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Discussion in 'Tanning' started by RichMO, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Why no oil on head? I think it would be important to have less shrinkage there as well.
  2. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    I wonder what pH you get with 11 oz of baking soda in 2.5 gal of water?

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    taxidermistIN .......

    I don't use Krowtan, but I always hear people say that they shave the capes ..... and you didn't mention that?

    So no shaving at all?


  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    About a 9 pH. Adding more or less makes no difference. Baking soda has a pH of 8.3. You may increase the "concentrations" but that doesn't correspond with actually changing the pH.
  5. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    My point is that is a very high pH

    What tanning agent could survive that high pH?

    syntans could, aldahydes could ,none of the aluminum salts could, even with buffers and with Krowtan the process is over when this high neutralizing is done ?? what is left?

    between the pH of 1 and 9 syntans continue to tan in lab test for over 200 days
    I have no doubt that all these different home tans or in house tans work as far as taxidermy mounts go.

    Remember skin fibrils swell in acid or alkali. I also have seen soda ash used and it will top out on the pH scale at 14

    Just curious about what some folks are doing
  6. Rhino

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

    Please don't get me wrong here. I will be the first in line to agree that KT is NOT a true tan, but not because of what is in it.
    The only problem I can see, is what the product is claiming to do in ONE SOLUTION. None of us can honestly say that they know the ingredients. The ONLY problem is calling something a tan that is not.

    Like many have already said, it's a preservative, and nothing is wrong with that for Taxidermy.
  7. Kerby- it's obvious you shave the cape and thin it down, guess I forgot to add that after neutralizing process. People on here get so defensive I don't understand why everyone is so up tight .

    Bucknut- oiling directions from ozark woods say clearly not to oil the face, reasons I don't know why I just didn't do it becuase the directions said not to and I'm sure they have good reasoning behind it. Oil isn't so much to stop shrinkage it's to help get your stretch back in areas needed like the neck area where most people from what I've read has issues.

    George- you're correct I agree 100%
  8. I'm not saying krowtann is for everyone, I'm not saying it's the best. I'm just stating the process I use with krowtann and how I gain success with the product. If you don't like it fine everyone has their likes and dislikes but just becuase I typed a comment trying to explain how I use the product to possibly help a fellow taxidermist on this forum doesn't mean you men(children) have to criticize and cut me up to pieces. There's some great people on here, some of the nicest helpful people in the world, and there's some winners on here that seem like their pissed at the world. Grow up and act like a group of respectful men. Not children.

    (Rich- sorry for the rant on your post I hope me explaining my process helps you in some way.)
  9. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    First off, Krowtann is a tanning method formulated and designed for taxidermy. It will never produce the results that tanning for flexible utilitarian leather at a tannery can provide. Once a taxidermy skin is placed on a mannikin, pliable flexibility, tensile strength, memory, and other considerations that may be applicable to car seats, jackets, and boots do mot apply. With that being made clear, I use Krowtann for taxidermy daily and will put my work beside anybody's any time, any place. I have won 1st place in masters several times at the World show with it, 2 separate Bruchac awards at the Nationals with it, and two out of 3 National Taxidermist of the Year awards using it. My work done using Krowtann has been on the covers of Breakthrough, Taxidermy Today, American Taxidermist, Outlook, and on the Home page of taxidermy.net. I have not lost a single cape or any animal skin in over 20 years. No slippage on ears, tails or anyting. It is a great product that provides excellent results. Any and every time I ever talked to someone who had problems with it the difficulties always stemmed from user error. My commercial work would be competitive at any level of taxidermy competition. Don't start commenting about how arrogant or boastful or rude you think I am over this post. I am simply pointing out the hard cold facts about a useful product. I NEVER said that it was the only good tanning product available. If you are having success with another method then knock yourself out. Just stop with all the poormouthing and cynical comments about a product you know absolutely nothing about.
  10. Rhino

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

    I don't see any arrogance at all. Call a spade a spade.

    Weather KT is a "tan" proper is really the only debatable issue here. Tanning by definition only, is the stabilization of collagen by chemical means. Weather it is accomplished by chemicals found in nature, or man made.

    I think for some this also becomes an ethical debate, kinda like weather or not to use dry preservative?

