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

Best Method To Tan A Snake?

Discussion in 'Reptile Taxidermy' started by Catscratch1, Feb 14, 2023.

  1. Catscratch1

    Catscratch1 New Member

    I did a snake last summer with TruBond 1000b. It turned out ok but did loose some colors (yellows turned cream colored). When I do a google search on tanning snake skins most everything pops up using glycerin and alcohol. When I was a kid I just pinned/stretched them and salted.

    For you guys that have experience, what is the best way to tan a snake skin? I would like a wall hanger type thing with it looking as close as possible to original as I can.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Tru bond , pro 1 Liqua tan all work. you’ll never get exact colors as it’s dead with no blood flow. It’s why they get touch up paints when we mount them
    rogerswildlife likes this.

  3. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

    I just pinned/stretch them and then Borax. Let it dry then put antifreeze on it let it dry then put another coat maybe another.
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    He wants to tan them. Your method only preserves the skin.
  5. Vulpes Vulpes

    Vulpes Vulpes Active Member

    I’ve been doing hobby taxidermy and osteology for 5+ years and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know the difference beteen preserving and tanning. Can you explain? I tan everything but couldn’t tell you difference.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2023
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Simply put tanning changes the cell structure of a skin to where it can be softened, worn etc.
    Preservation collapses the structure to become hard and can be brittle . The use of glycerin is what helps keeps it pliable.
  7. Catscratch1

    Catscratch1 New Member

    Learn something new every day!

    Does glycerin do any preserving, or is that done by the alcohol?

    If someone didn't care if it was pliable, just wanted a skin to look good on the wall, which method is better?

    When I was a kid I would skin a snake and salt it. Don't remember what happened to any of those other than my grandmother found one in her house one day and proceeded to chase and shoot at me with my own BB gun. Funny thing is I hid behind her boyfriends truck and she shot it half a dozen times before giving up.
    Vulpes Vulpes likes this.
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Alcohol is the preservative
    Glycerin aids in not letting the skin totally dry out so it stays a little flexible.
    A wall hanger can be done in many different ways as it’s all it’s doing. Nothing wrong in any method. What’s important is that it’s cleaned properly.
    Vulpes Vulpes and Catscratch1 like this.
  9. Rare7273

    Rare7273 New Member

    I’ve used Snake tan and it was great! I’ve also used the denatured alcohol/gycerlyn combo and that just took more work to clean up but it was compable. I still prefer Snake Tan.
    Lee Lackey likes this.
  10. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    For wall-hangers, I often toss them in my alligator tan overnight. Its 1lb of salt, 3/10 lbs of ammonium alum, and 1 ml of Dawn per gallon of water.
    Deadduck likes this.
  11. Russell94

    Russell94 New Member

    I don't claim this is the best way, but I use the snake tan from Tandy Leather Stores. I skin, salt, dry...then put the tanning on the inside of the skin, roll it up and put in the fridge for 72 hours. I wash it, pat dry it and mount it. Once dry I use a 50/50 mix of glycerin and denatured alcohol and paint the skin. Never seems to lose color when I do this. I use an airbrush to apply the glycerin/alcohol.
  12. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    That’s not tanning but preserving a skin
  13. Russell94

    Russell94 New Member

    Tanning/preserving the same thing. The skin is ready for mounting and color does not fade in my experience. If you use a harsh tanning chemical you lose color. Try it before trying to look smart
  14. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Lol are you serious tanning and preserving are two different techniques
    Please educate yourself on this matter
    As for mounting do whatever you like but there’s a huge difference between the two. Lol