idea for fleshing/thinning. ctx.

Submitted by Caspian on 10/16/00. ( caspian@megsinet.com ) 208.143.23.141

I will be tanning (or trying) two buffalo hides in november. Problem lies in the fact that i don't have a fleshing machine. I don't do enough to warrent buying one and would like to keep this as low cost as possible. Here's what i came up with this weekend as i was power spraying my house. How about using a power sprayer to thin the hide. Lace it up on a frame and go at it. the PSI is adjustable so you could start out low and work your way up. Would this work? has anyone tried it? am i crazy? just trying to think for an easier way than scraping two large (thick) hides.
I'll be getting these for next-to nothing, so if i ruin part of one in trying, it wouldn't be too expensive of a loss.

thanks
chris

p.s. if it's a horribably stupid idea, please be kind.

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Fleshing YES, thinning No

This response submitted by Don Sherpy on 10/16/00. ( ) 199.171.212.100

Caspian, folks out there do flesh hides with a high pressure sprayer, but I dont see it thinning a hide. A good sharpe knife, weather its a pocket knife a round blade, or something in between, I thing thats the only way to get there. I have seen articles in the taxidermy magazines and you may want to check the archives also. Keep the grey matter working, thats how good ideas are created.


Power Sprayer

This response submitted by Mark C on 10/16/00. ( srceight@novagate.com ) 208.21.102.36

Chris I do use a sprayer for fleshing, but not for shaving/thinning and really don't think it would do a good job, based on my experience. Also if you do use it for fleshing, be careful and know what you need to do. It isn't for all hides and I would never use it on anything but a fresh hide.
As far as fleshing goes, I posted something a few day's ago for using a skife, but for a Bison, I think your best bet is to send it to a tannery and you will be much further ahead. Beleive me, if you don't, you will be looking at a ton of work not to mention so - so results. For something as thick skinned as that, go with tannery and ensure yourself a properly and evenly thinned skin.
Hope this helps.


In the . . .

This response submitted by Scott on 10/17/00. ( ) 209.245.10.211

. . . catalogs there are heavy duty fleshing 'rings' that I have found work very well on Buffalo. Nail the thing to the side of your house and have at it (some of those old bull hides come close to an inch thick in places!). The pressure washer will not work (for thinning - though it will work well for fleshing) as it does not take off hide, it pushes it around, so to speak; it will screw up the hair follicles. If you turn it up, so to speak, you will just put holes in the hide at the most and cause thin/thick spots at the least. I've also found that with a fleshing machine a full hide as bulky as a Buffalo is a pain in the patooooooooooshe! - so don't go buy one just for this.

I probably would agree with Mark on this one because I would tell the guy 'its going to be $50.00/hr for me to do it or I'll send it off and save you $200.00'. But, if some Sunday, you have nothing to do, its a great way to work off some of that agression that's been building during this election campaign (can you believe the two choices its going to come down to - what has this nation come to?). If more people kept their noggins cogitating as you are, we wouldn't have to pick between Gore and Bush. Remember, the only stupid idea is the idea you didn't think good enough to mention. Keep thinkin' - I applaud your 'greymatter'.


The tool for thinning Buffalo

This response submitted by Matt on 10/19/00. ( matt@braintan.com ) 208.26.131.134

Hey Caspian, just noticed you posted this question here as well as at Braintan.com's "Hide Out". Just wanted to say that the above fella's thought about thinning with a sharp pocket knife isn't real realistic (no disrespect intended). The Indians had a tool for the job that is still the one used by home tanners today, and it is shaped much like an adze. Most folks call it a 'dry-scraping' tool. We sell the best one we know of on our site, but regardless of whether you got one from us (you can find them for sale elsewhere too), it is the tool for the job.

As the other guys said, tanning a buffalo is a lot of work. You can do a top notch job of it with the right info and tools...but if you're not really wanting to go for it, send it to a tannery.


Already got the tool and Wes' video from you.....

This response submitted by Caspian on 10/19/00. ( ) 208.143.23.141

Thanks for keeping an eye out Matt, but i already have the tool and video from you. I knew i would have to do quite a bit of scraping, but was hoping to find a way to cut out some of the time/work involved.

Chris


Eskimo Way

This response submitted by Len on 10/22/00. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us ) 216.47.17.20


The eskimos in Alaska treat the thick skinned Walrus in a way that would be interesting to experiment with. They have a frame that they string up the hide on. They actually split the hide using the weight of the loose side to provide the tension. One side would be the hair side and a leather side. The other side would be the meat side and a leather side. Thus the terminology split cowhide leather. Suede on both sides. I think with some practice and a very sharp knife you could split so as to keep the hair follicles just out of the knife but visible so you could monitor the final thickness. It would be a lot faster than a fleshing machine. With a hide as thick as a buffalo it may work. I would do it after the pickle process so you would have an even thicker hide to handle. Just an idea. It has worked for the Eskimo's for a few thousand years.


They then use an ulu. A large half mooned knife with the handle in the middle.
Len


Eskimo Way

This response submitted by Len on 10/22/00. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us ) 216.47.17.20


The eskimos in Alaska treat the thick skinned Walrus in a way that would be interesting to experiment with. They have a frame that they string up the hide on. They actually split the hide using the weight of the loose side to provide the tension. One side would be the hair side and a leather side. The other side would be the meat side and a leather side. Thus the terminology split cowhide leather. Suede on both sides. I think with some practice and a very sharp knife you could split so as to keep the hair follicles just out of the knife but visible so you could monitor the final thickness. It would be a lot faster than a fleshing machine. With a hide as thick as a buffalo it may work. I would do it after the pickle process so you would have an even thicker hide to handle. Just an idea. It has worked for the Eskimo's for a few thousand years.


They then use an ulu. A large half mooned knife with the handle in the middle.
Len


Photo

This response submitted by Len on 10/22/00. ( lfabich@pit.lysd.k12.ak.us ) 216.47.17.20

go to the following address to view a photo of thinning a walrus hide
http://www.r7.fws.gov/mmm/photolib/walrus/hide.html


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