    I agree with the post below. I'm not a Taxidermist, so I should really keep my mouth shut on this topic.
  11. furtanshop

    furtanshop New Member

    I see no reason for commercial tanners to post here. I will just have a curious read from now on.

    If you have a question about a tanning product WHY DON'T YOU JUST CALL THE SUPPLIER, they should be more than willing help you.

    Any one want to say why they don't call the supplier and come on here for the answer
  12. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    Ingredients posted on the label of the bottle I have in my hand. Acetic Acid, Acid Bate, Aluminum chloride, Bactericide, Citric Acid, Denatured Alcohol, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Formic Acid, Isopropyl Palmitate, Krow-Oil, Mineral Oil, Pickle Oil, Sodium Chloride, Tanning agent, Vinegar.
  13. Rhino

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

    Well, here they are. The ingredients to KT. As John C. First said, it does contain the main ingredient of Lutan F. Sorry for doubting you John.
    It contains an acid bate, which is attempting to accomplish what dry salting will accomplish. Enzymes that are attempting the removal of non- tannable proteins.
    A few oils, one of which being pickle oil, which is a fat liquor designed to preform at low pH values.
    Surfactants to help with penetration.
    Different acids.
    Thickening agent.
    And an additional tanning agent that I won't name, but I have a suspicion. (I think it's organic, not mineral or synthetic)

    I had to look some of this stuff up. Some ingredients are repetitive, and some are obvious.

    Cyclone is the only person that I know of that can answer the question--" can you mix all this together, and it still work, or tan a skin"? I honestly don't know!?

    Ken Edwards said it BESTin his tanning tutorial. Something like this?

    " The basic steps for tanning have remained relatively unchanged for decades. This is true because each step in the process is essential for allowing all subsequent steps to react properly ".
  14. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    I know better than to get in the middle of a KT "Is it or isn't it" debate.

    That being said... I don't remember ever seeing that hides for taxidermy need to be "tanned", yes, it is probably printed somewhere but I don't remember. "Preserved" is the term that I most often remember seeing and pickling, tanning, dry preserving, air drying, freeze drying, salting, etc, etc can all be considered "preserving" a skin to some degree.

    It all boils down to what works for one's particular purposes. I do remember a product J.W. Elwood sold called Curatan. It smelled like a tanned hide and so, in my youth, I figured I was tanning a hide. Little did I know but it was DP and worked for me right up to the point where it was no longer giving me the better results that I wanted. So....I went with a pickle recipe containing Alum, salt, and water. Little did I know what it was doing but I do know now that aluminum has some "tanning" properties, "tawing" if you must but that is another debate altogether.. Those hides were preserved, I doubt tanned, but they worked for me right up to the point where they no longer yielded the results I sought. I still have some of those pieces and they look just as bad as they did when I first finished them. (not the preserving methods fault, my inability at being an artist.)

    One day I was at an NTA seminar and had the opportunity to watch Joe Coombs mount a whitetail. The cape he had was as soft and limp as a wet and well worn washcloth and Joe explained that this was his demo cape which had been used in excess of a dozen times. I swore that I would learn how to tan that well someday.

    In comes Liquatan, a bunch of other paint on's until I landed on Trubond.

    I never went the Krowtann route so I cannot tell you what it does or does not do tan wise.
    By definition it doesn't make sense as a tan. By definition it does make sense as a preservative and obviously works quite well for taxidermy purposes.

    I do know that certain tests can be performed as to whether or not it is a tan, however, I don't know if anyone gives a hoot about how it performs during a "curl test".

    The word Tan can have different meanings. Some say preserved, stabilized or resistant to putrification.
    My understanding of the word TAN is that there is some sort of crosslinking of collagen fibers that has to be achieved through chemical reaction. Tanneries and labs alike will attest that some sort of pH change has to occur with the proper chemicals in place with a properly prepared collagen lattice. Does crosslinking occur if these conditions are not met? By these methods NO, proper crosslinking doesn't always occur. Can crosslinking occur with these other methods? I cannot answer that. It's going to take a leather chemist and some testing to determine.

    Somewhere on this board I saw where someone preserved and mounted a whitetail using Stop Rot and DP. Tanned? NO, but it was an awesome looking mount better that I could ever achieve. So...If it's your thing then by all means use it.

