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Why So Many Different Tanning Systems

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by theguyyouknowtaxidermy, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    My Question is why is there so many different tanning systems? I have been using Krowtann 2000 on my few raccoon mounts and it worked fine, I am now doing my first deer mount using Krowtann as well and I was advice that I should use a dry preservative.

    So to me there looks like there is at least three methods dry preservatives, Krowtann, and Pickling.

    I just watched a 4 hour video on a shoulder mount and the tanning process used was the pickling system. It was extremely long and looked rather expensive.

    Why so many? What does one benefit over the other?
  2. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Krowtann is pickling :)

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Huh? And just where foes TANNING fit into you "3"? Don't give up your day job.
  4. Dry preservative and tanning are not the same. There are many reasons to do one or the other, and I'm sure there are thousands of posts on here about this controversial subject, but basically a tanned hide has undergone a chemical change to become leather, where a dp hide is a raw hide that has been dried. If you get the dp hide wet, you have a raw hide again. I use dp on small things like squirrels, but I tan big things like deer or even a bobcat. If you are just doing it for yourself, use whatever you want. My buddy has done some excellent dp whitetails, but I don't know what they will look like in 20 years.
  5. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    thanks for the the help, I never trusted DP it just never sounded right. I did not know that Krowtann was a pickling tan.

    The pickling process that I was talking about is where the hide is dehydrated, pickled in crystal salt, while maintaining a certain Ph level, then rehydrate, neutralize and then use a tanning oil.

    What I am trying to say is that if krowtann works as good as the tanning system above, Why go through all of the work and time above to get the same result?

    What type of tanning does a tannery use?
  6. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    So you get a REAL tan. Pickling is a means to an end. It's part of building a well tanned skin.
    The pickling process is pretty standard across the board. What tan you decide to use is up to you.
  7. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    There will always be someone coming up with another way to preserve things.I tried the DP and had bad results with cracking years later. I am sure there are many that will swear by using it. I still prefer to pickle then tan then oil.
    I think there are more than 3..................
  8. LV

    LV Member

    Lets just say who knows what KROWTANN will look like years down the road.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    A man after my own heart.
  10. TD

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

    I know how it looks.............If the mount is cared for properly then it will look exactly like the day you mounted it.........
    As far as it being just a pickle ........You'll never convince Me of that............because a pickle will not have the same results in the end as the other tans.....
    I've said it before and Ill say it again.............If KT is not a tan....... then a perfect imitation of leather when its done...........
    Another thing.............Don't listen to these KT haters..........They have used it only once or twice................
    George says he shrunk a 20" cape with Krowtan and couldn't get it on a 16" form .........BS........... lol
    I probably use it more than most so if you want to know more about KT .............I'll be glad to help You out...........
  11. Brent W

    Brent W New Member

    What I am trying to say is that if krowtann works as good as the tanning system above, Why go through all of the work and time above to get the same result?

    What type of tanning does a tannery use?

    Many tanneries use different tanning formulas but I am pretty sure they all pickle, shave, neutralize then tan, if it is a dry tan then it will also be oiled and tumbled to achieve the soft leather. DP as has been said is simply bug proofing a dry raw skin. There are people that get outstanding results with D.P but it isnt my preference, since the hide is still raw and subject to humidity changes etc that may affect the "Raw" skin. Krowtan has been debated on here many times, as said we dont know what we will get when it is time tested, but, it is NOT a complete tan. I dont home tan, I use a good tannery and get fantastic results that I know will last for years. Wet tan or dry tan but still done professionally . For small animals go ahead and tan at home, but, if you dont have much experience I would send larger animals out to a good tannery. Money well spent IMO.
  12. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Re: Re: Why So Many Different Tanning Systems

    You should call some tanneries and ask what they are using:) kidding...good advice to send them out and start practicing on scrap hides....when you what the tanneries look like you will know what to aim for. Go to tru bond tanning website and get some supplies and just follow the instructions.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Tom, you know that's the second time this week you've called me a liar. That already tells me about your character. You're too dumb to see or understand the truth. I have DP mounts that are over 30 years old and THEY look as good as my talent at that time would allow. They haven't cracked or fallen apart as many claim, but it is NOT my preference TODAY in how a hide is preserved for mounting.

    Now, for the TRUTH, I most certainly DID have a 20 inch neck that when treated with the VERY FIRST KROWTANN MARKETED (eleven years ago)shrank to where it wouldn't fit a SEVENTEEN INCH FORM. Brian Harness has made several big changes to the chemical composition as well as the steps he endorses (Which don't include Tom King's last post heralding a "new" method of using it). LAST YEAR I mounted a mule deer hide that had been Krowtanned and found it to be very pliable and had no issues in getting it to fit the form whose measurements my client supplied. It didn't reeek of the acid smell of the first formula and the hair groomed nicely. Still, I have no intentions of changing.

