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Flesher Question

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by CritterBrain, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Hello all -- another noob with a DIY flesher question. ::)

    I've done a few small mammal mounts and want to give birds a try. I have two bobwhite in the freezer and recently purchased Danny Owens' quail DVD from TTU.

    I'm researching how to build my own flesher. So, 2 questions:

    1) Would this motor make a serviceable flesher motor?

    2) Would a bird flesher that spins ~1550 rpm also work for cleanup-type fleshing around the face of small mammals?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    I used to have that same motor on mine.

    I got rid of it because it did not have enough horsepower for me. It would trip out (thermal overload protection) right in the middle of fleshing a bird.
    Not good. Maybe it will work for you. ??

    After visiting a seasoned taxidermist I ended up making my own while "copying" what he did.
    My motor is a 1/2 hp, 3450 rpm motor. And I use a wire wheel from McKenzie. I think it was 4" new.

    I was very hesitant at first, especially with the higher speed. But after using it I would never go back to anything else.
    It works great for me. My fleshing has improved "100%".

    The motor I got on sale as part of a bench grinder from Harbor Freight.

    Plus now I have the hp to do those turkeys !!

    Good luck.

    Sorry, I don't do mammals so I can't comment on your other question.

  3. Hmmm...probably all I need to know. :)

    I thought about going the bench grinder route, but I'm hesitant due to the RPMs. Have to think on it.

    Is the wire wheel from McKenzie softer/finer than wheels you could get from the hardware store, etc that are labeled "fine"? What is the arbor size of that wire wheel?

    Thanks for the input!
  4. jots

    jots Member

    Hi CritterBrain, I'm a beginner and I have destroyed my share of skins trying to get the darned things fleshed.

    I tried coarse, fine, extra fine, single, doubled up from Ace, Home Depot, you name it! I know the fact that I'm a beginner and not worth a crap at it has to do with tearing them so badly but I also felt that FOR me I needed to find a wire wheel that I could work with.

    I didn't want to order the Mckenzie wheel because of the price but finally did and got the fine and what a difference it has made for me! For one it is wider than the others I tried and flares out some but the fine works good for me and has given me a lot of confidence!

    I've fleshed a Mallard hen and a Drake Wood Duck since getting it and only made one hole and that's because I got a little careless. I know others that can use any wheel from anywhere and do a great job but it made all the difference for me and I highly recommend it. Whatever you go with just trim the longer stray wires sticking out with wire cutter to make it all even before using.

    Good Luck!
  5. jots

    jots Member

    Oh I forgot to mention, it's a 1/2" arbor hole and I use two, double stacked. Expensive but well worth it to me; I was about to give up!
  6. txoutdoors

    txoutdoors Active Member

    Be careful with the bench grinder idea. You want a motor that will stop when you get the skin wrapped up in it (and you will at some point...just a matter of time) and not rip it to shreds. Its a balance between having enough power that the motor wont trip out thermally and having more power than needed that it wont stop.

    BTW, the commercial bird fleshers are using 1/70HP motors.


    Personally I wouldn't go much bigger in motor size.
  7. capnmike

    capnmike New Member

    I personally think that 1/70 hp is not strong enough. I have that new angle bird flesher and don't use it because it takes forever. I like the van dyke flesher with the fine wheels doubled up.
  8. bucksnort10

    bucksnort10 Well-Known Member

    Knock on wood, guess I have been lucky as I haven't had this happen.
    Maybe I'm not as aggressive as others.

    Now watch, I'll have hoaxed myself and it will happen on my next bird . . . :)
  9. When it happens and all you see is a big poof of feathers floating in the air. Two pair of feet spinning in a blurr of one.
    Don't look at it ! Hit the kill switch go get your self cold beer , sit down get all the colorfull words out of your system. When you feel brave .Go back out remove the bald creature from its wheel of destruction. And prepare for another round of colorfull words to spew forth. Pepto will not remove that sick sensation in your stomach either. ;D
  10. I bought a dayton 1/15 hp. 1550 rpm. Model 3m569 and the overload kicks in with it also. I called grainger and they thought I should go up to 1/3 to a 1/2hp. Just a little more info for ya. Brett
    I found the model # he gave me 3k771
  11. Yeah, you may have just done yourself in with that comment, LOL!