    Do most taxidermists care? I doubt it but it does make for good argument.
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Rick, I'm sorry but I have to call BS on that one. Krowtann has diddly squat to do with YOUR mounts. You could dip that sucker in denatured alcohol and mount it better than a lot of people I know who use commercial tanneries. I DO agree with your remarks before you put that one in there for shock value.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    I do not believe that ANY "tanning" products, that are available in bottle form, are a true tan, and yes Ive used them all except Tru Bond. Do they work? Yes. Are they 100% converting a animal hide to pure leather? Not Hardly. That process is more involved than just pickling a raw skin, neutralizing and rubbing oil on it or soaking it in a bucket of salt water and acid for a week.

    But if they work for you and produce your desired results then use them. I do.
    I promise that 99.9% of clients couldn't tell you what you used nor would they care.
  17. Rhino

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

    Timbuck, I don't want to advertise for Tru-Bond here, but, there is a reason I named it Tru-Bond.
    Because it utilizes a TRUE SYNTHETIC TANNING AGENT, that is just in liquid form. And it TRULY BONDS like a proper tan should. I know you were not knocking it, BTW. Just using it as an example because I know exactly what's in it.

    That being said, I can say with a certain degree of confidence that a couple of other products that have hit the market in the past 10 years, use something similar. The days of mixing a fat-liquor and something similar to formaldehyde are gone! I would put TB up against Lutan any day of the week, and guess what, it's a lot less work to use.

    If I owned a tannery today, I would use something similar to TB just to eliminate all the problems with the expenditure of the tanning waste water. I would have to do a cost comparison, but, you totally eliminate the water, salt, and tanning chemicals of one whole step, then you eliminate the oiling step. If you insist that water has to be the delivery method of the tan, you can do this.

    After salting, rehydration, pickling, neutralize a large wt cape. Make another solution of 3 gallons warm water, 1.5 lbs salt, and 1 cup (8oz) of TB 1000. Stir well. Place skin in solution overnight, pull next am. Drain. Lightly wash in a few gallons of warm water with 1/4 salt per gal, and a little surfactant degrease, or a couple ounces of dawn. Maybe 10 min? Pull, drain, freeze, or mount. SAME EXACT THING AS RUBBING IT ON, just a different delivery method. ( those other MODERN tans I mentioned earlier can probably do the same)

    Contrary to some things I have said in the past, I think quite a few Taxidermists out there are making leather, but just at different grades. One being low quality, not able to withstand many environmental influences, and some leathers being high quality for things like shoes, etc.

    I don't make one thin dime from anyone for making these statements. My hand to the One above, I honestly believe every word I just typed. The TYPE OF TAN USED, dictates when you neutralize the skin. Mineral tan- neutralize after tanning, synthetic- before tanning.
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Tim, you obviously missed the part Glenn Conley stated. If you can find a single, universally accepted definition of what a "tan" entails, I might buy off on your statement. Far too many taxidermist are pretending to be tanners. Very few tanners pretend they're taxidermists.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Not knocking it at all as Ive never treid it but Ive been intending to try it. I need to soon. Ive heard a lot of good feedback on it.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Whats Glenns handle on here? I may have missed what he said.
    George you are correct about taxidermists pretending to be tanneries but don't forget the reason for this..The reason so many taxidermists are pretending to be tanneries is because it is being sold in a bottle with step by step directions written on the side of the bottle. The problem is that there is more to it but listing these details and the many problems and variables that one can run into, while trying to produce a great, taxidermy friendly "tanned" skin, could deter sales... Its made to look just a little easier than it actually really is. What needs to be put in big bold black letters on these "Tanning Kits" is

    "Do not attempt to tan a skin, for mounting purposes, if you do not have the ability, or the equipment necessary, to properly shave/thin a hide". It's one of the most important steps.. To many people don't and the frustration begins.

    This is where a lot of people fail before they even get started..

    I know for a fact that some taxidermists, including myself, can produce as good of a tanned skin as a lot of tanneries can or even better. Im sure you know a few yourself.
    I was blessed to be able to pick the brain of an old friend and one of the best in the tanning industry before he passed. He taught me a lot. Not everything he knew but a lot..
    Not to mention the wealth of information that can be found on this tanning forum by some of the best in the industry..

    Oh and I have had 1 big name tannery owner get mad at me tell me that he could do what we do(taxidermy)any day of the week.. I laughed...