Questions and Answers

We are always adding content regarding questions we get about our products and the taxidermy trade on the whole. Feel free to register and post any questions you have regarding our products or the anything relative to the taxidermy industry!


I think you have yourself a good piece of equipment, but you HAVE TO BE CAREFUL with it! First off Charlie, ALL re-hydration should be done in a static tank. (Water tub) ALL skin types are at their most vulnerable state, during the re-hydration bath. Aggressive agitation will cause hair to become loose, and a lot of epidermal loss. An occasional gentle stirring, is all you want to do, during the re-hydration.

BEARS: The BEST advice I could give you on putting bears or small game in your drum, is don’t do it, during any step of the tanning process. If you insist on doing it though, it can be done, WITH GREAT CARE! Especially after shaving, the spinning action of the drum will tend to push a lot of hair through the skin side. Tannery’s use paddle vats. The fine long hairs of wool on bears will also matte up, and create a combing nightmare!

Pickling and Degreasing can be done, with VERY LITTLE spinning of the drum. 5-6 SLOW revolutions then shut it off. Do this spinning as often as once an hour. The tanning bath itself can be done, but you will probably find that you have to use more water than you do when tanning statically. Again, just a few turns, then shut it off. Basically, some skins are wet drum friendly, and some are not. I will try to list some other skins you need to be careful with.

Mule Deer, Antelope, Black Tail, Caribou, ALL Wild Sheep, and Moose: 

Need special attention when using a wet drum. Slow speeds and don’t run more than 2-3 minutes at a time, every few hours. The hair on ALL these skins will become loose, and fall out like rain, if over drummed. Example: Over drumming, will cause the entire white patch to fall out of a mule deer cape, just from spinning the drum too fast, or too long!


The first 24 hrs after these skins enter the pickle, in the drum, don’t run them much. Spin the drum 3-4 revolutions; SLOW, and then shut it off. This allows the pickle to penetrate the skins, and tighten the hair, before adding a little more time to your spinning time. I hope I answered your question. 

Lutan F vs. Permatan 2000 — Both are submersible tans.

To the best of my knowledge, Lutan F is a mineral based tan, and contains NO TRUE synthetics. I don’t know its ingredients, so I can’t say for sure, and I could be wrong. In my opinion, Lutan F is no better than other submersibles on the market, but for some reason it seems to cost a little more?

Permatan 2000 is a combination submersible tannage. This product contains a mineral tannage, and a TRUE synthetic. As you neutralize this tanning bath, the mineral tan fixes first, and as the pH goes up to its final pH, the synthetic fixes. A DOUBLE BANG for your buck, that WON’T over tan the skin.

TruBond Paint-on-tan v. Submersible Tan

TruBond 1000 (for capes), and 1000B (for back skins) BOTH utilize a TRUE SYNTHETIC tannage, which is in LIQUID FORM. Neither product contains formaldehyde, or glutaraldehyde, like the OLD standard paint-on tans do. You can easily identify this OLD outdated paint-on, by smell, and the fact, that with age, they turn yellow and stiff. These OLD standards are little more than preservatives.

BOTH TruBond paint-on, ARE TRUE tans, simply, in a liquid form. You could add these tans to water and salt, and make a submersible tanning bath! Instead, a step has been eliminated, by applying both the tan and oil, in one product, directly to a neutralized skin.

You have eliminated the wastewater of a tanning bath, and an oiling step, that a submersible requires.

So PLAIN AND SIMPLE, YES, BOTH TruBond paint-on tans will yield THE SAME QUALITY and softness as ANY submersible tan on the market, even large skins! In reference to the question I was referring to, cow hides NEED to be degreased very well. 


Ever have one of those days when you can’t keep your blade sharp, no matter what you do?

CHECK OUT YOUR STEELS! They can sometimes be your problem. The tungsten steels offered by TruBond Tanning Products are extremely durable, and will probably last through most of your Taxidermy Career, IF THEY ARE MAINTAINED. Tungsten is the BEST material for steel making, BUT its durability comes with a small price. This material is slightly brittle, so do your best to keep from dropping them on a concrete floor, or they can be cracked. ESPECIALLY your bottom steel. (The one that goes under the lip) A hairline crack in the bottom steel will cause much grief! DO NOT try to cut off a cracked tip etc with wire cutters, or the steel will shatter. A damaged tip has to be ground off with a grinder, or Drummel, and then you have to re-form the tip.

Maintaining your steels: the tip of the bottom steel needs to remain “rifle bullet shaped”, but not quite as pointed. You maintain this tip with some type of abrasive stone. I always used a piece of wet rock, or the side of a used grinder stone. The finer the grit, the better. Once a week or so, smooth out the tip of your bottom steel by applying the tip to the stone, with slight pressure, and rub it back and forth in small 1/2 in strokes, while twisting the handle. This will remove and minor imperfections, and keep the tip smooth. The TOP steel (the one that straps the top of the lip) will need an occasional smoothing with sand paper. They require no oiling because they will not rust. It sounds a little complicated, but it’s not, and taking the little time to do these things, will make keeping your blade sharp a little easier. 

What makes TruBond 1000 and 1000B better than what is currently on the market for taxidermist?

