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Tanning for Soft Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ringytail, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

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    What's the best method of tanning if I want to make a life size huggable stuffed animal?

    I heard ez 100 is good for making things soft. Is there a full tutorial online for it, including the salting/pickling steps?

    I heard krowtann is not good for soft taxidermy.

    Old-fashioned folks recommend brain tanning.
     
  2. I'm willing to bet the Tru-bond 1000B would be good for plushies. It's meant for backskins/wallhangers, but supposedly keeps the hide soft/flexible, which would be good for a stuffed animal. You should look into that...
     

  3. Bow Man

    Bow Man New Member

    I would be willing to say that you are probably correct.I would say you would be hard pressed to find a better tan for soft furs than truebond 1000B.
     
  4. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

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    Better than ez 100 or Lutan F?

    What do you recommend for the pickling step?
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

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    A lot more involved then just a tanning product. Flesh turn salt pickle shaving degreasing tanning drying and breaking.
     
  6. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

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    Ok, I'm getting the TruBond 1000B tanning kit. This should cover me for all the steps other than dry preserve.

    Nothing bad would happen if I used Mckenzie Dry Preserve instead of salt, right?
     
  7. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Why would you substitute dry preserve for salt? Salt is cheap. Rule #1 Do not deviate from manufacturer recommended steps. That said once your experienced you can dabble but now you do not know enough I would say.
     
  8. Bow Man

    Bow Man New Member

    Need to use salt you can get stock salt at most feed stores for around 5.00$ for 50 pound.Just plain white feed salt whate I get at Tractor Supply looks about like table salt.
     
  9. I agree with these guys! Use salt!!! Salting is a necessary step to remove a lot of moisture from the skin!
     
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    DO NOT USE DRY PRESERVE IN ANY STEP IF YOU PLAN ON TANNING IT.
     
  11. I think that's probably written somewhere in the taxidermy bible...lol.
     
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Ya, I tend to be an "either or" type of person. Either DP it or tan it. Mixing methods just seems to be a recipe for disaster. Lol.
     
  13. Bow Man

    Bow Man New Member

    That kit has everything you need but salt.
     
  14. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

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    Ok, salt it is.

    I actually called a taxidermist and asked this question, and they said no: dry preserve has borax in it which will neutralize a pickle solution.

    The reason I was tempted to use a dry preserve was because some folks I know use it, and the consensus seems to be that it dries the pelt out much faster and without repeated applications. I suppose borax is a strong desiccant. It makes me wonder if there is actually a better alternative to table salt for this step -- we should use the best desiccant available, right? Then again, the same people who recommend using borax also recommend pinning it to a board so it won't shrink, while those who use salt do not do this, so maybe too strong a desiccant is also a problem? I've seen recommendations in some places to just air dry it with a fan, too.

    Anyway that's off the main topic. I hear breaking it in is a pretty tedious step in soft taxidermy. Can I get some more information on how to do that step?
     
  15. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Ringy your thinking way to much. Do not mix tanning and Dp or boraxing in the same processes. There are reasons im not going to try and explain other than there are ph factors, any more than that and your head would explode ;D. Seriously some processes just don't play nice together.
     
  16. Bow Man

    Bow Man New Member

    Ringytail Im no pro either but I have done a lot of small critter tanning lately.I tried several different tans.The Trubond 1000B has been the best( Ive tried.)Don't know if my way is the best way to get a good soft fur but it works in minimal time frame.After tanning I allow it soak in for about 4hrs.Then I add tanning oil allow it soak in an hour or so.Then I work the hide by hand a little just stretch it back and forth.Then I lay it on a piece of carpet skin side up and use a large spoon and work it over the skin real good.I do this for about 10 minutes a day for about 3 days.Thats about drying time in my shop sure it vary according to humidity and temp.But this method has worked very well for me.
     
  17. ringytail

    ringytail New Member

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    I'm curious what other tans you've tried. So you'd say Trubond 1000B is better than ez 100 or Lutan F?
     
  18. Bow Man

    Bow Man New Member

    I have tried Mckinzie Lutan Rinehart they all seemed to be good tans.But breaking the hides was a little more work than the Trubond (for me).I have not tried the EZ100 but have heard good things.You can talk to 10 people and get 10answers.Everyone tells you what( works for them .) But all you can do Ringytail is listen to suggestions and try different things until you find what works (for you.) But to answer your question about being better I cant say its better.But I say its a great product worth trying!
     
  19. For me, TruBond tans don't require as much breaking after tanning. EZ100 is good but you'll have another step that requires a large amount of liquid to dispose of afterward. I originally tried TB to avoid the step since I am working out of an apartment with limited space, and rubbing on TB and folding the hide overnight is much easier on me than creating another tub of liquid. And if you use a submersible tan, you're still going to want to do an oiling step which is similar to the TB overnight-folding, so in all actuality, TB offers (to me) an easier-broke hide with the ability to avoid a large step. I was pleasantly surprised when the TB seemed to offer a hide that required less manual breaking than the EZ did.

    Of course, you definitely want to do a pickling step no matter what tan you use.

    Salting is a step that I never skip either. Salt is cheap, it sucks out a lot of nasty liquid in that first night that you don't want sullying your pickle. I like a degreasing step also (lipasolv is excellent for that.) I use that in my rehydrating bath for most everything (not deer; I use it for foxes, coyote, and most definitely-100% on raccoons..) and am amazed by how much Yuck it sucks out of the hide. My last coyote, the water was almost coffee-colored with blood, oils, whatever; it will really help to keep your pickle clean!