Found this post...
I have a frozen deer cape that I want to tan for my SIL. It was frozen immediately when he dressed the deer within an hour of kill. He had the 12 pt buck head professionally processed English.
I've never attempted this before, but I make soap and I'm a retired art teacher...willing to learn or attempt new projects. I use power tools and can make the stretching frame. I've sewn fur and made purses from tanned leather
Hubby is a great craftman in the shop and can help with tool fabrication.
I've checked out Knoblochs website for information and have emailed them for some information on their kits. I can order a cape tanning kit which will have the basic chemicals and instructions. They offer two kits...shown below.
Do I need to purchase tanning salt or is it the same as canning salt (no iodine)?
Does a deer cape need the deodorizer?
I have several big stainless steel pans as well as plastic containers which can be used for the different processes.
What suggestions/tips would you have for me.
These two kits are offered by Knoblochs...which would be better for a beginner...?
LIQUA TAN TANNING KIT
The industry's leading tan is now available in a kit. Fast penetrating and easy to use, this kit comes with complete instructions. It contains: 1 pt. Liqua Tan, 1 pt. Tanning Oil #1 (for softening), and 1 lb. of citric acid. You will need to purchase your own salt and baking soda. This kit will tan 2-3 deer capes or 2 back skins, depending on size. You can use Liqua Tan to tan anything from Antelope to Zebra skins.
1 pint Liqua Tan
1 pint Tanning Oil #l
1 lb Citric Acid
PARA TAN TANNING KIT
The same great product that many tanneries are using is now available in kit form. The Para Tan kit provides enough product to fully tan 16 lbs. of shaved, drained skins, or approximately 3 deer capes or 2 back skins. This tan works great on either North American or African animals. It provides great stretch, a nice soft white skin, and can be used for taxidermy or rugs. The Para Tan kit can be used for both hair on and hair off tanning and comes with complete, easy to use instructions.
16 oz Para Tan
1 pt Tanning Oil #l (for softening)
16 oz Citric Acid
Canning salt will work fine for one hide. If you have access to mixing salt used for cattle it will work also....just be sure it is just salt with no extra minerals mixed in.
I've never used a deodorizer on deer. You will need to degrease the hide anyway so order Kemal-4 from Knobloch's. It's a detergent type degreaser/cleaner so it will also clean the hide and remove odors.
Salt and acid could damage your metal pans. Use a good quality storage tote...the softer ones work best. The stiff/hard plastic ones may crack when you try to pour the water out. Get one large enough to give the hide plenty of room to soak so it's not crowded.
Deer hides are thick and need to be thinned for the chemicals to penetrate properly and so you can break (soften) the hide. I think a skife knife with disposable blades is much easier to use than a regular knife for this job.
Taxidermy/tanning can be a dangerous job. Be sure to avoid splashing the acid bath...wear eye protection, long sleeves and gloves made for use with chemicals. Take care with knives and sharp skife blades.
I've never used either of these 'kits' so can't recommend one over the other. Liqua Tan has been around for a long time and many use it but if all the steps are done properly the Para Tan will probably work just as well.