First I would like to say that the Krowtann did a fabulous job on my first ever deer mount. HOWEVER, since I don't own a fleshing machine I would have to say that in the future I will send my cape out to be tanned. The most frustrating part was thinning the hide. For the $40 it costs to tan a cape, that's the route I'm going next time. BUT, Krowtann did a great job.
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and shiped you could buy a flesher the dakota 4 from Van Dykes is 399.00 well worth it i do 50 + deer exct on that littel flesher every year at least 7 years old + the time you save on fleshing the skin be fore you tan it and a krowtan skin thins very ez skin is very stout dont let 399.00 scare you if yor going to do taxidery work you need it any ? firstname.lastname@example.org
Take an Old Hickory Butcher knife, grind a bevel on one side, be carefull not to get the blade to hot while grinding.
Now use a file and withe the knife in a vise, file until you have the perfect bevel along the one side.
Using a fine Japanese water stone, "see marty the jap make some good thing even in my book" whet that side and carefully whet the other side until you have the perfect edge without the whetting curl.
Now work on making three fleshing beams, one from a 2X10, one from a 2X4 and one from a 1X2, make a nice gentle curve rasping the top two corner off, and a taper from the point to about 18 inches down the the beam on the 2x10 and 2x4 and the 1X2 6 to 8 inches.
YOu can flesh any deer cape with a bit of practice in about 30 minutes on these.
I always coat mine with polyseter resin and sand, recaot and sand until I have perfect taper and well coated board.
I have heard of people using fiberglass cloth to reinforce them but I have never need that done.
Now place the cape over the beam, and drag the knife blade pushing it away from you.
With practice you will become good at this and find that you can perfectly flesh a deercape in about 20 minutes and that is mounting ready, to include fleshing the outer skin of the back of the ears, face and lips and nose.
YOu can use a Dremal cut the base off a old burned out light bulb. and pour it full of catylized polyresin, once set but before it cools, break the glass away, rasp the bottle neck to a medium point, sand smooth and allow to cool, this is the resin ball you will use to flesh the nose and eyes along with a scaphel blade.
Like i said with a bit of practice your fleshing time will drop and the quality will go up and 20 minutes will even shorten to about 12-15.
You dont have the putrid mess of water fleshing and dont need to go outside in cold temps to do a cape.
I mounted of 60 deerheads a year in a standard small bathroom for three years, until I could build and pay for my shop.