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neutralizing after lutan f

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by timstaxidermy, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. yes you can degrease in the pickle, and Aubrey is right, it's probably easier for a guy with limited space, if you are going to try and defgrease something like a bear, that's where you'll find it's worth the extra effort to degrease separate.

    This has been brought up before about tan instructions, and what I've stated is the manufacturer, BASF for Lutan, does not really give instructions, what you all have been reading for years is a suppliers opinion, not a tanners experience. Aubrey is the manufacturer of Perma-Tan 2000, he's the one that knows what's in it and how it works.

    We try to keep it simple for in shop tanning, what we do goes much deeper but you don't need to be concerned with that for in shop. The one principle you need to keep in mind with an immersion, it bonds as the pH is raised. It takes time for the tan to penetrate through the fibers to "find" the available tanning sites deeper in the skin, if you put a skin that has been neutralised in the tan the pH is already above the bonding point, as the pH of the skin is going down due to the acid in the tan, and the pH of the tan solution is raising due to the pH of the skin you are hoping that they meet somewhere in the middle and tan has actually made it into the inner fibers instead of surface tanning and leaving you with a pickled skin inside.
  2. ljones

    ljones 1994 wasco award winner

    i like many others have always be told to neutralized after the pickle , i would like to be sure i understand what you professional tanners are saying about the right way to do this neutralizing process to insure the skin is tanned all the way through

    1. after pickling and shaving, i keep my pickle at 1- 1.5 ph

    2. you go straight to the lutan f mix with the pickled skins, then adjust the ph to 3.0 and allow the skins to tan for 24 hours

    3. after the 24 hours you gradually raise the ph to 4.5 and leave it for 1 hour, is this considered neuturalized ? then rinse the skins and drain and oil

    have i got it right ? ???

  3. ryanolson72

    ryanolson72 Active Member

    Re: neutralizing after lutan f

  4. That's pretty much it, just make sure you take several hours as you slowly raise the pH, and make sure skins are stirred regularly during this part of the process.

    We say neutralizing, but none of the tans we use actually ever get neutralized, go to 7.0.
  5. LK

    LK New Member

    I'm another that has always neutralized post pickle as instructed from supplier. The instructions also call for not more than 18-20 hrs per deer cape. jasonb's instructions would make it 28-30 hrs in tan. This is a pretty drastic difference in methods! How does that happen?
  6. Keith and jasonb are absolutely right. Not that I am an expert on tanning, but this is the way I was taught to do it and it also is what BASF says about using Lutan FN.
    I've got their technical sheet, downloaded it some years ago but cannot find the website anymore. They recommend to tan (for lamb and sheep skins) starting at a pH of about 2, leave the skins overnight in the tanning solution, next morning basify to pH 3.8 with sodium bicarbonate, leave in the bath for a further 3 - 4 hours, horse up, dry.
    I've always been tanning this way and never had a problem, produces supersoft and very stretchable skins.
    While basifying I always take the skins out of the bath to avoid damage due to local high pH levels from the sodium bicarbonate and I add the base in 3 or 4 steps, checking pH levels with paper strips. I also add my fatliquer about 6 hours before basifying (in the tanning bath). After tanning I rinse very briefly and mount or freeze.
    The other way (i.e. neutralizing before tanning) puts your skins in jeopardy because of the high pH, and your tanning doesn't work as explained before.
  7. Actually the post of Jason's is mine, he copied it from another post I had made awhile back and posted it for me, when I tried it I lost the post for some reason, and you are correct, it would be longer than 24 hrs. In a paddle or wheel you don't need to go that long, but doing it static like most will do at home the extra time for take up will help. 24 hrs from start to finish in a paddle or wheel is plenty because of the action.
  8. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    I hope someone from one of the supply company's that have those "bad" directions in print, see this post, and takes the time to
    change those directions? There is no telling how many un-tanned skins are out there, as a result of this mistake?

    Mounts are not going to start rotting off the wall, but I would be a little chapped if I was attempting to tan my skins CORRECTLY,
    and ended up with nothing more than a pickled skin. :eek:
  9. craigjw

    craigjw http://www.back2lifetaxidermy.com

    The way I understood it before this thread, was you needed to neutralize. I want to know why I do each step, and I was told to neutralize after pickle for the following reason. Lutan will stick to the lower ph best. If you dont neutralize, it will stick to the outside and never reach the middle, creating a surface tan. When neutralizing you should never do it more than 20 minutes, therefore the middle of the skin maintains a low ph, and the outside a higher ph. This way the tan will go through the higher ph on the outside and reach the inside where the lower ph is, and still tan the higher ph outside by the time it is done.

