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Starting Over.....

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Mujician, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Mujician

    Mujician New Member

    I was here a while ago - but I dint get very far. I had too much conflicting advice and didn't really learn anything.

    I'm looking for advice on pickling solutions, and tanning for small mammals. I'd love to know what you do. Any help/advice greatly welcomed
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Personally, I use Krowtan for almost everything. I have learned to use it in a variety of situations; it is simple to use; extremely forgiving if you make mistakes; and allows me time flexibility for my crazy work schedule. Many use DP, but that just doesn’t work for me, but is one option. Another is using denatured alcohol, a technique I am interested in trying for myself. I don’t know enough of your situation to give “advise” per say, but I can say, Krowtan is effective and simple to use.
    There are a wide many options available for you and you are asking for advice on a forum with a variety of people with a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Each is going to give you their advice from their particular context and their individual experience, so opinions will vary and will sometimes seem conflicting or even contradictory. There are some who have quite strong opinions and sometimes discussions get a little heated. I point this out because YOU are asking the open question that invites disagreement or conflicting responses. It would be wise to sort through the advice and select the options that fit your particular circumstances, budget, skill level, etc. After rading people’s advice, you’ll need to do your own research for detailed information on the tanning, pickling, preserving methods mentioned as not many are going to take the time to write a treatise on how to tan small mammals for taxidermy. Then you’re going to have to try the different methods yourself and see what works for you. All the advice in the world, and all the internet research you can possibly find will not replace your own trial and error experience.
    In short, Don’t let the “contradictions” keep you from doing what is necessary to learn and enjoy learning taxidermy. Good luck!
    Ryan Suto likes this.

  3. I've used DP primarily in the past. This year I'm using Denatured alcohol and krowtann. I like the denatured alcohol a little better, but krowtann is good stuff and real simple.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    So what is the purpose of the denatured alcohol or is that your alternate method? Denatured alcohol is not really good stuff to be working with though I guess I'm a survivor. It's poisoned and just breathing it can give you headaches and lung problems. There are some really great paint on tans out there now that require only that a fleshed hide be salted for 6-10 hours, washed off, towel dried and paint tan applied. The paint stays on for 6-8 hours, it's washed off and the hide mounted. I have animals 25 and 30 years old hanging on the wall beside professionally tanned hides and the differences are negligible.

    I sense there's a bit of an attitude in your initial posting. If you came here and didn't learn anything, that that one's on you. I have been doing taxidermy for over 60 years and I don't think there's been a time that I didn't learn something - even if it was to never ask that individual for advice. There is an archives here that would fill a library and if you skate back into the old forums, you double that information. The one thing that still holds true is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Many of the various methods often lead to the same result. It's up to you to pick and choose which one suits YOU best.
    elektroyu, Ryan Suto and rigbobby like this.
  5. If you were asking me about the DA George, I use it alot. I've used krowtann on the last 15 or so and will more than likely stick with it.
  6. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Personally I have tried a lot of different tans and I seem to always go back to EZ-100. I have used (and still do from time to time) paint on tans and they work just fine as long as you follow the directions. I am only a hobbyist so I have no deadlines or customers nagging me when there mount will be finished. Tanning takes longer but I tan every mammal skin, including squirrels.

    Will dry perserve work? Certainly, when I first started with J.W. Elwood's course that was all I had available and it did pretty good. What I didn't like was with dry preserve all of the shrinkage occurred after it was mounted. If you tan the hide, most of the shrinking is over with by time it is done with little (or not noticable) shrinkage on the mount.

    Experimentation is the only way to find out what works best for you.
  7. Westcoast

    Westcoast Active Member

    Just use Krowtan for small mammals, it doesn’t get much easier
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Oh the humanity. EASIER than DP or DA???? I think not. Not now, not ever, never. If I recall, Krowtann takes 2 to 4 days. DP and DA take about 5 minutes and the paint on tans take 6 hours. And as I've repeated here many times before, one of the greatest small game taxidermists of our time was Henry Wichers Inchemuk. Henry used denatured alcohol.
    Triple J Taxidermy likes this.
  9. Denatured is good stuff if you can handle the headaches.
  10. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    dont try to get good advice here... too many know it alls that think thier methods are best... contact one of the suppliers they have experts on staff or get a couple good videos or books
  11. Krowtan is easy. I use it often. I've never tried DP or DA. I'd have to take your word George that it's easier. I've used paint on tans on occasion if I'm in the shop for the day. Krowtan is convenient for me because I can flesh and turn and throw it in and come back later when I have more time. DP or DA may be "easier" than Krowtan. Westcoast said "it doesn't get much easier", not that it was the easiest. My guess is he doesn't have any experience with DP or DA, like me. But why would anyone want to use DA if it's poison and causes headaches and lung problems?
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Because we're taxidermists and we do "stupid" quite well. Krotann is an acid but I know people who use their bare hands in it. Form foam when burned is carcinogic but I see people recommending that the mold release be "burned off" with a torch. Casting foam gives off carcinogic gas when mixed, but we still do it. We skin animals without gloves knowing well there are exotic bacteria and viral entities that can kill us if we contaminate our bodies with it. We wash birds in acetone which is easily absorbed through the skin into the liver. We wash them with naphthalene (Coleman Fuel) knowing that it causes eczema. We cut ourselves and never think about contracting tetanus or blood poisoning. We inject animals with formaldehyde and methanol knowing those are not human friendly products. We use air brushes and rasp foam without respirators because we discount emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. We mix Bondo and use lacquer thinners and epoxies inside the shop and get everyone high . I see no reason to be concerned about denatured alcohol.
    Megan :), cyclone and Jackson1814 like this.
  13. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    George, none of those things will hurt you at all, until you get older and realize you are not immortal. I have lung problems, had Lyme disease and the complications that come with it, a liver disease, allergies etc. I should have worn dust masks, respirators, gloves, eye protection, but, instead when you are invincible, those things just get in your way. Youth is wasted on the young and I was good at squandering it. I now pay a heavy price for not heeding the advice of the wise and castin my lot with those who who "knew better".
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Isn't that the gospel, Tanglewood? For years I had Teflon skin and a Kevlar ass and it all went away as the years past. Guess I'm trying too hard to leave a decent looking corpse.
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Well...you were preachen...then you went to medlin!!:mad:
    George and Megan :) like this.