a regular basis during the period the skin is in the pickle.

Do not let the temperature of the pickle go any lower than 55F. Low temperatures cause the salt level to drop, thus lowering the protection of the pickle. For best results, keep the mixture at room temperature.

4. SHAVING

After at least three days in the pickle, you should take the skins out of the mixture and shave them using a fleshing/shaving machine. The thinner the skins are shaved, the softer they will be in the end. Light furs, such as fox or coyote, can be tanned soft without shaving. However, heavier thick skins like deer, buffalo, moose, or elk should definitely been shaven. This will allow you to get maximum stretch out of your skins, and let the pickle penetrate thoroughly.

If your skins do not need to be degreased, you can now return them to the pickle. Always return the skins to the pickle after shaving. This will allow it to penetrate to areas that have now been exposed.

5. DEGREASING

If you skin is a greasy type, such a bear or raccoon, it will need to be degreased after shaving. Use Rittel's Super Solvent (1 capful to every 1 gal. Of water), or you can use 1/2 oz. of Dawn dish soap per gallon of water (if only light degreasing is necessary). Leave the skins in the solution for 30 minutes.

Then rinse the skins and return them to the pickle for at least another 24 hours. Using Safetee Acid, they can safely be left in the pickle for a very long time as long as pH and salt levels are maintained.

6. NEUTRALIZING

When you are ready to tan, remove the skins from the pickle and let them drain for 30 minutes or so. While they drain, mix up a neutralizing bath.

The purpose of a neutralizing bath is to bring the pH level of a skin up.  EZ-tan will bond best to the skin at a pH of 4 to 5, which is approximately the pH that your neutralizing bath should be.

For every gallon of water needed to submerge the skins, add 1 tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Put the skins into the mixture and stir them in the mixture for 20 minutes -NO LONGER. The idea is to "partially" neutralize the skin, that is - the outside of the skin will be at a pH of 4, while the inside is still slightly acidic. The tan will go for the most acidic areas first (the inside) and work it's way out. This assures a fully penetrated tan. After neutralizing, rinse the skins well.

7. TANNING

EZ-Tan, in my opinion, is one of the best tanning agents you can buy (although it's not the only great tan out there! It is just waht works for me!). The skins are white-leathered, durable, soft, and stretchy, and there is little shrinkage! It is great to use for pelts, garments, taxidermy use, and rug work.
Tanning agents are very sensitive, and you should always check the pH before putting the skins into the tanning solution. EZ-Tan tans at a level of 4.0 pH. If properly mixed, it should read a pH of 4. However, If the pH is too low, add small amounts of baking soda. If higher, add small amounts of the pickle. Check the pH before putting the skins into the mixture.

There are two different formulas for mixing EZ-Tan:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tanning Formula based on wet drained weight:

After neutralizing the skins and letting them drain, weigh them. This is their wet drained weight. For every 1 lb. of wet drained weight, mix:
2 quarts water
1/2 oz. EZ-tan (4.5 level teaspoonfuls = 1/2 oz.)
4 oz. salt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tanning Formula based on water volume:

You may prefer to make things simple (like me) and simply mix enough solution to completely submerge the skins. This formula is based on the amount of water used. For every 1-gallon of water wanted, mix:

1-gallon water
1 oz. EZ-Tan (3 level tablespoonfuls = 1 oz.)
8 oz. salt

You should be careful not to overcrowd the skins when using this method.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When mixing, you should first add the EZ-Tan to a cup of warm water and let it dissolve. I find it very hard to dissolve in cold water.  Then mix it, along with your salt, into your bucket of water.

Keep the tanning solution at a comfortable room temperature (between 65-75F). Leave the skins in the mixture for 16-24 hours. 16 hours will work well for a small fox-sized animal. Almost all skins will thoroughly tan in 24 hours. After the required amount of time, remove the skins from the solution. Overtanning can cause a rubbery hide. Rinse them and allow them to drain for a while (30 minutes is what I do). Any longer and they may start to get dry.

