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Tanning Questions For A Beginner

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by SloppyDoe, May 15, 2022.

  1. SloppyDoe

    SloppyDoe Member

    Hello, I am new to tanning and learning as I go. I have a few questions.
    1. Can a pickle be super greasy and still tan correctly given the correct salinity and ph?
    I have a few coyote capes and one extremely greasy grey fox in a pickle. Once I put the grey fox in a fresh pickle, it became very dirty and greasy. Will it be okay or should I make a new batch? These have been salted for several days before put into a fresh pickle. Once I touch the pickle water, my hands become grimey.
    2. Will shedding skins forever shed after tanned?
    I have a coyote that is shedding pretty bad. The fur doesn't come off in tufts like a slip but it is shedding pretty good. After tanning, Will it continue to shed? Should I trash it or should I practice my tanning?
    Will drying skins after salting prevent shedding entirely? Because I have some professionally tanned pelts that shed a little but not like one of my coyote I'm working on. (It hasn't been salted yet, just fleshed but I noticed it sheds like a live dog.)
     
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Ok , I never degrease before pickling. I don’t salt fox most the time . I flesh then take a couple towels and wipe as much fat and grease of as possible then straight into the pickle. If really bloody I will flesh then salt , but only leave it salted for a few hours then I will rinse it in a clear cold water bath to get the blood out and squeeze the water out then straight into the pickle. But my pickle has a degreasing agent in it . Then after tanning I wash it a few times in dawn . As far as the shedding , if it’s not slip your fine , but it will shed till you brush it out , kinda like a dog . That said if not killed in the winter and not prime you will or could have shedding, again as long as the epidermis isn’t coming up it’s not slipping. Hope that helps ya some .
     
    KerMac likes this.

  3. SloppyDoe

    SloppyDoe Member

    Thank you for your reply and it helps a lot! I'm pretty sure the epidermis isn't coming up because I've seen when that happens. It's just shedding quite a bit, so hopefully I can brush it out. As for the fox, I'm glad to know. This skin was shipped to me as salted and prepped so I put it into the pickle. I've seen people just put their hides straight into the pickle before but I've also heard people letting their skins dry completely out before doing so. I'm not sure if it matters either way as it will be rehydrated. Anyway, thanks!
     
  4. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    If I had a dry salted fox or yote I would rehydrate in a brine first , 1 lbs salt per gal of water , making it plyable before it went in pickle.
     
  5. SloppyDoe

    SloppyDoe Member

    Thank you, for my dried salted skins I will do that! Thanks for your help.
     
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    yes you still can tan with a greasy pickle as bears are notorious for this. You have to degrease a hide properly otherwise tans will never work correctly.
    Even if you degrease during the pickle ( citric acid pickles) aid in degreasing skins but I will still degrease my skin after three days in the pickle, shave and then do my degreasing.
    Degreasing is done with warm water which aids in opening the pores of the skin to get the grease out of them. Never ran into a professional tannery that doesn’t do this process along with agitation. Most thin hides are good after about 3–4 hr soak larger mammals can take 3 degreasing to get out the grease.
    After the degreasing it goes back into the pickle overnight, drain neutralize and if your pickle is greasy I would add some degreasing product to your bath, drain and then tan. Skin can’t be properly degreased after the tan as that only gets the surface fats and grease out. Oil next if your doing a static tan or some rub on tans have oils already in them.
    Always follow directions. Tru-bond has some good information for home tanners to tan properly.
     
    KerMac likes this.
  7. SloppyDoe

    SloppyDoe Member

    Thank you for your reply, I am using Rittel's EZ tan. I have a degreaser (super solvent) and will use that for degreasing. It goes into a tanning solution for a day, then after is oiled. Should it be rinsed well after oiling? Or washed with soap?
     
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Degreasing doesn’t go into the tan. Degreasing is done separately as I wrote prior.
    After the oiling ( overnight) you can just rinse it off or if anything shampoo the fur or hair side and rinsed.
     
  9. SloppyDoe

    SloppyDoe Member

    Yes they are separate, thank you for your help!
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  10. KerMac

    KerMac New Member

    New taxidermy school graduate here. Made my first pickle today for 2 salted otters and planning on making a new pickle for a frozen porcupine that's due to arrive. Know porcupines are greasy but have never performed "official" degreasing. What product/s do you recommend? Thanks!
     
  11. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Tru-bond makes a great degreasing product lipa-solve 77
     
    KerMac and washxc like this.
  12. KerMac

    KerMac New Member

    Thanks so much, Frank!
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.