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Thinning a deer hide without a fleshing machine.

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by CarlScroggins, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. CarlScroggins

    CarlScroggins Oct. 25 1985...It was a good day.

    I am getting back into taxidermy after 20 years. I always used DP, but as you would figure, there were some problems with drumming. After reading many of the post, I know that my old method of fleshing on a beam with an Old Hickory slicing knife was not getting my hide thin enough. I was simply removing all fat and flesh from the hide. I talked to a local taxidermist who uses a wet tan system of his own making, and he said that with either, you must thin the hide. How can I do this without a fleshing machine. Right now a new fleshing machine is way out of my budget. I would also like to find out what is the best commercial wet tan out there.
  2. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    If you cant thin them send them out to a tannery and they will tan and shave it for you.. SO you wont have to worry about buying a flesher :)
    As for the best "commercial" tan... I would think that is more a matter of opinion

    I personally use Krowtan, but I also have a flesher so I do all my stuff in house. I could not even begin to imagin shaving a cape by hand though Im sure someone somewhere does it...

  3. paul e

    paul e New Member

    Carl you can get a 8" pc of pvc and a good knife or scalpel blades
    or you can set up with a bench grinder and wire wheel
    do some research on the wire wheel i know several people who say this is a viable route(watch the heat output though)
  4. Here is why I would get a fleshing machine. You wouldn't consider caping out a deer without a knife or scapel or some kind of knife, because anything else wouldn't make sense. Don't thin your capes with a scapel of knife, because it takes too long!!! If you're going to get into it then get into it to make some money. Time is money.......sell something you've got to buy a fleshing machine!!!!!!!!!
  5. Carl,
    I would stay from the wire wheel unless you are defatting birds. Commercial tanneries sometimes cut the eyelids and shit off your hides, hence the name "commercial tannery." I understand about the affordability of equipment. What I did until I could afford a foredom mini flesher was went to the taxidermy school where I attended and did either one of two things: I would pay them to let me use their equipment and shop to shave down my hide after the pickle, as long as I didn't interupt student time; and the next thing was that fortunately I have a good friend that instructs there and I would work out a deal with him where I sent multiple hides to him that were salted and he would shave and tan the hides for me for a reasonable price. I seemed a little belittled by this but until I could get my feet on the ground and income coming in I exercised any alternative that I could. It takes a decent amount of space and a decent amount of equipment to be self sufficient in the taxidermy world I believe, and all of that gets expensive. I am sure you could thin it with a skinning knife but it would take a long time and be tedious work. Taxidermy is supposed to be fun work. If you have a friend in the business maybe give him a call. I sent my hides through the USPS for about $8 per cape. Then when you get them back just test fit them and skife I guess anymore that you need off if you preordered your forms. It takes a little out of your pocket but at least you can complete the job. Good luck Carl.


  6. I have used Sivko Fur Dressing and they offer a very short turn around on their wet tans. They mount up nice and their shavers are exceptional. They do work for guys in Texas, so distance isn't an issue.

    Although I have never used them Carolina Fur Dressing has a pretty good wet tan. I have seen their tan and it is pretty nice.
  7. My next major purchase will be a fleshing machine, but cant afford it just yet.

    I sit down and hand flesh/thin my capes with a scaple. I do send capes out to be tanned now (what a relief and a time saver!), but still have some hand work to do. I have one cape, in fact, I will be spending the afternoon on today. The scaple thing takes FOREVER, but I get the cape super thin. I am using DP on these two deer, and have had no drumming. I am also using a good epoxy hide paste that grabs that damp skin and sets up real good.
    I cant wait to get a fleshing machine.
  8. Pepperbd

    Pepperbd New Member

    If you have the change to spare a electric mini flesher with the pedal is a nice medium. I use the heck out of mine even though I have a dakota IV. I can get a good thin cape and its hours ahead of a scalpel.
  9. hunterray2002

    hunterray2002 http://www.finandfoto.com

    not to start a controversy but speaking from experiance. I thin with a benchgrinder and stone wheel. you can do your fleshing on the wire wheel on the grinder. I run a 3/4hp variable speed grinder and thats how I do all my fleshing and thinning and lip turning is simply with the grinder....
  10. joeuhuh

    joeuhuh New Member

    peper the pedal mini flesher where did u get it i havnt seen any offered at the suppliers sites ive looked at jsut the fleshall mini flesher
  11. CarlScroggins

    CarlScroggins Oct. 25 1985...It was a good day.

    Joeuhuh, WASCO offers a foredom model. The foredom is where the foot pedal comes in. The mini flesher is just an attachment for it.
  12. joeuhuh

    joeuhuh New Member

    hrm thanks i was also askin bout the electric miniflesher as the only one i have seen is the air powered one except for the merlin tool thingy which im not sure is the same thing as a miniflesher
  13. WASCO sells the electric model as well as you could go to the flesh all web site and they have them there. As far as I know the merlin is not the same thing all the chit chat about that tool around here that I have found so far nobody likes it. I have been using the air powered mini flesher and besides the noise I love that thing. I hand flesh and thin the hide around the eyes and face area but have been getting a little better and started to use the mini to flesh some areas in the face. One thing I have found to be an issue for me though, with the mini flesher I can only get about 3 deer capes per blade before it gets to dull to use, anyone els having this problem? Those blades are not that cheap