7. OILING

Oiling is a very important factor in producing a soft, supple hide with minimal shrinkage. That's why it is so important that you invest in good quality tanning oil. There are several kinds of great tanning oils available. I use Rittel's "Pro Plus oil" now. I have also used Van Dyke's "Protal" in the past which is a great oil, I just don't order from that company as much.

Once the skins have drained for 20 minutes, they are ready to be oiled. Mix the oil using 1 part oil to 2 parts warm water. It is important that the mixture be warm, because the oil will bond to the skin best when warm. Make sure that the pelt you are oiling is at room temperature, too. Apply the oil to flesh side of the pelt using a paintbrush. You may also want to rub it in with your hands (I would advise wearing plastic gloves). Apply it carefully around the edges and around holes. Keep applying the oil until the skin will take up no more. Then fold the skin up tightly, flesh to flesh and hair to hair. Put it in a warm spot to "sweat" for 4-6 hours. Maximum take-up of oil will occur in this period.

8. DRYING - or MOUNTING!

If the skin is to be mounted, after sweating it can be toweled dry and then mounted, or frozen for thawing and mounting later.

If you want to dry and finish the skin (for a rug or wallhanger)… after it has sweated in the oil, open it up and hang it to dry. The time it takes to dry depends on the thickness of the flesh. It will usually take several days, but some of my very thin pelts have only taken a few hours to dry!
When the skin is starting to dry, begin to work and stretch the fibers of the skin with your hands. This is where the work comes in, but it must be done to produce a soft pelt. If you stretch the skin carefully and the place you stretched turns white, then that area is ready to be worked and stretched. If it doesn't turn white, then it is not quite dry enough. Continue carefully stretching and pulling on the skin until the whole thing is white and it feels very soft. Working it over the edge of a table or similar object will help.

When the skin is completely dry, you can use sandpaper to clean up the flesh side, and trim away any ragged edges. If the skin feels too stiff, you can try sanding down the flesh to produce a softer skin.

If everything goes well, you should be rewarded with a soft, stretchy pelt with a nice white leather, that will last for a long, long time!! Or, if you're mounting it, you will have a quality mount with minimal shrinkage!

While I certainly can't claim to be an expert on tanning, if you have any questions about what you have read here, feel free to ask me.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: rock hunter on December 09, 2007, 10:12:13 PM
WAY TO GO AMY!!!  I think everything is here.  It is nice to have this kind of information this time of year when everybody is thinking that they can do it all by themself.

Happy Holidays
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: oldterryr on December 10, 2007, 12:13:28 AM
good job amoid
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: EM on December 10, 2007, 12:59:08 AM
Amy, it was very kind of you to go to the trouble of writing this all up.  I'm sure it will be referred to whenever a new member says "I'm trying to tan my _____ hide."

We'll just say "Click here- http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,56668.0/topicseen.html "  and they'll be off working on it for a few days.  ;)  Good job. 
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: furhound on December 11, 2007, 08:49:10 AM
Excellent work! Thorough but in plain English. Thanks.

One thing I'd like to note. Both your instructions and Bruce Rittel's seem to be saying that it's better to salt a pelt than not. What I'm getting at is that perhaps it's more than just a way of "holding over" and really has some beneficial action on the pelt that makes it easier to process in the long run. Given that I may stop trying to rush hides into processing. The timing of the deer season in Massachusetts makes it a generally inconvenient time to try and do home tanning. Some years it works, this year is SUUUUCKS. If the salted and dried hides will keep the 4-5 months till spring a lot of things would be easier. Rinsing pickle in the dark with a garden hose at 25º is an unpleasant proposition. It's also complicated when "room temperature" in your basement is 55º. Water always runs a bit cooler than the ambient air temp. so holding PH and Salinity just gets that much trickier.

BTW; I think you could publish how-to's on every street post and the trade would be safe. There's precious few in the world with the determination to see a process like this through. Less and less every year I think.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: midwestville on December 13, 2007, 05:27:59 PM
Hi. I'm trying to dye some pieces of vintage mink to cut and use in knitted garments.

