1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

I need some advice

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by huntnut78, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. huntnut78

    huntnut78 Member

    Ok, let me first state that I just mount game heads, I know very little about tanning. I send them all out to be done and have had great luck doing so. I recently ran into a problem. I thawed a wet tanned and cape and noticed it was rubbery with very little stretch. It also made my hands sting when handling it. So I tested it with litmus paper and it is a Ph of between 4 and 5, closer to 4 as near as I can tell. So, my guess is it was not neutralized properly and and has acid swell. How bad of shape am I in. Should I just take it back and have it retanned? It has been frozen solid for ten months or so, and the hair still seems tight. Am I at risk for slippage? Im not thinking just neutralizing it will fix the problem, or will it? Any advice from the pros would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    It sounds like acid swell. Having the cape the cape this long and contacting the tannery maybe fruitless so I would try prepping my form and have it all set ready to go. I would make up a mixture of some baking soda and water with a hint of salt in it. From there I would use a sponge and dampen the flesh side and let it set for about a half an hour and proceed with mounting.
    Use a good hide paste. generally it should mount up well and dry ok. There is no guarantee but after it dries it should be fine. I would also call the tannery and ask them what they might do cause it's their tan and they may tell you something else for their product.
    Never wait this long when you know it, and never let it in the freezer this long. The tannery would and could have help the situation at an earlier time.
    As for slippage generally acid swell doesn't cause this. It may rip or tear on you but not slip.

  3. huntnut78

    huntnut78 Member

    Thanks for the reply Frank. Unfortunately I didn't know it had this issue until yesterday. I had an accident last summer and subsequent shoulder reconstructive surgery early fall. So I am just know getting back in the swing of things. The tannery I use are really good people, I am confident they will help me out. I just wanted to know if it was something i could remedy easily by myself. I'm very leery about mounting it up as is because I didn't know if there was a risk of deterioration over time. I think there is. I will contact the tannery today, if anyone else has some pointers as well I would be grateful.