1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Degreasing For Rookies

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by trapperrev, May 6, 2021.

  1. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

    I've tanned a few things before but I'm still very much a novice. I've followed threads here where it was made explicit: follow the directions. Then followed conversation explaining the directions...

    Using Rittel's EZ tan, it's skin, salt, rehydrate, pickle, shave, degrease, pickle, neutralize, tan, oil, stretch.

    It was made clear to do each step to its conclusion before moving on. I've tanned a couple beavers and a couple raccoon, all of which I suspect needed degreased and I did it insufficiently. What's done is done, but I have more I'm wanting to try again. I have no clients, this is solely hobby.

    First, what's a safe temperature range for degreasing?
    Second - if one round of degreasing is insufficient and it needs degreased again before moving on, does it go back in the same degreasing water (like putting it back in reusable pickle) or is the degreasing agent used and it needs a fresh bath (like tanning agent that is consumed by the process)?
    Third, some of you guys, like Frank, have done this so long you can tan with your eyes closed and the signs are obvious, but how does a novice tell if it's sufficiently degreased or needs one more round?
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ok safe temp is the temp of the animal your working on 90-96* is very safe . Some skins can handle 110* but no higher and should be pickled throughly but then you are chances it. It should be in the solution for 2-3 hrs. always agitated every 15 minutes.
    Question two is hard as it does come with experience and feel. But sometimes a fingernail test helps but dragging your nail across the skin ( flesh side) and if it’s still shiny and kind of really glide over the skin it’s probably still needs another bath.
    Some degreasing solutions can be reused but then you’ll have to reheat it and now your putting a skin back into the grease again and can give you a false reading. So personally I dump and make new, as I want my skins to be pristine as good as I can. I will add that you doing a beaver will take two- three degreasing plus a few shaves.
    Hopefully this will help you.
    trapperrev likes this.

  3. tazzymoto

    tazzymoto Well-Known Member

    You Can add degreaser to the pickle as well
  4. trapperrev

    trapperrev Member

    Thank you. Shaving is the biggest challenge I've encountered; that takes finesse doing by hand! But I knew I wasn't understanding degreasing properly. The first time I "degreased" was with groundwater from the hose and Super Solvent in the garage. It was an unproductive step that wasted material and didn't degrease at all.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.