    I would think snagging a bird happens when you accidentally make contact with the wheel, rather than the wheel "stealing" it from you randomly while carefully fleshing.

    I'm nowhere near taking in customer birds (if ever really), so this is probably the time to learn and experiment with what works for me.

    Thanks for all the input so far!
  12. maj1969

    maj1969 New Member

    I'm with Bucksnort. More power and speed is better. I used a flesher I got from vandykes for years, small motor with little power with a fine wheel. Took forever to clean a turkey and still burned plenty of holes in ducks. Then tried a course wheel and found it cut the membrane much better therefore causing less friction and making fewer holes
    as long as I did my part right.
    Now I built a new flesher put a 1/2 hp motor on it which I think is 1740 rpm. Just because I had the motor laying around and I'm a cheap ass thought I would try it. It works great. Of course you have to be careful but it has improved my fleshing experiences for sure. Also I have got my 15 year old son that I got to start helping and he has done his 1st two birds on it with no major damage.
    Everyone has different ideas, but more power and speed with course wheel is working great for me
  13. I have used a bench grinder for 20 plus years works on everything ! A lot of power is what you want.
  14. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I tried to flesh an Alaskan red fox face with my van dykes bird flesher. Some of that long fur got caught in the wheel. Those dang paws flying around at 1500 RPMs hurt like crazy. Never again! I couldn't get to the switch without getting my arm torn up. Had to unplug it. I got fox fat on walls 15 feet away. Duck and Cover!
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I love these posts. "Give me power and speed". Like Glenn said, WHEN your bench grinder wads one up like used bubblegum and you have a greenwing teal you could drive a truck through, you'll do like all the others have before you. You'll just lie about it.

    Nearly 40 years ago, I bought the original Van Dykes bird flesher. It has a 1/15 HP Dayton motor that spins at 1550 rpm. Worked on everything from teal to foxes and otters. Never tried to overload it, kept 3 grades of wire brushes and always used them doubled up. It's never the tool, but the nut holding the work in place.
  16. George, I specifically bought the motor size and rpm from your recommendation. I don't know if the models matter. But after about 20 minutes it shuts down and has since I bought it. Brett
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sounds like a brush hanging up in the motor. I had Harbor Freight drill do that to me last month. Cheap imported crap everywhere today.
  18. maj1969

    maj1969 New Member

    It's because your putting more force on the motor than it was designed for. Do yourself a favor and get a bigger motor. I totally agree with George. It's not the tool that will cause problems. It's all how you use it.
    Update since my reply yesterday. My "over powered" wheel ripped a pheasant out of my hands today and wadded it up around the wheel and proceeded to splatter bird goo all over me as it went around at 1740 rpm. Totally my fault, it was my 3rd bird of the day at the wheel and I was day dreaming. User error not the tool. when I got it unwound I was happy to see only about a 4" rip down the center of one leg up through the thigh and the other leg on the floor but ripped pretty clean at feather line. Easy fixes, got lucky for sure and glad it wasn't a woody or teal.
    Still a believer in more power and speed with a course wheel.
  19. Motor might be kicking off because it's the wrong type. I had one from Van Dykes for years. It was the 1/15 hp @ 1550 rpms. It worked pretty well, but probably could use more power. I bent the shaft on it (my fault) and decided to get another motor. I got one from Zoro tools. It kept kicking off. I sent them pics & they said it was kicking off because it was a fan motor & didn't have a way to cool itself without the fan blades. I ended up with a 1/6 hp that spins about 1700 rpms. You have to watch it because it won't stop like a smaller motor does, but I really like it. I've done everything from teal to swans.
  20. drwalleye

    drwalleye Member

    Just a safety note. I bought a 1/2 hp and made my own flesher and sent a duck flying and that motor didn't stop. then I was doing a pheasant and had long sleeves on and I brushed against it and I thought wow that was close and began wondering if it would have stopped if I would have got my sleeve caught so I tried a experiment and I couldn't get it to stop so Id be careful using those bench grinders they seem even more powerful. Just saying at very least it would have hurt real bad