Fleshing Machine adjustments

Submitted by Jim Grill on 12/7/1998. ( lugster@worldnet.att.net )

I have a question about adjusting the guards on my fleshing machine. I own a Dakota II. Should the blade be sticking out between the 2 guards or should the right guard be flush with the blade and the left guard exposing the blade. Also as I am fleshing, I am getting lines in the hide from the blade turning. Is this a sign I need the blade reworked. Jim

Return to Category Menu

no right way

This response submitted by John C. on 12/7/1998. ( )

I personally drop the gaurd on the cupped side of the blade, leaving the trailing side flush, also adjust the gaurds with washers so they are very close to the blade. As for marks all the machines and blade I have used left them, go a little slower and use (220 grit) sand paper from back to leading edge to sharpen your blade. john C

Right Gaurd!

This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 12/8/1998. ( arlcape@bright.net )

Jim, you want the truth? Take the guard on the backside, non cutting side, of the blade off and store it in a box somewhere. You need to keep it so you have it around to sell with the machine when you get a different one someday. The backside guard does absolutely nothing, except keep you from getting scared when you bump the blade with your thumb. Use the front guard for adjusting not only your depth of cut, but also the location of cut, from top to bottom of blade. Your lines are caused by a dull spot on the blade. As the dull spot comes by it doesn't cut as deep, leaving a ridge where the skin is thicker. A blade in this shape is due for sharpening, have it done and you'll be amazed at the difference. After you have the blade sharpened, try to avoid things like, dirt, sawdust, grit and especially copper jackets from bullets. Also, on a sharp blade, never use your steel for "lifting" the lip, this is a last resort to get a few more skins out of the blade. The edge of the blade is very thin, and when you put enough pressure on to lift it, it causes heat which softens the steel and puts a burr edge on it Keith

Check belt!

This response submitted by ChrisB on 12/8/1998. ( cbrower@parker.com )

Jim- I agree with Keith about the blade. I have a Dakota III and have experienced the same thing. I can only add that you might want to check the tension on the machine's belt. I've noticed that with wear the belt will slip or "flap" on the pulleys, causing the blade to vibrate slightly. This may also cause some distortion to the cut. Tightening the belt slight may cure the problem. Chris

Thanks for answers

This response submitted by Jim Grill on 12/8/1998. ( lugster@worldnet.att.net )

Thanks John, Keith, and Chris for your quick responses. I have already built out the guards with washers to bring them closer to the blade. I like the idea of dropping the one guard completely. Hey John, do you ever use a steel to sharpen the blade or just the 220 grit sandpaper? Again thank you all. Jim


This response submitted by John C. on 12/9/1998. ( )

I just use sand paper. I have both gaurds in place and consider it a saftey feature (right Rusty)after cutting the end off my right small finger in Rusty's shop. 3 weeks ago.

Hey stuff happens.

I have had the problem of grooves with new blades too. But I have used a steel just to touch the inside while rolling out sometimes.

But most of my sharpening is done with sand paper again very lightly. Keith is the exeperienced one here, andd a soft spot on the blade makes cents. I would recommemed a new blade over a resharpened blade. Call Bruce Rittel as I feel he has the best quality baldes around. Some of the supply companys offer resharpening but I have received balsde back that I cant used because of exccessive grinding. John C.


This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 12/9/1998. ( )

Try this, ship your blade out for grinding by wiring it to a piece of paneling, with a piece of cardboard on the edge side, kinda making a sandwich with your blade in the middle. Wrap this in a heavy, folded over cardboard and tape it up good. If your paneling is enough wider than the blade it should protect it from all but the most careless handlers. Note: never put FRAGILE on it, this is an open invitation to use it as a frizbee!!!! Hopefully, the sharpener will take your lead, and repack as it came, if they do, and it's still got ridges, use a different sharpener. One other thing you might want to do, send it to a tannery, not a supply house ( sorry guys), the chances are the guy grinding it will also be one who uses one on a regular basis, and knows how to do it. The steel in the blade is the same as when it was new, and will take the same edge, so if you have a good pack, and a good grind, there should be no reason to buy a new blade until yours gets too small. We get roughly 20 grinds per blade. If you still want to buy new, there's plenty of people who would be glad to take your money. Keith

