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Difference between fleshing machines for tanneries vs machines for taxidermists.

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by qflesher, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. qflesher

    qflesher New Member

    Many seem to think that the best fleshing machines are the most expensive or the easiest to change blades.My experience has been that those expensive machines are for the professionals that flesh all day every day. In the hands of a beginner or the average taxidermist most can't master them. They don't change blades every day, I had mine on for five years before regrinding.
    Most taxidermist I think prefer to take 30 minutes to flesh a cape and not have any sowing to do.

    What is the opinion out there on this subject?
  2. Larry B

    Larry B New Member

    Re: Difference between fleshing machines for tanneries vs machines for taxidermi

    I don't think balde changing speed is all that important. However, the ability to have the blade center without tons of minute fiddling and adjusting, are important.
    Guard adjustments/stability are probably more important than changeout time.

  3. Matt Richards

    Matt Richards Member


    When you say:

    "In the hands of a beginner or the average taxidermist most can't master them"

    are you saying that the more expensive or what you call 'professional' machines, are harder to master? and if yes, why?
  4. JLong

    JLong Member

    Fleshing machines are like cars they all basically have the same shape and do the same job but its up to you to find the one that does the job the best for you for an agreeable amount of cash, and IMO anyone can master one, just takes a little practice. I don't know what everyone calls a master but if you can shave a complete hide thin, even, and in a reasonable amount of time without holes I don't know what else it would take to be a master.
  5. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy- When Quality Counts...

    I disagree. I have the Eager Beaver.. Yep paid a bit for it. Today I pulled it out for the very first time and went to work on some elk hides.. Out of two elk ides I only put one hole. Not too shabby. However elk hides are rather thick and lets face it the hole was in the flank area.. I would probably shred a thin hide.. At any rate it doesnt take much to get used to. Keep the hide tight, pull to the right, grab some more hide, keep it tight, pull to the right LOL> Had a rhythm going for sure LOL.. It was a heck of alot faster than doing it by hand. I am most definitely a beginner, I have never used a fleshing machine in my life. Yet I was able to get the hang of it after a few swipes.. I even have all my fingers still :) Its really not that hard. If anything its monotonious and makes your back sore from leaning over it.. . Ill be doing some deer hides in a bit, and as I get more accustomed to the flesher Ill work on thinner hides..
    Anyone who does their own tanning would benifit from a good quality fleshing machine...No sense in buying something cheap in my opinion. After all you get what you pay for. It doesnt matter if you use a handheld, tabletop, or standing unit. Get the best one that you can afford. Id rather spend more money on a top quality machine knowing that it will last for a long time than have to replace a cheaper model after a few years.
  6. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    I think what Gerry is trying to say, is, why buy a Mercedes, when a Ford will get the job done. The Ford might never see 200,000 miles, but when you only drive it once in a while, it will last as long as a more expensive model, that is driven much more often. There is a vast difference between fleshing, and shaving. One is removing flesh and fat, and the other is shaving the skin itself.(thinning the corium) There is a whole lot more to mastering a shaving machine, than being able to shave a deer hide. If you thinks you are a master shaver, by being able to shave a deer cape, you are fooling yourself. Try shaving a mountain goat cape, and see what the face looks like when you are finished. I could go on for a while with examples of multiple animals. Try shaving the paw pads on a red fox, or shaving a lifesize stone sheep. If you can do that, you have probablly have mastered your machine. What the man is saying, is a less expensive machine, will meet the AVERAGE Taxidermist demands.
  7. paul e

    paul e New Member

    im definitely not a expert flesher
    but ive had the cheap model and now have had the van dykes pro for a couple of years
    you could not give me the cheaper model
    now i was able to get to fleashing whatever i wanted but
    my back always hurt and as for adjusting the guards a ball hammer seamed to be the best tool
    ive since put away my hammer
    the guards on this machine are awesome
    i shave the thicker stuff a little higher on the blade and keep the lower for the thinner
    i can flesh a short haired texas hill country in a snap(flesh tail to head imo)
    face and all
    and my back is a whole lot less sore
    just my opinion as a non expert
    just a average joe
  8. qflesher

    qflesher New Member

    To answer Matt, machines made for tanneries usually the rpms are quite high and run on a 1/2 H.P. motor or better. They can take wider bites and work faster but don't make a mistake. In the blink of the eye you can cut a hole that will take you additional time to repair.
    Oldshaver said it better than me, a Cadillac is a hell of a good car but why pay for extra details you probably will never use? We manufacture four different models adapted to different kneads. I'm not trying to change the opinion of anyone, I simply ask what are your thoughts on the subject? It doesn't hurt to talk and some times it's helpfull.
  9. erwinhusni

    erwinhusni New Member

    Was around you that could depict how the achievement of the machine?
    And whether being in a relationship the picture, honest I really was interested.
  10. Erwin,
    you took the words right out of my mouth!

    Most taxidermists will get by just fine with a table top model. The floor models that are more expensive are going to be able to handle nearly anything that comes through a big shop, but those shops usually send out anyway. The hides that are returned for mounting may need some minor detail thinning, but nothing that would really warrant a floor model.
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well, I don't think it's like Ford vs. Mercedes. I think it's like having a break open single shot shotgun for quail hiunting or an automatic. The more inexpensive machines are just cheap. The high speed works in my advantage. It's sort of like trying to cut meat with a meat slicer or a chain saw. Like Paul said, I have a cheap machine for nearly 20 years. That SOB beat me in every way possible. It grabbed a hide, you'd set the cut and one pass through, it needed to be tuned again. The gap was too large between the guards allowing excess meat to be grabbed and jeked in. When I changed the blade I had to wear Kevlar gloves because if the Allen wrenches didn't tear my knuckles off, the blade would get me. The blade NEVER ran true and meat was always getting wrapped around the spindle.

    From day one, my Rawhide just made life enjoyable again. Everything that was bad went away. I could actually flesh a mink on it whereas doing anything thinner than a boar put your hide in jeopardy. Sure, buying a Mossberg shotgun was cheaper than buying the Benelli, but if I'd bought a Benelli to begin with, I'd be money ahead now. Six Mossbergs cost me as much as one Benelli. Same way with the machine.
  12. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    I dont think any shaving machine should have less than a 1/2 horse motor. Mine is a full horse, and I wouldnt have it any other way. George is right, on the rpm thing. The slower the machine, the less forgiving of minor edge flaws, and more fleshings will get hung up, and spun who knows where. Bear fleshings are the worst. Nothing like a greased up arbor, and belt, to rain on your parade. Saw dust can help this, by the way.
  13. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Had an Eager Beaver I bought with my ANG bonus back in 1986 before I started to do 60 to 70 deer mounts a year. It was worth it's weight in gold. After learning to use it from a video by Bruce Rittel I couldn't imagine doing deer capes without it. I could even flesh the mussel on a deer with it and even get fairly close to the eye opening within reason. I could tweek that blade with my steel to do anything I wanted it to along with adjusting the blade guards.

    When I sold it to a furdresser in Michigan about 15 years later when i started speciallizing in fish, it ran just as good as it did when I bought it.