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Casting & Stabilization Making your own blanks & stabilizing wood blanks.


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Old 06-05-2010, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default "curing" a snake skin

I just killed a very pretty 2+ foot Copperhead and would like to preserve the skin for casting. I knew that I had one living under my back porch and I hope that this is the same snake. I need to know what I need to do to cure a snake skin to make it suitable for casting. I don't do casting yet, so I would hopefully trade it to someone for a couple of copperhead blanks. Any assistance you can giv eis very much appreciated.

Jim Smith
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Jim this is what I do and so far it has been working great.

How To Tan a Snakeskin
Tanning a snakeskin is a very simple process.
Follow these easy steps and you will soon be finished.

1. Skin out the snake and make sure that all the meat and fat are removed from the flesh side of the skin.
2. Mix a solution of equal parts pure glycerin and rubbing alcohol in a sealable container. Make enough to fully submerge the skin.
3. Loosely roll the snakeskin, put it into the solution, and seal the container.
4. Let the snakeskin sit for 2-3 days stirring once a day. Make sure that the skin is fully submerged.
5. Remove the skin from the container and rinse with water.
6. Use a dull knife and scrape the flesh side to remove any loose membrane. This will give the flesh side a nice clean look when you are finished.
7. Spread a light coat of the pure glycerin on the flesh side and let it hang dry for 24 hours.
8. Use a damp cloth to wipe any excess residue off the skin and you're all done.



Now I scrape all the scales off before I cast. Some don't.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
I just killed a very pretty 2+ foot Copperhead and would like to preserve the skin for casting. I knew that I had one living under my back porch and I hope that this is the same snake. I need to know what I need to do to cure a snake skin to make it suitable for casting. I don't do casting yet, so I would hopefully trade it to someone for a couple of copperhead blanks. Any assistance you can giv eis very much appreciated.

Jim Smith
How did you killed the sucker without getting bit? I can't wait to see how it turns out. i wouldn't even dare to go around them since I am a city boy.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Texasbeachbum<

Thank you for the directions. That is exactly what I needed to know. I'll let you know how it turne out (hopefully with a couple pen photos).

Jim Smith
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Now a word of cation tanning with glycerin is a popular way of tanning BUT glycerin can/will cause a nasty unwanted reaction. Especial with alumite I believe the problem is the moisture in the glycerin and Alumite is very sensitive to any bit of moisture. PR and moisture doesn't do well either. Now when I get a skin tanned with glycerin and you can feel it. The glycerin feels nice and soft almost wet feels good. Now there is another process not sure how but it does not use glycerin the skin feels dry but still tanned.

Anyway before you cast you would want to wash out all the glycerin you can. I wash and wipe the skin with denatured alcohol. Now only wash what you are going to cast because it will dry it out. But wipe it real well and let it dry if it fells soft and wet before you glue it you are asking for trouble. And it mite not show up foe a couple days after casting.

Good luck
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I generally omit step 3 or rather just gently drop the snakeskin into the solution. Last snake i tanned i tried that step(thinking that maybe since i've always done it differently i should try what the instructions say) and to my dislike, the skins began to produce a gas build up in the jar. no matter how loose i rolled the skin, it was still relatively tight. then the skins started getting tough, so i pulled them out of the solution and started over the way i have always done, just drop them in and shake at least once every day, for about 3-4 day. just my .02
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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bruce thanks for the comments! you nailed it brother! I have just recently learned that
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I did leave out part of that. I do wipe down the pieces that I am going to use on the tubes with just the rubbing alcohol before I cast. I do it to get rid of anything that might have got on it off my fingers or gloves. Seems to work. I don't use alumite. So not sure about any of that.
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