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Skin prep for tanning

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by mtbehm, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. mtbehm

    mtbehm New Member

    I am mounting a bobcat and neew some help with the hide prep work. Do I salt the hide immediately after skinning or do I wash it in dawn or a degreaser before salting? I am using a lutan fn tanning kit. Thanks alot, Matt
  2. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont wash it in dawn unless you want a hairless cat! Just skin and salt, if you have a good degreaser that you buy from a taxidermy supply you can wash if its bloody, but you can do that after the salting as well.

  3. Skin, flesh, turn ears, split lips, eyes nose, and claws. Salt, pickle, shave, degrease, and tan.
  4. ShastaDonegan

    ShastaDonegan Lets start with ridiculous and move backwards.

    I'm not saying I know much on the subject because I have little experience with tanning but...I dry preserved my last bobcat and washed it in dawn right after skinning but before fleshing and all the hair is still on the hide and it is fluffy and radiantly soft still... my daughter pets it regularly (against my rules) and no hair falls out to this day.

    ...and I would never "shave" a bobcats skin down...there is no need.
  5. I always shave cats. The skin in the neck and head areas are relatively thick compared to the rest of the skin. Of course I have never mounted a DP'd anything.
  6. mr useless

    mr useless Member

    what to do with really dirty, bloody or smelly specimens then? should wash it after salt it?or before skin it? i mean all type of skins in general, not just cats( i ignore if they need some kind of special treatment)
  7. ShastaDonegan

    ShastaDonegan Lets start with ridiculous and move backwards.

    I'm a "wet paint tester" JB ...I have to mess it up on my own before I listen....lol
  8. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Well anyone that home tans has a process they swear by I suppose. I am a pickle and tan guy. I skin, flesh and salt first till the hide drips no more. Some will then wash in a slightly salty water and something like Kemol solution this can also be a rehydrating bath. I am not a rehydrator I just go straight to the pickle and keep it agitated and submerged. If a deer cape is really dirty I have been known to just rinse it in water before the pickle. I do notice a spike in my PH levels on dirtier deer per say and I adjust and go on, Yes some times the pickle is pretty ugly by the end. I will shave lightly in thick spots then back into the pickle for another day then pull and shave, then neutralize in clean water and bakeing soda for 30 min. Drip dry then apply the tan, I use Trubond. I then will SOMETIMES wash in a shampoo water quickly then rinse well and freeze or mount. Really I have noticed the shiniest capes are the ones I dont wash just rinse off after the tan. I have friends that swear by Krowtan and several others. There are alot of good shop tans out there and I wont pretend to have tried them all. I tend to find something that is good and stay with it and I like the Trubond as far as brush on tans. I have had several compliments from tanned bobcats I have sold here and they were done with Trubond. I will shave the neck and face area and I use a mounted drum sander to thin the hide with. I am not so talented with a shaver that I do the whole cat, but that sander does a nice quick job as well. I have convinced a few here to use a small dremel drum on the face area of animals and they now love it.

    Well like I said everyone has there thing.
  9. ShastaDonegan

    ShastaDonegan Lets start with ridiculous and move backwards.

    Will I definitely agree with using a Dremel, the thinner the face is the nicer the hair will lay when done and I'm fond of Truebond as well but I also think as long as you get the skin very very clean DP works just fine and on something as fluffy as a cat I personally wouldn't worry about shaving skin down that thin unless there was an unusually thick spot, I've never seen that before myself but I guess anything is possible...I just get all that fat and tissue off but I wouldn't call that shaving it down, just fleshing thoroughly. Overall no one can tell the difference between my tanned and DP mounts though I find.

    I would never try to DP a large animal though.
  10. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    I have saw some deer that were DP'ed and they look just fine, heck isnt that all people use to use? We do get some big ole cats here, several 40#s every year. I sold one to the fur buyer a couple years ago that went 4 inches out of the bobcat chart into the lynx chart. Thing was the size of a full grown coyote. Ok I swear i wasent drinking! ;D
  11. xtpoz

    xtpoz New Member

    I'm just wondering why would the hair fall out?
    I too have my own way of doing things and not saying this is right or wrong but it works for ME. I skin salt lightly then roll up and freeze till I get a chance to prep. Thaw then split lips ears and so on then use pressure washer to flesh then wash using dawn soap. I make sure all soap is out. After I'm done rinsing into Krowtan.

    I did just start using Stop Rot while I prep and split every thing when its warm out.

  12. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Well just talk to any reaputable tannery and they will warn you about useing such degreasers as they are high ph soaps. Cats and canines have a high level of bacteria because of there diets and activitys. You hear alot asking why did the ears slip and such, I take no chances with High PH soaps. Water and High ph only makes the bacteria grow faster, so the quicker you can slow that process the better is my understanding. So why take chances, but then again we all have something we feel comfortable with, not trying to change your minds. There are alot of seasoned taxidermist here that feel the same about useing dawn and such and I dont pretend to know all there is to know about it, just that I have read to many of there post saying just dont do it. In my opinion and mine (only) save your dawn for the ducks. There are so many good degreasers out there that work better anyway, Trubond has one and Kemal is good as well. Like I said if the big boys wont use it that tells me something.
  13. xtpoz

    xtpoz New Member

    Good to know. Thanks duxdown.

    I guess my thought process was that if you get the natural oil out of hair the hide might take a better tan. Seeing how there hair is water resistant and then the tan could work from both sides of the skin.

    I will say that I have done coyotes and a few cats and even a coon that way with no trouble. The only one that did slip was a deer hide that I did not wash first but it was a scrap hide given to me and I don't know if it was taken care of before I got it.
  14. Fawn

    Fawn New Member

    why do you salt
    Why do you salt before freezing? I was always told to do one or the other, not both. Salt prevents freezing.
  15. xtpoz

    xtpoz New Member

    I salt (lightly) to help set the hair. I know allot people on here are against salting then freezing but it works for ME. I have pulled salted capes out of deep freezer at 9:30 pm and left sit to 8:00am to thaw in the kitchen sink with nothing more then the bags they are in to unroll and find some parts of cape by the face are still frozen.
  16. Fawn

    Fawn New Member

    You are very lucky, I have had a lot of people bring me capes they salted then froze and I have only had one that the hair didn't slip. They must use too much salt and I tell them to NEVER do that again:) I would think it unnecessary anyhow because you are not turning the lips, eyes, nose or ears until after you thaw your cape, that salt is not setting those areas if they are not prepped. Do you resalt after you take the pressure washer to it?
  17. xtpoz

    xtpoz New Member

    Nope. After pressure washer a quick bath then straight into krow tan.

    I salt nose, lips, ears, a little harder because they are not split. Then fold face inside skin and try to keep every thing skin to skin roll up bag it about 4 times then into freezer. I have never had problems with salting then freezing. I will say it can make splitting harder some times because it dries area out to much.

    My dad did it all the time when I was a kid. I remember a full deer hide was salted frozen thawed worked on salted lightly again froze about 4 or 5 times before he got it mounted. That was about 25 years ago and the mount is still holding up strong. Now I would never want to do that but I have seen it done.

    I am becoming a believer in Stop Rot and just started using it this year to help thaw the frozen areas so they can be prepped before pressure washer.