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Rehydrating African skins

This is a discussion on Rehydrating African skins within the Before & After the Hunt forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Looking for help on how to best rehydrate African capes. I do all of my Dad's and mine mounts from ...

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    TexasAg's Avatar
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    Default Rehydrating African skins

    Looking for help on how to best rehydrate African capes. I do all of my Dad's and mine mounts from Africa (so far 21 total) and have had issues in rehydrating the thicker skin capes. Wondering if any taxidermists would give me some help on how to best rehydrate these capes. Thanks in advance.

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    TOM
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    Hunted Africa...are there other continents to hunt?

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    I know there are a few taxidermy forums that could answer this one quickly. I've heard good things about: Taxidermy Net
    Tom

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    I've looked at that forum a while back, however a lot of people keep their method secret. I'm hoping somebody here will help me out. I'm working an Eland I took in Zim and it's been a pain. Next I have to do Dads' and my elephants, good luck to me on that

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasAg View Post
    I've looked at that forum a while back, however a lot of people keep their method secret. I'm hoping somebody here will help me out. I'm working an Eland I took in Zim and it's been a pain. Next I have to do Dads' and my elephants, good luck to me on that
    Yaa,good luck with that

    I've been in a tannery that can do that work;

    How would you even think you could break and shave an elephant skin at home?

    Yikes

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    For saving $5,000, I'll try just about anything.

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    Guess I'd try Bruce Rittel...

    For general info for everyone else reading along...

    In Zim elephant tanning on flats or ears is around $12 sq ft...In the states its about 18-25;last I checked around.

    Prepping a shoulder cape about $4500 in the US thats shaving the trunk, ear halves etc down to mountable thickness.It usually is done with several men to manipulate the skin,while the shaver cuts down the thickness of the skin.

    John B who posts here worked for one of the all time greats in the industry tanning.

    What can happen for capes difficult to rehydrate is they are poorly prep'd and can become air dried.They will no longer will become flexible enough on a cellular level to absorb and chemically treat the skin to become leather.

    One reason to ask when you are checking an outfitter to see if your reference can supply you with the taxidermist they are using,to see how cape quality was.

    Often salt becomes contaminated or poor quality salt,affects trophy quality.

    If you see fresh bags of salt in the skinning shed,chances are you will be OK.

    Dinsdale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
    Guess I'd try Bruce Rittel...

    John B who posts here worked for one of the all time greats in the industry tanning.

    Dinsdale
    Looks like that's my cue ... what is needed to relax those wooden African hides ... is a good commercial relaxing agent. Bruce Rittel used to sell all this stuff but has sold out to another company that I have not heard a lot of good as far as carrying things and back ordering most items.

    Available from WASCO - Wildlife Artist's Supply Company. In the U.S. and Canada, call our toll-free phone line at 1-800-334-801.
    Website WASCO -- Wildlife Artist Supply Company
    Knobloch's Relax R

    This oil-based skin relaxer can be used in the dehydration solution to help relax dry salted skins or tanned skins prior to mounting. Simply add two ounces of Relax R to every five gallons of brine solution. Soak the skin until partially pliable, remove the skin and proceed with the salt bath or pickle.



    Code Item Description Price
    LT240 32 oz. Relax R 13.70

    It is very labor intensive to break these thick, bone dry skins. The relaxer is an assist ... the bulk of the work is done by hand ... in a professional commercial tannery, it is done by machine! I always send my hides out to a commercial tannery. I am a Taxidermist, and I'm happy mounting the skins that come back from the tannery, ready to mount! Something to seriously consider!

    Hope this helps!

    John.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    John Bellucci
    Master Taxidermist
    John Bellucci's Artistic Wildlife Taxidermy
    159 N. Bickett Rd.
    Xenia, OH 45385
    (937) 376-5597

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