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Denatured Alcohol Process?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Kaiada, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Kaiada

    Kaiada New Member

    Lately I've been reading about how to stop fur slippage on small mammals, and denatured alcohol seems to be a favorite. Exactly how its used though, seems to vary, and the processes posted seem to be in bits and pieces. Does anyone have a tried and true process that works well for them? I have a lot of questions about it...any advice would be appreciated.

    What kind do you use? Just stuff from the hardware store? (Is there anywhere to get it cheaper in bulk?)
    Do you want to use the DA pure, or do you want to water it down?
    Can you reuse it at all if you keep it sealed, and if so how many times?
    Do you soak the just the skins or the whole animal? For how long?

    I use Borax as a preservative, and if I understand correctly after I wash the alcohol off the skin (with water and Dawn) I can use that as I normally would.

    Thanks again for all the help we newbies get!
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    In Amercia, denatured alcohol sold commercially is all about the same. Many products can "denature" but for those working with shellac, the old hardware brand is just fine. You use it straight from the can. It can be diluted, but when I'm using it, I don't want anything slowing the process or effectiveness. I don't "reuse" much of anything, but if you have a covered pail to keep it from evaporating and enough work to make it worthwhile, I'm sure it will store. When I'm doing fish, I dilute it 50/50 and keep it for several weeks, but small mammals get it direct and then it's disposed of. (Just set it out in the sun and it will go away by itself). Years ago, Ron Carter used to tout mixing it 50/50 with water and then adding a pound of dry preservative to the mix. It served a dual purpose of pickling and keeping the bugs away.

    I use it on occasions with small game, but I'm usually going to use dry preservative along with Stop Rot. I spray the skin with Stop Rot and then powder it with dry preservative.

  3. AMCTaxi

    AMCTaxi Wholesale Small Mammal Taxidermist

    George pretty much summed it up.

    I use it on really iffy mammals and anything smaller than a squirrel gets to thaw in it overnight in the fridge. It tightens the skin and hair and makes skinning things like rats and mice easier. I return the skins to the same bucket I thawed in and the next day, DP and mount. Toss it when its done. I don't trust re-using it because obviously there is a transfer of fats, protiens and liquids to and from the skin while in that alcohol.

    As for fish, I just fill a big cooler with a good seal on it 50/50 DA and Water and let them soak. I've kept fish skins in the solution for years before mounting them. Add a little referesher from time to time. Skins will be tough when you go to mount them, so I soak them in soapy borax water for an hour or two before I start to mount.

    Wear Gloves when you work with this stuff. It is nasty stuff.
  4. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    When you mount small animals with DA can you use hide paste?