November 23rd, 2009, 10:49 AM
Turning ears and lips
I am bound and determined to learn taxidermy, but am trying to do as much practice as I can on my own while I save up for schooling. I have started working on a doe cape, just to practice on. I feel that I got everything fleshed out fairly well except around the lips and ears. I want to know, how much of the little bits and pieces of meat and fat have to come off of the lips and around the nose pad. I have worked on that area for hours and don't want to make holes in it. I also was wondering how you turn an ear exactly. I have watched videos but they don't really help you. The membrane on the inside of the ear is so thin that I cant seem to seperate it from the cartlidge. Is every ear like that or are does ears thinner.
November 23rd, 2009, 11:42 AM
need to remove all meat everywhere yes eyes noise lip line as far as the ears go get you some ear openers from one of the taxidermy catalogs that will help you andyes you will blow open a ear some of the times it is going to happen
November 23rd, 2009, 11:46 AM
You must turn the lips and eyelids and get as much meat or fat out. from the flesh side of the skin use a razor blade to turn or skin the inner lip to the edge of the outer lip, same for the eyelids and nostrils getting all cartilage and meat out with as few or no nicks or cuts as possible.
Using ear openers free the back side of the ear from the cartilage and then skin the innner ear hide away ( takes time but less sewing later).
Remember to double salt and make sure you rub non-iodized salt into these areas and all over the hide. Roll up and put on an angled board to drain. After 24 hours unroll clean all salt off the hide. Check for any areas that you may have missed fat or meat then rub New salt into all areas again and the full hide, flesh side. Roll and leave 24 hours to drain on angled board.
The reason for all this is to drain fluid from the hide which will cause rot and cure the hide to prepare for tanning. It can be dried after this until ready to tan or go right into the pickle then tan.
Go to taxidermy.net, join the forum and there are some great videos at no charge you can watch.
November 23rd, 2009, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the advice. I actually was using ear openers that I had purchased. I tried not to get into to big of a rush, but I couldn't believe how incredibly thin the skin is on the inside of the ear. So thin that I couldn't get a scaple blade between it and the cartlidge, much leass an ear opener. The opener worked great on the outside of the ear but The inside of the ear was starting to look like swiss cheese.
November 23rd, 2009, 01:23 PM
Something that will make it a little easier is to turn the ear lips and eyes and just rough flesh it. Then get some Krowtan and follow the directions that comes with it. After that it is much easier to thin the skin. There is a lot of people that don't like krowtan but I have been using it for years with no problem. I would not recommend going the dry preservative route. With krowtan you can skip a lot of steps with other tanning methods. No salting , no pickling just tan and go. You can get it from vandykes taxidermy. Enough in 1 bottle for 4 average size deers.
November 23rd, 2009, 04:41 PM
Went to Vand... site to check out the Crowtan. It is an acid pickle using salt and some possible tanning agents. That is why the skin turns white and why you must baking soda the hide and liquid to neutralize.
So the only step skipped is the double salt which I would not skip....IMHO.
Starting with a good double salt assures no hair slip and good tanning results that last for years.
Good to learn basic methods before you "Skip Steps".
November 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM
keebes4 thanks for the advice. This might let you know how much of an amature I am but thanks to someone elses advice I got on taxidermy.net and saw a forum about just tanning an ear with the cartlidge still attached to the inner ear and then removing the cartlidge later. I just didn't think the tan would work until after the cartlidge had already been removed. Well it may be too late for this cape but in the future, would using krowtan work like this? I am getting ready to use Rinehart tanning cream on this cape to see how it works. I think it is similar to Krowtan because it is basically a one step tanning process. as far as I know you salt for 1 day, then brush on tanning cream and let sit for one day. Also this is another dumb question but do you even have to remove the cartlidge in the ear? I thought I saw something that said you did not. Wouldn't it rot?
November 23rd, 2009, 09:38 PM
Ear openers are only used to turn the outside of the ear. To remove the cartilage from the inner ear skin you must do it by hand. You can tan the skin before removing the cartilage with no problems. The cartilage can (and should) be left in when using the bonded ear method, but should be removed IMO whenever using liners.
10813 NE Witt Rd
Cameron, MO 64429
November 23rd, 2009, 10:26 PM
tan before worrying about the front of the ear skin. just spread apart the back side for now. once back, fold and sllice the cartlige (not too deep through the skin on the front) and then peel by hand..
i've had this work easy, and ive had it take an hr..... all depends on the deer.
also, if you start to pull hair through, stop and try from another angle...'
this step can be a peice of cake, or a pain in the butt... good luck, hope you get an easy one
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