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I'm getting really ticked off......

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by 8Point, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. 8Point

    8Point Member

    I haven't mounted all that many deer but it seems that no matter what I do from a hide prep perspective that my hides almost always come out of the pickle with the fur being very fragile. What I mean is, the fur seems to pull out rather easily if you give it a tug. Maybe my expectations are a bit too high. I'm not sure... Not enough experience under my belt yet. The fur isn't falling out on the floor but it does come out if you comb with too stiff of a brush or if you tug it. Mainly in spots where fur is long. The fur seems to really lock in after it drys but not until then. Below is my process. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.....!
    1. Rough cape and freeze (I have not tries using stop rot yet)
    2. Thaw cape and turn lips, eyes, etc. And flesh red meat and fat.
    3. Pickle ( I' m using the Pro1 process this year that uses only 1/2 lb salt per gal and NO presLting of hide prior to pickle)
    4. Let pickle for 3 days then shave and return to pickle for 1 day
    5. Neutralize with baking soda.
    6. Brush on tan and let sit for 1 day
    7. Rinse and freeze

    I do not have an electronic PH tester so I just use strips. This is the first time using the Pro1 process. Regardless I've noticed the same results from a loose fur perspective. I find it weird that it seems that all my capes turn out the same so I'm thinking that either my expectations are too high or I am missing a step. What do you think?
  2. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

    I know crap about tanning, but I would say no your expectations are not high. If hair is falling out there is a problem that should be rectified emidiatly Before you ruin any more capes.

  3. taxidermyfreak

    taxidermyfreak ***RIP DAD & JONNY***

    Give krowtan a try... I tried it and I will never go back less steps and works just as good as commercial tan if not better..
    Good luck I hope things work out for you..
  4. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    What acid?
    Are you stirring often?
    What is the pH of the pickle before you put the cape in?
    What is the pH of the pickle at the end of day 1?
    ....at the end of day 2?

    How are you handling the hide before the pickle?
    Are you washing it?
    If so with what?

    How long does it take to rough flesh, thaw and then fine flesh?

    For beginners, skipping the salting of the raw cape is a major mistake...

    Even the best of cared for capes will lose hair if you pull hard enough!

    Using Krowtann to cure you tanning ills is likened to using mechanical broadheads because you cannot get your fixed blades to fly straight. The outcome might be better but you still have a tuning problem....
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    ALL HAIR CAN BE PULLED OUT,, when the skin is in the wet hydrated stage. Dang, what do you expect? Handel wet skins with care, always. When the skin dries, it shrinks locking in the hair roots, this is a no brainer. When the skin is wet and fully hydrated the hair is very easy to pull out. :eek:
  6. B.S.O'Hare

    B.S.O'Hare Member

    I'm no tanning guru, but if it was me, I would try salt drying one of your hides, see if that makes any difference.
  7. 8Point

    8Point Member

    LowT that is what I was wondering. (That's What I meant about expectations I guess) Just goes to show how much experience that I have ( or lack there of!!!). To answer other questions that were asked. I use Mckenzie safety acid and check PH in am and pm and stir at that time. I try to keep it at 2. I also try to wash the hides prior to putting in pickle but forgot this time...... Normally I do but for in a rush. Result seems to be the same either way. Thanks for the feedback!!!
  8. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Wash how? You should be able to get safety acid to drop to a pH of 1...get it to 1 and keep it there.

    A lot of questions remain unanswered....You have to be specific.
  9. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

  10. Michael Bunker

    Michael Bunker Mongo only pawn in game of life.

    Salt during and after fleshing (your step 2 ).
    After step 2, cover with salt ,rub in salt, lay hide out with rubbed in covering of salt, elevated on skull end to drain water (moisture) to remove putrifying bacteria.
    Shake out salt next day, hang to dry completly, or dry slightly (I prefer), rinse off salt, put in pickle.
    Salt is the key, Salt is the key, Salt is the key !!!!!!!!!!!

    You will cure 99% of your problems with cheap salt !
    2-3 pounds per cape is all that is needed !

