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

What are the qualifications for opening a tannery?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Rhino, May 24, 2017.

  1. Rhino

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

    So, what does it take to hang a tannery "open for business " sign these days? Is going to a few week school gonna make you ready to take in skins from others? Do you even have a clue of the responsibility you are undertaking?

    This has ZERO to do with the South Texas tragedy. NO ONE could have seen that coming!
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,451
    2,528
    MN
    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    School, I don't need no stinking school, I got the internet.
     

  3. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Ya, I fear that's what it's coming to! LOL All kidding aside, the is absolutely ZERO being said on Taxidermy Net that is gonna make you ready!

    We can talk on here till we are blue in the face, but it's not ANYTHING LIKE Doing it yourself.
     
  4. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Seriously, since I don't have much of a life these days, I figured I would start a new thread.

    I wanted to see how many folks on here really have a general idea. What should ones qualifications be to hang that sign?

    Money? Hire a consultant to come in for a couple of weeks? Tanning school? Ten years as a Taxidermist?

    Since 1986, I have seen dozens come and go. I also had the pleasure of being part of the re-tanning of hundreds of skins that someone already paid to be tanned once. First attempt by a supposed tannery that already had that "sign" hanging. Dozens of different "Tannerys ", and I used the term loosely! Having had the privilege of working for what I considered to be the best and largest, I have seen skins that have left me speechless! (If you can believe that)

    Really, what do you personally consider to be a prerequisite for "hanging that sign"?
     
  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,451
    2,528
    MN
    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Ain't that the truth oldshaver. A chemistry background may give a guy a leg up though. Which I don't have.
    I feel that it takes at least 5 years of experience tanning and shaving to have a real good handle on the different tanning processes utilized for different skins and end uses. Then I would say take it slow and build up a reputation of quality before going big and only take in the work you can return in a reasonable amount of time say 4 months or less for most wet tanned capes.
     
  6. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Ya, I guess a little chemistry background wouldn't hurt, but in my opinion, its not really needed. It seems many times when someone is backed into some type of corner, or they need more validation to prove their point, they throw out that word "chemist". If you were to take a leather chemist, industrial chemist, or any other chemist for that matter, and say to them, " HERE, RUN THIS HAIR ON TAXIDERMY TANNERY", they would be totally LOST! Being a fairly intelligent person, they could eventually figure out the wet end of the process, but that's probably only 20% of the business.
     
  7. John67

    John67 Member

    105
    11
    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Ability, determination, leadership and management skills, equipment ...and a lot more.

    Ability- some have natural ability, some learn, and many more will never have the ability.

    Determination- regardless the amount of skill/ability, any business can and usually does test your will.

    Leadership- if you plan to be more than a one man show, then you will always need to have the skills to influence people to achieve the desired results.

    Management- if your processes aren't synched, well then you're a failure waiting to happen. Also anything on a small scale is easy. For example, cooking for yourself is a snap, cooking for your family easier, cooking for 20 people more difficult, and cooking for 100 people with a crew of 5 support staff while maintaining quality is impossible unless they are all trained correctly and in synch. Leadership and management are critical skills
    that some never learn, but critical for a multi person operation.

    Equipment- you must have the right equipment ifor productivity, and you must upscale as you grow. Using the cooking analogy, you're not going to be effective cooking for 100 people out of and with your home kitchen/kitcheware.

    Bottom line: most can be successful, but many small businesses, regardless of the business will fail because folk are less than honest in their capabilities and spend too little time researching what it really takes
    To be successful.
     
  8. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    This would be my opinion.

    First off, if someone gets on me about being a "dream killer", well, I got a list of folks that could care less about your dream. If you "got it", go for it! Just don't drag others down with you.

    1. Tanning schools- These would be great for someone wanting to learn Taxidermy, but, THEY DONT EVEN COME CLOSE TO PREPARING A PERSON FOR OPENING A TANNERY! In fact, "not close", is a gross mis-under statement. In my opinion, anyone advertising that going to one of the schools prepares them for this trade, is either an idiot, or a crook! Advertise for what it is. It will give you the basic knowledge to tan your own skins for part-time Taxidermy. If you want to be a tanner, get a job at a large tannery shaving. Then go from there.

