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

Relaxing and Pickling Question.

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by zammerak, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. zammerak

    zammerak Member

    This is my first go at tanning "The right way" I am using EZ-100 and have questions about some of the steps.

    I found this issue yesterday during the relaxing step. How do you keep the hides/pelts from floating to the top and staying into the solution? I have a 4 deer hides that I am doing and had them split between 2 totes each with about 10 gallons of water and 20 lbs of salt. With all of the salt the hides would float right to the top and I could not get them to fully submerge. Eventually I just grabbed some stones and tossed them onto the hides to get them to mostly submerge.

    Now that they are in the pickle (saftee acid) I am having the same issue. How can I get the pelts to fully submerge as they want to float? Do they need to be fully submerged or will stiring them and dunking them 3 times a day suffice? Will I have this issue while soaking in the EZ-100?

    Thanks for all of the help!
  2. cut a piece of plywood so it will fit inside your tote and then use a gallon jug full of water to hold it down also keep the hair side to the plywood if you can

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Stones, bricks ,etc., may have minerals that can adversely effect the outcome of your tanning. If they are not tubed, you can just let them float skinside down. If they are tubed, michael j's method works great. If you don't have plywood handy, just the water filled gallon jugs set on the capes will weigh them down.
  4. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    Tanneries don't worry about "Floaters"! When they come in, in the morning they usually use a Canoe Paddle to turn over and stir their skins in their Static Vats! No weights- let them float - like leaving the Shop at night - turn the the load over using the Canoe Paddle, and go home!

    Have you noticed - usually its the hair type skins and capes that float. They tend to be somewhat hollow haired, whereas the furs usually sink to the bottom of your Vats! Most Hair types are usually slightly hollow - mostly furs aren't! The hollowness of the hair makes them float. No matter how much Salt you have in solution. They'll still Relax and Pickle and Tan!

    The amount of Salt you use has nothing to do with this situation - except it draws out the skins unwanted liquids and reduces "Acid Swelling". Rinse the treated skins good and then drain them to remove any excessive Salt from the skins. Use only what Salt is needed.
  5. zammerak

    zammerak Member

    Thanks everyone, I have them slightly weighted down with a coated piece of hardware cloth with stones and buckets of pickle holding them under about an inch below the surface. 2 more days to go until i start shaving!
  6. s7ducks

    s7ducks Member

    Hardware cloth is metal another NO NO. It will quickly start to corrode in the acid pickle. LET THEM FLOAT. I've now tanned about a dozen capes in the last several weeks. I let them float hair side up and stir as often as I think about it. Let e'm float you will be wasting time messing with objects to hold the hide down.
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    GET THAT DAMN ROCK OUT OF THERE!!!! Rocks CAN have minerals that can completely RUIN a cape! Let them float.
  8. Rhino

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

    The skins aren't going to plump well for shaving with that much salt in the water, and won't cut well! .75-1lb of salt per gallon is more than enough. The standard is one lb per gallon in the pickle. Don't know what the instructions say on ez100, but 1/2lb per gallon will usually suffice for most tans.
    Tangle wood is referring to caustic materials required to make brick and mortar type products that will raise the pH, along with other calcium type materials found in many different types of stone that will also raise the pH over time. How long, don't know? Probably best to avoid all stone types, unless your a geologist? LOL
  9. zammerak

    zammerak Member

    Ok, I will pull out the stones and cloth and allow them to just float flesh side down. If there is too much salt in the bath should I just add "un-salted" pickle to the pickle bath to lower the salinity? They still have 2ish days of soaking as I am going to pull them out Thursday evening to do the shaving.

    Thanks for all the help!
  10. Rhino

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

    I would say to just leave it alone, and know better next time. Some of the salt will be taken up by the skins. (20-25%)
    Not really hurting anything, but just wasting salt, and causing shaving difficulty from the skins being "too tight".
  11. I use the large water bottles that are used on dispensers at offices. I fill them up and once my hide/s is/are in the solution, I set it right on top and they don't move until I go to stir them up. Good luck-John
  12. zammerak

    zammerak Member

    That is what I decided to do, just let them be. It was more difficult than I though during the shave process so i am assuming the salt was the cause for that.

    Good idea on the 5 gal water jugs!