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Dry tan vs Wet tan

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by cjtaxidermy, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. cjtaxidermy

    cjtaxidermy End the hunt with a smoking barrel !

    Hey everyone, I asked an experienced taxidermist how I can get my lips to stop pulling in the drying process. Now they're not pulling alot but it's bothering me!!! I have searched all over the forum for this topic with no luck! I found some good advice on here like cutting a thin lip slot, making sure there is a bit of slack around the muzzle, and using good glue or epoxy to lock the lips in place, with no pinning! I am for sure going to try those techniques! But this taxidermist told me to try a dry tanned cape instead of a wet tanned cape, and my problems would cease to exist. I would appreciate any opinions on this matter. thanks
  2. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    Who is doing the wet tan ?

  3. cjtaxidermy

    cjtaxidermy End the hunt with a smoking barrel !

    A small tannery in central utah.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have used both and never had a problem with the lips pulling. That is because I used all the advice that you got before you were told the dry tan would magically make your problem disappear.
    cjtaxidermy likes this.
  5. cjtaxidermy

    cjtaxidermy End the hunt with a smoking barrel !

    Sweet thank you, I feel much better going on to my next mount. Now do you prefer one to the other? Is there any benefit to a dry tan over a wet tan? Or is it just a personal preference?
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I use a sanded jigsaw blade epoxies in a file handle. I sharpen the tip and make sure I sand all the "set" off the teeth. It's about the thickness of plastic shirt stays. This allows a cut with very little kerf. I don't know when the last time I pinned a lip. My mounts have 4 long japan pins- one in the fro t corner of each eye and one up inside the lacrimal gland. Still, I never trust the skin pulling. At least twice a day,every day, I retaxi the skin if need be until it dries.
    cjtaxidermy likes this.
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I like both.

    Like George said, I keep on that lip line through out the drying time about three days.
    cjtaxidermy likes this.
  8. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    I have been using this tool for ever, like 30 years. I just simply push in a slot on a angle. In the back corners I dremal a little wider slot with the smallest drill bit available, to take the gathered skin. I also rubber dip the handle nice & thick.
    I found some at the Harrisburg show about 20+ years ago, bins of them $2.00 apiece.
    Now they are eBay at some ridiculous prices, I think these were cheap , like $10.00 a set.

  9. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    I have noticed wet tans will shrink a little more that a dry tan, but you need to adjust for any shrinkage whether in your clay work around the eyes or drying skin. Like others suggested, be careful with your lip slot. Not only can it be too wide, but too deep.
    Doug Motgomery and cjtaxidermy like this.
  10. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    So... I've waited a few days to see what the replies might be from those more knowledgeable than me... which is pretty much everyone, admittedly.
    But, one thing I'd like to add that hasn't been mentioned is getting the skin thin. When I started really thinning and detailing the face well (i.e. lips, nose, eyes) the movement in my mounts during drying was really reduced. I'm not sure if you're a beginner, a seasoned vet, or in the middle, so you may very well already be doing this, but if not, it certainly is worth a try.
  11. cjtaxidermy

    cjtaxidermy End the hunt with a smoking barrel !

    Thank you all for input! The advice I have received is greatly appreciated, I am going to put it into use! I think I am going to try my next few capes dry tanned, to gain a personal preference. Is there anything different I need to do or look out for when using a dry tan? Or do I treat it exactly the same as a wet tanned cape? Just rehydrate and mount like usual?
  12. cgsmith

    cgsmith New Member

    I prefer a wet tan simply because I have a lot more issues with the skin cracking around the nose, nose pad, and around the eyes. I had to bag the face to slow the drying time down and baby everything for days. I have no issues with anything cracking/splitting with a wet tan. Some I have tanned myself with Trubond and others sent out to The Wildlife Gallery. I have them do all my capes and life-size as a wet tan. To keep the lips from pulling I use a dremmel tool to thin everything down really thin and cut a narrow lip slot. I use a thin jigsaw blade epoxied into a 4 inch long 1 inch diameter dowel rod. sometimes I just use my lip tucker to make a slot. I had issues with the lacrimal gland pulling all the time. I tried using clay and pinching it together, it never worked for me but apoxie sculpt works great. Now, I use clay to recreate the tissue I took off, thin it really well and just use hide paste with a thin slot and it never pulls. It took me a while to grasp what my teacher told me when I learned, "Thin to win!"
    cjtaxidermy likes this.