I have told many people about the grinder I use as a fleshing machine. many of you offer up stupid remarks about how idiotic a notion it is to use it. I have use the same grinder to thin, flesh, and shave hundreds and hundreds of skins from Rabbit to buffallo. I have never needed to sharpen a blade, or change a blade, and if I did finally need a new stone, the sell them for about $9.00 at the hardware store. I also have a wire wheel on the other side for fleshing many fatty skins and big bird skins. I have heard about the 30 min fleshing job with the fleshing machines. I also can flesh a whole fresh deer cape from top to bottom, including the ears, lips, eye lids, and nose septum. I usually don't even need to turn the eyes or lips as i can do it with the grinder. I have only offered up the Idea for those beginners that may have a hard time coming up with 500 dollars to buy a fleshing machine. Everyone can judge for themselves what they like. There is more than one way to do most things. Yeh, more than just the right way and wrong way. i invite any of you nay sayers to come and watch me flesh a hide. I can peel the flesh, fat and sheath off a boar in just minutes. Nuf said!
Return to Beginners Category Menu
steve what grade stone thanks i will give it a try
steve what grade stone thanks i will give it a try
steve, thank you for the info on fleshing with a grinder I cannot afford a flesher, I would like to no what kind of stone and wire wheel you use I have been practicing for a while starting to do very well thanks to info like yours it is helping me very much ready to try your metdod
Even though I rarely do any mammals, I found the idea of using a grinding wheel interesting and certainly worth trying. I would imagine that the first person to use a wire wheel to flesh a bird skin received the comment "You use a wire wheel to remove fat from a fragile duck skin - YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!". As far as I can trace, the wire wheel usage began in one of the Scandinavian Countries in the Early 1960's, and the any problems with the method were probably worked out well before the idea hit American Soil.
The Grinder method isn't that far off than using a Belt Sander to thin tanned hides. I hope others that come up with novel ideas are not swayed by the negative comments you received.
Steve told me about the grinder several months ago. He told me to get the coarsest stone I could find, I have a coarse and a fine on mine. the fine stone doesent do much, the coarse one works great though! just like any thing it will take a bit of trail and error to see how much preasure to apply,how to hold it, how close to get to the edges, ect, The time where steve lives is 2 hours behind us, so I thought I would answer and let him ad something later! It feels great to be able to help someone, which I rarely can being a begginner!
what size grinder do you use?
Hope I didn't say it CAN'T be done, just that it sounded like a dumb idea. That's MY story. A grinding wheel works by FRICTION and friction produces heat. On birds, the wire wheel dissolves the fat by both practices and since the skin is so thin, that heat is almost negligible to feather loss. A 6 inch grinder (the hardware store variety) will produce a lot of heat and the build up of sinew, fat, and flesh is bound to make for some very interesting wall paper. The heat on a green hide now comes into play and I submit that the loss of hair is a real problem unless DP is the method of preservation. Conversely, a fleshing machine severs the sinew, fat, and flesh as well as shaving the thicker hides. Many of us started on a baling wire budget and frugality STILL plays a major role in my business. However, IF I couldn't afford a decent fleshing machine, I'd have stuck to the time honored method of a fleshing beam and draw knife. It has to be the most efficient/most inexpensive method available. I used to flesh the cape and then do the face,eyes, ears, nose, and lips with a scalpel. (I still do the facial area by hand.) I'd advise WISE beginners to learn all the disadvantages to this "Breakthrough" method before you have your hopes dashed.
necessity is the mother of invention and it was through the NEED that the shaveing machine even came about and some surely scoffed at the idea of this also. Never stop trying to come up with new thing no matter what. The auto tanner is a good example of this process,people were very unsure of this thing when it first came out but because someone( Steve R.) had an idea and ran with it , today we have another great option of tanning. I am not sure if this stone that is being referred to is the thick grinding stone but if it is not, why not try using the thin cutting blades like the metal cutting blades that are 1/8 inch thick. I dont think there would be a great heat build up from this ? any thoughts? of course you would need guards and so forth with these.
You don't press you cape into it till it starts smoking and burns a hole in it. I kind of use the corner of the stone taking about 2 or 3 inch swipe at a time! If cape is salted and kind of firmed up, It works well for me! You can be a sceptic if you want but if you are just starting out most of the time, if you are like me, cant spend that kind of money right off at the drop of a hat! It works for me! The sceptics probably has a pro. fleshing machine, and has been a taxidermist for a while. If you are a beginner with low funds and a lot of ambition, try it you have nothing to lose! Plain old bench grinder. Tony
E-mail me with questions, I will answer all of them if I can.
I appreciate all comments, good and bad. This realy works and I have been useing it for Twenty three years. Not trying to get all you guys to get rid of your fleshing machines and buy grinders. Just offering up a allternative to high priced equipment for these beginners. If they like it, the will. if not......