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Home Tanning Incident

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Kydeerhunter03, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Kydeerhunter03

    Kydeerhunter03 New Member

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    I have asked a few other taxidermists and they are just as stumped as I am....so I thought I would ask here.

    The other day I made two batches of pickle...both with the same measurements as usual, PH at the level its supposed to be, salt, clean water, plastic storage tubs. I check PH and stir/flip my hides every day.

    The directions say 2-3 days of pickling, on day two while stirring and checking the PH of the pickle I noticed one hide was still completely raw looking...really slimy and the little bits of meat on the face were still dark pink...usually its a light brown by now. The other hide in the other tub was completely normal.

    Just to be safe I made a new pickle for the raw hide.....and let it continue to pickle for another few days. Meanwhile I pull out the other hide which tanned with no problem.

    I pull out the trouble hide about 2 days later and still notice its completely raw looking and slimy....i take it to neutralize it and the hair just starts falling off everywhere.


    I have no idea what happened, but I had another hide do the same thing about 2 weeks before this one except not this extreme, it ended up slipping as well. Im just nervous if I should switch tanning product or if its something environmental that maybe occurred...I have used the same product for 2 years with no issues until now. Anyone have ideas on what may have went wrong? Thanks :)
     
  2. Same container?
     

  3. Did you salt first?
     
  4. slee

    slee New Member

    Sounds like it was not salted and the hide might have been a little off to begin with.....
     
  5. charleisme

    charleisme New Member

    what exact products and steps are you using. because what I use the pickle is not a tan its just part of the process?
     
  6. Kydeerhunter03

    Kydeerhunter03 New Member

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    Its McKenzie Tanning products. Each hide had its separate tub and both were salted and dried very well.

    I salt my capes for 12-24 hours, re-hydrate and remove majority of blood and dirt to keep my pickle clean. Then pickle hides for 2-3 days at PH of 1-2.....shave the hide, then apply brush on tan.

    The hide in question slipped during the pickle process but never looked like it even started to accept the pickle cuz of the color and feel of the hide, the other one turned out completely fine and had no issues whatsoever.

    Just stumped :-\
     
  7. charleisme

    charleisme New Member

    ah ok brush on tan that I was missing. did the hide seem extra greasy ? and what condition was it in when you took it in?
     
  8. Kydeerhunter03

    Kydeerhunter03 New Member

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    To me the hide looked fine. Nothing out of the ordinary such as grease, smell, or color.

    With it happening with 2 hides so close together I am just puzzled if its the product, the weather, temperature....who knows lol I just dont want it happeneing again.

    And I figured that even with making a new pickle that it would fix the problem, but it didnt. I am leaning towards something wrong with the 2 hides but its just odd. I think once I use up the rest of this product I may switch to another.
     
  9. charleisme

    charleisme New Member

    interesting I use knoblochs safety pickle right now it seems to be working well . good luck
     
  10. Steve Rotramel

    Steve Rotramel We got some radical rebels in this county!

    Do you ever or do you know if the skinner ever uses dry preservative on the hide while fleshing?
     
  11. First guess would be lack of salt as salted flesh when rehydrated turns brownish purple not pink or as per another suggetion the Ph has been stuffed with by a dp of some description, whatever it was it has effected how the pickle effects the hide.
     
  12. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Jenna, I never noticed you mentioning testing your pickle with strips and what it was reading. Sometimes they monkey with the water if your on city or county water supply. Always best to check.
     
  13. Franklin

    Franklin Guest

    Send your hides to the proffesionals with the chemistry degrees. Concentrate on your taxidermy work and leave the tanning to the pros. From what I understand it is a very complicated process that requires a great deal of knowledge to get correct. I doubt that experience comes from a container.
     
  14. Kydeerhunter03

    Kydeerhunter03 New Member

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    Yea I never guessed it could be our water, I tested the PH with strips i purchased from McKenzie and they always read where they should be. I am looking into tanneries, but I havent had a single issue with home tanning before this incident. Thats why I am baffled. Thanks for the responses everyone.
     
  15. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Jenna what kind of pickle did you use not that it really matter's. Just curious for one thing. In wondering if the salting process was your culprit and or the hide was in a bad way from the beginning. Usually after salting the meat that's left gets very dark. Just not sure but don't give up. Check out trubond stuff its all I use.
     
  16. Although we may not have chemistry degrees some on this thread run tanneries! Does anyone know of a "proffesional " tannery that has never had a hide slip? ????
     
  17. Moyergr45

    Moyergr45 New Member

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    I have had the same problem with a few hides in the past. It only seems to do on hides that are not completely dried when salting. Double salting my hides and leaving them to hang and dry hard seemed to solve that problem. I'm not sure if that helps you or not but I haven't had a hide do it since. Hope that helps!
     
  18. sportsmen wildlife

    sportsmen wildlife New Member

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    If I had a chemistry degree I do not think I would be working in a tannery, maybe BASF where I would make a cool $150,000 a year ::). Anyways, most tanneries tan thousands of hides without slippage. That is because they use the exact process over and over again and have logs that are alot of times double checked. And if a hide slips its probably because of something the hunter or taxidermist did before the process started. Now, if you know the hide was good then it would have to be the process. First thing I would do is get a log book and wright every step down. You may forgot a step or put 2 pounds of salt instead of 4 pounds but will never know the exact cause without a log. And the best advice I can give to home tanners is to stay away from small pickles such as 5 gal buckets. I don't know how you can keep the PH and salt stable in such a small container. Get at least a 55 gal barrel or a 100 gal stock tank. You can pickle ALOT more hides and as long as you keep it clean you can keep a lid on it and keep it for an extended amount of time. And your PH and salt content will remain relatively stable. I personally don't think salting hard as anything to do with it. I know a few tanners that never salt and do not lose hides. (which I would not recommend).
     
  19. Moyergr45

    Moyergr45 New Member

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    Great post sportsman. I find the hardest part of home tanning is to get reliable information or even consistent information from anyone involved in tanning. Defiantly agree. I have found my 300 gallon pickles work best for me. Only downfall is that it's a very longggggg two days of shaving.
     
  20. Maybe we should all take a deep breath and pull our heads in a bit? The person asked a question & others (myself included) gave their opinions. The subject didn't lose a batch , they lost some of a batch, if it was their process you would think that the whole batch would have slipped? !!! Maybe like a batch I currently have, 1 out of 5 has slipped, could it be my process? I doubt it very much as it has not changed for the last 2 1/2 years and then it was only a change of acid, this was done to achieve a lower Ph more easily. I have seen poorly cared for capes come out perfect & others that have been prepped perfectly slip! Why? Because sometimes s#!£ happens, we just try to reduce it's frequency!