I am a part time taxidermest I quess and I turn ears with a knife and my hands does it actualy save any time or work to get a ear opener and how hard is it to keep from tearing the ear open with one. thanks this web site has been more help to me than anything.
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They WILL save you time if you practice. I do the last 1/8" of the edges by hand, but the openers will get you that close fast.
Cut the last 3 inches off the tips and grind them so they're smooth. The conventional ear openers have tines that are much too long and they invite you to tear the ears. If you cut off the tips, the fulcrum is moved closer to the tips allowing your a better "feel" of the tool. I have attempted to market the ones I made for myself out of 1/2 inch rod stock, but they're cost prohibitive. The have 8 inch handles on them with only about 5 inches of tines and you can open moose, elk, deer, and the cats and dogs with ease. Try shortening the nose and see for yourself.
They are one of the biggest time savers you can have.
I took two pair to South Africa and gave two of the skinners a demo. When I gave both of them a pair I had two new friends for life! These guys start skinning with the first animal of the day and stop when they finish the last. One night the two of them never went to sleep!
They would spend hours turning ears with a long worn out pocket knife that the sharpen on a rock! Now, they both get a little more sleep! :)
Now for the truth: I took them with me because I was sick of seeing ears that looked like they had been turned with a sledge hammer and chainsaw!
I also showed them how to leave the ear canal with the cape!:)
George, thanks for the "tip". I think I will be modifying a set soon! I have always thought about trying to make a set with a smaller end and you have motivated me to do so!
on small animals such as coyote fox bobcat and raccoon.
Nice tip George...I also will be trying the modification!
thanks GEORGE ill make a shorter pair also
MOST OF ALL, it takes much less effort to open the ears with the shorter fulcrum as the leverage works in your favor. At the NTA Show in Louisville, even small framed people could open ears without the strain and stress of the conventional openers. Also, you might want to grind off those bumps they intend for finger grips. Most people use the palms of their hands to squeeze and those bumps don't make it a pleasant experience.