Nick, A good fleshing knife should have a curve to it and should be razor sharpe on the outside or convex side and dull on the inside curved edge or concave side. The edge should not be turned over unless you are looking to make a curriers knife and I don't think this is the case.
Also, make sure you dull about 3/4" from the edges of the sharp side as your thumbs will have a tendency to wander towards them and cut holes in your gloves and hands.
Use the dull side to push off the easy stuff and the sharp side when you hit the neck area and between the ears.Practice will make perfect. Good luck,
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That makes it 3 for dull and Brad and John C for sharp. How about some of you others coming in on this one. And I guess I don't understand this sharpen and curl description or the purpose. I'm an old dog, but hope I can learn a few new tricks. JL, Old Fart, Bill Yox, you guys tell us what you do.
George I guess I'm out on this one. I gave up on any kind of fleshing knife ever since I got the Eager Beaver fleshing machine. So my only opinion is use a sharp circular one.
Grandpa's old draw knife is not razor sharp ,but it's not dull either.
I tried a fancy taxi knife and returned it as it put holes in the hides :=(
Some times the old school ways just work better.
It's all in what your comfortable with and accustom to using, making experiance the best teacher.
The seperate entry was only because I did'nt think Nick was going to check the other post seeing that he already checked it and thanked you guys for your input already. Good quality fleshing knived have this curve and you give it one sharp side and one dull side making it dual purpose.
The curriers knife has a turned edge much like a round shaving machine knife and allows you to shave the leather whithout cutting through the hide. The folks that use a curriers knife have it down to a real art and it is pretty efficeint once you learn it.
The sharpe side of the fleshing knife really comed into it's own when you get into things like beaver,moose,buffalo and the like.
Personally, I like to use the machine whenever possible but the beam and knife get used alot. My whole set up is in an article in the " how to " section of taxidermy reference.com under THE BASICS OF TANNING if any one wants to take a look.
I am totally unfamiliar with the "new and improved" methods as I, like Frank depend on that round knife to do all my dirty work. (Anyway, my fat belly always got covered with grease and grime when I leaned over a fleshing beam.)
This method is great for thin skinned whitetail.
But since a lot of the post last week involved the "Great Fleshing Machine debate". I submitted that as a way to help out ones that cannot afford the round knife.
I spent 8 hours with an VD Dakota steel tabled machine fleshing a lifesize Bison once. The a few months later I ended up with a huge Bovine Bull hide, I went back to the Curriers kniife and only took 3 1/2 hours.
Once again guys thanks for the responses. The knife that I purchased is a "single-edge" fleshing knife. (That's what it says in the cataloge.) Brad, this being the case, this knife should be sufficient for fleshing a deer hide or other hides for wallhangings/decorative pieces, right? All that I'm looking to do is do some tanning for these purposes, and no taxidermy. Thanks again.