Leatherizing acid has been formulated to work in conjunction with the wide variation in water chemistry found throughout the country.  The acid is effective in water with total hardness ranges of 0 (zero-such as distilled water) parts per million, the equivalent of 0 (zero) German degrees hardness (GdH) to over 800 ppm (44+GdH).  These water chemistry ranges will yield pH ranges of typically 7.0 to 8.2.  In simplest terms, it will be effective in some darn hard water conditions.  Good leather can be made in hard water!

Simply add enough acid to over ride your particular hard water conditions, following the guidelines below.  To prepare Leatherizing Acid pickling solution:

1.  For an average whitetail cape, make a saline solution by dissolving four (4) pounds of salt in four (4) gallons of water, use this ratio when doing multiple capes in your tanning pickle.

2.  Add 6 tablespoons (90 ml) leatherizing acid to saline solution.  You should now have a pH below 2, and your acid pickle is now ready.

3.  Place prepared green cape in the tanning acid solution.

4.  The following day, remove cape, adjust pH back down to 3, or a little below, by adding leatherizing acid, a tablespoon at a time, until desired pH is reached. Return cape to solution.

5.  Monitor acid pickle pH daily and correct pH level (to 3 or less) as needed.

6.  Swirl cape in acid pickle solution at least daily.  Better yet, lift cape and drain the bulk of the solution off, then place cape back into solution.  The more often you can swirl or drain the cape for the first three (3) days, the better.

7.  After three (3) days, remove and drain cape.  Shave off all the soft, slimy tissue from the flesh side.  Thin the leather to the desired thickness.  Return the cape to the acid pickle for at least 24 hours.  Be sure the pH is 3 or slightly below.

8.  To buffer acid pickle solution, rinse hide and hair thoroughly with running water, drain excess water and then place in a buffering solution prepared by mixing four (4) level tablespoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHC03) in four (4) gallons of water.  Soak and swirl cape in buffering solution for twenty (20) to thirty (30) minutes.  Rinse again with running water.  Drain hide.  Proceed to next step.

9.  To neutralize acid pickling solution for disposal, slowly add baking soda until pH is 7 or above.

Leatherizing Acid is not a "hot" acid when in the saline solution.  If you are more comfortable with the idea of a pH closer to 2, then that is not a problem.  If you can not keep a close watch on your capes or skins, you might be better off to go with a lower pH.

Whitetail deer capes were used for the above examples, if you want to do small furbearers such as squirrels separately, then just set up a gallon of acid pickle solution with one gallon of water, one pound of salt and one and a half tablespoons of Leatherizing Acid. 
The combination of an altered shoulder mount mannikin, cape tanning done with Whitetail Designer Systems tanning supplies and the impeccable artistry of Ed Piaskowski produced this rubbing buck pedestal mount.

  EYE AND PRE-ORBITAL (LACRIMAL) GLAND DETAIL.  Ed uses artist's oils for his finish work.
The above photos of Ed and his mount were originally put on this page shortly after the Maryland show.   Ed has now retired this mount from competition.  Below is a list of the shows and awards received by Ed while competing with this mount.

Northern Regional Taxidermy Convention (Ohio Association of Taxidermists), 2002
1st place, Professional Division
Best Of Category
Max Shipley Award (Best Game Head)

Eastern Regional Taxidermy Championship (Maryland Assoc. of Taxidermists), 2002
1st place, Professional Division
Best of Category
Van Dyke Award (Most Original and Creative Presentation)

National Taxidermists Association Convention and Competition, 2003
1st place, Open Division
Best of Category
National Champion, Pedestal Mount

World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships, 2003
1st place, Professional Division
Best Of Category
Best Professional Entry

Congratulations to Ed Piaskowski  for his fantastic show record from the staff of WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS, INC.!
Atimated thumb nail sample created with photos from REFERENCE PHOTOS, WHITETAIL SERIES, Winter Buck Ears, anything but forward 12 photos
                                                      stk # wtds pr 9
Use WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS TAXIDERMIST'S LEATHERIZING ACID to make an acid pickle for taxidermy tanning.
tanning supplies leatherizing acid 2
Click here to:
tanning supplies tanning information
Taxidermy tanning supplies developed by Glen Conley
The entire line of WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS products can be purchased direct by calling our sales rep, Franz Heepe.
                 CALL FRANZ
       TOLL FREE 1-877-861-5679
The entire tanning system line can also be purchased through RESEARCH MANNIKINS, either the Oregon or Illinois facility, by calling 1-800-826-0654.

RESEARCH MANNIKINS also offers on-line purchasing of all WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS PRODUCTS for your convenience.
STOP-ROT is available from these taxidermy supply
distributors:  Order on-line from high lighted suppliers!

RESEARCH MANNIKINS  1-800-826-0654

Van Dyke's Taxidermy Supply   1-800-843-3320

Wildlife Artist Supply Company WASCO 1-800-334-8012

Quality Taxidermy Supply 1-888-527-8722

AEWS Taxidermy Supplies   1-800-529-3470

                          Richmond, Indiana 47374
To Order:  Telephone Toll Free in U.S.A.  1-877-861-5679
  Questions?  Need assistance?  Phone 1-765-966-4651