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Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by CGREER, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. oldboar

    oldboar Taxidermy...do the impossible:)

    "So I guess it'll be tough to convince me to do more shaving"

    Just a guess, but you spoke of pressure washing the neck...and that being good enough.

    If you aren't thinning your neck by shaving till you are get the stretch you are seeking...that's likely your issue. Pressure washing isn't going to cut it.

    Or possibly...not neutralizing enough..
    I'll say it again....its not the Krowtann, or Lutan, or Liqua-tan or whatever.

    If you are happy with DP....cool, I only contributed....as you were confused with the lack of stretch.
    DP wouldn't bother me in terms of longevity, quality etc....if prepped correctly. I just do not like the feel of a raw skin or lack of stability of hair during some parts of the drying process.

    Stretch comes from Prep! Truth.

  2. MidwestTaxidermist

    MidwestTaxidermist New Member

    With tans when you follow the steps, you are making the skin more plump, so there is the need to thin the skin (shave), in order to get the skin pliable and stretchy again. With Dp there is no need to shave the skin thin, because it goes through no process to plump the skin, so there is not the need to thin the skin. We are talking two very different methods here!

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Jim, one prominent member here has already called me a liar, so I'm hardly virgin meat. I TESTED the product and was meticulous of following the directions explicitly. I've shave hides a couple times over the years so I don't think that effected the process. When done, I'd turned a 21 inch neck into a 19. A few years later, after much blood letting here, I tried the product once more. This time I turned a 20 inch hide . It convinced me the product wasn't stable enough for my liking. Right, wrong, indifferent, I prefer what I'm using short of a professional two step process.
  4. axwarren

    axwarren New Member

    I'm extremely new to gameheads, meaning I've only completed one so far. I used Krowtann (which is the only thing I've used thus far) and it was extremely easy to use, and the result was very good. I think (even though I'm new to gameheads) that using an affordable home tan, you can turn almost the same profit that you can with a DP. The thinning process was extremely easy, I used an angle grinder with a coarse wire wheel on the initial fleshing, then tanned for 3 days, then used the sanding blade on my angle grinder and all in all, it got the job done well (for it being my first) and it got it done quick because after all, time is money.

    Attached Files:

  5. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    For those that cant get the stretch back while using Krowtann, it tells me your under-neutralizing along with not thinning down. Well we aint really neutralizing, more like basifying. I dont follow the suggested time table written on the bottle. Heck Ive gone 2 hours in the baking soda solution. The pH of the capes pulled from the Krowtann is around 3. I'll basify them until Im close to 5-pH .
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    OK CJ, not you got my attention. PLEASE!!!! Perhaps the new formula addresses "neutralizing" but the old one damned sure didn't. It didn't even address the pH of the pickle being used and then there was some confusion among some here if "bicarbonate of soda" was as strong as "sodium bicarbonate" The direction on the bottle even implied there was a difference. (Please notice Cyclone's signature line). My biggest complaint all along was that many of you jimmied the recipe and then reacted as if some neophyte couldn't read or weren't properly prepping the hide. Remember, this was the answer to every beginner's prayers when it hit the market. Suddenly you're talking "under neutralizing" and "basifying" to people who haven't learned exactly what "splitting the lips" entails.

    I didn't intend to try and bash Krowtann, but I'm not about to see beginners made to feel like idiots either. The very best product for a beginner is DP and will always be. Once the proper techniques and technical acumen have been achieved, then perhaps throwing strange terms around might serve some purpose.
  7. I do also shave the neck after pressure washing on thick hides. A later season 4 year old compared to a early season younger deer. I agree I'm not there yet with the process. I'm gonna try your method George and I will use my shaving machine more this year as my setup is better so I'll shave that Krowtanned hide I did as I still have it and see if that's where I went wrong. I do believe following the directions in detail it was still not neutralized correctly. It's all still a learning curve but I'm swinging it. I've got a big workload this year but I'll find time to play with different methods on my spare capes.
  8. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    One of the instructions under the "troubleshooting" section says to re-neutralize for five minutes with a fresh batch of baking soda if you lack stretch. I neutralize, shave, re-neutralize in the same solution for 5 minutes, then wash. Much better stretch.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. MidwestTaxidermist