    And I don't expect to ever change YOUR mind that it's not a tan. You don't know enough about tanning in general to understand that the pH of Krowtann doesn't fit the parameters accepted within the TANNING INDUSTRY to be anything other than what was once referred to as a "pickle tan". It is a PRESERVATION METHOD that seems to work well,but has yet to pass the test of time that either conventional tanning (or DP for that matter) has.

    Now those of you who suck up to Tom,can continue to call me a liar. I don't lose sleep over people with limited character.
  14. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    HOW IRONIC ^^^^^^^^
  15. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    TheGuy....I've been around this game longer than most and came aboard just at the end of Arsenic Paste "Tanning" and started alum tanning. Since then there has been numerous "tanning" methods introduced by resourceful individuals who decided that they could come up with a process somewhat different than the other guy sell it cheaper and make some money in the process. Some made the process better while some just clouded the process. Knoblocks Liquid Tan is one, Rittels Quick Tan is another. These two will work on thin skins as long as they are allowed to penetrate the skin. A pickle only prepares the skin to chemically accept the tan and doesn't actually tan the skin. There was a preserving powder (mostly borax) called Bess Made that was around in the early sixties and seems to have outlived it's popularity. I used it on birds but some guys were mounting deer heads with it. I've remounted several heads that were mounted using that stuff and they were all self destructed after a few years.
    Education is a wonderful thing and you don't get it overnight. Most beginners are looking for a cheap....fast way to get something mounted and they usually go through a lot of time and money before actually listening to a mentor in this business. Here's a friendly tip.
    Skin flesh and salt your skins...then box them and send them to a good tannery. There are several to choose from and they will all do a better job than you will ever do at home. Just my lowly opinion. Good luck...JL
  16. TD

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

    Well.......... these are opinions and I appreciate each and everyone of them................
    How long will it last? ..................that seems to be a focus here...............
    I've seen some mounts that have been Krowtanned at least 9 years later and there is one hanging on My wall right behind Me now that was done about 4 years ago...........Looks the same.................No color fading, No cracking................and I don't even clean the dam thing lol
    I have pieces of back Hides that have been done with various Tanns and there is no way to tell a difference with out some sort of Curl Test.............
    My point is..............It may not be the kind of leather that You want for a Fine Fur, soft tann but it's perfect for what We need............
    Commercial Capes that I have ever used do not mount up as nice as a KT cape...........At least not to me...........and who is to say any tann will last longer because there are just too many factors that come into play...........maybe the tannery has a new guy that screwed up the formula ..........not to say that has ever happened lol

    Now to address this CHARACTER thing..........
    Show Me where I called you a Liar this week George.........I only quoted what you said ^^^^^^............... Show Me the second one Please.........
    Talking about Character now............What is the Character of a person that puts down his fellow Taxidermist by telling him/her that their work is really bad but does it with intentions of HURTING that person?..............What's the Character of a Person that searches for any kind Rumor or Lies or Flaws on that person just to use it against them in a loosing Argument?..........
  17. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    thanks Tom King, i will be giving you a call some time tomorrow. The reason I asked my question is because flipping through a WASCO catalog i want to understand everything on every page. I will get there. I promise that when i see something i want to do i go after it.

    I see that most full time taxidermist send there capes off, what form of tanning is commonly used by the guy who only does a hide or two at a time?
  18. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I'm making no claim whether Krowtann is a "real tann" or not, but I can tell you it's more than a pickle. I know this because before I switched to safety acid I used formic acid to pickle my hides before tanning. I sometimes threw scraps in the formic in case I needed a patch later. Eventually I would take these out. I also have scraps that I've cut off of a Krowtanned hide. They are not the same. They don't feel the same, look the same and if I cut each one in half after they dry I can tell they are not the same. If I take a hide that has been krowtanned, neutralized, and washed, and set it out to dry, and take a scrap of salted hide and rehydrate it and set it out to dry. When both are rehydrated and the krowtanned hide is neutralized, won't the two hides be pretty much the same? Shouldn't they dry the same and look the same once they are dry if the krowtanned hide was only pickled? While it might not be what some call a "true tan" it certainly seems like more than just a pickle to me, but I don't have the chemical engineering background to back it up like some of you might.
  19. I have stood by Krowtann for 11 years now and have been thrashed and trashed on here for it but i still continue to stand by it...

    Awhile back I was challeneged to try via free samples Old Shaver's new method but i never ecieved them so until something easier comes along I will stick to what i know
  20. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>

    I am with Tom King on the thought that most of the people that have used Krowtann has only used it just a few times. I think if you find a product that works for you and produces a great mount, and that your customers love and keep coming back to you then you have it figured out. I do not know why so many guys on this forum want to be hateful. I have seen it way too many times, a person comes on here for help and gets burned because someone with more experience pick on them like it was high school again. I am in the Army and I know all about giving each other a hard time. I have two brothers and I am the youngest and let me tell you that we go at one another and have fun doing it. All I am trying to say is that there is a time and a place and when some one is looking for help on a taxidermy FORUM then the help should be given.