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Does anyone know if this is supposed to happen?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ameliabeth, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I've just tanned my first pelt, an opossum and the first layer of skin on its feet has begun to peel off.
    I've taken the liberty of gently pulling off the bits that are hanging off because I don't want the feet to look messy.
    Is it bad that they are shedding in the first place?
    Also, I re hydrated the skin and put it in bactericide to stop the fur from slipping but during washing the pelt in cold water (after neutralizing) there has been continuous shedding, not massively but noticeably.
    Is it meant to shed a little?

    Kind regards,
    Amelia.
     
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Use bacteriacide early in the process. If its slipping now, the damage has already been done.. The feet issue is slippage which is where the top layer of skin separates and peels off. The hair falling out is another issue and may be a result of several things. You may have shaved the skin too close to the hair follicles for one.
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Yes, slipping skin and hair falling out is suppose to happen to first timer's. It is part of the learning process that tells you that you did something wrong in the process, something that you did or didn't do. Try again, that is how you learn the tanning skills. First time skins rarely come out without some level of failure.
     
  4. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    You'll have to provide more of a "step by step" detailed description of your process if you want someone to troubleshoot your method.



    What bactericide did you use and when, how long...
     
  5. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    I used 'Skin prep NBU' as a bactericide with salt. I put it in the re hydration bath and left it in there until the skin had become soft and pliable, it didn't take long though so I guess I didn't leave it in there long enough. The I rinsed the skin in cold water, drained it and put it in a bath of 'Enzol B' as a relaxer with salt and made sure the PH was around 5. I left it in there for 2 hours then used a Lutan F tanning kit from VanDykes.
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I think Cyclone said,, step,, by,,, step.

    1. from the raw skin.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    6.
    7.
    8.
    9.
    10. Hair is falling out.
     
  7. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Two rehydration steps...The second was not necessary if the skin was already pliable but you will need a degreasing step with opossums.
    My guess is the 2 hrs. killed it..

    and....fill in the steps as T has indicated please.
     
  8. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    ok well here-
    I used 'Skin prep NBU' as a bactericide (cant remember for the life of me how much I put in, but a good amount) with 1/4 IB salt per gallon (I used 4 gallons).
    I put it in the re hydration bath and left it in there until the skin had become soft and pliable, it didn't take long though so I guess I didn't leave it in there long enough. The I rinsed the skin in cold water, drained it and put it in a bath of 1oz of 'Enzol B' as a relaxer with 1/2 of salt and made sure the PH was around 5. Then I left it in there for 2 hours then did 1IB of salt per gallon of water with 1/2oz of mckenzie ultimate acid for 72 hours. Then rinsed in cold water, degreased by washing the pelt in room temp water with Fairy liquid which is the UK version of Dawn dish soap. Then washed that out, rung it out and put it in 4oz of baking soda with 4 gallons of water for 15 minutes. Rinsed in room temp water. Put 4oz of Lutan F in 2 gallons of water with 1 IB of salt for 14 hours then rinsed in cold water, left for 30 mins to drain then added 1 part mckenzie leather oil to 2 parts water, rubbed it all in and left for 8 hours. What did I do wrong?
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Was the skin salt dried when you obtained it? Or was it a fresh raw skin?
     
  10. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    It was already salt dried, for about a week I think
     
  11. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    and it was slightly damp so I re salted it once then took the salt off and left it for a week then started working on it.
     
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Lutan F requires neutralizing after tanning, not prior to tanning.
     
  13. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    On the sheet I got with the lutan F kit it says Neutralising before Tanning so that's what I did, I didn't think to do otherwise as I thought the sheet was correct. I'm surprised the pelt isnt worse than it is considering my mistakes :/
     
  14. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Tangle, we know about neutralizing after the tan, the instructions state before the tan, as it has always has. Those that have used Lutan for any amount of time know that it fixes better in a full pickled skin. As thin as a grinner is, it would should tan to the old directions fine..

    There are unknowns to this skin as far as how it was processed before she purchased it.
     
  15. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    So what did I do wrong to cause the foot skin to peel off?
     
  16. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

     
  17. Dawg3458

    Dawg3458 New Member

    Is it the pad or the top of the foot?
    Did you tan just for pelt or do you plan to mount?

    If hair is slipping on top I would guess that it maybe from heat from persons hands skinning out the toes.
    If you plan to mount & its the skin on the pads. Just cut them off & repair with epoxy sculpt.
    If it just a pelt. Cut the feet off...
     
  18. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    I wanted to use the whole skin as a mount.
    It's the paw pads that are shedding skin.
    Surely if I peel the skin off the 2nd layer won't shed, it'll just stay ok after that?
    Next time I'll not do the 2 hours bit :)
     
  19. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Mount and let it dry, them remove the flaky pad skin, and rebuild with a tiny bit of apoxy sculpt.
     
  20. ameliabeth

    ameliabeth New Member

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    It's all completely dry now and I won't be mounting it till end of January when I get paid and can afford the form, I'd rather leave the paws as they are because they are very dry and fragile, I don't want to mess them up and destroy them.