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Shaving- How Thin?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Cbntmtngal, May 3, 2020.

  1. Cbntmtngal

    Cbntmtngal New Member

    I'm referring to a deer cape in this post, but can only assume it's fairly similar for most mammals...

    I'm finding that when I'm shaving after the initial pickle, there's a average/normal thickness, its a dull white, there's flexibility and you can pinch the hide with ease but that 'loose' feeling when you rub your fingers together isn't there, if that makes sense... BUT, if I'm super careful, I can shave it down to an almost paper thin layer, mind you I'm not seeing any hair follicles, but it's definitely a lot thinner than the first shave..

    My questions- first, is the first mentioned shave good enough to mount or is the ultra thin shave what it should be?
    Secondly, is the very thin shave more desirable for dry tans, I'm talking along the lines of fox, coyote, maybe deer hide, something I can obtain at home, even if it's not "broke" the proper way..nothing like bear, elk, moose, etc., that'll go off to a tannery.
    And finally, is that thin shave too thin? Will it cause hair slippage/more tears throughout the mounting or drying process?
    I apologise I have no pictures at the moment. Hopefully my description makes sense..
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Lol yep we understand but time, experience will aid you in this. The norm we say : shave till you see the blue. Right before you hit the hair follicles. That’s perfect for any situation.
    It’ll make for softer rugs, less shrinkage on mounts , more stretch etc , it’s all a bonus.
    Now as you doing it on your own for small to medium mammals care needs to be taken to get there but not totally necessary but it’s only going to take more elbow grease to get them soft.
    Now over shaving will lead to tears, rips bitching cause it’s hard to sew it up. You’ll just have to learn through experience as it’s hard to show pics and it’s better to see and feel in person to get an honest opinion.
    Cbntmtngal likes this.

  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me your first shave is thin enough, and is how I do most of mine. If you go to thin and it does rip or tear your going to have a hell of a time trying to repair it . And it will make the hair get a little unruly if your not careful. But at the same time if your looking for every little detail to be seen then thinner is better .
    Cbntmtngal likes this.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Shaving to the blue doesn't always mean you'll see blue. In the blacktails I did there were areas that didn't look blue on the neck and face areas. I always shaved to the blue on the first shave, so I didn't need to spend time on a second shave.
    Cbntmtngal likes this.
  5. Consistency and evenness of shave is more important right now than thickness. Being able to get thinner comes with practice.
    Cbntmtngal likes this.