The questions were, “What makes TB 1000 better than the others?” and, “How do I know my skins won’t fall apart?” The person asking these questions spoke of another tanning product that has been around for “thirty years”.

First off, the tannage used in the manufacture of TB1000, has been around for decades, and is WIDELY used in mfg of leather goods. TB1000 was close to 3 years in development. Due to my previous trade, and my own research, I have had the opportunity to “rub elbows” with MANY different Leather Chemists, both foreign and domestic. In other words, TB1000 WAS NOT developed by a Taxidermist that spent a couple of hours on the phone learning as they went along, stumbled upon a wholesale supplier of tanning products, and threw a few ingredients together, and called it a “Tan”.

So, what makes TB1000 better than others? EXPERIENCE in TAXIDERMY TANNING, QUALITY INGREDIENTS, PRECISION KNOWLEDGEABLE RESEARCH, and NOT ONE single customer complaint since its availability! That speaks volumes!

“How do I know my skins won’t fall apart?” – The truth is, if a skin falls apart, 99.9% of the time, it is caused by HUMAN error. Tans DO NOT cause skins to fall apart! There is a whole laundry list of things that can cause a skin to fall apart, and I will give some examples.

  • Poor storage practices
  • Incorrect neutralization
  • Too much grease (animal fat) being left in a skin
  • Certain molds
  • Extreme heat
  • Oiling a skin with an oil that is high in animal fat (after tanning)
  • Not enough salt in a pickle

I could name some more, but I think I have got the point across.

Bottom line here is, TB1000, and 1000B, use a time tested tannage that has been around for decades, and oils that are synthetically blended for LONG TERM stability, both ON THE MOUNT, and in the bottle. All I can say is, you can feel confident that when YOUR customer picks up their mount, you will KNOW you did your best to deliver a great, long lasting product. You purchased what I feel, and every Taxidermist who has used TruBond, to be the BEST tan available today! You will also receive the BEST technical support in the industry, to take the “guesswork” out of the equation.


First thing, after pickling, drain skin for 1 hour. DO NOT NEUTRALIZE THE SKIN!

Tanning formula: 

  1. To every gallon of 80-85° water, add 1/2 lb. salt. Add 1oz of Permatan 2000, per pound of drained skin weight. 
  2. Only use enough water for the skin to move freely. The average deer cape will take 2 gallons of water, as an example. The more water you use, the further the tan will be dispersed throughout the solution. The skin will PULL in the tan itself, but why make it work harder than it has too?
  3. Leave the skin in the tanning bath, anywhere from 8-14 hrs. Most of the tanning takes place within 6hrs. Anything past 8 hrs is just window dressing. There is only so much tannage in the bath, so basically, after 8hrs, it’s just a matter of getting a good night’s sleep, if you put skins in tan before you leave for the evening. It’s impossible to over tan a skin, if you weigh it first. The 1/2lb of salt per gallon, will allow for short-term skin storage, up to 24hrs.
  4. After tanning is complete, slowly add baking soda to the tanning bath, until a pH of 4.5 is reached. Wait 45 min, the pull skin, and rinse with a hose. Forgot to fix the tan! LOL
  5. Pull skin and drain, for 2-4hrs, depending on the hair, and how much water it will hold. Next you are ready to oil the skin. If you can, it is good to roll up skins in a towel, etc, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

OILING: There are 2 different methods for oiling skins, due to the different oil to water ratios of dilution with warm water.

  • Lubri-Stretch 1000 = 4-1 for wet tanning, and 3-1 for dry tanning
  • Lubri-Stretch 2000 = 3-1 for wet tanning, and 2-1 for dry tanning
  • ALWAYS add 90deg water TO THE OIL. Not, oil to the water!
  • Example of dilutions: 4-1 if using pints, would mean adding 4 pints of 90deg water to 1 pint of oil. Stir well, and then apply.
  • 2-1, if using quarts as your measurement, would mean adding 2 quarts of 90deg water, to 1 quart of oil. You will have to estimate how much oil you will need, depending on what you have to oil. You can store unused diluted oil, for up to a week or so in the fridge. Re-warm on a LOW setting in the microwave, stirring every couple of minutes.

Pickling with NO-HARM or another acid substitute as it pertains to tanning with TruBond Paint-on.

These products are capable of very low pH values!

  • The tannage utilized in Both TruBond 1000, and TB1000B, requires a skin to be neutralized before application.
  • It is difficult for baking soda to overcome these low pH values, BUT it is a safe neutralization method.
  • If you use this product for pickling, and ever have a little bit of a stretch issue, there is a simple remedy.
  • The tannage in these products requires the skins pH to be a little more BASIC, than a submersible tan. If stretch is ever an issue, simply increase the amount of baking soda in the neutralization bath to 1.5oz per gallon of water, and increase the time in the neutralization bath by 15 minutes. Problem solved! Different water sources require thinking outside the box sometimes!

Everything from snakes to Wolves, you WILL be amazed with the finished product!

FINALLY, a paint-on tan that will yield a soft, supple skin EVERY time, with NO BREAKING REQUIRED.

If anyone has any questions, fire away! Thanks for reading, Aubrey