Some of the mink has dried out and hardened or become brittle over time, and has become weak.

Is there some way to restore the moisture to the skin of the mink?

I'm also trying to find out how to dye the mink.I have some silver/gray colored mink pieces and a couple of brown coats that I'm going to take apart to use.

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. It's so hard to find info that is so specific. I've read that fly tyeing dye is good, but very expensive.

I hope to be able to turn this into a business....my son is a freshman this year at college and I need to help pay for it. If I can do this process, I'll be a long ways to making a go of it.

Thanks kindly,
Jane  ......user name: midwestville
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: bruce r on January 03, 2008, 05:40:47 PM
Hey Amy

I am going to give this taxidermy thing a try and have a WT cape to start on. I have already skinned in then I just folded it skin to skin and put it back in the freezer. Is this going to be ok or should I have put the salt on it first. Thank you for the step by step. that was awsome. I am still really nervous about fleshing the cape but i guess I just have to dive in and give it a try. I might be picking your brain quite a bit so I hope you don't mind. Anyway happy New year and thanks again      Bruce
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: dshauger on January 04, 2008, 11:58:39 AM
what kind of salt do i use?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: George Roof on January 04, 2008, 12:42:36 PM
This ain't rocket science now.  Salt.  Regular salt, table salt, sodium chloride.  No "mineral salts", rock salt, or any other chemical compositions.  Just regular salt.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Lisa M on January 04, 2008, 03:20:44 PM
Ds, I get the 50 pound bags of salt from my farm supply/feed store.  The kind with no Iodine or minerals in it.  A 50 pound bag costs about 5 dollars. 
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: way2blessed4this on January 05, 2008, 10:38:09 AM
So new at this I dont know how to use this **** site..LOL HOwever here goes!  I have 6 little squirrel in pickle and has been there for 1week and a half!!!!!!!!!!!! WAITING ON WASCO  TO SEND MY STUFF! Are these little things going to be ok? Is there any way of preserving them safely in case they don't get my material to me soon? Ordered 3 weeks AGO GRRRR
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: George Roof on January 05, 2008, 11:04:23 AM
Squirrels will be fine.

Rule# 1   NEVER order supplies as you need them.  A "priority" on your part is still a "routine order" for the supplier. 

Rule# 2  NEVER start work on anything unless you either have the supplies on hand OR you're willing to do what you can and then wait patiently until you DO get the supplies.

Rule# 3  NEVER order over the holiday period.  If the suppliers aren't down for their own employees, you can bet the shipping and postal lanes are slowed by the volume. 

I placed an order to McKenzie on December 27 (late).  I got what usually is a 3 day wait on Thursday Jan 3.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: -Rebecca- on January 05, 2008, 12:14:52 PM


I placed an order to McKenzie on January 27 (late).  I got what usually is a 3 day wait on Thursday Jan 3.


Wow, That's what I call a fast turn around!  Must be some sort of time warp technology.  :o  LOL  I wish all my orders could make it that quickly.


Seriously though, thanks for the detailed info Amy,  Very well done.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: George Roof on January 05, 2008, 04:05:08 PM
OK Dave, now you can explain your post.  LMAO.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: The Dog on January 07, 2008, 05:22:50 PM
Thanks Amy!!! This is great, I got a coon this weekend that I am going to try.  Question, when do you shave the meat off the hide, and how long can it sit after salting and drying before starting to pickle and relax?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Mayruthie on January 07, 2008, 07:35:57 PM
Thank you for the complete instructions on tanning.  I am about to tan my first hide.  I used to skin animals for my ex (a part time trapper) and stretch them.  One thing I didn't notice in your article is stretching.  I have none of the mentioned products as of this time.  Should I freeze the hide while I wait to receive all the ingredients from a supplier?  Or start the salting process.  My hide became available today and he is on ice until morning when I can skin him.  Thank you for all the help.  If anyone can answer my questions I would appreciate it.  I am a brand new member.  Thank you,
Mayruthie.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Amy on January 07, 2008, 09:06:48 PM
To "The Dog" - You need to flesh the meat off the hide after skinning, and before salting. "Shaving" - that is, actual thinning of the hide - occurs after you have pickled for several days. As for how long a skin can sit, you can keep a skin in a dried, salted state for quite a long time. Make sure all moisture is out of the hide. Sometimes I put a fan on mine for a few days. They will turn very dry and white. I keep them like this until I'm ready to tan. Usually I'll stack hides up for 2-3 months and then start tanning them all. I tanned a cape that had been salted for two years. It turned out just fine. Salting is a great way to store a hide without taking up freezer space. Just keep them in a environment with relatively low humidity or they can start to turn flexible again and I've never thought anything good could come of that. Salted hides are also susceptible to insects (I used to think dermestids wouldn't eat a salted hide - then I found out I was completely wrong). So you don't want to toss them up in your barn roof for storage. Keep them in a stable environment, like the shop.

