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How to tan an Alligator hide #3322454 06/26/12 01:51 AM
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Hunter-Steve Offline OP
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Let me first say if you have never done any hide tanning, alligator is not the one to begin with.

I have been doing my own tanning for over 30 years. Off and on that is...

After several attempts I have found the following process to work well.

Don't hesitate to ask me questions if you need help.

here is the process all supplies can be found at any taxidermy supply. I used Van Dykes

1- Flesh the hide - I did one by hand and one with a pressure washer - Much better and easier with a pressure washer but need to wear an old raincoat !!
2- soak for 3 -4 days in a hydrated lime bath to de-scale it. (optional if you want the scales on and a hard tanned hide)
3 - rinse with cold water
4 - de-lime in a ammonium sulfate bath for 8 to 24 hours. It does not hut to leave it longer
5 - Rinse with cold water
6 - soak in solution of muriatic acid and salt - about 1 cup of acid to 10 gal of water and 10 lbs of salt - Fine salt not rock - PH should be between 1 and 2 - adjust with baking soda if too low and more acid if to high. Let soak for at least 4 days.. again longer will not hurt but check the ph every day and keep it at about 1 to 2.. By the way be very careful with the acid.. Gloves and eye protection always.
7- rinse in cold water
8- neutralize in water with about a cup of baking soda for at least 90 minutes. Stir every 15 to 20 mins
9 - Rinse again
10 - now put it in your tanning solution
I used Lutan-F from Van Dykes taxidermy. Use 10 gal of water, 20 oz of Lutan-F and 10 lbs of salt. The PH should be 4 - Depending on the thickness of the hide it should soak for at least 24 hours. I let a 7 footer soak for 24 hours and a 9 footer soak for 30.
11- rinse again and let hang for at least 1 hour in a shaded dry area.
12 - now you should use a tanning oil - again I get that from Van Dykes - Rub it in to the damp hide and role it up. Let it sit at least 8 hours to soak in. I let it sit a full day.
13 - Now you are ready to dry and if you de-scaled it, soften the hide.
This should take several days. The slower the better and work the hide often to keep it soft. If you just want it to lay flat for a wall then tack it along the edges to a plywood sheet and let dry. Do not let the sun dry it . Keep it shaded and let it dry slowly.

Here is a link to van dykes http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com

I know it is a LOT of work. So if you were wondering why it cost so much to tan a gator that is why....



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Re: How to tan an Alligator hide [Re: Hunter-Steve] #3326876 06/27/12 03:41 PM
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MikeBillington Offline
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and THAT's the reason we send them out to get tanned. I'd never get any mounting done. LOL



Evelyn and Michael Billington
BILLINGTON RANCH TAXIDERMY
Georgetown, TX
254-793-2120
www.billingtonranchtaxidermy.com
www.facebook.com/billingtonranchtaxidermy (LIKE us on FB)
Re: How to tan an Alligator hide [Re: MikeBillington] #3368560 07/12/12 01:57 AM
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Bowman24 Offline
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Wow


Re: How to tan an Alligator hide [Re: Hunter-Steve] #5270941 08/25/14 03:55 PM
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Hunter-Steve Offline OP
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Bump in case anyone wants to tan an alligator this year...


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Re: How to tan an Alligator hide [Re: Hunter-Steve] #5286044 09/03/14 03:51 PM
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Ranger8292 Offline
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Got my Tag this year, cant waite to try.

Thanks

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