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What went wrong

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by s7ducks, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. s7ducks

    s7ducks Member

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    I tanned or so I thought, a deer hide last fall for my first deer mount. The mount turned out very nice and I had a few pieces of the hide left after trimming. I put a piece of that "Tanned" hide in water to dehydrate it for a small project. I only had it in the water for about 5 minutes, I took it out and tried to stretch it and it ripped apart like wet cardboard. I used Lutan FN to "Tan" it, what did I do wrong?????? I thought once a hide was tanned it was permanently stable usable leather.

    If I had made a belt out of the hide and got wet in the rain the belt would have disintegrated. Is taxidermy leather different than garment leather????
     
  2. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Acid rot.
     

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Tim is right you havwe acid rot and it has nothing really to do with lutan but for me I'm not a fan of it (personal) but I like EZ-100 for that's a true garment tan you may want to look into but even using this doesn't prevent acid swell.

    Acid swell is not caused by the tan you use so this way folks know this. It's caused by you the tanner by not following the procedure to the T. Yes it's not rocket science here but we must follow them correctly so this doesn't happen.

    Acid swell is caused by the cape not properly neutralized prior to the tan. The tanned hide is still in a acid state and once dried and then gets hydrated it will cause that ugly rubbery, and paper like hide. You should also add some salt to you hydrating solution to aid in hydrating your capes and it will also aid in stopping some acid rot. It's not a cure all or will it ever fix the problem. We do this to aid in mounting not garment work.
     
  4. s7ducks

    s7ducks Member

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    So the mistake I made was in neutralizing. So the next cape/hide I tan should I make 100% sure the PH of the neutralizing bath be at 7 or higher? If I recall I checked the PH of the neut bath was at 5 and all I did was dunk it in another bath of plain water to rinse it and put it in the tan. Is there a correct PH I should look for in the Lutan Solution? Thank you for the help
     
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    ok your very new to tanning and I would advise you to read a lot on here about tanning. We don't ever want to raise the pH so high it causes hair slippage.

    A neutralizing bath is only 1oz of baking soda 40z of salt ( to aid in stopping acid swell ) and a gallon of water. I will soak a hide in here for anywhere 20-to no more than an hour before I rinse and tan my capes.

    You did not say on how you neutralized your cape and I have never measured my pH in my neutralizing bath for it will always chage cause your taking an acid and neutralizing a skin in it. Just follow directions on this. After the soak a quick rinse, drain and then in the tan it goes.
     
  6. s7ducks

    s7ducks Member

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    I thought I followed the directions very closely. I did just what you said for neutralizing. So I guess I must not have left it in the neutralizing bath long enough. During the pickle the instructions said to keep the PH between 1 and 2 and keep it in for 48-72hrs, I had to add acid a couple times in the first day to get the PH to stay in the range they wanted it. I'm going to go back to the Lutan directions on the Mckenzie site and print them out and post it right in front of the tubs I use for tanning.
     
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    it's normal for the first day to add acid to a pickle so don't fret about that and I like a pickle of 1.5 to 2 for myself. Make sure you stir twice a day once in the morning and once when you close and you'll never have to worry about airborne mold and your capes will get pickle properly.

    You may want to make sure after you tanning process that your pH in the tan is at 4.5 to a 5.
    If your tan is lower than a 4.5 I would add some sodium bicarbonate to it and buffer it for an hour and then take it out and rinse it. It's possible when you tanned the capes the tan went below 4 and even though it was tanned it is still in a acidic state and that also could have cause you acid swell when you hydrated it.

    One big thing to remember is to always add salt to either your neutralizing or hydration bath for safety reasons. Salt is cheap and good for all to use.
     
  8. s7ducks

    s7ducks Member

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    Thank you very much for the help Frank. I've got a few more pieces of raw hide I can defrost and practice on. Now that you mentioned the Tan PH I'll bet more than likely that was where I made the mistake. I really don't remember checking the PH of the tan. I also didn't add salt to the neut bath. It is so awesome to have a place like this and members like you so willing to help. I hope some day I can help someone with their problem.
     
  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Thank you for the kind words and I'm always happy to help, if you only knew what I went through learning this craft you would die laughing at my mistakes so it's the ole saying been there done that.

    Also yes always try and share your knowledge it's worth it!
     
  10. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    I think you would benefit greatly from this: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,401492.0.html

    DP