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First Tanning Job

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by whitetail70, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. whitetail70

    whitetail70 New Member

    23
    0
    VT
    I am about to attempt tanning of my first deer hide. I have tons of questions but would like to ask them in stages.
    I have fleshed it and salted it and it is now very stiff. Do I have to soften/relax it before I put it in the pickling? I am using Lutan F hair on kit and it says minimum of 72 hours for the pickling. Any tips and advice would be very helpful. Also am I supposed to be shaving/thinning the hide as it pickles? I am hoping to get a soft hide when I am finished but not sure I will accomplish this the first time around.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. craigjw

    craigjw http://www.back2lifetaxidermy.com

    167
    0
    Sounds good so far, and next you want to rehydrate it. You never want to rehydrate in the pickle. Your pickle will have too high of a salt content to rehydrate properly. I like to start it off by using a slightly acidic rehydration. Here is what I use. Per gallon of water, 1 oz. Bascal S, 1/8 oz bacteriacide (I use Skin prep NBU), 4 oz. salt, 1/2 oz. relaxing agent ( I use Relax R). Get this all good and disolved together and let your hide rehydrate overnight, use a piece of plywood or something to keep it completely submersed. After it has sat overnight, check your skin. It should be completely relaxed, it should not have any hard spots at all. Often times, my hides will still have some hard spots, just let it sit in rehydration for another half day and it should be fine, often times it will take a whole day.

    Next, I like to make sure my hide is good and clean. A clean hide makes a clean pickle, which is easier to maintain ph. I will give it several baths before begining pickle. I turn the ears to expose the hair and rinse in water a couple times. Once water is clear, I wash with Kemal-4 and put some bacteriacide in with it. I then rinse it in straight water before turning the ears back flesh side out and am ready for pickle.

    Use whatever pickle you would like and pickle for 2 days before thinning the hide. Keep an eye on the ph, remove the hide and keep that ph around 2, use a precise ph paper, I use a 1-3 range paper for this step. If you don't have a fleshing machine, a wire wheel on a hand grinder will work, but be very careful as it can catch on the edges and wrap your hide around it. Once you have thinned it, return to the pickle for at least 1 day, I prefer 2 days.

    Remember to neutralize after you are done with this step, I think lutan wants the ph of the hide (put the ph paper directly on the skin to check the skin ph) to be around 4.5-5. Just use baking soda and salt in a bath and soak for 30 min check skin ph occasionally. Also, use a precise ph paper, I think the one I use is 1-6 for this step, its hard to get the 1-12 paper to get the right ph. From what I understand, lutan will attract to lower ph, if the outside of the skin is too low, it will attach to the outside and not tan the inside. With a lower ph on the inside, you will tan from the inside out and get a complete tan.

    You are now ready to put into a tan, follow the instructions that came with the tan. make sure when done, the skin ph is at 5 or above, you don't want it to be too low, if you need, put in a baking soda bath again to raise ph. I like to wash it again, especially the ears, around the antler burrs, the face, and any white spots with Kemal-4 and a bacteriacide, I then like to soak it in a bath with washing oil, seems to soften it up. I then drip dry it, wrap it in a towel to get off excess water, then oil and roll it up and put in a garbage bag over night. I can then get a measurement and freeze for later mounting.


    If I confused you at all let me know where and I will be happy to clarify.
     

  3. whitetail70

    whitetail70 New Member

    23
    0
    VT
    WOW! thanks for all of that...I will break it down in steps..lol I salted this on the 24th...do I have time to wait for an order to come in for the ingredients for the rehydrating?? Is there a possible short cut?? prolly a mistake to ask about shortcuts huh? lol
     
  4. craigjw

    craigjw http://www.back2lifetaxidermy.com

    167
    0
    Once you have dried it down completely, you can let it sit a long time. As long as it contains no moisture that is, it should be hard, like cardboard.

    As far as a shortcut, you could get by with salt and a bacteriacide. Relax r just helps rehydrate better, and the bascal s makes it acidic which will help kill bacteria (the main reason for hair slippage). When I started tanning, I did not use bascal s or relax r in my pickle, and never had a problem, I just like to do everything I can to make it turn out perfect. It adds a couple dollars, but I like the peace of mind.

    Not sure what you are using to pickle, but there are also extras you can use there. I use pre tan 110 from knoblochs which will help set the hair. Really not necessecary, but again, anyting I can do to make it better, I try to use. This is something I have tanned without and had no problems. Try it with it and without it and see which you like better and go from there.
     
  5. craigjw

    craigjw http://www.back2lifetaxidermy.com

    167
    0
    Reference formulas at www.knoblochs.com

    also some good reference http://www.rittelsupplies.net
     
  6. whitetail70

    whitetail70 New Member

    23
    0
    VT
    Thanks Craig. Much appreciated