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opinions needed: older taxidermists who tan and flesh at home

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by naturesmirror, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. naturesmirror

    naturesmirror New Member

    Hey there guys,
    I'm just new to the industry, have just converted my bench grinder into a temporary fleshing machine until can get a new one. As i don't have a tannery anywhere in the country that i can send my hides to i plan on fleshing and tanning my own stuff. I've seen the numbers of animals some of you guys can pull in per week. Has anyone who fleshes their stuff at homes had any troubles with arthritis in their joints? I've only done this for a year or so, and the joints in my fingers from fleshing hides all day are not exactly in their best shape. Not saying I have arthritis but is it a possibility of happening? As much as i want to send it to a tannery I cant... any info available to me about this? I dont want to be all knobbly fingered when im 50!
  2. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Get used to it.

  3. msbraintan

    msbraintan New Member

    Yep.. good point.. I wouldn't want to trade off my health for my love of hides and skins, for sure! It can easily be done. Now instead of fleshing by hand outside in the freezing cold I need to take care these freezing temps combined with my pw'r don't freeze my digits. Only takes a few minutes in either case! I don't know what firefighters wear on their paws but one might want to use a pair or two of their gloves! It's all about 'prevention'. Don't ever let down your guard!
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    X2 LOL
    Arthritis isn't something you contract. If you're prone to it and have "degenerative bone disease" then it won't matter if you play tiddlywinks. Get rid of that grinder and buy a flesher/shaver.
  5. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Us "Older" taxidermists have to start worrying when things stop hurting....
  6. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    get yourself a pair of gel gloves for people that have carpal tunnel...they might help
  7. a7d1

    a7d1 New Member

    Any repetitive motion is going to cause a pain at some point. George is right about the arthritis thing. I do about 95% of all my own fleshing and tanning at home and I think you will find that the more that you do the easier and faster it will become with less pain. You will figure out some time saving and pain saving tricks as you go, just don't close your mind to new ideas and or trying a new way of completing a task. Good luck with it.
  8. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    George is right, you don't "get" arthritis from doing the wrong thing. I do a concentrated skinning and fleshing "marathon" at bear camp every fall for three weeks. My hands swell from the "unusual" activity that I "over do" for that short period of time. I take an anti-inflamitory during that time to keep the swelling to a minimum and when I get back to my normal activities things go back to normal and I have no problems. You're doing something you're not used to and that's what's happening. Start taking an anti-inflamitory(such as aspirin) and when you get used the activity you probably will not have the problem.
  9. ingramback2life

    ingramback2life New Member

    im not as old as you guys but i use an angle grinder to do my shaving. i lay the hide or cape over a fleshing beam and go to town. can cover alot of area. my grinder has a locking trigger so i can move and adjust my hands so they dont get a chance to cramp up.
  10. naturesmirror

    naturesmirror New Member

    Thanks for alll of your help with suggestions guys
    My family has a history of it, so im not sure if it will make matters worse, Ill try some gel gloves
    And by the term "older".. i didn't mean old, i meant people who have done it for a long time that may see some signs of something happening over a long period.
    its my health before anything else.
    never thought of using an angle grinder, with a fleshing blade attached to it?? how well does it work?
  11. msbraintan

    msbraintan New Member

    No you use a regular grinding disk with the edge dulled so it's not sharp.. that might cut into a skin where you don't want it cut! You can screw up with them just like with an electric fleshing wheel! Takes practice and some skill for both.
  12. ingramback2life

    ingramback2life New Member

    i use a regular grinding wheel with the edge rounded over. ive never cut a hole yet. i can get around the face pretty good too just be real carefull. when you are near the edge make sure your wheel is turning towards the edge, that way it doesnt pull the hide into the grinder.
  13. cedarhill

    cedarhill Member

    Yes my knuckles havent been ther same since I started tanning the pop in and out of joint