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#175929 - 01/16/03 04:50 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
River Runner, have you had any experience with the
Rittel's EZ-100 kit or heard anything about it? Is this an actual tanning kit or a preservative like the brush on?

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#175930 - 01/16/03 07:11 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
I'm not sure what all Bruce puts in those kits Silver Fox, as far as other chemicals. It's not going to be a brush on tan, no.
I use the #100 tan here. I buy that alone from Bruce in 50lb units. You might be getting the #100, something to pickle with, (not sure what he sends for a pickle with those), and tanning oil with a kit.
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#175931 - 01/16/03 07:36 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
Your tannery is listed as using the EZ#100. It doesn't however say anything about the kit. I take it tho, that you would recommend the #100, but haven't used the whole kit.

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#175932 - 01/16/03 04:38 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
You got it Silver Fox. Everything that gets shipped in here gets tanned in #100.
If you order one of his kits you'll be getting the same tanning chemical, yes. I just buy it bulk, it only makes sense to do so.

The reason I said that I don't know what all comes with the kits is that there are several different chemicals available to pickle with and I'm not sure which one he would include in those kits. I swear by the Oxalic Acid, but it is some wicked stuff.
I'm going to guess that he puts Saftee acid in the kits, which is damn good stuff from what I here.

You buying the kits as you are, will be able to buy them through Van Dykes Supply a lot cheaper then if you buy it direct. Just because your buying a kit. Thought you may want to know that.

Which reminds me, the chart that lists the pros and cons of the different tanning chemicals is on page 251 of Van Dykes latest catalog, If anyone has that. Otherwise I'll draw it up Saturday morning sometime and post it. I won't hav time until then.
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#175933 - 01/17/03 06:50 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
I've decided to try the EZ#100 kit. What process do you use? I mean the order of everything. Like wash then flesh then salt.....

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#175934 - 01/17/03 06:34 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Brennan Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 199
Loc: NW WA
My 2 cents

I got a coyote over Christmas break skinned it fleshed it and salted it. Then I had to go back to college. The lutan f kit came from van dykes and my dad tanned it for me. He finished it in a week and he said it turned out good i.e. soft and supple. He said there were complete instructions included with the kit. Hope this helps.

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#175935 - 01/17/03 07:48 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
tmwelch Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 48
Loc: Kill Buck,NY
Don't get dicouraged if you have trouble with rabbits they are very thin skinned and the hair is very easy to pull by accident.I had a taxidermist tell me a long time ago when I was just getting interested in taxidermy to steer clear of rabbits at first.Tom

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#175936 - 01/17/03 07:59 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
The hides that gets shipped to me have to be dried. So my process goes in this order;
1- Rehydrate the hides. Soaking in Rittel's Utra Soft
2- Give them a quick once over flesh job on the beam. Basically to break up the membrane and remove any large pieces of meat or fat left by the cutomer.
3- Wash the hides I like to use Tide and cool water and rinse them well afterwards.
4- Hang the hides up to drain for and hour.
5- Put the hides in the pickle bath For a MINIMUM of 3 days. Plunge them, stir them, a few times over this period.
6- After the 3 day minimum I pull the hides, hang them to drain for a while, and give them the final fleshing on the wheel. And return them to the pickle for a couple more days.
7- Pull the hides again and hang them to drain.
8- Once they drained a while they go into a nuetralizing bath. For 45 minutes.
9- Pull the hides from the nuetralizer and hang them drain again.
10- Then they go into the tan bath for several hours.
11- After that they get hung for 20 minutes, or tumbled to remove saturation.
12- Then the hides get oiled, folded and stored to sweat in the oil for 12 hours.
13- After that the hides get hung to dry for 8 hours.
14- After 8 hours the next several days are spent tumbling off and on between drying stages to soften the hide.
15- Once they are dried and softened they go into the tumbler with a dry cleaning sawdust mixture to clean and brighten the fur.

16- Go have a beer before the next batch.
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#175937 - 01/18/03 11:07 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
Well...what I was afraid of just happened this morning. I can seem to get my ancient Mustek II scanner to function anymore. It's been getting more and more tired, freezes up, can't find data sources, ah hell it's going out to the curb today.

Like I said if anyone has the latest Van Dykes catalog the chart is on page 251.
Brennen mentioned the Lutan-F agent. Quoting the chart Lutan is right up there in the rankings with Rittels #100.
The differences are Lutan will slowly leach out of the skins if washed or gotton wet. Rittels #100 or (EZ tan) won't.
Also It takes 1 pound of Lutan-F to tan say 4 Fox hides where it would only take 10 ounces of EZtan to do the same.

Sorry I couldn't scan the chart guys. I'd be happy to photo copy it and mail em to anyone that wanted one.
Otherwise Van Dykes sends out their catalogs free also. 1-800-843-3320
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#175938 - 01/21/03 06:57 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
Thanks River. My only problem now is lack of heat in my garage. The only other place is my basement, but it's a "Michigan" basement. Dirt floor and very damp. Neither sounds like a good option to me. What do you think?

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#175939 - 01/22/03 01:53 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
I'd lean towards the basement, Silver. As long it's 65 degrees or real close down there.
The dampness really isn't that important for just tanning.
You want someplace dry if your going to be storing salt dried furs or already tanned furs. But for the process itself, you'll be ok.
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#175940 - 01/27/03 03:49 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
Have you ever had any problems with hair slippage
using the #100? My friend tried some and said he got all kinds of slippage. He's also kinda stingy
and won't keep his shed warm all the time. Could the nearly freezing water have caused this?

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#175941 - 01/27/03 12:02 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
I think I've probably lost 3 hides due to slippage over the years. But you can see it coming a mile away and I usually refuse bad hides when I get them.
Slippage is caused by bad handling, and poor fleshing. The meat and fat left on the hide rots and eats the derma layer away with it, causing the hair folicals to let go.
When you tan a hide, there shouldn't be so much as a trace of meat or fat on the hide. Therefore it can't rot because of a bad Tanning chemical.
A bad tanning chemical simply wouldn't tan the hide. The hide would just be a dried skin and eventually draw bugs, moths, etc.

A properly fleshed hide, say a deer hide, will be completely smooth and usually a very uniform white once it's pickled. Depending on the primenss of the skin. Varmints pretty much the same except you'll be able to see the pores in the skin when it's fleshed thoroughly.

Temperature of the tanning agents doesn't cause slippage either. But things should be tanned atleast at room temperature to keep the pores of the skin open and able to absorb the tanning agents.
Also, #100 is a powdered agent and will cake up instead of dissolving in cold water.
#100 tans at a PH level of 4.0. No higher, no lower.
I fing it hard to believe that your friend held a PH level of 4.0 with the tan not properly mixed like that.
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#175942 - 01/28/03 03:39 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
I kinda figured it was more technique than problems with the tanning agents. Thanks alot for
answering all these questions.

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#175943 - 01/28/03 04:51 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
One more question River and then hopefully I'll be able to stop bothering you. I just finished up a deer hide and wasn't expecting a whole lot out of it so I left it pretty thick because I planed to just tack it to the wall. It turned out better than I hoped and now I would like to get it more flexible. Can I put back on the fleshing machine now that it's tanned or do I just need to spend a whole lot of time at the breaking board?

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