Fleshing Machine Blues

Submitted by Kenneth on 03/04/2004 at 11:07. ( )

I choose to do all my tanning myself. I have been very successful in accomplishing a quality tan and rairly have any tanning problems. For the last 12 years I have owned and operated a Van Dyke's Dakota III fleshing machine. My main problem with the tanning process, is the pain and fatique that occurs from running a fleshing machine. I used to sit behind it on a tall stool and flesh. This caused a lot of lower back pain and was getting to be worse each time. So, I raise the legs, and now I stand behind the machine and flesh. While not as strainful to my lower back, it is bothering my upper back and shoulders. I would like to now, what machines taxidermists are using and how fatiquing and painful they are to use. I am interested in any ideas that might ease the pain and fatique of running a fleshing machine. The head on this Dakota tilts forward slightly, causing me to lean into it. I am thinking this design may be the negative. Please don't suggest commercial tanneries, I would rather in-shop tan my capes. Thanks

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Fleshing machine

This response submitted by Hip-O Taxidermy on 03/04/2004 at 11:13. ( )

We also use a couple of Dakota machines in our shop, after the first year of use we shimmed the front of the machines where the front two bolts go thru to make the head lean back instead of forward. Made the ease of machine alot easier with less strain on my ole body.


This response submitted by Dave on 03/04/2004 at 12:03. ( hyarcher@aol.com )

I turned mine around so the blade is facing me and i have about12" of table in front of it. it is about 40" off the ground

I should keep my mouth shut, but you know that's impossible

This response submitted by George on 03/04/2004 at 12:08. ( georoof@aol.com )

At the incessant risk of repeating myself, that's why people who shave a lot of hides need to have a PROFESSIONAL QUALITY MACHINE. The low end machines just aren't user friendly. That's just a fact though many refuse to accept it.

Can you imagine Carolina Fur Dressers shavers doing nearly 50 hides each and every day of life with a low end machine? I think not.

The professional machines are designed to lean against with an upright posture (whether sitting or standing) and when the blade properly sharpened and tuned, when the guards are properly and concisely set, shaving a hide or fleshing it is nor more strenuous that typing on this keyboard.

I understand that many of you don't do enough work to justify the top end machines, but it still comes down to cost versus worth. I see used low end machines on here selling for less than half their original cost. How many top end models do you see for (1) Sale or (2)for substantially less than they cost. Just ain't happening, is it? To any professional, that's evidence enough. Low end machines are like the old brace and bit while the new ones are like the electric drill. Both work well, but the user has to decide which effort is worth the costs.


This response submitted by Kenneth on 03/04/2004 at 13:09. ( )

The first two were both good ideas. George I understand your point fully. The Van Dykes machine is fully functional and I understand it is not the best machine on the market. But it is the one I own currently. So, I will have to go with it until I can afford an Eager Beaver. Since, we are good friends, maybe you could foot the bill for my new fleshing machine. We can call it paybacks for supporting you on the forum for the last 5 years. Any other ideas or tips.


This response submitted by Vic on 03/04/2004 at 13:50. ( )

Not sure on the quality, but I have used the friendly flesher for 11 years. It's a floor model that I have flush with my table. Fleshing from behind I tend to stand more on the right side of it, while leaning into the machine. I have a shelf under the table so usually have my foot up. I have tried to flesh from the front and more power to those that have figured it out......Ouch! Keeping the blade fine tuned I flesh a cape in about 15 minutes. Best of all........no pain. I do admitt if I am doing elk or bear I might take a tylenol before I start, it helps.
Now as far as the blues, that would be finishing work for me........Yuk!

One very good point

This response submitted by HAPP on 03/04/2004 at 14:46. ( )

Pay attention to what george said, "Properly sharpened and tuned blade, and concise guard position" Work on tuning that blade. HAPP


This response submitted by George on 03/04/2004 at 17:04. ( )

You know the check's in the mail, don't you?


This response submitted by George on 03/04/2004 at 17:15. ( )

You know the check's in the mail, don't you?

Vioxx works well

This response submitted by Gary Frehse ( Frehse Taxidermy Studio ) on 03/04/2004 at 18:04. ( )

I have found the older I get the more it bothers me. And I have a professional Quebec and have shaved thousands of capes, but every year it seems to bother me a little more. Doc. told me I had that arthur thing and since he prescribed that, alot of things have became more bearable. I am a young 52 and thought this artheritist won't effect me but it will if you don't get something, Aleve will work in the first stages. Hopefully this is not your problem but our body does change. Something to think about. Gary (<:

Tennis elbow

This response submitted by nobody on 03/04/2004 at 23:05. ( )

I thought arthritics was in my elbow, but turned out to be tennis elbow so I now ware a brace, it helps alot. Now if I can only get the blade properly tuned, and keep it that way it would save hafe the effort involved.

fleshing machines

This response submitted by MarkV. on 03/04/2004 at 23:13. ( MarkV.33@centurytel.net )

I for one am with George on this issue. I had a low end machine for 15 years and finally got a new one 2 years ago . Night and day. My back always hurt no matter what position you were in. Now I have zero pain and can flesh all day with no fatigue. I always flesh standing up even though my machine can be mounted on any table. Reverse fleshing? Ouch is right. good luck,Mark


This response submitted by Kenneth on 03/04/2004 at 23:30. ( )

I would be interested in what machine you are using. I am ready to get rid of the fatigue and back pain associated with this machine. Honestly guy, proper tunning and a sharp blade is not my problem. It is how the machine sits and how I have to position myself to use it. It will shave like a razor with minimal effort. It takes me about 30-40 minutea to complete a cape. I just can walk, after I am through. I feel like I am George's age and I am only 38. Before long, I will be pouncing on beginners, chewing them up and spitting them out. Just kidding George. You will have to admit George, even a Dakota is better than them old sharp rock edges from the Cro-magnum days.


This response submitted by concerned on 03/06/2004 at 09:54. ( )

the way you are operating your machine is very dangerous. The inside of your wrist is completely exposed.

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