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Question Regarding Fleshing and Pickle Bath

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Trapper2016, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hello everyone,

    I am hoping you may be able to help me out with a question that I have regarding fleshing and the pickle bath. A question that could potentially save me a ton of time. Up until this point when i get ready to tan, i will spend the day before cleaning off everything from the hide before it hits the pickle. Doing all the detail work and splitting,, etc. I use Safetee Acid in a pickle bath and then use EZ100 when they come out of the pickle, and i have been happy with this process.

    Lately though I have been watching quite a few youtube videos, where guys like Chuck Testa and Brian Hendricks seem to put the hide in the pickle with alot of meat left on the hide. Mind you I am mainly referring to small game here such as fox, coyote, etc. When they take the hide out of the pickle, it seems that the fleshing chore is at the very least cut in half. In some of Brian Hendricks's videos, he takes the hide out of the pickle, goes to the wire wheel, and the fat/muscle just peels off.

    My question is, can I do this with my pickle bath? I would love to be able to take the hide, knock off the huge chunks and throw it in the pickle, then come back in a few days and easily take the rest of the gunk off. It would save a ton of time. But I had always been under the impression that all fat and muscle and meat must be off the hide before it hits the pickle bath. It also seemed that the pickle bath strengthened the ear cartilage which allowed the ears to be turned much easier. Any advice is appreciated

    Thanks for your time and have a good day
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    The way I see it is that, all that junk has to come off eventually, so why not get most of it initially. I'm quite certain the pickle will penetrate then. I don't have any worries of it not. I typically only use my pickles once, so that isn't an issue with me but, if I was going to use it for more than one, I would want to keep it as clean as possible. not sure that's possible by throwing hides with flesh still on them into it. Those guys you've mentioned have a system that works for them though, it would seem.
    Cas8101 and cyclone like this.

  3. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Thank you 3 bears. You are right. It all has to come off eventually.
  4. Remove it first, also keeps your pickle cleaner. And fleshing is not a big chore when you use a pressure washer with a turbo tip. My 2 cents
    woakley144 likes this.
  5. I say clean it off from the git go; it keeps your pickle juice cleaner and it also penetrates better. This way, that's less work you have to do later when you do final shaving. Good luck, John
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    This is the only problem with that method and it works as Brian says but and heres the big but, your contaminated the pickle by doing this with body fluids and that can cause issues if your going to use the same pickle later on.
    Tanneries do this after the pickle they used on clean capes are used (they change their pickle after two uses) the net use is used for these capes. Throw it in and then dump the acid and make new.
    With that said use a junk pickle but like me I don't I skin, wash. rinse and pickle in a clean pickle all the time. I can get a lot of uses with one pickle made.
    Yes fox have a high bacteria count on them but I have yet had slippage on them due to thawing them in the fridge overnight. As soon as I can get skin movement I'm working on i and if I feel there's an issue the use of stop rot comes out and that goes on.
    Most of the time slippage is already going is going to happen prior to you working on them cause by poor client knowledge .
    socalmountainman and TIMBUCK like this.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    The first thing I do on all carnivorous animals, when thawed enough, is inject some pickle under the outer ear skin using a syringe. This has help me with loose hair on the ears..

    As Frank said, nasty skins will mess up a god pickle. I always flesh mine, wet salt them overnight, wash them good the next day and then they go into the pickle.... I like to re-use my pickle..
  8. John L

    John L Active Member

    I recently had a coyote I knew I was not going to have time to skin, flesh salt, pickle, and tan so I took some old pickle (still good but dirty and multiple capes ran through it) I skinned and split, put in pickle, several days later I finished fleshing the face and put back, a few days later I fleshed the body, seems to be doing fine. I will wire wheel and then degrease. Then tan. Hopefully it will be ok kind of an experiment.