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Tumbler size and small autotanner Q

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Icarus, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Icarus

    Icarus Something Witty

    I was Googling around and found this topic in the archives:

    To efficiently break larger (deer, cow) hides in a tumbler, does it need to be at least 6' high by 4' wide?

    For smaller skins...rabbit, beaver, coon, I'm assuming the other size mentioned 2' 1/2" drop would be fine?

    And on this topic:

    Do most people with an autotanner NOT salt/pickle before popping them in the tanner? Good / not so good results? Better results if you go through the whole process: Salt, pickle, neutralize, then tan?

    I know you have to flesh and shave before popping them in-just not real sure on the results one would get from not salting and pickling first. As far as I know, it's rather important to lock the hair in.
  2. Well you will get mixed answers and possibly a fierce debate on salting and auto tanners on here. But I will answer my opinion anyway coming from a person who has had them professionally tanned, used an auto tanner, and used other tanning methods.
    Your 100% correct about the salting. It is important (in my opinion) to lock the hair in. If people can get good results without good for them but if it is so easy and cheap and reduces the risk why not salt? Every commercial (professional) tannery starts with dry hides and dehydrates. Not doing so in my opinion is just cutting corners. I do not like auto tanners but have never tried salting and re-hydrating before using one. Personally I have had the best results with the same process the tanneries use flesh, salt, rehydrate, pickle tan, neutralize, shave, then i use a tanning oil. Now days I almost always just spend a couple $ and save time and energy and work more efficiently focusing on taxidermy and letting the professional tannery do the work. I salt em dry, and ship em out. I can't consistently do the quality of work my tannery does with any method.

  3. My fur drum is 6' diameter x 32" wide. I have a guy that says 4' is useless on width of a 6' drum. A narrow drop area will concentrate the drop in a more direct manner. In a 4' wide drum the drop is spread out over a larger area. Just my opinion but I don't have any problem breaking skins in my drum. I disagree with Bruce on the width though.
  4. With bucktan or arrowhead crystals you will find you will get better results if you don't salt prior to tanning. If your hide is salt dried you will need to rehydrate completely before placing it in the tanner. The pickle and tan are all in one in the bucktan or arrowhead tanning crystals. Run the cleanly fleshed and degreased hide in the tanner over night then take out and shave. If any small spots are left not completely tanned then just return them to the tanner and let them static tan a few hours or go ahead and re pressurize and run for an hour or so. Salting accelerates the drying process which aids in stopping and or inhibiting bacteria growth. If you are tanning in the pressure tanner immediately after fleshing then bacteria growth will also be eliminated. Only the process is even quicker.
  5. With any tan you need to rehydrate completely if you salted and dried the cape.