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Need Advice With Alum And Salt Tanning

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Saltydonkey, Dec 6, 2018 at 4:55 PM.

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  1. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    ok im new to the taxidermy and tanning stuff but i am a avid hunter and want to get the most out of my game animals, so i have 5 squirrels hides that i have fleshed and soaked for 72 hours in i cup of alum and 1 cup of salt in 2 gallons of water, i removed them and let they dry and started to stretch the hides but i think i may have let them dry to long with out stitching because they have gotten pretty hard. so i was wondering if so neatsfoot oil will make them so and supple thanks.
     
  2. wayne St Vincent

    wayne St Vincent New Member

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    I am new to this as well but I have read that you can soak them in Luke warm water mixed with 4oz of salt per gallon for 1 hour, let drip dry then place in a plastic bag at room temp to sweat over night. Ready to be mounted or frozen the next day. Hope this helps.
     

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  3. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    I will have to try but I thought that alum tanning makes the hide water proof
     
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    If you are wanting soft skins, you will need to "break" the leather after you have tanned, regardless of what tan you use. Commercial tanneries place several skins in a large tumbler half full of sawdust, pour in 5 gallons of tanning oil, flip the switch, and let her roll for several days. In your case, place an old axe head in a vise, and run to skin back and forth across it til its soft to your satisfaction. After you've done this a while, you'll learn that the $8-10 bucks a tannery charges for tanning a squirrel is a bargain!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 9:19 PM
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  5. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    Thank you your advice and yeah your probably right but I really like to learn and do everything myself I'm very hard headed
     
  6. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    Will this trick work with fur still on
     
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Yes
     
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  8. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    Ok thank you
     
  9. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    When I tanned with alum, I used tanning oil and work it back and forth over a clean shovel head with the handle held in a vice. I was never able to get a really soft skin, however, I was able to get somewhat soft and pliable enough to use as a wall hanger or rug. There are much better tans now days, but, alum still works. I used sulphenated ( spelling incorrect) Neets Foot Oil at first and then went on to use a oil used after tanning.
     
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  10. Saltydonkey

    Saltydonkey New Member

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    Ok well thank you for your advice I will definitely try that the only reason I'm using the alum is because I heard it was very easy to use and it's cheap