maryruthie, as far as stretching, I've never stretched trapper-style hides so I can't give any insight on that. If you are tanning for a mount, no need to put them on a stretcher. You can go ahead and salt because, as I stated above, your hide will be fine in a salted state until your tanning supplies arrive.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: The Dog on January 08, 2008, 04:24:55 PM
thanks Amy-  I unfortunately salted the hide last night.  I started to shave the flesh off the best I could, but the scraping just seemed to do nothing so I got my knife out.  I have read a little about using preasure washers and wire wheels on the grinder do you reccomend either of these methods?  Can I just let it dry and then use sand paper to get all the meat off?  I got the belly fairly well done but its the eyes and nose and mouth that I am having alot of trouble with.  Thanks. 
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: way2blessed4this on January 10, 2008, 11:52:03 AM
               OK new question!! REMEMBER IM NEW!!!!! Hubby used to  do taxidermy I paid him no mind let him stay BUSY alone  in his little shop. NOW I WISHED I HAD WATCHED AND LEARNED! Well  hes out of town on work for a while and I got bored and dug in his stuff.. hehe WELLL started out pretty simple it seemed.. So i ordered some deer hide off the internet that had been salted and stored.. (refuse to get into his critters in the freezer) Thinkin I should have though  ;D ANyhow these hides are salted But dont appear to  be fleshed real well. They smell and neeed a bath before I can stomach messing with them! Smell like my saint barnard after few trips to the pond in a hot summer heat.. Wet odor.. I pulled them out they seem to be in really good shape I can get hair to pull out and ive tried!! And are beautiful! What is the safest way to give them a bath and what do i bathe them in.. I am going to tan them if this makes a difference not mounting SHould i try to  flesh them better before or after the bath? Some have a hefty amount on them it seems.. HELP ME!!
      O and i dont know how to post a question on here. Only see the reply to  a question..lol I am from Texas (the south) But not retarded! lol! It my seeem so! AND THANKS GEORGE FOR LETTING ME KNOW MY LITTLE SQUIRRELS WERE SAFE WERE WORRYINGGGGGGGGGGG BADDDD ABOUT THEM! MY STUFF CAME YESTERDAY!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: The Dog on January 11, 2008, 11:00:53 AM
Amy- I have ordered all the chemicals you listed, fleshed the hide the best I could, and salted for about a 5 days.  I have it in front of a fan right now and only the head adn a little of the back are getting hard and white, is this just a factor of time or do you think I need to flesh more cause the grease is keeping the hide pliable?  Also when should I degrease the hide....I ordered kemsol degreaser form knochbloc. Thanks sorry to bug, just want to get it right my first time. 
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: sarahdj on January 28, 2008, 09:39:32 AM
I have a stalling customer issue.  The bear has been salting for about days, checked daily.  He is still damp & flexible.  Is it safe to shake him off and put him in the freezer until the issues with my customer are resolved or do I need to go ahead and get him pickled and tanned?  Thanks!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: sarahdj on January 30, 2008, 01:57:29 PM
Never mind on the previous question- I'm going to go ahead and tan him- worst case scenario I will have a tanned bear hide (agony, agony haha).  But I was also curious as to whether or not the Rittel's chems were compatible with Knobloch's (degreaser, relaxer, Kemal-4,  & I want to use a bacteriacide to be on the safe side)?  Getting him in the rehydration bath tomorrow & I already have Knobloch items in stock, being that I'm 1 day shipping from rmi.  Can someone please let me know?  Sorry to pester......but I guess I am!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Chad on January 30, 2008, 03:48:22 PM
Amy ,
 Great job  and im sure it will help everyone.Thanks for taking the time to post your tanning method.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Darrell on January 30, 2008, 04:11:33 PM
I am with Amy on Rittles tanning supplies great stuff
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: The Dog on January 30, 2008, 04:14:14 PM
Amy- just got done tanning my coon, and put oil on.  Its sweating, this has been such a valuable tool in learning how to complete this process, thankyou so much for posting your method.  
