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In House Tanning Or Send Away?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Randy4536, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Randy4536

    Randy4536 New Member

    Honest opinion on quality comparing tannery using lutan fn or in house pro1 submersible LTC. Reason I ask is been using pro 1 for couple years with good success (super white,great stretch and no slip whatsoever) but don’t know longevity of product. Have a lot of deer to mount and running behind possibly eliminate myself from tanning. So not sure if taking less in and tanning in-house is the best or taking more getting tannery process and just worry about mounting.
    Can a in-house tan be just as good if not better then tannery tan?
    Am I doing a disservice to customer by sending away when in house I can control every aspect of the tan. And I’ve saved some nasty hides from being ruined that most likely wouldn’t make it in a tannery.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Lol the only difference is control.
    Perspective of clients us another as they assume that a tannery is better than you if your qualified, skilled enough to tan properly.
    I’ve seen home tanners use the same products but with different outcomes cause of skill and knowledge. Just because you have the right tool doesn’t mean you’ll get the same quality in the end.
    Ok saying this most can’t do what tanneries can do as they have excellent equipment.
    As far as saving hides that’s questionable cause letting a tanning company know your issues prior to them working on them , they will use different solutions to save them as their in the business and have either a chemist on hand or they know these formulas on hand on what to do. So I’ll disagree with you there as I have first hand knowledge of this. Now if you don’t tell them , well the outcome is your fault.
    Now as for the products used lol it’s their choice. Some as I said above have or know chemistry and make their own tans or as the standard is Lutan F with some companies using Pro1 chemicals.
    Now are you doing a disservice? That depends on your quality and knowledge of your work. I’ve been tanning since I’ve started taxidermy plus I deal with tanneries all the time and we discuss many different issues in tanning. I might be very small compared to their load of work but our knowledge is spread to one another. As I’ve proved to them what my product looks like compared to theirs they understand that 90% of tanneries can’t do what I do. Ahh cost in thinning and detail work. Some offer but at a higher cost.
    If your doing above then your service is excellent if not then use a tannery till you get there.
    Plus one question that is always said : Are you a taxidermist or a tannery? Food for thought
    MixedupMel and silverwings like this.

  3. John67

    John67 Member

    I’m still a novice when it comes to tanning and shaving, but I can do better than some tanneries I’ve used in the past. Along the same line, there are many tanneries that produce a far better end product than my current equipment and skill. With this said, selecting a quality tannery is more important than pro1 vs Lutan
  4. Randy4536

    Randy4536 New Member


    Thank you for the reply . Appreciate it . My outcome product is good. My shaving and detailing I feel is better then tannery . Tannery I used never touched muzzle and eye area etc . And I’ll shave 2 times on pickled cape to get it perfect .

    I only tan deer capes ,( about 40 )as I don’t want to nor do I have time for bears/African hides.

    I don’t have fancy equipment like tannery but Is there need for it with capes ? Basically I double salt, dry hard , rehydrate 5 capes at a time overnight 100 gal tub rehydrater , once hydrated rope tubs individually then follow pro1 instructions and I don’t tumble .

    It just doesn’t look maybe as professional and all you hear is the best quality leather will only come from a tannery from other taxis and customers opinion but are they doing anything far superior on a deer cape ? African ,shaving greasy bears I could see .
    MixedupMel and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  5. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Pro 1 all the way for deer and small game , things that I can handle on fleshing wheel ( shoulders) rest I send to tannery, saves me time getting done as I’m doing the stuff I can . I’ve been using pro 1 for bout 10 years I guess for my clients and competition pcs with no issues whatsoever. Great product
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    My deer capes that I home tanned, regardless of the tan I used, always turned out better than the ones that I sent out except one tannery that I used was equal to my stuff.

    Elk, bears and fur bearers were always better from a tannery for me. My home tanned bobcats tuned out great, but lacked a certain softness and sheen that the tannery hides had.
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I’m not a user of Pro1 or lutan just not a fan but the tan is a good tan. your hydration tub is oversized but it works and that counts.
    same for your tanning which is fine. I’ll tan my capes all in one tub as no need to do Pro1 ways. To much work to tan that way for me. Mixing them up during the process.
    I tan everything in my shop and those I’ve tanned bears for like what I do compared to tanneries. It’s a matter of opinion but if done properly your tan and tanneries can be no difference when it comes to deer . keep it up
    MixedupMel likes this.
  8. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Not sure why you say pro 1 is to much work, I mix 18 gal tub w/ 1lb salt per gal and it’s like 8 oz of safety acid . I rough flesh rinse the blood out in cold water , squeeze excess water out put in pickle , NO salting cape , I get 5 to a bath I have a old plastic bread crate cut to shape of tub I put on top and push them all under and I have a stick kinda thing I wedge to keep them down for 3 days . I will ck ph after 1st day and adjust. After 3 days I run on machine put back in for 2 then paint tanning oil on and roll up 6 hours later I put in bag and freeze. You can’t get much easier. I’m friends with Paul and that is the way he taught me to use his product . I love not salting a raw cape . Saves time money and mess .
  9. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    His directions are you need to mix it a lot during the day before you leave the shop for the night. That’s the only reason I said that.
    MixedupMel likes this.