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Oldshaver sez, "Mmmmm, I LIKE hair pie!".

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Glen Conley, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    Below is one of the better collagen photos I have been able to pull off. I have to tease the fibers apart with needles to give a better view of the structure. You are all already familiar with what a green cape looks like (this is whitetail). What I used to flush the fibers clear of extracellular fluids was...........good ol' STOP-ROT.

    This should help you to better understand why a STOP-ROT treated cape will respond much more quickly to salting, and salt drying. With just salting, a lot of water will be pulled, but a lot of the body fluids will be left "stuck" to the fibers. Acids do not have to work through the exracellular material either, making for more efficiency with the acid pickle.

    I had posed the question on another thread about what color does elemental carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen make in combination. Now you know WHY the three proteins that make up collagen are classed as crystaline organic solids.
  2. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    HUH? I must have missed something. I don't have any idea as to why you would need to apologize to me. What ever it is, don't worry about it, I'm not.

  3. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    The photos below are of a TANNED cross section of caribou skin. I have a heck of a time getting a thin enough cross section cut without damaging to get a good microphotograph of. I've got a better one around someplace, but I knew where this one was at, so it gets used to illustrate.
    The green oval draws attention to an embedded hair in the follicle sheath, to the right of it, you can make out another carrot shaped follicle. Easy enough.

    Where the straight white line is at marks where the epidermal cell layer and the dermal layer comes together. The "bubbly looking" stuff above the white line is what is left of the cell membranes. The darker looking stuff below the white line is the collagen which has been "changed", or denatured by a formic acid pickle. It is still somewhat fibrous, but NOT like the original collagen structure.

    The white arrows point out how the collagen "grows" from the cellular level. It grows downward toward the animal, and continues to do so throughout the animal's life. The bull is used as the classic example of lifetime collagen growth. The dorsal part of the back can have a pretty thick, and dense layer of collagen fibers, makes for tough leather.

    Has everyone been able to follow me so far? Have I lost anyone?
  4. Bobbi Meyer

    Bobbi Meyer I luv to ride my tricycle, I luv to ride my trike

    ok glen you make my head hurt! LOL
  5. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    I photo chopped two of the above photos to help give a better idea as to how the collagen grows down from the epidermal cells. The difference is, in real life the fibers will be spaced much closer together.

    Back in the fourth grade we were introduced to magnets. It never has taken much to amuse and entertain me. We were given strong bar magnets and told to put the ends with the N on them together. Didn't happen. Then we were told to put the ends together with the S on them. That didn't happen either. These were some pretty strong magnets and I can remember how they felt like something alive trying to get away in my hands.

    Then we were told to put the N and S end together. CLICK! Right together. Then we were told to take them apart. Tough task for a little kid, but they would separate.

    We then filled dish pans the greater part of the way with water. Cork bottle stoppers were then floated in the water. (Mr. Bill, you're going to have to tell these guys what dish pans and cork bottle stoppers are, my typing finger is starting to fatigue). We stroked sewing needles on the bar magnets and laid them on top of the corks. The next day, all of the needles were in contact with each other, and in a fairly even dispersal. Magic is so kewl.

    Collagen growth reminds me of the magnets.

    The myriads of cells in the epidermal layer have different functions. The specialized cells that make the little protein molecules are called fibroblasts. Like the needles on the corks, these protein molecules are drawn through the fluid environment by the stronger charge of the collagen strand, and "hook up" to an opposite charged site. Like the bar magnets, once they are hooked up they are hard to separate.

    I don't have a photograph to show you, but the collagen strand narrows as it leaves the cellular layer. In other cases, you would see the strands tapering off into the layer of cells. This "new growth" that connects the cellular epidermis and structural dermis is the weakest link in the chain. Loose those bonds and you loose the epidermis.

    There are also cells that produce the protein molecules that bond one cell membrane to the other. Same deal, loose those bonds and you could loose sections of epidermis.
  6. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    There seems to be something significant in the 3 day/72 hour mark with proteins, chemical reactions and "drying". Yesterday the hair pie was wet..........as of this evening it had started into that drying stage like as if it had been catalyzed. I was able to lift it up on the cling wrap and it was firmed up enough that part of it was already self supporting.

    When I did the original egg and STOP-ROT combination a little over a year ago, the same thing took place in the bowl. Day 5 produced another reaction that firmed up the egg in the bowl even more.

    I don't know if any of you time this kind of stuff or not, but that's the same "magic numbers" I get when I age venison, or when wet tans do their biggest dry reactions.
  7. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Glen, I am not sure there is a connection . We prefer to do what is called pickle aging or conditioning. Where alum pickled pelts are aged for 7-14 days and may or may not be crusted or dryed. I have a vague idea about the eggs and additives being introduced and whipped into them causing the amino acid protiens to loose their bond and re-bond in a stronger way.

    Maybe I can enroll in miro-biology course on-line. I need a hobby.