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Discussion in 'Tanning' started by pir^2h, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    I know there are post about this but sifting through them to find what I am looking for is a too time consuming. So if you are going to tell me to check the achieves, please just move along. Thank you!

    I have been considering purchasing one of these for a couple years now but it is a lot of money. I have never sent anything out to be tanned and have no intention of doing so; I am only a hobbyist. From those who actually own one and have been using it for a couple years, it is really worth it? What about it do you like? What do you dislike?

    Can it tan a full mount deer? Thanks for any input.

  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Well not sure if I have the time to help here with attitude like yours cause you have no time to look and you want to tan hides which takes time to do it properly. So how are you going to handle this?

    Ok to be honest your wasting your money on one unless your in a major rush to get a skin tanned in 4 hours compared to 16 hours.
    The maker Steve (Rotamal killing his last name here) who is the maker of the first pressure tanner finally said oops pressure has nothing to do with the process but the tumbling is what speeds up the process only.
    He now make tumblers that seals and only tumble only.
    Yes they still sell the product ( as Barnum and Bailey said “ there’s a sucker born every minute “) So don’t buy something unless you have waste money!
    I’ve been static tanning for 18 plus years and learned this long ago before it first came out. ( a thought no tanneries uses pressure to tan !)
    So I static tan my capes prior to quitting time and generally by mid morning I’m done tanning then rinse and oil. Next day I fold and freeze or mount ready.
    It takes a week to properly tan a cape though the whole process so time yourself accordingly. Even with rub on tans it only changed by a day or two.

    And you can tan a compete hide in one
    rogerswildlife likes this.

  3. James S.

    James S. New Member

    I have been working with a local taxidermist for a year now. I found a guy who had purchased all the equipment to start his own business. One of the pieces was an auto tanner. I bought all his equipment from him awhile later. He barely used any of it and I got it for very little money. (The fleshing machine coated way more than what I gave for the tumbler, 2 stands, fleshing machine and auto tanner.) I talked to the taxidermist I was working with about and he said they were a joke and I'd be better off selling it and getting what I could out of it. After a lot of debate over it I told him I wanted to at least try it. Very skeptical of course we tanned a hide. Then another. After about the 5th hide we tanned he abosoulty loved it. We have tanned around 20 hides with it now and have not had a problem yet. The one I own is the 22 gal one. He likes it so much I found him the 45 gal one that Ron b was selling on here and he bought it. Now again he didnt pay much money for it cause it was older and used. So I guess what I'm getting at is a guy that has been doing taxidermy for 30 plus years that had not a good thing to say about them and would never try one has 2 of them in his shop. If your tanning a lot of hides they are worth it IN MY OPINION. I dislike nothing about mine. I'm so glad I talked him into trying it and so is he. We tan a lot of hides a year so it is worth it to us. Hope this helps with your decision.
    pir^2h likes this.
  4. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Thank James for your input. I don't tan a lot since I am only a hobbyist and have no desire to go into commercial work at this time. I am a teacher and most of my evenings and at least one day on the weekend is generally spent preparing lesson plans etc. for my students. This leaves me little time for much else when the wife wants to go places, house repairs, dog training and the list goes on and it always seems last on the list is taxidermy. The only time I really have to do taxidermy is on school breaks!

    I have been doing static tanning as Frank talks about for years. I grant you that doesn't take that much time but if I can find a way to get an equivalent tan in a shorter period of time, well I am definitely interested. I just need to figure out if it is worth the investment to get this shorter period of time.

    Frank, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your post. I am aware of some of the things you talked about such as the pressure does zilch for the actual tan. I was however seeking current opinions of those who already own one.

  5. James S.

    James S. New Member

    Seems to me if you do a little digging around you could probably find a used one for pretty cheap. Also as you were aware of the pressure does nothing but simply seal the door. Agitation is key so if you or one of your buddies is a handy man type at all you could make you yourself for pretty cheap. We have put up to 3 hides at a time in mine. I generally like to do 2 at a time. So in a 4 hour period you can tan up to 3 in mine. Wash them and spin them out and your ready. I think the cost is roughly around 8 dollars per tanned hide. Good luck.
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I will add this. I tan anywhere 150-200 skins a year and still find no use to speed up my process.
    I plan accordingly and go from there. Again JMO
    If I thought it was worth it I would’ve gotten one so many years ago.
  7. Vic, I have one of the original ones from Steve. Do 60-70 capes a year in mine and love it. If you only do a few a year it certainly wouldn't be worth the expense. You should look into the Pro ! line of tanning chemicals if you haven't already.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I'll chime in and say that the Auto Tanner will work without pressure. So, you can get the tumbling agitation that speeds it up without the pressure from one.

    So, if it's the agitation and not the pressure, I believe purchasing a tanning drum that tumbles without pressure would do well. I believe that the company that makes Helping hands hangers sells what looks like a nice one as well as the one by Steve that Frank mentioned.
  9. We use an Auto Tanner at our shop works like a champ we figured out how to tan alligator hides with it. If you are doing a large volume of skins it would be worth it.
  10. Wildcat Furs

    Wildcat Furs New Member

    This is good to know, I bought mine about a month ago but, I have not used it yet as I am renovating/moving my shop area. I have a question for you since you actively use yours. I do static tanning now and dry all my skins and know with the AutoTanner is was primarily designed for tanning and then straight onto the form (wet tan). Do you dry/break your pelts after using the AutoTanner? If so, do you re-oil, sweat, etc.?