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Homemade hide tumbler

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by owarzecha, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. owarzecha

    owarzecha Member

    Hey guys I'm a do it yourself type guy and I would like to build a tumble for breaking hides.... I want it big enough to do a 200lb bear.... I am thinking making a tumbler out of 3/4" plywood 6' diam and about 3 feet wide... This would have paddles in it but I am wondering how wide to make the paddles and how much sawdust one typically tumbles with it.... So if you made paddles 8" deep how much sawdust would you run?

    If anyone has done this or has any pictures I would appreciate the discussion.

    Thank you
  2. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I just use an old dryer that has the heating element out of it. I used aluminum tape to cover all the ports/holes and the lint trap. I do bears in that as well and it works fine. Fits nice in the corner and I can also set stuff on top of if I need to...ie bandsaw, dorm refrigerator, etc. As for for your saw dust/corn cob grit I typically cover about a quarter of the volume of a tumbler, in my case I fill it up to just below the door. I was going to build a tumbler as well but the dryer seemed alot cheaper and takes up alot less space. Hope I could help.

  3. A dryer will not work for breaking hides. Make the baffles the full width of the drum and at least 12" wide. They will pick up more dust and hides at that width. I use 100 lbs of dust in mine.
  4. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I apologize man. I just use the dryer to tumble dry my hides and birds. Sorry about that.
  5. owarzecha

    owarzecha Member

    So I assume the premise is that you want the hide to be picked up and then dropped the 6 foot... how often would you put the baffles... if I have 6' diameter that is 18.8' circumfrence... should I do 6 baffles at 3.1' apart?

    one other question... using this method how long would you typically run the machine to break a normal 200 lb bear rug?

    Hopefully be adding pictures of the build soon!
  6. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

    If you had the room, an eight foot drop would be the way to go!
  7. Here is a link to the tumbler i built. Use the search button and look for 4 x 6 tumbler or large tumbler. You should find some good links. I used 4 paddles that were 2" x 6". I use between 80 and 100lbs of corn cob grit. If you have any question PM me. I will be leaving for the mountains on Saturday Sept 15th so it may take some time for me to reply. Easy to build.

    Deadduck likes this.
  8. I only have four baffles opposite each other inside the drum for balance.
  9. Charlie Bellotte

    Charlie Bellotte New Member

    I am interested in building one of these also. If anyone can see me drawings and a parts list (including where to order the items from), I would greatly appreciate it. - thank you
    [email protected]
  10. fortman

    fortman Member

    B31E4A02-DCC0-40ED-BC3A-FB328DC7D027.jpeg Here is a extra drum we have that is for sale if close to Ohio.

    Fortman’s Taxidermy & Tannery, LLC
    St. Mary’s, OH
  11. Charlie Bellotte

    Charlie Bellotte New Member

    Thanks for the picture. I'm in Alaska so I won't be stopping by to purchase the extra drum.
  12. Wildcat Furs

    Wildcat Furs New Member

    I made one that is 8' tall and 4' wide powered by a 2hp motor with 3 1/2" pulley on motor shaft to 10" driven shaft on a 40:1 gear reducer. Tumbler used 8 sheets of 1/2", 4' x 8' quality plywood. Approximately 8 2" x 8" @ 8' and 4 2" x 6" @ 8' for rungs. Plywood was laminated together using hard as nails adhesive and screwed together (edge of screws were then grinded flush). Laminated the sheets running crossways from one other and then traced out my line to be cut with jigsaw. These ends were then sandwiched between metal plates and a 1 1/4" arbor through their centers. I added my 2" x 8" rungs at 46" long as each side is 1" thick. My outer shell was thin flooring plywood 1/4" thick (this was a pain to put on and required my wife for assistance. All-in-all, pretty impressive and extremely heavy build. This sits in a 2" square tubing frame and is anchored to concrete floor. Lessons learned, round shape is a pain in the @$$ and if I build a smaller one I am going to build a hexagon or octagon shape which will be easier regarding cuts and materials. I will attach photos and video later.
    Rollie nickolite likes this.
  13. Charlie Bellotte

    Charlie Bellotte New Member

    Thank you. I have been given a reel that was built for electrical contractor wiring. It is
  14. Charlie Bellotte

    Charlie Bellotte New Member

    It is ~88" in diameter and 54" across. I look forward to seeing your pictures and video. The information on HP and gear reduction is very helpful.
  15. Harpo

    Harpo New Member

    How much?