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#175959 - 01/31/03 10:10 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
Oh yes, it has to be tons easier, STTH. Your converting the skin to leather, one. Two your giving back all the globular proteins robbed from the hide during the pickling process.

Most tanning agents today are mixed with water, yes. But they produce an acid when they are at the proper PH level.
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#175960 - 01/31/03 10:27 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
STTH Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 18
Loc: Turd Crick, MO
Thanks for your help, does the #100 you get from vandykes come with fairly plain instructions or are you on your own? What type of oil do you use and is tumbling the only thing you do to break the hide? Also I have always used sulfuric acid for the pickle, you recommend the oxalic? Is the EZ Tan the #100 you are talking about?

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#175961 - 01/31/03 10:45 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
If you buy it from Van Dykes, you'll get full directions. I buy mine bulk right from Rittel.

The oil I use is a professional tanning oil, and you can buy the same product from Van Dykes also. They call it Protal.

I hand stretch the hides in stages as I tumble them. As I mentioned earlier in the topic, I will tumble them for an hour or so several times a day and hand stretch them in between tumblings ..As they dry. The key here is to do so during the drying process, not before not after.
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#175962 - 01/31/03 10:51 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
oooooooops I missed part of your post STTH.

If I was to reccomend a pickling acid I'd reccomend the Saftee acid. I DO use the Oxalic acid but when this batch is gone I'm switching to the Saftee acid. Oxalic acid is not real enviromently safe and is pretty high priced compared to others that do the same job.

Yes, the EZ100 you see in Van Dykes is the same tanning I use, or call #100.
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#175963 - 02/04/03 07:59 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
River, thanks for all the help. Just got done doing another deer hide. With your help and tips this thing turned out so soft nice it made all the pain in the first on worth it (almost). The only thing I did different was to thin it more on the wheel and put it in the dryer he picked up after oiling. I did very little hand breaking. BTW, how would you thin the hide if you didn't have a wheel? If I decide to set up at my house I won't have money for a wheel for awhile.

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#175964 - 02/04/03 10:09 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
You'll need a razor edge on your fleshing knife, and you'll be able to do it with that. But it is a chore.
I still whack a few spots with mine while I have the hide on the beam, but it's a lot easier with the wheel.
Bruce Rittel used to tell me that once the hide was finished as your deer is, that you can go back and sand the hide thinner in the thick spots.
It does work, but wow, it's a whole lot easier to do the thinning while the hide is wet and on the wheel.
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#175965 - 02/04/03 11:11 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
Tell me about it. I started to sand the thick one. Ummm...no way. I'll just hang it on the wall. Will it cause the hair to fall out if I roll them up after they are all dry?

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#175966 - 02/04/03 02:22 PM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
No. You can't make the hair fall out now that its tanned.
The deer hair is hollow like straw remember, and it's not hard to break. I know it sounds silly, "hey I broke my hair", but you can pull on the hair itself and you'll see what I mean. So if your rolling them up, you might want to roll it loosely.
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#175967 - 02/05/03 03:51 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
If I get set up at my house I plan on running water up to where I'm at. Should I run both hot and cold or just cold? Should I run it before or after the softener?

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#175968 - 02/05/03 09:58 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 run both, hot and cold. Two reasons;
First, you want to always dissolve the tanning agent in hot water.
Second, the tanning baths should be between 65 and 75 degrees during tanning.

What I do is, lets say I'm mixing up a 50 gallon tanning solution. I'll fill a tank with 40 gallons of water and add the appropriate amount of salt to that. Mix it up until all the salt is dissolved. Then a take a smaller vat, put my 10 gallons of hot water in it, and add the appropriate amount of tanning agent, and mix that up intil it's all dissolved.
Then I take and add the 10 gallons of dissolved tanning agent to the 40 with the salt. The 10 gallons of hot water brings the temperature of the entire bath up to a respectable temperature.

Before or after the softener. It's half a dozen of one and six of the other, Silver~. I'd take a PH reading of the water before and after the softener and go with which ever had the lowest reading. Either way your going to have to do some buffering to the final baths to get the PH level where you want it. By starting with the lowest PH level you can from straight tap water, you'll do less buffering.
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#175969 - 02/06/03 09:23 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
RiverRunner, after putting my last hide in the dryer to tumble I really liked how it turned out, but I would like to add wood chips/dust of some kind to give the fur a nice scent and to really get it tumbling in there. If I go with the sawdust as you do something tells me the dryer won't be the best tool for that. What's the easiest way to build a homemade tumbler?

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#175970 - 02/06/03 09:52 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
No, the dryer won't last long if you do that. The gaskets between the drum and the door, and the one between the drum and the back panel will fill up and give away.

My digital camera sucks. I'll see if I can borrow a friends and get some pictures up of the one I made.
I have to go into Iowa this afternoon for a play my children are in, so give me a few days.
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#175971 - 02/06/03 09:57 AM Re: new to tanning (please help me)
Silver Fox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 297
Loc: North Branch Mi.
Not a problem. Thanks.

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