    ;) :eek: 8)
  11. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    IMO the problem is somewhere in your pickling stage AND it sounds like too high a PH. Also are you weighing your skins down so they are always covered with pickle?
  12. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    Try to keep your pH at 1, unless working with citric acid for your pickle , and I always salt dry hides. It is a process to tan, don't take shortcuts. I didn't see a salting stage in your procedures. Some will argue it isn't needed but I always salt hides until they are dry and then will mix a rehydration bath with salt, kemal 4, skin prep nbu, and water. Wash during the pickle. Another thing to consider is the time from field to freezer, temperature, rolled up or did you lay it flat in freezer. So many variables contribute to hair slippage. If this is happening all of the time I think it is from not salting your skins and allowing bacteria to take its course. Time is of great importance. When thawing take the hide out if the bag. Moisture will decrease your working time as well. If you can go to the WTC this may. I hear Bruce Rittel and Larry Bloomquist may be doing tanning seminars. I will be there for sure.
  13. Kyle Lakey

    Kyle Lakey Active Member

    I see many problems which have already been mentioned. Yes you can pull wet hairs out but you should really have to pull hard to get them to come out. What you are describing is not good. PH needs to be lower than 2. 2 is on the high end of recomended so if you are maintaining a 2 that means it is getting above 2 between the time you check your ph. I maintain mine at low 1s and never let them get past a 2. Also you need to salt your hides for a good 5 hours (have left them in salt for 15+ hours before and I never dry them out if tanning myself. Don't seem to rehydrate as well making harder to work with and isn't needed step) then rinse/wash and put in pickle. Also I think your pickle seems a bit light on salt. 1/2 lb of salt per gallon seems light. I use 1 lb per gallon. Are all these things needed? maybe not I don't know but these steps don't cost you hardly anything extra and should fix your problems. Salt is cheap. I get mine from the co-op and is fine food grade salt. Runs about 5.50 for 50 lbs.
  14. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Salt drying a skin is great for storage, not needed if you are going to tan. Drying a skin will set the hair TEMPORARILY. When you rehydrate to pickle it, the hair becomes loose again. So drying a skin to lock in the hair is a half truth, as it becomes unlocked when you rehydrate for the pickle and tan.
  15. 8Point

    8Point Member

    Holy cow I don't even know where to begin responding to all of the responses and good feedback..... I realize the there are all kinds of details that people might be wondering about my process.I don't think I'll get them all answered but I'll try. To my knowledge the hide have not sat out long prior to my fleshing and freezing.... Maybe a couple of days in 20-30 deg temp. It then takes me a few hours to finish fleshing and turning lips etc cuz I'm slow. I then frees immediately after then fold in log shapes and double bagged. I do think that I might need to get the PH maintained a bit better..... You are right..... I thing the PH does get above 2 throughout the day cuz I always seem like I need to add acid to get it where it needs to be when i check it in the evening which is why I'm thinking that I should get a digital tester instead ofusing those strips...... I'm just following the process on the Pro 1 site about the salting process. They had some info on there about the misconception of salting and so forth so I thought I'd give it a try. I ran down stairs and did a quick check and noticed that the fur on the brisket is the most sensitive to pulling. As I work up to the head the fur is locked in much better..... I'm wondering if being proactive with a smidge of stop rot would've helped a bit in that area since that area is the first to thaw etc. Thanks again everyone I always value everyone's opinions and taking the time to help by giving feedback!!!!
  16. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Its best to split and rough flesh quickly of course. How long the capes sits out thawed is another variable. So is well water and bacteria. i wouldnt wash the cspes before pickle...you might be diluting it. I dont use safety acid as it fluctuates too much for me. As slow as youre prepping capes id suggest salting as you work...and not freezing.
  17. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Yes it is normal for hair to pull easy in a pickle state. And Yes it is not as apparent when using Krowtann. Either way it is not a problem unless you have a fetish for pulling on the hair all the while wishing it would stop coming out. When I use a pickle I always have hair floating on the solution and a little will pull out if you try.
  18. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    The strips are good enough for our purposes as long as you are using them correctly.

    So if you are adding another ounce or so of acid in the evening, keep track of what you add. For your next pickle add the total amount up front..

    I read their views on salt/no salt....I am not impressed with the statements made.... For beginners it is a recipe for problematic tanning as you have learned..

    Let the skin fibers collapse without salt, a situation known as "air dried" and compared that with salt dried....I'll take the salt dried conditions anytime....

    Salting and re hydrating remove a lot of non-tannable proteins and junk out of the collagen lattice...
  19. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    "... but the acid pickle makes up for this small effect by removing all non-tannables..."

    Not for the home "bucket tanner". You need paddle vats and constant agitation to remove these. I very highly doubt that "all" are removed.