    MidwestTaxidermist New Member

    Yes Neutralizing is definitely a key factor in Krowtann, if you don't do it enough, you won't get your stretch back. I've used it hundreds of times, mostly on deer and I've had some really nice stretchy capes that I got more inches out of. Then I've had a few not want to stretch at all. I always assumed it was in the neutralization stage that I went wrong. My question is though, can the capes be over neutralized? That was always my fear of doing it again and again. Because I do know you can do it a second time, but if you still are not getting the stretch, then what! I know I shave my hides down to the blue, I've even cut some holes before going too thin! And its a pain in the a$$ when I have to sew, lol!! :eek: :)
  10. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Tanneries are still a better option if your turnaround doesn't have to be a few months. Its 2 hours of labor cost, $30.00 and hour for example, to get a commercially tanned cape then the cost and time of pickle, salt, shaving, pickle, shaving again, tanning getting rid of gallons of product at a time plus the space it takes up. I did it at home, but now an occasional fox or raccoon is all I bother with or a iffy deer cape.
  11. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    I think it would be tough to over neutralize. I've heard of guys accidentally leaving it for hours and not having problems. If, after re-neutralizing, you don't have stretch, I would repeat. If the hide is not relaxed, your not in danger of causing slippage right? It's holding on for dear life! Also, oil the hide.

    This shouldn't surprise us. Most other tanning products involve testing ph to insure the desired process is taking place. It shouldn't be a surprise that Krowtan doesn't work exactly the same with every hide.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    Theoretically No. A cape or hide will only go as far as the pH within the solution no matter how long it sits. IMO your pH solution should never go above and beyond a 5 pH. A pH of 7 is actually neutral and thats why I threw the word basify in becuase thats what we are doing. I never have gone higher then 5 no matter what tan I'm using and this especially applies to tanning with LutanF or any other alum tan. This were I get my stretch back while brining my capes back into an alkaline state.
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    CJ, why all the mumbo jumbo? Implying your hides need to be into "an alkali state" is going to give you dehaired deer leather. If you're doing all that, IMO you're simply playing with your ass using Krowtann when you could be using Lutan instead. You're simply never going to get a hide to a 7.0 pH anyway as that would entail getting into the cellular structures. Ain't happening. Next time you basify or neutralize, cut a small slice of hide off and press your pH papers into it and read the pH. If you can get a 5, you'll be well ahead.
  14. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    George what mumbo jumbo do I speak off? You must know I do use Lutan F and Pro1 regularly. Really I do and I love that stuff too. I go to Krowtann when time is needed, where I'm in a rush to get a mount done and there is no more room in the pickle tubs for capes. better yet if I have an "iffy cape" Krowtann is my go to tan. If anything else I'm just too damn lazy to do a LutanF tan for whatever reason. If you think about it Krowtann is a lazy mans way of tanning. Just how much easier could it get? Your definition of an alkali state and mine is different it seams. Anything below a 4 pH in my world is acidic and anything above would be alkali if you ask me. I could be way off base there and maybe a chemist could chime in. Pressing the pH papers into your "drained" neutralized cape as you suggest would be a important step everyone should be taking. I do this step religiously because its the only way Im going to know what is what. I also along with the papers use a well calibrated digital pH meter. Although the meters give me a slightly lower number usually within .05-1 pH more than often.
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    "Just how much easier could it get". DP.
  16. George, happy new year and the salt mess I was talking about was having to get rid of the old used salt. I just find it kind of a hassle. That's all. To each his/her own
  17. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    I tanned hundreds of deer, and many other species with Krowtann, I could just about always get them a little bigger than when they were raw.
    I followed directions and then shaved the hides down thin. I tumbled lightly just to partially dry the hair, then mount or freeze.

    After much home tanning, I started sending all my tanning out, my time is better spent mounting than tanning.

    One thing that could be a variable is the type of water that is used, but I have no idea if that would make any real difference.
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    CJ, the pH was what I was speaking about. You definition doesn't match basic chemistry assignments. A oh of 7.0 (neutral) is the fulcrum on the teeter totter. Anything above 7 is alkai (or base) and everthing below is acidic.
  19. MidwestTaxidermist

    MidwestTaxidermist New Member

    Lazy way of tanning, hahahaha! There is just as much work that goes into a Krowtanned hide, as there is with other methods. The only step you are truly skipping is the salting. The rest of it I still have to do, flesh everything, split and turn everything, wash hide. The wet drum I use saves me some time rather than tanning in buckets, which I've also done. I still have to shave the hide on my Dakota, Oil my skin. Krowtann is in no way a Lazy way of doing things. Anyone who uses Krowtann on regular basis knows damn well that there is nothing lazy about it. Now DP other hand, there is your prep work to get the hide ready before you stop rot, and dp it. So with DP you get to skip quite a few steps. I'm definitely not knocking anyone for using DP either, I've used it as well. And the quality is in the taxidermist, not the methods you choose to use. ;)