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Darrell on January 30, 2008, 05:22:52 PM
Beats the hell out of Krowtan JMO
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Joe Mc on February 02, 2008, 10:45:01 AM
Amy; Rittels directions say 4 tablespoons= 1oz of tan and your saying 3 could you or someone clarify this. I'm doing my first tan. Thanks
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Outwoods Taxidermy on February 03, 2008, 12:21:30 PM
good post, but my question is how do you keep that workshop so clean, you could eat your dinner off that floor......
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Yellow_Dart on February 05, 2008, 11:36:05 AM
Thanks Amy! Very thorough post. I hope it helps a lot of people get started.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: critter killer on February 09, 2008, 08:49:50 PM
Amy, I have bought several DVDs and none of them even came close to explaining this as good as you. I think I love you. LOL. This will really help. Thank you. You got any info on soft tanning?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: sarahdj on February 10, 2008, 09:40:49 AM
Ditto from above- I'm getting ready for my first rug- coyote then a bear, any particular tips?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Jolt on April 30, 2008, 06:15:02 AM
Amy , thank you so much for making this tutorial.  It gave me the courage to try it before going to school!
I have my 2 skins (mink & squirrel both roadkill) in the pickle now.  I printed out your instructions and have them right nearby.
Thanks so much!  :D
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: woollylegs on July 06, 2008, 04:34:23 PM
Will this work for Mole skin?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Huntr Pat on September 24, 2008, 09:47:32 PM
After use of pickle how diposable is it?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: fireboy233 on September 25, 2008, 08:17:47 AM
Big help thanks
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: ShedEgo on September 25, 2008, 12:57:13 PM
I agree! this answers all the questions that I had about tanning. Thank you.
I too have printed out the instructions and am ready to tan my doe cape for mounting.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: OregonOutdoordude on October 02, 2008, 10:27:46 AM
   Man lots of woek, thanks amy
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Wolf616 on October 07, 2008, 05:19:04 PM
I live in a country where taxidermy is not a very mainstream hobby, so I can't go to any stores that sell stuff to tan and pickle the skins. Are there other common household items, like the salt and baking soda, that I could use for the tanning and pickeling process?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: sarahdj on October 08, 2008, 12:24:23 AM
If you have a health food store or Amish or Mennonite family store around you may be able to get the citric acid powder for citric acid pickle.  I live in the country too and found a little Mennonite store with the citric acid.  Find a grain elevator or feed store to get non-iodized salt in a 50 lb. bag for about $6- sometimes it's also called feed mixing salt or something like that.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Wolf616 on October 08, 2008, 07:50:28 AM
Thanks a lot! I think I should be able to buy that.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Shelbyhunter on November 30, 2008, 01:14:06 AM
thanks Amy! that was very informative....
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Huntr Pat on December 05, 2008, 12:17:42 PM
I have 2 Tule elk hides and 3 Blacktail hides with hair all on but 95% of the flesh removed and the hides are like cardboard. Is this the same formula? It doesn't seem to be any slippage.
Thanks
Pat
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: till1949 on December 14, 2008, 07:51:08 PM
hello Amy i'm new at tanning and would like to know if you have ever used lutan-fn. if so can you give me some directions step by step.  thanks Dale
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Tam on December 17, 2008, 05:39:09 PM
how long can i leave it between salting and relaxing? and is there any special way it nees to be kept?? (have one in my shed salting just now  :D )
Thanks alot
Tom
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Tyler J on December 18, 2008, 01:47:51 PM
after reading this, i feel like i can do it. it seemed complicated before but you worded it very nicely! thanks a lot!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: droptine2 on December 31, 2008, 11:49:48 AM
great instructions

