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fleshing

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by bassman9178, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. bassman9178

    bassman9178 Member

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    im not a taxidermist, just a simple flesher. why do some taxidermist care what the underside of a deer cape looks like ? you cant see it. some want it smooth. why ? you scuff sand a form ? fit , form ,and function is the same. some want there capes so thin you can see through them but don't want to pay for the extra time it takes to get it that way. I realize the thinner the cape the easier it is to show off muscle tone and all, but frankly I have yet to see a deer in the wild that looks like he just got back from the gym. again, im no taxidermist, but I do know some that couldn't use a fleshing machine if there life depended on it. but want to complain about the price. just had a few questions. sorry for the rant, had a fellow flesher in GA. tell one of my customers he wanted to put me out of business and wanted all of his capes and undercut me by 15 bucks a cape.
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    If your using a good form a thin cape will show this off plus a lot less chance of drumming. A thick skin will shrink a lot more and cause a lot of havoc. Now I do agree their are forms out there that look like a builder and if a person chooses to use that, then it's their preference.
    Now my capes are smooth cause that just show a professionalism IMHO. If I had someone do a cape for me and there was showable thickness throughout the cape, I would have second thoughts on thaty person not knowing how to shave a cape the proper way. Again my personal opinion.
     

  3. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    A thin cape is critical for proper skin alignment. The thicker it is, the more the cape will want to lay flat rather than following the contours of the form. Thick capes act like a sheet if rubber.

    Also, a thin cape will stretch back to the animals original size much easier than a thick one.

    As far as pricing, do good work and charge enough to make a profit. Good tanners are hard to find, and cheap ones that cut corners will only attract cheap taxidermist that cut corners. Price is the last consideration for most. RELIABILITY, quality, and turn around are more important to me than the price.


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  4. Bassman....just shaking my head. I have a lot of pride in producing a nicely shaved wet tan cape for the taxidermist. Besides everything that Frank and Jared said...which I agree with...you should develop a sense of artistic creation with a shaving machine. It is an art and I have always approached it with respect and pride in my work. If you don't have an evenly fleshed cape that is thin for stretch and form detail, then you will always have somebody else trying to outdo what you are producing. Be the best you can physically be and leave all the fleshings under the table. I have operated a shaving machine commercially for over 30 years and have always taught younger shavers coming into the trade to develop pride in their work.
     
  5. bassman9178

    bassman9178 Member

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    i appreciate all the info, thanks . i enjoy fleshing a nice wet tanned cape, and can get it thin. the problem is that i cant seem to get a green cape like that. SOME southern taxidermist don't want to pay for wet tanning cape and fleshing. they want me to try and get a green cape like that. its tough. i have only been doing this a couple of years and am still learning, and was really having a rough day when i wrote that.
     
  6. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    That's an entirely different animal! You don't shave thin until it's been pickled and swells. Sounds like someone is trying to take you for a ride. FLESHING is removal of the flesh from a green hide and has NOTHING to do with thickness. SHAVING is done after the pickle to thin the hide. If anyone wants you to SHAVE a green hide tell them thanks but no thanks!
     
  7. bassman9178

    bassman9178 Member

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    PM sent.
     
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

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    As Jared said, fleshing is what it sounds like, removing flesh. Can be done on a round wheel or a knife. Thinning a cape is after a pickle bath. What some don't understand, on a early season or southern deer cape, a badly shaved cape or hide, with uneven shaving or gouges, will show on the hair side when mounted as lumps and waves you can see on the neck areas of the mount.
     
  9. bassman9178

    bassman9178 Member

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    again, thanks for the info. I now understand how it all works. these guys don't want to spend the money. I have tried to tell them the difference between the shaving and fleshing. I have told them they will get a better product if they wet tanned it. you give them a price and they act like you just stole there car. i try to get the capes as thin as i can but its tough on a green cape. it takes me an hour and a half to do 1 cape, that's turning everything and putting it on the machine. as i see it if you want to be able see through the cape you need to pay for it. am i spending too much time on these things trying to get them as thin as a tanned cape? a wet tanned cape shaves like a dream, a green cape is a night mare.
     
  10. Green capes can be fleshed down thin. Yes it is tougher to do than a tanned or pickled cape but it is done all the time in DP shops. I just take shorter cuts and have my knife very sharp. If you put sawdust all over the cape it makes it a lot easier than trying to flesh a bloody, slippery cape. I usually make a few holes over the course of a day doing the green capes, but it is possible to thin them and get them smooth for mounting.

    Remember...shorten your cut, sharp knife, and sawdust. that should help you do a little better.