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Realizing the importance of a good tan

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by oldshaver, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Being a Taxidermist, does not mean you have to be able to tan a hide. Some of yall are putting the cart before the horse. From what I see, un-experienced Taxidermists, are worried about tanning, when they should be worried about the appearance of their mounts. Your customer doesn't care who tanned that skin, they just care what it looks like on the wall. Hit and miss tanning, will cost you customers. Every animal you get has value to your customer, or they wouldn't have brought it to the Taxidermist, in the first place. Tanning in 5 gallon buckets, or washing machines, is not placing a high enough value on these skins. Your trying to get repeat business, not experiment with someones trophy. This is just a little food for thought, for the newbees. Tanning isn't rocket science, but it is an important part of your business, that doesn't need to be left, to guess work. Concentrate on mounting first, then come back to the tanning, after you build a customer base. Find a reputable tannery, and alot of your mounting problems will be solved.
  2. jrosbor

    jrosbor Member

    I agree Mr. Young.

    Tanning in house can be close to the big boys, if you own the right equipment. Now, if you own that equipment, and you know how to use it well. You should be able to get CLOSE to the better tanneries. It seems the more you do it the better you get, but you never hit it right on the money until you do it every day and more than even the bigger taxidermists.

    I have allways made GOOD leather, but I didn't start making GREAT leather until I started doing it as much as I am now. Using the same machines day after day... all day long, you start to learn more about the machines AND the skins you are working with. Kinda like doing taxidermy. The people who have been at this a long time consistently have GREAT looking pieces. The young bucks in the crowd have a show stopper now and then but the vets hold the shows year after year.

    You kids have fun with it!

  3. oldterryr

    oldterryr Terry's in Heaven with no worries at all.

    good try oldshaver ...... are you hard up for work (LOL) - think i'll keep controlling my own destiny
  4. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    No, Terry, got all the work we can stand. Thanks for asking though. :-*How many of the newbees out there, do you think own a shaving machine? Probablly less than 50%. How many are loosing customer skins,due to slippage, from lack of experience in tanning? I read alot on here, and see alot of people running into problems, that they could easily avoid, and concentrate on building a clientel. One day, I will retire from decades of working in a Tannery, until then I hate to see new Taxidermists fail in business, because of poor looking mounts, due to lack of tanning knowledge. Their success, means I will have income in the future. All the oldtimers, that are paying my wages now, will someday retire also. The new guys NEED more good advice, and not just the reccomendation some tan in a bottle. They are selling their time short. Do you think the Taxidermists sending us 150 deer a year, havent already figured this out? Their business grew to 150 deer a year, from good mounting, and good business sense. They arent worried about their 35-40 dollars, spent on tanning a deer cape. You might tan one at home for 5 dollars or less, but your time spent to do so, is left blowing in the wind. In any business, your time is worth money. Controlling your own destany? A good Tannery, will actually help you control your destany. They will replace skins, that they screw up, at no cost. Nickle and diming the cost of a tan will cost you business.
  5. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Here Terry, answer this one. My point is proved.

    have a question for all you pros out there.I flesh turn and tan.the tan i have been using krowtann.measure before tan on the deer and my eye to nose don't shrink but around the neck measurements always 3 or 4 inches smaller .i don't have fleshing machine i do it buy hand.HOW CAN I GET THE CAPES BACK TO THERE ORIGINAL NECK SIZE!!or some what close to that.if they get eny smaller I'm gonna run out of form sizes to use.i tanned one 21 inches behind the ears and it is 17 inches now.7 1/4 nose to eye . at this rate I'm gonna call barbee and ken and see if they have deer mankins in there play house l.o.l. thanks for your time Joe t point is proved.
  6. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Heres your reccomendation!

    use pathologist blade on beam to flesh hide - if hide isnt thin(er) it will NEVER go back on. I wonder how much time he will spend on this crap? Again, my point proved. The person in reference is spending too much time prepping a skin for mounting, when they should be MOUNTING, AND PERFECTING THEIR MOUNTS APPEARANCE! This came from the beginners forum.
  7. jrosbor

    jrosbor Member

    I was going to stay out of this for the most part... I agreed with OS on this in the first place but, here is another question.

    How many times on an "average" deer cape, does a full size fleshing machine need to be touched up during shaving?

    Bonus question. On a wet tanned cape, you can't get the seam to come together behind the ears... When it does come together, the ears are too high up on the head. What went wrong?
  8. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Im not sure what you mean jrsbor? Touched up? I probablly tune the blade 5 times maybe more, during the shaving of one deer. Never counted. Whatever it takes to keep it smooth, on that particular skin. If your talking about guard adjustment, I set it once, after every grind, and do everything from mink, to cape buffalo, withe the same adjustment. I adjust the lip of the knife, to compensate for the difference in skin thickness.
  9. Yes, OS... I did mean "tune" with a steel. I usually touch up the blade a bit more, around 7 times. I like to touch it up when it stops "biting" in. I use the same amount of force to shave from start to finish. If I find the blade does not bite without having me force it, I touch it up. I also keep the guards set. We don't regrind the blades in house so I reset the guards with every blade change reground or new.

    No comments on the bonus question? It has to do with tanning, shaving in particular.

    Joe (jrsobor)