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To Salt Or Not To Salt?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Vulpes Vulpes, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Until now, I have salted every hide prior to pickling. I know some taxidermists skip this step and still produce great mounts. I am attempting my first unsalted hide (bobcat), meaning it skinned it, fleshed it and put it right into pickle.
    Tell me the pros and cons of the different methods. I would like to your experience and things to watch out for.
    Thanks.
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I salt all mammals. it sets the hair and removes the untannable fluids, both are important but the latter to a bigger extent, by making the cell structures thirsty, and making space for the pickle to penetrate and then preparing the cells to absorb the tan. I thaw whole small game in a pickle and then even salt them afterwords.
     
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  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I don’t salt , I flesh and do a cold water rinse to get blood out squeeze and straight into the pickle, I can’t see dehydrating something to rehydrate and I’ve never had issues, I use pro 1 products. I let soak for 3 days take out thin and back in for 2 . But that’s just what works for me .
     
  4. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    ... what 3Bears said!
     
  5.  
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  6. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Nice video, that said , it is why I rinse my capes in clear cold water , when I put a cape in pickle without salting my pickle is clean and clear
     
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I used to salt until it was hard and then rehydrate. In the last year or so that I did taxidermy, I would salt them about 12 hrs, do a relatively quick rehydrate in water and surfactant, usually Kemal-4 and then into the pickle. I saw no difference in any of the steps from the pickle to the finished product.
     
  8. Thanks everyone. I had a hard time thinning the skin of the bobcat after skipping the salting. The skin wasn’t as thirsty for the pickle and didn’t plump up as much as normal. This made shaving harder. The skin only plumped up once in the neutralizing bath. I think I could have mitigated these problems if I had a shaving wheel. I’m going back to salting!
     
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I don't shave most small game but rather remove the membrane with a bird fleshing wheel.
     
  10. 15pt

    15pt Active Member

    This
     
  11. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Agree I don’t shave small game , I push with dull draw knife
     
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