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Home tan vs commercial tan

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Jordan Park, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

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    I figured out how much it would cost me to tan a deer cape at home and it is $6.50
    The tannery here charges $110 for a deer cape and all they do is tan the cape. No fleshing, splitting eyes and lips, or shaving. Tanning only.
    I understand that tanning at home involves labor, but if I have to flesh and split everything and shave the cape anyways isn't it a no brainer to save all that money and tan myself or am I missing something?

    I'm curious what tanneries charge you guys down in the states and if it's worth it for you.

    $6.50 compared to $110 is a big difference for me.
     
  2. Rhino

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

    Man Jordan, did you ever open a can of worms?! LOL This should be fun! $110- you must be walking funny!!!LOL
     

  3. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

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    Lol I'm dead serious. $110 to tan the deer cape for a shoulder mount. Does that sound expensive to you guys?
    I figured it was crazy since that's 1/5 to 1/6 the cost for a shoulder mount here.
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    That was a turned and fleshed and salted cape? You can get a green cape ready to mount for that. Where are you? That can make a difference but not that much I wouldn't think. For a turned, fleshed and salt dried cape to get tanned averages $45 to $50 I believe plus shipping.
     
  5. Where do you send off your capes? I'll send mine off for that price.
     
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,624
    1,047
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    I don't send them off anymore but, do a search on tanneries and check their prices and spin that cylinder.
     
  7. Will do.
     
  8. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

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    I live in Manitoba, the tannery is in Winnipeg. The tannery does not do any splitting of the eyes or lips or nose at all. They receive the cape salted then they tan it. I would pick the cape up from them and then I'd have to shave the cape.

    I had a feeling it would be cheaper in the states since everything is lol. But for the guys that send your capes to the tannery, I guess if they split the eyes and lips, tan, and shave it's completely worth the $45-$50 rather than do it all yourself and pay $6 roughly?
     
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,624
    1,047
    MN
    $45-$50 is for shaving and tanning an already turned, fleshed and salted cape. The turning ,fleshing and salting is done by you for that price. Many tanneries don't have freezer space to accept a large volume of raw capes that and shipping raw capes is one hell of a gamble. Cost is not the only reason that myself and others have gone to home tanning, it is also the unfortunate issues with shipping and finally the tanneries themselves taking forever and sometimes ruining or losing your customer's skins. I preferred to send mine off, but 9 months to get back dirty, stinky, slipping capes has forced me to take up in house tanning.
     
  10. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

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    Ok I see. $45 to tan a deer I can understand, but $110 just eats away any profits.
     
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Hmm, if that's the cheapest you can get it done, it would seem prudent to raise your prices so you could MAKE a profit. If they don't want to pay it, don't do them. Let them find a tannery cheaper or do it THEMSELVES.
     
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Labor for skinning turning/splitting, fleshing and salting is what you would have whether you were to send them out or tan them yourself, in your situation.

    Now, in home tanning costs are; materials, labor for rehydrating the cape, pickling the cape, shaving the cape, tanning/neutralizing the cape, and oiling the cape for a wet tan. So, as I see it, the $6.50 for tanning materials, which seems low, and about an hour to a hour and a half of actual labor. My shop rate is $75 an hour, so it would cost me with your tanning cost of $6.50, roughly $81.50 to tan a hide.

    Your $110 doesn't include shipping to and from the tannery, so even with the labor costs you would have in your shop, it would be cheaper, however, while your cape is at the tannery, you could have spent that hour working on something that may have been more lucrative. There is a trade off there and all options must be weighed. That's why I have always done both depending on the situation.
     
  13. John67

    John67 Member

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    Are you being charged $110 US or $110 CAN? $110 CAN is about $76 US.

    Have you considered shipping outside of Manitoba? Mudry in Montreal seems reasonable at $35 CAN for a wet tan and $42 CA for a dry tan. They claim a 12week turn around too. http://www.mudry.ca/en/hunters/pricelist/
     
  14. Jordan, one of the other factors in tanning in your taxidermy processes should be control and time. How many skins would you get tanned? Perhaps you should ask a very reputable taxi to teach you how to tan effectively at home and save time and money and you can tan them and have them when you want them. You would also save lots of $. Good luck, John
     
  15. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

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    Tanglewood, that's a good way to put it. I don't mind putting in an hour of my own time to save $100 or more. Completely worth it actually. I've never tanned a deer cape yet, but I have tanned a fox and it turned out very nice. I'm using ez 100 to tan by the instructions Amy posted on here. I'm very confident it'll turn out.

    John67, it's $110 Canadian. Equals $83.97 American. I never even thought of looking at other provinces to ship them out. If the few capes I have to tan don't go so well at home I'll have to look into that option. Thanks!

    Silverwings, I'm tempted to ask one of the taxi guys around here, but I'm a little afraid they'll get upset with me. You know, another taxidermist means competition for them. They may not want to help me get started.
     
  16. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    By tanning my own hides, I was able to get unbelievable stretch that I could never get from the ones I send to the tannery and I had total control over the capes from start to finish. I found it quite rewarding. I used Liqua-tan and EZ100 depending on the situation.
     
  17. Where do you buy your tanning supplies Tanglewood?
     
  18. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Many supply companies sell Knoblach's products,which are the makers of Liqua-tan. TASCO sells products by Rittel such as EZ100. Almost every supplier sells tanning kits and supplies.

    I just shop around for what I need and buy from whomever I can to suit my needs.
     
  19. Rhino

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

    The Wildlife Gallery doesn't have a facility in Canada yet? I don't have a clue what it takes to ship to the states? Big money to ship across the border?

    Sounds kinda funny having to look hard for a tannery? Here in the states, tannerys will out number McDonald's by 2020!? LOL Anybody with a shaving machine is hanging a "open for business " sign. The internet has "empowered " many a "professional tanner" to go into the tanning business. You see so many flat out lies, and exaggerations, you don't know who you can trust anymore. I used to think the tanning market would get to be slim pickings due to all the competition, but, anyone that can turn a decent product, seems to grow every year.

    The beginning Taxidermist has to be VERY CAREFUL who they choose to trust their skins with. You haven't had the fun of choosing a tanner yet! Having been in the commercial Taxidermy tanning business for 25 plus years(past tense), you literally would not believe some of the things I have seen!
     
  20. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I got a bearskin for a rug from a tannery that had; 1) no chin or lower lips on it when it was sent with a chin and copious amounts of lip skin 2) no dark nodules on the nose. The epidermis slipped and the nose was smooth and white as well as all the skin on the head. it was smooth and white around the eyes and ears and face etc. 3) ears shredded into ribbons 4) 12" to 24" long cuts all over the hide that were sewed up at the tannery. I had the bear skinned, fleshed, and salted the day of the kill and dried soon after for the tannery.
    The elk cape I sent at the same time as the bear, came back with the upper lip missing, part of the nose pad missing and 10'' to 30" cuts all over that were sewn up at the tannery.

    I had always had good luck with them and then that. Since then, I have used several other tanneries with good results from some, great results from some and more hideous results from others.
    It is maddening to receive a coyote back with a shaving hole the size of a quarter on top of the muzzle.