    Is this just completely wrong?
  10. coonhollow

    coonhollow Active Member

  11. Tank you very much to oldshaver and the others for the good advices that gave to us.
    I have tanned a few capes with this method and they turned out great.
    my best to you.
  12. After the first time I read this post I was very confused. But the more I thought about it the more it really makes sense. When I used to Crome Tan I always neutralized after the tan and not before. In the last year I started using Lutan F and always thought the tan was just a surface tan as hide was brown inside the 2 edges.

    So my question to make me understand more is......

    If the tanning liquid of water salt and Lutan is mixed and then lowered to 3 with acid why not just use the pickle formula and increase from 2 to 3 ph . and go from there with the hide?? Or did I miss something and that's what was meant??

    #2 You guys talk about 24 hrs in the tan then raise to 4-5. Are you tanning for 24 hrs for all hides or shorter time for mink and 24 for moose??
    Doing a bear cape today your way to see how it turns out.
  13. The only real problem I see with using the pickle and turning it into the tan is your salt content, typical pickles use 1 lb. salt per gallong, with Lutan you want to use 5/8 to 1/2 lb. per gallon, it could be that you need a little less salt to let the skin swell just a little more for the tan to penetrate. You can try it and see,n I've never done it because we reuse the pickle and would rather have a clean solution for the tan too.

    Time in the tan is going to vary, for something heavy like a moose it wouldn't hurt to go longer, assuming you are tanning static, the lighter and more open fibered the skin and more agitation the shorter your time can be.
  14. Keith I never noticed the amount of salt you use . But was going off the Lutan Instruction for salt amount.
  15. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Has anybody took the time to see if any of the supply companies that were giving out bad instructions took the time to change those instructions? Or did they just say screw it?

    I know alot of them read this stuf!
  16. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    I contacted my supplier but got absolutely no response at all and nope, they haven`t changed the instructions either.
  17. tonys taxidermy

    tonys taxidermy New Member

    I have tanned with Lutan and Lutan-F for the last 13 years and this is the way that I do the process. I first flesh the deer or what ever skin you have,then thoroughly salt the skin for 24 hours, rinse in cold water. Mix a pickle in whatever acid that you use I prefer Citric Acid which after mixing will be setting at 1.9 to 2.0 PH. I leave the skin in for at least 24 hours then flesh again and put back in the Pickle. At day 3,4,or 5 I remove and put in a Neutralizing bath with of baking soda 1OZ per gallon of water for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly inside and out then spin out in wash tub or let hang for at least 30 minutes. Then mix your Lutan in at least 90 degree water for as long as you can hold temp. Pull out after 20 hours rinse again thoroughly both sides spin roll up in towles over night then fix your holes and oil with McKenzee oil or whatever oil you prefer and it is ready to mount or freeze. Let me Know your thoughts Tony.
  18. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    Neutralizing after the pickle is a missunderstood subject. You cant call it basification. It's not complete neutralization of the skin but rather ensuring complete penetration of the Tanning agent used afterwards. Since a 20 to 30 minutes neutralization is usually recommended, its not enough time to completely neutralize the skin - but it is time to create an alkaline outer layer with a more acidic layer in the center of the skin. Obviously the tanning agent will see the more acidic layer and bond to it first then tan outwards, effecting a full tan. This works extremely well on unshaved skins or thick skins - it ensures they will be completely tanned from the inside outward. Not outward first and forming a barrier to further penetration of the agent.
  19. Tony, you can do it the way you have been if you want, but you're getting advice from people who have worked with alums, and Lutan is an alum, for years, and ran business daily with it, take it for what you want, but I would change the method if you want consistent results.

    Bruce, huh? Sorry, but you're going to have to seriously educate me on that one. With the limited amount of bicarb that is suggested in the neutralize first debacles, what is the pH of the solution going to be after you put a skin in it with a pH between 2 & 3? Is it going to be high enough to be alkaline? I can see that maybe with sodium carbonate, but bicarb? If the outer layer is alkali somehow, isn't the low pH of the tanning solution going to cause the skin pH to plummet as the acidic tanning bath comes in contact with it, causing the tan to bond with the outer surface before it ever gets a chance to reach the inner fibers? Causing the exact opposite effect of what you are professing? My sources, chemists and tanners, from over the years have never supported your theory, where do you draw your conclusions from?
  20. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    I've reread the original question - and yes, the poster "Tim" does refer to basifying or Neutralizing the skin to rid it of any Acid residual (after the Tan). My Post simply refers to using most Syntans other than Aluminum Sulphate or Lutan F (Aluminum Chloride) after the pickle, to aid in penetration later of the Tanning Agent itself. These being Mineral tans (Aluminum Sulphate/Lutan f) they do not normally become involved in using this technique. You are right in correcting me on this, Keith!

    Under the circumstances it would be wise to consider Keith's advice using Lutan F.