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Do I have to salt?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by slee, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. slee

    slee New Member

    I know this has been talked about to death and then some...... But do I really need to salt a hide before tanning?

    This season I have just started to toss the capes in the pickle right after rough fleshing. (Safety Pickle) I have been using Trubond 1000 and 1000B and get the same results as I did before when I use to salt the capes for 24 hours or more. I have stretchy white leather and back skins that break by hand with only 10 mins of stretching over 4-5 days of drying time. No slippage and minimal shrinkage on my mounts.

    Am I missing something? I am saving a ton of time and money not salting and re-hydrating.
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Where do the untanable bodily fluids go if you do not wick them out with salt? Is your pickle a cess pool of redish brown smelly soup that eats up safety acid?

  3. slee

    slee New Member

    I have not had any issues with dirty pickles or having to adjust the ph level. I do scrape my hides on a fleshing beam (it seems to squeeze out some pinky fluid) and give a quick wash of the cape in a citric acid, salt, and kemal 4 bath to wash out any blood if they are really dirty before putting it into the pickle.
  4. dozier

    dozier New Member

    A lot of people are not salting . I've even tried it . But I'm meticulous . I see the difference in not salting . I don't like the results . I do not get shrinkage when I double salt pickle flesh tan oil . Like many say its the results you like that matter .
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    But to say " I never salted and went straight to the pickle and everything turns out great is like saying " I have a perfect wife", until someone shows you that you don't. But if you are happy with her, why change, unless you want to upgrade.
  6. dozier

    dozier New Member

    Slee double salt one and rehydrate it before you pickle it. Note changes through the rest of tanning . You might discover a benefit .
  7. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    You only have to salt if you want them done properly.
  8. slee

    slee New Member

    So what does salting do besides remove water from the cells? I thought salting was only for preserving the hide until it could be placed in a pickle at a later date? Am I wrong in this thinking?

    All I have found are my hides are turning out the same without salting as they did before when I salted them. I see no difference in my back skins what so ever.
  9. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I salt, but in the past I've done it both ways if I'm in a hurry. Since the pickle has so much salt in it already I would think it would remove any "non-tanable fluids" through osmosis. When there's a high concentration of salt in one area things equalize. I'm not saying there isn't a benefit to salting. I do it, but just because I was taught that way, not because I've ever noticed a difference. I would think on thicker hides it would slow down the bacteria growth quicker than acid could soak though, but on thinner hides maybe not. That's just pure speculation. Like I said, don't jump on me. I do salt.
  10. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Search "glycosaminoglycan" and "re-hydration".
  11. I think it's a universal sales trick, my mechanic does a similar thing with the engine oil. Salt removes water from the cape and then you rehydrate it back in water, so you change water for water. My mechanic removes the oil from my engine and then refills it with oil. It must be just about selling because I don't notice any difference.
  12. slee

    slee New Member

    I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not.... are you telling me the salt is pulling out dirty water from the cells in the hide?


    Search "glycosaminoglycan" and "re-hydration".

    I'm not very smart... I googled glycosaminoglycan and don't get anything it reads.

    What will happen to my hide if I don't salt it before putting it in the pickle? Will it fall apart over time? Does the tanning not work properly? I'm not trying to be an ass here, just trying to learn.

    When I preform a task, I like to know why, Just not because it has always been done that way?
  13. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Copy the word "glycosaminoglycan" and paste or simply type the word "glycosaminoglycan" into the "Search" box at the upper left of the Taxinet web page.. Then click on the "Search" button to the right of the "Search" box where you either pasted or typed the word "glycosaminoglycan".

    If you are successful you will get a list of all posts containing the term "glycosaminoglycan" and you should generate a list of many links from this Taxinet website as it pertains to tanning. You'll be rewarded with hours worth of reading.
  14. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Salt removes more than just water. There are enzymes in you and me, and animals that are held in check when we are alive. When we die, these enzymes are designed to break the body down, cause it to rot. Wicking the bodily juices out with salt does serve a purpose.
  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Low T's been doing his homework... :)
  16. dozier

    dozier New Member

    Slee the benefits of double salting are why I do it . Tanneries always do it . Cyclone has given you many reasons to read why you should . Now it's up to you .
    If its worth doing , it's worth doing right .
  17. Don't know Low T, my mechanic has a similar explanation about the oil being dirty or so. :)

    Slee, I was not trying to be sarcastic, I was just using the analogy to point out what the salt does and like Low T said, it does serve a purpose.
  18. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Why is the old oil black and the new a nice amber color?

    Would you ask your dentist this question or your mechanic?

    A tanner can answer your question, most taxidermists could care less and so give nonspecific answers such as but not limited to: "I don't see any differences." :-\

    The smart ones want to know why... ;)
  19. slee

    slee New Member

    Some very interesting reading for sure! I was not getting any search results until I went to the advanced search, and then pages of info came up. My wife was not very happy, I spent hours reading.

    Thank you for taking the time respond to this topic again after the thousandth time. It must get frustrating for you for it coming up over and over.

    If you don't mind could you please answer a few more questions for me and then I'll leave you alone ;)

    1- How long should I salt a hide if I will be tanning it right away? Until it stops dripping, 12hours, 24, until stiff?

    2- When I rehydrate, 6-8% salt solution?

    3- Is it ok to use citric acid in my rehydration soak as a bactericide? If so at what pH level?

    4- Is it worth adding Kemal 4 to help with rehydration and cleaning? (as far as I understand, kemal 4 acts as a wetting agent?)

    Thanks again
  20. WBB793

    WBB793 New Member

    I used to salt and dry then rehydrate, then for a while just threw them in pickle after over nite salt. Last 10 years or so just right to pickle. Never had a problem! Skins are softer nice to shave and when they have went through the whole process the end result is no different. Salt drying is a holding method until it gets to the tanner. I know it does the other things mentioned and I respect those opinions. In my case the benefits of not salting out weigh the benefits of salting. I have 25 years exp doing this. This is just my take on it. Not at all saying the other guys advice is not right.