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Old 05-10-2008, 01:30 PM
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Default Preserving snake skin?

Just wondering how you preserve snake skins where they are soft and pliable. Ive always cured them with salt, which works but they are very hard. Im gonna try to do a nice rattlesnake a different way. Thanks
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:12 PM
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They won't get soft, buy use "20 Mule Team Borax" instead of salt. Kroger sells it. That is one of the things taxidermists use.

Oops, that's supposed to be a trade secret.

gt40
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:50 PM
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We use a mixture of 50% pure glycerin and 50% denatured alcohol...Scrape the flesh side well, don't get it too thin... Stretch the skin on a board (not the display board ) and tack it down, flesh side up... Put a liberal coat of the mixture on the skin with a paint brush... Let it sit, don't mess with it until it's a bit dry, 2 or 3 days ... Repeat with a little bit less mix, and wait again... If the skin looks dry, do it again... Three times usually does it, maybe once more... Apparently the alcohol allows the glycerin to penetrate the skin, then evaporates off... It won't take much, only a couple of ounces at the most...Make sure you stir/mix the stuff right before you use it, it tends to want to separate in the jar...Pure glycerin can be found at some but not all drug stores in a bottle 4oz. or sometimes 8oz...
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:46 PM
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I fill a jar with anti-freeze, roll the snake skin, drop it in and put the lid on. Let it sit for a few weeks.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:11 PM
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I use anti freeze also but I put mine on a board and pin or nail it flesh up ,and coat it with the anti freeze couple times a week,or when dry, doing it at least three or four times then let it dry
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:53 AM
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Default Neat's Foot Oil

I don't know about anti freeze, but if you dry you snake hide with salt or without, you soften it with oil, just like any other hide.

Native Americans used brains, it has oils, etc. I, however, just go to Wal-mart and buy some Neat's Foot Oil. That is what neat's foot oil is for - to soften leather.

You can tan a whole deer hide with it too. I have done it several times, but with snake hides you don't even need that much oil because they are so thin.

Only down side, like many other oil tanned products, is the oil will wash out if it gets wet. That is why some (I know, not chromium sulfate tan) leathers, like boots, get dry and cracked, the water washes out the oils. Native Americans would combat this by smoking the hide. More on that if you google it.

It works, it cheap, its easy to find. Neats Foot Oil.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LureheadEd View Post
We use a mixture of 50% pure glycerin and 50% denatured alcohol...Scrape the flesh side well, don't get it too thin... Stretch the skin on a board (not the display board ) and tack it down, flesh side up... Put a liberal coat of the mixture on the skin with a paint brush... Let it sit, don't mess with it until it's a bit dry, 2 or 3 days ... Repeat with a little bit less mix, and wait again... If the skin looks dry, do it again... Three times usually does it, maybe once more... Apparently the alcohol allows the glycerin to penetrate the skin, then evaporates off... It won't take much, only a couple of ounces at the most...Make sure you stir/mix the stuff right before you use it, it tends to want to separate in the jar...Pure glycerin can be found at some but not all drug stores in a bottle 4oz. or sometimes 8oz...
My wife tans Copperheads and Rattlesnakes with this solution and it works great. Hide is pliable when it tanned this way.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:06 PM
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I'm planning to use my snake hide on a hickory selfbow. Is this process going to make the skin too oily? Any suggestions?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:31 AM
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I used salt and Neats Foot oil on some of mine. Like the one in the Avi. They get a little brown tinge to them. And a few scales fell off. I'll be trying glycerine on the next few. However, not sure about sticking it to a bow with Neats foot.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddy Darden View Post
I'm planning to use my snake hide on a hickory selfbow. Is this process going to make the skin too oily? Any suggestions?
If you're going to use it on a bow, don't do anything to it except flesh and dry it. It'll keep forever in a ziploc if you get all the flesh off and have it dry. You definitely don't want a tanned hide on a bow. No salt, no borax, just clean and dry, or you can even keep it fresh in the freezer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:31 AM
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Wow!
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