Thanks

Lee
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Lenny on February 19, 2009, 04:11:31 PM
Amy, do a DVD on this. People will watch a DVD for 2 hrs but not spend 20 minutes reading something. They want take a minute or two to search for information. With the products you use surely they would list them for sell.  Word of mouth would also sell them.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: ynotnow817 on May 05, 2009, 04:51:44 PM
This seems like a great tutorial. thanks.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: chinaone on May 06, 2009, 01:14:33 AM
Hello! I am a fan, I English is not good! Can be translated into Chinese? Thank you very much!
 [email protected]
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Nathan B on May 06, 2009, 11:22:28 AM
您在线能发现一个译者。 google它

English
You can find a translator on line   google it
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: speedbuggy on November 19, 2009, 04:38:47 PM
 Excellent article I hope you have written more
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Hillbillywilly on November 28, 2009, 07:31:31 AM
great write up!!!  I was about to ask this question..  My son killed his first deer and wanted to have the hide tanned but he wanted that to be a project we could do together.  Plus he wants to use it in his project for 4H this up coming year..  I hope to get started soon.  We even made our own fleshing knife and beam.  Great way to introduce kids to a whole new part of hunting...
Thank you again for the great info and very informative site.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: KaiYoDei on November 28, 2009, 05:44:05 PM
is there a way to tan anything with stuff in your kitchen? or some other preservation?
there is tannen in tea leaves. is that posslbe to use? I put it in contunction with borax and salt on a chimpmunk and let ot sit for months and nothing went awry
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: PaleoClipper on December 08, 2009, 11:56:28 PM
..wow..i didnt realize there was that much time involved in tanning a hide.

You mentioned hides such as buffalo need to be shaved, but can I put the hide and the hoof in the pickle solution? I have two hooves with partial leg hide attached. They are salted, but the cartilage is still inside the hooves. Is this a problem?
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: coonhollow on December 09, 2009, 12:22:25 AM
nice tutorial Amy
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: racksandriverstaxidermy on December 09, 2009, 05:02:54 PM
nice tutorial
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: tex1 on December 31, 2009, 09:00:18 AM
Amy, thankyou ! Have a happy new year and congrats on your soon to be baby !
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: stargazer644 on December 31, 2009, 12:04:27 PM
Well thought out, easy to follow. A very  informative post Amy.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: racksandriverstaxidermy on January 04, 2010, 07:02:57 PM
nice thanks
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: kimdunn on January 07, 2010, 09:42:01 PM
 Thanks for the info. I had just purchased Rittel's products and there was no instructions.
Excited to see what this product can do.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: J.Wesley Kevenaar on January 16, 2010, 06:10:03 AM
Thank you for telling it in normal language this is something i can read.
 i was always looking for a good way to home tan my skins and i really think this is it.
 thank you very much, and good luck with the baby.
             ;)..Groeten uit Holland.. ;)
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Crimson on August 18, 2010, 04:48:39 PM
This is so wonderful!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Michael B on September 19, 2010, 11:41:35 AM
This is great thanks for the info it will really help.

I have been wanting to start tanning my own on the smaller mounts.

