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Do your own tanning or send it out

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by xsticker, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Just starting out in taxidermy and wanted to know do most taxidermist tan or send out I've seen an auto tanner from Rinehart's are they worth it if you do a big enough volume.Or just send it out
  2. pikelakerunner

    pikelakerunner New Member

    rememeber...tanning is an art in it's self aside from taxidermy. in my opinion, forget the autotanner, you need a fleshing machine if your gonna tan. it takes a certain amount of skill to operate. probably don't want to learn on customer work, at least not in the very beginning. you need to be committed if your gonna invest in a flesher. for best results with tanning you have to "like" doing it. not just doing it to "save money" ....some thing to think about.

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Auto tanners are over rated. A cement mixer will work just as good. ;D
  4. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    You don't NEED a fleshing machine, but it would be a much better first investment..
  5. Joe Winsor

    Joe Winsor Active Member

    I also recommend fleshing machine for first investment, regardless if you are tanning or sending out for tanning. Other than that, all you really need to tan is a bucket ;)
  6. brigham boy

    brigham boy "if it's horny, mount it"

    I have recently started the adventure of tanning my own things. I have tanned a few items and am going to tan most of my work load for cust. this year...HOWEVER i have alot of skins to practice on . I feel that in the long run i will have better control of the quality of the skin, more stretch less holes exct... turn around time is also a good way to get ahead of the competition...around these parts most taxis are 12-24 mo out on gameheads..i know that 12 mo is pretty norm, but i think that 6-9 mo is def. possible...

    The extra money from in house tanning is going to be sweet, but the experience and knowledge gained is great too.

    If you get a fleshing machine check out vandykes. i recieved the dakota v about a month ago and set it up and had alot of grief getting it to perform.. i know i have very little experience with these machines but..it flat out ruined my day to say the least...as i was researching my probs on the 5 i read alot of advice and input on individuals that either purchased th 4 then the 5 then the PRO..

    Also i read alot of people that decided to make the leap to the pro right off the bat..basically i read alot of stuff that made me think...
    "return the v and get the pro" i ordered the pro and the v is up for sale on here for a 75 doller discount or being shipped back on monday.. I ordered the pro and it was on sale 156 bucks off..

    I am excited to learn how to produce a quality skin..i have alot of practice to do but i cant wait..

  7. brigham boy

    brigham boy "if it's horny, mount it"

    I would say 5 dollers an hr is pretty low if you do the math....say 100 head of deer at 40 to tan..thats 4000 dollers your paying the tannery.
    Divide 4000 by 5 thats 800 hrs. Thats 8 hrs handling time for each cape.

    Now I know that cost of materials has to be factored in...im just saying you can make ok money tanning in house..

    And finding a good tannery sucks around here....i know there are some but after trying 3 im done looking
  8. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    I've never known a Tannery to detail around the eyes,lips and nose...........
    Who does this?
  9. Joe Winsor

    Joe Winsor Active Member

    I agree, except it's more like $50-60 per cape when you factor in the shipping to and from, but if you are "mounting" say a few hundred or more animals in a years time, then the time saved in tanning allows for time for mounting and probably more than cost effective. I might do a dozen mounts in a year and for me paitently tanning at home is more than cost effective.
  10. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    I've yet to see any that detailed for you.........I have seen some that Claimed to have detailed and that was a joke lol.....
    but i would be interested if there are any Tanneries out there that actually do detail for that kind of price........
  11. Joe Winsor

    Joe Winsor Active Member

    Tom, I've used two differant tanneries and my stuff was probably mountable as is, but I chose to do extra final detail work, ie lips, eyes, nose, etc
  12. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    Joe , If you needed to go over it then it was not mountable........Not if you are a quality taxidermist.........
  13. Joe Winsor

    Joe Winsor Active Member

    LOL, Grumpy today Tom?
    I didn't need to, but wanted it more perfect. They were mountable.
  14. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    No Joe I'm only GRUMPY before My Coffee LOL
    Seriously though.......PM the names of those tanneries if you would please...........
    I'm going by the few that I've seen and I can't judge them all..............
  15. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. Active Member

    In 5 hours I take a cape from green to ready to mount with my auto tanner and dakota 4 fleshing machine. If you send a green frozen cape to a tannery. They will charge you $100 with shipping., Or More. That looks like $20 an hour. And it ready when I want it. Not some slow moving tannery.
  16. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    PS....... Another thought came in to mind Joe.............Did you thin around the Eyes,nose,lips before you salted and send them out?
    Because I used to do that before I Tanned..........And I had sent some out like that but it was years ago.......
    Those were mountable ........but not up My standards..........
  17. Joe Winsor

    Joe Winsor Active Member

    Tom, I use my Dakota Pro to flesh and it does thin along the way.
  18. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    You go around your eyes,nose and lips with it?
    I know some that do.......I can...... but I just don't feel comfortable doing so..........
    I suppose that most don't..........
    My point is.......If it's already detailed before it goes to the tannery then you have already spent the labor time on it..........and yes you can mount it......
    It is very informational for these BEGINNERS to understand that they must still detail their capes after the tannery to get a proper mount............
    Shaving a Raw Cape is different than Shaving a Tan/Pickled cape and requires more practice........Especially to actually thin it.........
  19. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    I wouldn't be shocked..........but thanks for sharing...........
  20. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I don't do all of those things because I don't think a couple are necessary for taxidermy work, and to be honest I don't even know what staking and caging are.
    I'll break down your list in hours and show why I think it's cost effective for me to tan my deer capes in house. I will use $50 as the price though, because your estimate does not include shipping to and from the tannery.

    rehydrate cape - 1 minute of labor (it re-hydrates itself)
    pickle - 5 minute of labor (they pickle themselves, but I do have to monitor pH and salinity, as well as mix it in the first place)
    shave - 20 minutes of labor (I'm slow, I'm sure Hudson can do this in less than 10 minutes)
    detail tup eye nose etc. - 0 minutes (I did this when I shaved it on the machine as good as any tannery I've ever used)
    pickle again - 0 minutes (Again, they pickle themselves)
    tan - 10 minutes (Only takes a couple minutes, but I'll take into account clean up, etc)
    neutralize - 5 minutes (Not much labor, just have to run the water and stir a couple times)
    rinse - 5 minutes (again, prob doesn't actually take that long)
    oil - 0 minutes (I don't oil my skins being used for taxidermy)
    tumble - 0 minutes (I don't tumble my skins being used for taxidermy)
    comb out or clean up - 10 minutes (I wash my skins the day after the LiquaTan was applied, and comb them out)

    Total per cape 56 minutes
    LiquaTan cost $2 per cape
    Pickle cost less than $1 per cape

    That's paying myself $47/hour which just happens to be very close to my shop rate.