Submitted by Jhon on 10/6/1998. ( )

I own a Dakota-III fleshing machine with the metal table and I find that I have to lean foward over the back of the fleshing machine(the blade facing away from me) to shave my skins and basically when im done I can barly get up due to awkward position im in, anyone have any suggestions?. Thanxs. Jhon..

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welcome to the club!!!!

This response submitted by Bob Coughlin on 10/6/1998. ( bobswildlife@webtv.net )

Jhon, The only easy way to use a fleshing machine is to have someone else do it for you.No, really if there is an easier way I'd like to know about it. I've got a bad back to start with.One thing you can do is make sure the table is high enough.Try it and see if that helps.I still like my first idea though. Stock up on the ibuprofens and good luck. BobC.

from another bad back

This response submitted by Bad back Bill on 10/6/1998. ( byoxtax@frontiernet.net )

try Bob's advice by standing on different sized boards or shimming the table up first to see if it helps. I visited my tannery awhile back and they sit down with the shaver literally in thier lap! I didn't try it but it works for them and I didn't notice anyone but me walking like a caveman.

Bad Back, Titanium Pins n' All!

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 10/6/1998. ( ArtistExpr@aol.com )

It is a mighty famous (or is that infamous?) club. I have titanium steel pins in two different places, fusing two separate area of my lower back. Both injuries are the result of horse-related falls - one fell over backwards on top of me (splitting my pelvic- girdle and dislocating my hip joints as well as fracturing the back vertabrae), and the other went down with me sideways over a PVC track rail (a bad tempered yearling thoroughbred filly with attitude to kill). So yeah, I can relate to the stiffness you all speak of. My solution, and it helps IMMENSELY, is to: 1-wear a back support strap, those wide black elastic supports with the vertical metal strips on the back; and 2-I have a "commercial" or industrial type adjustable work-stool, that I raise way up to situate me very nearly "over" the shaving machine. After a long session of shaving however, some ibuprofen and my Lazy-boy can't be beat!! Good luck to ALL us "little-shavers"! :-)

and to think...

This response submitted by Bill on 10/7/1998. ( byoxtax@frontiernet.net )

and to think that I WAS embarrassed to tell you guys I'd fallen out of a barn...TWICE ! No, not the same barn...

Try this!

This response submitted by Chris Brower on 10/7/1998. ( )

Jhon... Try this! I have the same machine, and being "vertically challenged," have experienced the same problem. In addition to standing on something, try putting your left thigh up on the table (I'm right handed) with the lower part of your leg hanging down over the left side of the table. (Can you picture that?) Position yourself as close to the machine as possible. A folded towel or padding glued to the top of the machine to lean on with your chest also helps. This technique has helped me!

I know where you're coming from!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 10/7/1998. ( rittel@ici.net )

Jhon - You struck a common complaint with your fellow Taxidermists! I think we all share your problem, including Tannery workers. The suggestions given are all good. Having worked in Tanneries, my own suggestions are: The height of the table is important, I've found generally that 31" is a good height. HJohn mentioned an adjustable stool - another great idea. Heavy padding on the hood also helps, and to rest your arms as you work - cut 2 pieces of 2X4, pad them and connect them with some strapping so you can have them on either side of your machine as you work. The connecting strapping should go closest to your body or the edge of the table. In a Tannery where you spend 6-8 hours on that machine, it really helps. I havent tried the back support belt yet - but it sounds like a good idea! Anyway, I guess this is a common problem that "goes with the turf".

I have the same machine.

This response submitted by John C on 10/9/1998. ( deerhunter118@hotmaul.com )

Having the same machine I like mentioned above sit on the right side of the head. with a towel for a cushion. I once owned a RAWHIDE with a seat and it was not bad. The easiest machine I have used was the EAGER BEAVER. Having degenertive arthritis of the thorasic spine, and a 56 degree kyphosis (hump back) I know what everones compliant is and feel for it. Simple solution hire a high school age boy or a older retired person to flesh for you. Good luck John C

Bruce,Jump on this one!!

This response submitted by Bob Coughlin on 10/9/1998. ( bobswildlfe@webtv.net )

Bruce, Isn't the Eager Beaver the machine you sell?You know the one I'd really like to own,buddy,but cant really aford it right now. Bob C.

I forgot somethin!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 10/11/1998. ( rittel@ici.net )

The two 2X4 pieces connected by some strapping. Use the padded tops of the 2X4s to rest your elbows. It really gives some relief. In one Tannery, we did it for a woman with short arms, and the idea caught on. Besides her, others used it too! For long hours on the machine, it really helps. Just another option you might try. Bon Jour!

Height's the thing.

This response submitted by Vaughn Terpack on 12/2/1998.

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As with the fleshing beam, the height of your table is the cause of your back problems. When you lean into that flesher, it should be hitting you square on the sternum so you can't bend over to work the hide. Your arms and shoulders to all the moving of the hide and all you have to do is bend your neck to see the wheel. If you can't get a comfortable stool that will hold you at the right height, either raise the table or cut the legs shorter to suit yourself.

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