Use of Sandpaper

This response submitted by ChrisB on 12/10/1998. ( cbrower@parker.com )

John C.- When you use the sandpaper, do you wrap it around a block of wood as for a sanding block or just cut and strip and hold it against the blade? Chris

A Bit More

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 12/11/1998. ( rittel@ici.net )

Some good comments - but I'd also like to add that, that same condition is also sometimes the result of not sharpening your blade properly and evenly, and may even be caused by your bearings beginning to go bad. By the way, if OSHA ever noses around your shop - make sure BOTH guards are on your machine. They frown on removing them! I usually keep the right guard almost even with the edge of the blade and use the left one to move in or out, depending on the depth I want to work with. I like to use a tuning steel for sharpening and adjusting my blade. First I spray the blade edge with WD-40 or a spray-on Oil, and then I work it. The oiling keeps the temp down, and prevents losing the temper of the steel. If you draw sparks - STOP! The blade is too hot, and losing the temper may leave it too soft to hold a good edge. You should get 80-100 capes from a blade if sharpened and adjusted properly. Just remember - all new blades need touching up before you use them. Make sure you adjust that edge before you begin to work.


This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 12/13/1998. ( )

Very few of the people reading this are even governed by OSHA. Let's say you were, and they did come into the shop, the offside gaurd is going to be one of the least of your worries. The only thing that can give you a problem on that side of the machine is getting stuck between the hood and rotating blade or hub, the gaurd will not prevent this, and actually probably make it worse since it's something else to catch in. The only way you will cut yourself on your offside hand is to reach across the blade, and cut it while coming back. which is where your gaurd is in place anyway. I know this can be done, as I have regrown many fingerprints on my right index finger over the years. Let's start taking a quick look at the rest of the shop, let's go back to the round knife first. Most have an exposed belt, no good......the hoods and other covers of moving parts are not an approved color, yellow, no good.......Most shops wiring and extention cords are not even close to code, no good....... Air compressor is not only not wired or plumbed to code, it's above the decible level and you need to wear ear protection every time it runs, no good.............Your little plastic drum tumbler doesn't have a cage around it, with a cutoff switch to turn it off when you open the cage door, no good........We could go on for ever, but I have a tan to oil, see you all later Ketih P. S. Bruce, I just pulled African out of rehydration with U S 609? and it looks real promising

Ask the Dressers in NYC!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 12/14/1998. ( rittel@ici.net )

I know an individual that made a lot of money "making" guards for the old-timers in NYC - because they didnt like to work with them on. OSHA stepped in and threatened to practically shut them down unless they conformed. Anyway, in one sense you're right, most of us will never become involved with OSHA. BUT - it only takes "one" disgruntled employee to make your life miserable. By the way - ever hear of a "gruntled" employee? Is that a happy postoffice employee?

That's My Point

This response submitted by Keith Daniels on 12/16/1998. ( )

Since very few of those reading this are even subject to O S H A rules, there is no need to worry about that. If you do consider the offside gaurd for safety precations, then it needs to be as close to the hood and hub as possible, since this is the place that could possibly hurt you, if you made a real serious effort at trying. That gaurd does nothing to help you as far as shaving is concerned. Other that keeping you from scaring yourself when you bump the blade, all it does is make it harder to get in close and do detail work. I guess I personally don't feel there is any safety issue what so ever, pertaining to this guard, and it's basically a nuisance, thus my stand on it. I hear of people not using either gaurd, and there is NO WAY I would ever condone that. Not only would it be very dificult to keep from destroying skins, but also you truly would have a safety issue with the cutting edge exposed completely.

Now, don't take me as supporting dangerous work situations, I don't, my point is the offside guard is a minor safety consideration compared to what else is in your shop. OSHA has tried to "Stupid Proof" the american workplace, and I'm sorry, but youo can't totally gaurd against stupidity.

Is a happy post office employee one that DOES'NT bring a violin case to work?


Return to Category Menu