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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tanning a coon skin

I have a recently tapped coon on the board drying out, I decided to keep it and use it for some projects. Will i still be abel to tan it with fur on.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 12:05 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

Yes, you can tan it. There is no problem with tanning air dried furs.

After having consistently poor results with commercial tanneries, my daughter and I started tanning our own furs. We don't keep many but over the years have done a few dozen.

We have had great results with Rittle'sTanning Products.

Complete instructions come with the EZ-100 Kit.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 12:25 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

I'm completely the opposite Lugnut. I can't get a decent tan with the do it yourself kits and I follow the instructions to a T. I've used the Orange bottle stuff.
Moyle's tannery has produced some beautiful furs for me and the prices are very reasonable.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 01:41 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

Have you tried the Rittle's products? To be honest, it's the only tanning products we've ever used, so I have no experience or opinion on the other stuff. Rittle's was recommended by somebody that did a lot of home tanning and we've always had great results (been using it for years.)

The pickle (safety acid) and tan work great. The hard part is getting the skins as soft as a tannery job. They have the benefit of commercial hide shavers (many of which were used to shave holes in our best furs) and drum tumblers.

Red fox skins are easy, they require no shaving and break fairly easily to near tannery softness. Almost every other critter (except maybe possum and muskrat) has thicker leather which needs to be shaved before breaking or you will never acquire that "tannery" softness.

We have wall hangers done both at tanneries and home tanned, if we have been diligent about the shaving & breaking work, it is difficult to tell the difference.

We used to use USA Foxx & Furs until we found out how bad they were. Tails, ears and legs tore off, tears and holes shaved in pelts and more than a few furs that just went missing and were never returned.

We have used Moyle's in the past and have had excellent results but still prefer doing them ourselves.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 05:16 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

I agree with all of the above. The orange bottle is not what you want.. I like Rittel's EZ100 the best. I do have a digital ph tester and follow the instructions to the T. The ph is critical.. Also, you can oil the furs twice with the kit and my coyotes come out very supple.. Good luck.

It is time to manage avian predators!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 06:40 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

Quote:
Originally Posted by trappin4reds2010
I do have a digital ph tester and follow the instructions to the T. The ph is critical..
PH level is important in both the pickle and tanning solution. We use litmus strips but a digital tester would be nice. One thing I really like about the Rittle's (and it may be true with other methods..I don't know) is the ability to hold furs in the pickle for extended periods. I've had furs soak in the pickle for over six months (not recommended)after forgetting about them with no bad effects, they took a good tan like any other fur. I have a porcupine soaking right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trappin4reds2010
Also, you can oil the furs twice with the kit and my coyotes come out very supple.
When do you do your second oil? We just do the one after pulling them out of the tan and draining for twenty minutes. Let them air dry almost all the way then break.

I sometimes tumble them in the dryer (no heat) in a bag of sawdust, a couple of 2 x 4 blocks and a shot of Rittle's Super Solvent to remove any excess oil that didn't soak in or that got on the fur.

If my wife ever finds out about this I'm dead...

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 08:24 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

I don't always. But when I do double oil them I brush them again right before they're dry, about 6 hours or so after the first oiling.(in my basement, where the air is very dry from the wood stove). I have not had to "break" any furs yet. I do put them back on the fleshing beam after 3 days in the pickle and shave them a bit thinner. 3 days in the pickle plumps the skin and you can carefully shave them very thin (watching closely for the hair roots)... This has worked on fox, coyote, and deer. I have not tried a porcupine! That pelt will be a conversation piece for sure. Or a weapon...

It is time to manage avian predators!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2011, 10:45 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

The porky was a challenge to skin, not only because of the quills, but because they are very, very thin-skinned.

I'd like to get one mounted but can't afford it right now. Going to make a wall hanger out of it...nice sized (17 lb.) female. Hoping the quills "set" in the pickle and don't fall out after tanning.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 12:23 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

I've tried a few different types and also think rittels ez tan 100 is the best. Have done everything from weasels to coyotes. I also agree that being able to soak them until your ready is a major plus. I don't break them down much for wall hangers......

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 01:12 PM
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Re: Tanning a coon skin

OK, you guys talked me into it. I will give the Rittels a shot next time


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