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Fleshing with a grinding wheel

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by turkeyshooter, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    I read in here somewhere where a fellow uses the grinding wheel on his bench grinder to flesh his capes. Question: Is it a standard size grinding wheel or a thinner one? Next if you can do it this way then how the heck do you clean the buildup in the grinding wheel? Is he using the edge of the wheel? Even so it seems like that flesh,fat etc will build up on the wheel. I do not own a pressure washer yet, and cannot afford a Dakota or SS flesher right now either.I do have a pretty good size bench grinder. I do have a fleshing knife ( double handled) that I use to use on raccoons back in my coon hunting days, and can make a pretty decent knife. And while we are on the subject of fleshing, what do some of you or did some of you use as a fleshing beam before you made some money if your were poor like me? :-\
  2. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Why would you flesh on a grinding wheel. I sharp knife on a beam is all you need. You can use a round wheel for fleshing but its not necessary. You may be talking about thinning the hide after pickle. Besides, a bench grinder is not made to have slop and juices flowing down into the motor, not going to feel good getting shocked.

  3. John L

    John L Active Member

    When I started I was taught to use a motor with a wire wheel. I fleshed with a knife and beam but after the pickle I used the wire wheel to remove the plumped membrane until I got a fleshing machine.

    I do know a taxidermist that uses three wire brush wheels on a motor to remove the meat etc... to flesh but the heat that generates cant be good.
  4. bowerbird

    bowerbird New Member

    I shake my head at some of the things I read here, and the lack of safe practices.Torching urethane foam, heating casting resins, and the in appropriate use of high speed electrical tools to flesh capes.
    I know of a guy who slashed his thigh open using a cutting wheel fleshing capes,,, another slashed most of his forearm open as the shattered wheel spun up his arm,,,,,they were not designed to cut wet hides.
    Buy an industry approved shaving machine or a good steel beam knife,, it's quicker . At least if something goes wrong whilst using it appropriately and what it was designed for,,you can go the manufacturer.
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Your best move would to be to start saving your money, sell some crap in the closet or garage, deliver pizzas, pick up a paper route, do what you have to to buy a fleshing/shaving machine. I was in your same shoes, a lot of us were. The proper tool will pay you back real fast.
    Grizz151 likes this.
  6. JerseyJays

    JerseyJays Well-Known Member

    Before investing in a fleshing machine, just flesh with a knife over a beam (I took a belt sander to a 2x6 and made one in a half hr). Slat the hide. Ship to a tannery.

    Try doing taxidermy before outing a ton of money into it to see if you even like doing it.
    Tannery is cheap enough.
    Grizz151 likes this.
  7. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    I do love it already. And for me it seems to be the only way to get a real up close look at a big buck! I especially love mounting the turkeys. Turkeys have been my thing for many a moon.
    I will ship to a tannery as soon as I get to the point that is feasible. Right now I have been out of work for two months from a shoulder injury with 0 income, and this economy sucks worse than my first attempt at fleshing. Well I don't want to get u crying. Thanks to everyone for all the advice & helpful tips. This is a great forum. I get 99% of my info here.
  8. J Cook

    J Cook Cook Taxidermy

    A large diameter piece of PVC pipe can be used as a fleshing beam.
  9. Steven .B

    Steven .B New Member

    I do agree a bench grinder will generate some heat depending on pressure applied but never had any lose due to it and like he said it can't be good! (I used what I had)... I started out like you didn't have much and used what a bench grinder, wire wheel and I even made some of my own stones by using a piece of steel to engrave canals into the stone. I used the stone mainly after pickle stage to shave it Got me to where I'm at, I now have a fleshing machine and things are much faster and better with the right tool. I wouldn't want to do anything fatty like coon on the bench grinder as it will make as mess of you and everything in its path. Fleshing beam will work for that kinda stuff. I mainly used mine for deer and things that didn't make a lot of liquid grease. Save those pennies and get your self a fleshing machine it will save time and money in the long run and its the right tool for the job.... Good luck... ;)
  10. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.


    I agree 100% with this post! you have 0 income now, just wait until you hurt yourself using tools that are not intended for this process of taxidermy.
    Grizz151 likes this.
  11. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I know some guys who use a bench grinder with a very stiff wire wheel to turn lips and lids and to knock off meat on capes after salted and drained, or after the pickle to thin them. Its very similar to guys that use barrel sanders on dremel tools to thin around the eyes. But the words of caution here do indeed apply, the skin cant be wet, or like they said, bad news. For the record, its hand knives for me, and shaving machine after the process.
  12. Try a MINI FLESHER. Look at the tutorials
    Grizz151 likes this.
  13. Hedhuntr

    Hedhuntr Member

    Try getting a good deposit and sending them to a good tannery that fleshes, turns and tans. Problem solved. Just saying......
  14. Mark in IL

    Mark in IL New Member

    While I use the big wheel blade to thin the largest part of my capes, I use a wire wheel on the faces of all my stuff. Not to "flesh" them but to thin them. Like Mr. Yox alluded to, this really isn't much different than using a Dremel tool with the sanding drum to thin noses, eye lids, etc. Using this method is just like anything else in taxidermy. You have to learn how to do it correctly. I've never had a problem losing hair by generating "heat". Obviously you have to keep the hide moving or it will get too thin and wear through. It's kind of like - Just as you would NOT shave the same spot over and over again with the big round blade - you use some common sense. The one thing that IS NEEDED in addition to a properly dressed wire wheel is some type of voltage limiter device between the power source and the grinder unit. I have a dial one I bought from Grainger's that allows me to speed up or slow down the wire wheel as needed - depending on the area I am thinning. I know a lot of guys on here think this is ridiculous but that's okay. It works very well for me and I can get the face of an animal paper thin if I need to.
  15. turkeyshooter

    turkeyshooter Member

    Thanks guys. I am convinced. I will invest in a fleshing machine & meanwhile send em off to the tannery. Work on turkeys or something until they come back. I will invest in a bird flesher for my turkeys & getting around the facial area on the deer capes.