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Hard water with Trubond 1000b?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Dogsteaks, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Dogsteaks

    Dogsteaks New Member

    I've been reading the instructions on my Trubond 1000b kit, and noticed that it has special instructions for hard water. I learned that I do indeed have hard water, and was contemplating just buying couple-gallon bottles of distilled water to avoid any potential damage from the hard water.. but I figured that many people have HW and it shouldn't be too bad..
    Here are the instructions:
    NOTE: If you have "hard water", do the following. Step 2-pickle bath only! Add 2 tbl. spoons of citric acid to every 2 gallons of water, 30 minutes PRIOR to adding all other ingredients. Stir well.

    Pretty straight-forward, but what has me confused is why hard water is only important to deal with during step 2/pickle bath, and not the rehydration, degreasing, or neutralizing.

    Can anyone explain for me? Thanks!
  2. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    The citric acid is a chelation reagent. It binds the metal ions of hard water, calcium and magnesium, and takes them out of the equation. The little amount of ions in the rehydration/rinse steps will be quenched in the pickle.

  3. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    If you are tanning a lot of your own hides you may want to look into a water softener.
  4. Dogsteaks

    Dogsteaks New Member

    Thank you!

    I should really get a water softener, I agree. Hard water is just horrible to deal with all-around. :(
  5. theguyyouknowtaxidermy

    theguyyouknowtaxidermy The Guy You Know Taxidermy<Daniel Elkins>


    I tip my hat to you on that response.
  6. Wild zone

    Wild zone New Member

    Cyclone, this brings a question to my mind , irreguradless the size of my mind , if this is the case , wouldn't this just as well make citric acid the best all around acid to use in a pickle bath as an around good and safe pickle ? Thanks , Phillip Hall PS I am new but I have really been adiment at studying the old post as well as the newer ones and I have come to realize your post, and we'll as a few others , are like E F Hutton. When you talk ; I listen!!! Thanks again Phillip
  7. bradenj34

    bradenj34 New Member

    What happens to the hide during pickling with hard water vs softened water?? Does it stop the pickling, slow it down, discolor the hide, etc?
  8. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    It all depends on what you like. While citric is great for taking the hardness out of a pickle solution it can also take tanning ions out of the picture when using submersible tanning solutions. If your finished product is what you like and behaves well then use it. I prefer formic acid for it's plumping qualities but have used a lot of Safety Acid and some citric as well.
  9. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    The hardness ions, calcium and magnesium will compete with tanning ions for active bonding sites. Calcium and magnesium bonds will wash out more easily than the tanning ions leaving you with a mostly untanned hide.
  10. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Would a good saltwater rinse be good between a citric pickle, and a submersible help the problem you describe? Or would that not make a difference? I wouldn't think the pH would be effected much?
  11. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    It would help but depends on the formula of the tanning solution. Is Citric also used for submersible solution? I would think that rinsing in that case would be a waste of time/effort if you're putting it right back into a solution containing citric. Whether or not the tan is a metal tan or synthetic would matter as well.
  12. SMTMontana

    SMTMontana New Member

    Can you simply add citric acid to a formic acid pickle and to help with hard water?

    When I cut through the edges of flat hides I sometimes see a hard caramel colored layer. Can this be a result of hard water blocking tanning sites?
  13. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001


    Need more information.

    Is this on a pickled, tanned,wet or dry hide. Need more information.
    Many things can lead to this from incomplete re-hydration to a botched tan that didn't penetrate.
  14. SMTMontana

    SMTMontana New Member

    Rehydrated, Pickled(formic), tanned, oil and finished hides. Never had a hard spot on bears that I pickle in citric acid only see it in skins out of my formic pickles. Most skins have been in the pickle for at least a week. Left hand corner in the picture is a hard spot on a finished skin. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Could be from tan not penetrating. It's a nice looking cross section.

    I'd say it was from incomplete removal of the non tannables.

    Have you ever tried beaming your hides after re-hydration? I'll put them on the beam and use a dull blade to squeegee the water out. You'll get a milky like substance out, the glycosaminoglycans, along with some fat which will stick to the blade. These fill the spaces between collagen structure. Hides plump nicer, take the pickle better and you'll end up with a more open latticework. Extra work, yes, but I like the results..

    For us bucket tanners that is, if using drums to re-hydrate a lot of that work is done there...
  16. SMTMontana

    SMTMontana New Member

    Great advice, I will give it a try. Thanks!
  17. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    The only thing I had in mind when I wrote those instructions, was eliminating some of those hard water pH checks. I wrote tanning instructions for quite a few different types of skins, for their site. Bears, sm game, African, etc.