    2. In my opinion, MAYBE 10-15 years of in-house tanning, at a Taxidermy outfit that tans ALL ITS OWN SKINS, and mounts trophy's that include at least ALL NORTH AMERICAN BIG GAME. The tanning of African by this person will be risky at best.

    3. Person has worked at A LARGE TAXIDERMY TANNERY for at least 5 years. Three of these years on the shaving machine, shaving 8 hour days. Then two full years working the wet-end of the tannery as a full-time employee. Learning all tanning processes and procedures. You still wont be close to knowing everything, but at least you wont just be flat reckless! I forgot the dry side of the process. drumming furs, and multiple types of skins? Maybe you can squeeze this in.

    There is my two cents on the "know-how" part. Of course, this is all a bare minimum. There might be one or two operations out there that made it on less, but most will fold, just like the ones you hear about every year on here. This is JUST MY OPINION on what it should take to "hang that sign".
     
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    When I read that title, I thought to myself, "Aubrey, you'd better get the hell to it."
     
  10. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Great post Aubrey. Some really good info so far fellas..
    Same can be said for taxidermists...
    I've been tanning skins for 15 years... I love the whole process... I can produce better "taxidermy" tanned skins that some "commercial tanneries" can and that's just a fact.. What does "commercial" really mean by the way???? They Advertise?
    I've learned a lot in that time and still have a long way to go.. It will take the next 8 years to get it all together..
    Most of the equipment youve mentioned I already have. We shall see how it all plays out. I may just decide to retire and go fishing everyday.. Who knows.
    Oh and some of the dumb questions I've asked on here are done for the sake of trying to varify something I've been told by others who tan.. Second and third opinions so to speak.. There is always more than one way to skin a cat.. I say learn all you can concerning methods and techniques... No one learns without asking...

    As far as being a chemist, all the chemistry has been done already.. No need to re-invent the wheel.. That trail has already been blazed.... Producing taxidermy quality skins has never been easier as long as manufacturers directions are followed..
    Of course there are variances but it can be risky.
     
  11. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    To be a complete idiot!!!

    I know folks that can't give their tanneries away and retire and enjoy the money they have made over the years......... Miserable as hell too!!! So thankful it is not me.

    DP
     
  12. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    But you promote/teach learning the trade correct???? And from your video clips that I've watched you make it look easy..
     
  13. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Tim, Dee knows better than to think buying one of his videos is going to make a veteran shaver out of you. He is teaching basics. Having worked with him for close to 10-15 years, he knows better. Trust me. He makes it look easy because it is to him, having shaved in a tannery for more than a decade.
     
  14. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    I have a chemistry background and I've ruined plenty of hides. All my own of course.. ;)

    No way I'm hanging that shingle..
     
  15. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    If you want to be a tanner, them go to work for an existing tannery.

    If you want to own a tannery the answer is not here, or on the internet
     
  16. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    No where will you find me "promoting" buying/starting a commercial tannery........ True story !!!

    DP
     
  17. TIMBUCK

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    10-4 But by "commercial" you mean tanning for taxidermists correct?
     
  18. Rhino

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

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    Y'all be careful. You might take this ridiculously stupid Thread and make it something worth readIng. LOL
     
  19. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    I wouldn't necessarily call them all taxidermist......Lets say tanning for others !!!

    DP
     
  20. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Re: I'm going to open a Tannery when I get Big!

    I love that video clip from the sellers of the auto-tanner where they are interviewing some guy who has an auto tanner talking about doing tanning for other shops for extra income and how the auto tanner is like a mini tannery in their shop and saving them all kinds of money. I guess plenty of taxidermist fall for the sales pitch because they are still selling them. I tan my own stuff but it is mine since I don't do commercial work. If it screw it up (which I have) I don't have to get a replacement skin and hope the customer doesn't know the difference!