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New taxidermy info needed.

3708 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  TOPBOWARCHERY
Hello everyone. Im just getting into this art. I have started classes and I am in the process of mounting a nice buck right now.But I have a few questions for the pro Taxidermy guys. I was in construction and over years you learn what tools work better for certain jobs so Im sure its the same for Taxidermy work. I was looking at all the tools that a guy needs to make life easier. So tell me what is the tumblers for . I know this it can tan hides but what about birds. I have seen different mixes that you put into the tumbler but can any of you tell me the whole process of this . Thanks and which tumbler would you recommend and would you recommend these hide tanning machines also. I have talked to several Taxi guys and some tell me they will send there hides off to get tanned some times. Sorry for so many questions . .
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In shop tumblers are used to dry/clean hides, not tan them. The material inside removes the oils and residue left from tanning the hide and drys/fluffs the hair/feathers. A tumbler is not necessary if you are mounting game heads but would probably be a help if you are doing lots of birds. Larger tumblers such as the fur drums used by tanneries are used to break and soften the hides after tan. Ive got the yellow 30gal tumbler made by Van ***** {bought used for a good price}. I use a commercial tanner so it just takes up space as I hardly ever use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Taxi

Thanks for the info. I know that I have seen them but never got a chance to use one and was wondering what the concept was. My other question is. What does most taxidermist do . Send off there capes to be tanned or tan them there self. I had one guy tell me he sends all his off to be tanned. what is the reason for this. Is it because they stay so busy and dont want to waste there time on it since they can send them off. Why dont they just use a tanning creme it seems to be a quick process.
 

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I use a tanner because of the quality of tan. There is no way I can produce the same quality skin in shop with a tanning cream that I get back from a professional tannery. Start up tanning cost and shop space are other factors that keep me using a tanner.
 

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The only problem with sending your hides off to a tannery is you don't have any control over it. Tanning is a hassle but once you get it figured out it's not to bad. You can check a deer in today and do a quality tan and be ready to mount in a couple days or less depending which process you use, using a tannery you will wait and I have received different hides than I sent them and it's more of hassle to get them back. I have done wet tans and soft tans with excellent results since 1996 don't get me wrong it's alot of work but well worth it. As far as a tumbler I used a old dryer with groud corn cob media for years and it works great(with a few modifications)for birds and I have used it with some other hides as well. Good luck:darkbeer:
 

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Send them out.

In my opinion I would send them out to be tanned. I don't have the room or the time to tan them. One advantage I have, is the guy that tans them for me only lives 10 minutes from me. It is a pressure tan. Some taxidermist might not like the pressure tanning method but I have never had a problem. I am charged 35.00 to have it tanned. If I give him another 17.50 he will have it done in a few days. It is not worth my time or effort to tan it myself. In case you are wondering Yes I have tanned some hides.
 

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Tumblers are used for both tanning and cleaning the hides. During the tanning process a tumbler insures that the hide is uniformly exposed to the tanning solution.
Tanning is not difficult but if you hope to achieve consistent results you need more than just a tumbler. The process involves salting, pickling, fleshing - preferably on a fleshing machine, neutralizing, de-greasing, tanning, neutralizing again, oiling, tumbling. The pickling recipe includes salt, lactic acid and formic acid. All of the solutions must be monitored for ph levels or you could suffer from acid rot. For years I used a tanning chemical called 'Lutan F' which yields a very stretchable leather that's ideal for taxidermy. I used to do all my tanning with the exception of life sized buffalo or moose etc.
My tumbler was 6' across and I used corn cob dust to clean the hair. The tumbler was also used to soften hides that I dry tanned for rugs, etc.
 

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Quick version/explenation

This is the easiest way I have seen.

My friend takes a thawed hide, turns it inside out and pressure washes the meat off the hide from the atlas down (3000 psi with rotary tip) then turns it right side out and hand washes it in a 5 gal bucket of Mr. Clean and water (anti-bacterial) wrings the hide out and dries it off with a towel. Takes it inside and applies this - https://danchase.3dcartstores.com/E-Z-Mount-Dry-Tan-Preservative_p_11273.html - to the meat side of the hide. He then fleshes the face out with a razor blade, fleshes his ears out and forms them with bondo , preps the form and antler base. Applies Dan Chase hide paste to the form and slides the hide on, attaches the rack, makes clay ear butts, pins the face and sews it up. From thawed hide to hung on the wall drying in 5hrs. After a week or two (done drying) he details the face out, done deal.

examples done this way -







I killed this deer around 10am one morning and we had him mounted and hung on the wall by 11pm the same day. Luckily he had a form that was the right size for my deer. This is the day after we mounted him, drying but not detailed.



Sorry for the long post, but I have had deer mounts done this way 10yrs old and they look like day 1. Just something to look into.:thumbs_up
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mounts

I have been told to try this method and I would like to but someone stole my pressure washer off the back of the truck so that was $800 down the drain. But the mounts look nice .
 
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