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Tanning self vs commercial

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Inyanga, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Hi All
    I am new to this forum and also to the taxidermy industry. Just started trying my hand at this
    What is the reason why so many taxidermists choose to use commercial tannery's vs doing it themselves
    Regulatory or time?
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    For me it was a time issue when I started as I had a full time job outside of my home. I continued using a tannery for all mammals after I went full time, as I could consentrate on other things but I had some issues with a couple tanneries like taking forever, that I could somewhat deal with but when it came to ruining capes and skins on top of that, it forced me to start doing my own. Yes it was an investment of both time and money at first. I use to tan my own when I was self teaching, so that wasn't hard too hard to figure out but, shaving capes and skins is a whole nother game.

  3. hounddoggy

    hounddoggy Member

    D.P. Stop-rot woo grip glue- save time and put money in your pocket. I've use both systems but never sent deer capes to a tannery. I sent one bear cape and got it back cut all to heck.Turn around demands apparently can't. BE made by tanneries and I'm the type that enjoys home tanning. For giggles, I recently did a break down on what it would cost to do a deer with a home tan vs d.p.Also time involved for both. It came out to be 7 hrs on the d.p and 13 hrs on the tanned cape. My cost d.p.= 128.15 Tan=160. Either method,for me, yields less than 3 month turn around so I never could justify sending capesout. D.P. Requires more expensive glue. As much as I prefer a tanned cape,and I LOVE Trubond, if I ever get back at it at a high volume I will use d.p.. So many who get into taxidermy strive to learn it all and be great. Often times we don't put as much into the business side of it as we do the artistic side. Tanned capes are better. Home tanning takes lots of water,salt, and an expensive shaver. I learned to shave tanned capes with a slkife . I'm a lefty so it works pushing "away"but it' takes too much time.
    I said all of that to say this- they want their deer back before they forget what it looked like-that eliminates sending capes out. If you go that route be prepared for the calls. Is my deer ready yet?
    Home tanning is time/labor intensive.

    Stop rot d.p. Epogrip.....wax on...wax off GET PAID
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    quality vs you learning on how to become proficient in making different pickles, shaving, degreasing and using proper tans and oils
    rugs work you need a 6 or 8' tumbler

    Now I'm a professional tanner at home been doing it way to long but I like the control I have
  5. I agree with Frank!
  6. Thanks for the feedback you all
    So from the replies it looks as if the decision to send to a tannery comes down to time and convenience rather than regulatory issues
    Two taxidermists I spoke to here in Calgary identified the need for more quality tanneries as the commercial tanneries have a big backlog and it takes forever to get the hide back
    From what I have read and the DVD's I have looked at it takes about two weeks to turn out a tanned hide - Does that seem about right or am I missing something?

    As I have said I am a real newbie in this field and are striving to first lean as much as possible.
    It is easy to gain the knowledge but to me its is the practical experience that is going to be the most important factor
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    You can have a cape wet tanned in a week or less, and most of that time is in the pickle stage.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    dried salted hide hydrates in 8-16 hours
    pickle 72 hours
    drain 20 minutes
    shave can range depending on what you want to do as thinning the face eyes nose 10-45 min
    back in pickle overnight 8-12 hours
    neutralize 20 minutes
    tan submersible 14-16 hours deer capes
    rub on tan 4-6 hours
    drain rinse 1 hour and the oil 6 minutes
    fold for overnight 12 hours or less ready to rinse and mount
    Approx. time 5 and a half days you can have a skin ready
  9. kiwicrafts

    kiwicrafts New Member

    Hi Frank, I would like to know more about the chemicals you use for the pickle and tan and oils you use. I have been chrome tanning skins for 2years now and have a small taxidermy/art buisness (TheWoolshedStudio.com).

    However I am looking to expand buisness so setting up a commercial tannery has become a real interest to me.

    In in New Zealand and could really do with some advice form a knowledgeable person who isn’t worried about me being competion (i.e. anyone in nz haha)

    I will be looking for a chemical supplier and also a fleshing machine and a large splitter machine for cattle hides etc

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    If you are just beginning this adventure, and are serious about it, learn the process of tanning hides, buy a GOOD fleshing machine, become proficient at using it, and never look back.. I personally know of a 1 man shop that took in 300 whitetail this year. All capes were split, salted, pickled, shaved and tanned in house and in 80-90 days. That's only 3.5-4 capes per day.. Now this guy is a work horse BUT That's easy....

    At roughly $85 per cape that's a savings of $25,500... That's a savings of $8500 per month for those 3 months.. Who wouldn't want that?? Its a no brainer.. I didn't include the tanning chemical and salt costs because its a wash between them and the cost of shipping 300 capes.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    PM Bruce Rittel on here and all your tanning business dreams will come true! He specializes in tannery start up advice and is very trust worthy.
  13. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    For me I pickle in formic acid but that's not the only one you can use. These days most suppliers sell a product called saftee acid and it works well. Ive use saftee acid for years tried formic and been using it for about 4 years now.
    Formic is a harsher acid to your skin than saftee acids are but don't let that fool you for acids are acids. All it means is it takes longer to burn your skin if your dumb enough to use bare hands with acids. Plus formic is nasty when your pouring it and you should use a respirator cause it will take your breath away that fast.
    As for tans I like to tan my capes with a static tan and that means ones that soak in a tanning solution.
    My tan is EZ-100 and is a garment tan that works great in this industry. Now saying that you have lutan F and others are made by tru-bond and pro-1.
    If you like rub on tans then look into those that are a bit more chemically stable that needs little mixing if none. Liqua-tan , tru-bond 1000 or tru-bond100b (contains oil in it) Pro-1 are a few Ive used and had great success with them.
    After the tan you do need to oil the capes and again Knoblochs tru-bond and pro-1 sells good oils for that.
    Hope that helps you if you need more feel free to ask!
    Flying Dutchman likes this.