Michael

Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: addiemb on September 20, 2010, 02:27:54 PM
Thanks Amy I can't wait to try my first one this year I'm going order my stuff so it can all be in when they start killing
Thanks again
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Midwest_Willie on October 20, 2010, 09:46:53 PM
Thanks Amy this is the best thing since sliced cheese for me... helped out a lot
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: outdoorsalways on December 14, 2010, 10:24:33 PM
This is a great post been searching archives for this and was scared to ask.
Just what i wanted..... "reassurance". Only thing that got me confused was oil.
You oil it even though it is being mounted? Thank you!!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: irish37399 on June 19, 2011, 07:02:11 PM
goood job but theres no need to buy all that stuff all you really need is salt and hide tanning formula or if your very lazy formalldhyde and borax
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: derbrans on July 06, 2011, 01:35:28 PM
I enjoyed your step by step.  Very informative and helpful to someone like me who is just starting out and dabbling in taxidermy.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: DuaneD on September 27, 2011, 11:15:50 AM
Thank you for the complete instructions on tanning.  I am about to tan my first hide.  I used to skin animals for my ex (a part time trapper) and stretch them.  One thing I didn't notice in your article is stretching.  I have none of the mentioned products as of this time.  Should I freeze the hide while I wait to receive all the ingredients from a supplier?  Or start the salting process.  My hide became available today and he is on ice until morning when I can skin him.  Thank you for all the help.  If anyone can answer my questions I would appreciate it.  I am a brand new member.  Thank you,
Mayruthie.

As a trapper and hunter, I must say that "Streching" is only a method to keep the hides from shrinking and getting wrinkles until sale time to buyers.  I also know, or have read that to do a mount, your skinning techniques are way different then they are for case skinning animals for trapping. Mostly the same, just different cutting techniques.  I am not a taxidermist, but I have been really reading a lot of books and watching a lot of videos in the last few months for doing this as I am really interested in taking this up. I think I am getting close to being ready to go and do my first mount.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: renjam33 on December 21, 2011, 09:55:30 PM
great step by step tutorial for a guy trying to understand the tanning process.....thanks Amy for taking the time!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Intherain on January 14, 2012, 02:38:18 AM
Hi I really appreciate the info. that  was provided. We have gotten into coon hunting, and I have skinned 3 myself and I knew to salt them but wasnt sure what to do afterwards. My Question is do I need to change the pickling bath/ water at any time? Or should it stay the same through the whole process? Also, sorry I didn't see a reply to one post i found interest to, how do you dispose of the pickleing bath?   Thanks, Brittney
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: DPtaxidermy on February 13, 2012, 03:44:34 AM
Thanks A for submitting this post
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Gerardo71 on February 26, 2012, 10:44:16 PM
Great tutorial , for us beginners , thank you very much



Gerardo
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Gerry D. on January 02, 2013, 02:25:23 PM
As a total Rookie to all this, I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate your post Amy!  Thanks for taking the time to post for us beginners.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Gerry D. on January 02, 2013, 02:31:19 PM
Can we get this to be made into a sticky post?  It's got my vote!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: kenwparker on February 07, 2013, 08:18:02 PM
Thanks for the information.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: Game_Dog on February 07, 2013, 08:26:31 PM
A mandatory bookmark tutorial  :D Thanks, Amy!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: caveman90 on March 02, 2013, 06:47:21 PM
Marking!  :D
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: dublelung on November 10, 2013, 03:03:50 PM
I've got a deer cape I put in the freezer last week. This is just what I've been looking for. Thanks!
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: manufc010 on November 11, 2013, 11:11:14 PM
A very good job. I need this to go on vacation.
Title: Ritters E-Z 1000 tan (Fail HELP)
Post by: lula on December 05, 2014, 09:51:15 PM
 I just used this tan. I feel like I am the only one who did not get a good result. I followed the directions down to the last detail.  And why are there no "official instructions for the product? :( I had massive hair slippage. The citric acid tan I always used, had a distinct difference after the hide was in it. This product's acid did not seem to change the hide all that much. After neutralizing I put it into the tan. It was horrible. I measured the correct amount of powder, salt, and water. The hide looked no different after it sat in the liquid and the hair fell out . I mean if you rubbed it the skin could be seen.  AM I doing something wrong? I measured the powder in the measured cups correctly. I fleshed it correctly. I did not slack in time/ I had a fresh fox.
Title: Re: How to tan step by step! Beginners, this is what you need!
Post by: crs on December 29, 2017, 09:02:00 PM
 :)