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Dakota flesher, ?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by tef, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. tef

    tef New Member

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    Considering getting one. Ive never used one, been scared of them ,i.e. messing up cape, knicking holes, and just generally feeling like i wouldn't get the hang of it. However, im getting older and it takes it toll on my hands and shoulder doing them by hand. Any recommendations on which one? I most likely would get one of the Dakotas, IV or V. Thoughts? Reviews? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. verne

    verne Well-Known Member

    Get the pro , you won't be sorry. ;)
     

  3. austin_0_4

    austin_0_4 New Member

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    I bought a Dakota V about a year ago. In some ways I'd say its the best thing I have done, but on the flip side it has caused a great deal of headache as well! Personally, I wish I would have gone up to the PRO or done more research and looked at the S & S or Eager Beaver machines.

    While the Dakota all in all has done a great job there are a couple things I really am not fond of. First off, on the V even when the guards are secured I still feel like they have a little bit of give or flex in them. By slowing down and just being more aware of this it has essentially become a non-issue but can be a challenging piece when working big thick hides. Secondly, it is tough to make micro-adjustments with the guards on the Dakota V. If you're trying to move the guard ever so slight, what usually happens to me is the whole thing breaks free and I am kind of back to square one. I also had a lot of time invested in clearing out cuts of skin from between the guard and the blade, or skin chunks from the belt/motor drive system. Over time I have learned little tricks to help avoid this, but when I first started shaving capes it was pretty slow going and frustrating. If a person could find someone willing to do some 1:1 teaching on a wheel it would make a big difference!

    All in all though, I have learned a ton on my own with trial and error on my Dakota V. It does produce a good thin cape once you work the bugs out and "get a feel" for the skin and the machine. Just takes some patience and practice. I am hoping to upgrade before too long.
     
  4. tef

    tef New Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I really like the looks of the Pro, I'm not sure I want to spend that much starting out. I like the aspect of getting one through McKenzie/Van Dykes, for ease of parts, etc. The s&s is a little high and doesnt seem to look any better than the pro, actually, the pro "looks" better. But i have never layed my hands on any flesher so i can't say much. I think i could get by with the lesser machine, but dont want a headache or have to replace it in a few years. I average 15-20 deer heads, a few small game animals, etc. So im not going to be burning through a lot of stuff. I do plan to take in more after i retire from my real job lol. I turn down a lot of stuff now due to time constraints. I wouldn't mind buying a used rig for now, if priced right, to see if it was for me or not. Idk. But thanks for the input, i learn a lot from this sight.
     
  5. Bulldog 32

    Bulldog 32 New Member

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    I was recently in your situation and researched the pro and V pretty intensely. I do only around 30 deer a year so our turn out is similar. The main difference that I found between the pro and V are the guard adjustments. Key components like motor and blade are the same for both. Now guard adjustment is key to shaving the Cape correctly. With any machine there is a feel factor. It takes more feel factor with the V than the pro because of the ability to micro adjust with set screws on the pro. I wasn't willing to drop the money on the pro so I bought the V. Thinking it was a great machine just not the Cadillac. Cause of the few deer that I felt I could get better money out of the V. Once I got the V and started using it I found the feel quite easy to find and only cut a couple holes on the first cape. Since then I haven't cut any. Also once I had the V in my shop I realized the modifications could be made to to the guards to be able to micro adjust just like the pro. I did not take these modifications on my self. I went to a local machine shop with my V and pics of the pro. Show the difference in the adjustments style of both machines. For just over 150 they were able to add set screws to both posts of each guard allowing me to make the adjustments just like the pro. Now the pro's guards and it is a slimmer design are differant. For me though it isn't enough for the price differance. If you want to talk more about what I did and my experience just Pm me and I will send you my phone number.
     
  6. tef

    tef New Member

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    That's interesting, good thought on your part. There again, things like that make me wonder if its something I want to get into lol. I wouldn't know of a machine shop in my area. I notice guys talking about setting the guards, blade etc., not sure how one knows where it should be. It looks easy on you tube videos but I know those guys have probably done 100's of hides with it. I appreciate your input, and if I go that route I certainly may get with you for help. I really wish I could use one at someone's shop, I would know for sure if it was for me or not. Plus, could get a little 1 on 1 instruction. IDK. I sure want to simplify my fleshing, not to mention save the time. Just don't want to add headaches to the process. It seems most, if not all that have one like using one. Haven't seen a post yet where someone regretted buying one, just maybe wishing they had bought a different one. thanks
     
  7. Second Mouse

    Second Mouse New Member

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    Tef the only reason I am offering my .02 is because I made great strides this year in figuring out my IV....after about 4 or 5 years. The learning curve is more of a cam, once you get it, you get it. Some seem to get it quickly, I did not. Having said that, I'm not the greatest but I believe I could be helpful to a beginner because the frustration and elation is so fresh to me.
    My problems were hesitation to move the guards and experiment due to the manual adjustments that the IV has as opposed to the Pro, mind you, I've never laid hands on a pro but I can imagine the difference in ease of adjustment. I also didn't understand the difference between sharpening the blade and turning the lip up or down...THAT IS HUGE! I have also discovered that for myself I need to have "regions" on my blade, for lack of a better term. Places where I can go on the blade when I need to be aggressive, when I don't and places to start out after manipulating the lip and places to go to when the blade starts losing its edge.
    I watched a lot of videos and talked to a lot of folks, both of which I'm sure had the best of intentions in instructing but for me I never really heard or saw what I needed to and man it was frustrating! Shaving has been that root canal type dread every year but now I can't wait to pull hides out of the pickle. On the bright side, my sewing technique has been honed to razor sharpness ;D ;D
    My advice is to go with the Pro ( mind you, I've never laid hands on one) considering the number you do and intend on doing. I'll be going that route next year most likely. Base your decision on efficiency, not on whether or not you'll learn to use the machine. Lots of helpful folks on here and if you need advice from someone who has the frustrations fresh in his mind I'll be glad to assist. PM me if you need to, I'll even talk you through it on the phone.
    One more note, it is possible to flesh the face with a IV, I don't know about a pro. I myself am more comfortable getting close to the pertinents and finishing with a mini.
    Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want to talk more about it.
    Keith
    Where are you located by the way?
     
  8. tef

    tef New Member

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    Thanks keith. Good info. I just may save up for the pro for next year. I live in a small town in Texas (Edgewood), appx 60 mi east of Dallas. If i finally do get one, i sure might get in touch w you. Im still wavering back and forth. I feel that once I get comfortable w it, i will be glad i got it. Just leary of jumping off in there and doing it.
    Thanks again
    Todd
     
  9. tef

    tef New Member

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    I've been researching and getting prices on machines. I really feel like I can swing getting the Dak. V right now. I don't see a ton of differences from the pro. Granted the pro is better, but not sure how much in the sense of actually "fleshing" or "shaving" a hide. For the money, I just can't see a double in price. I assume the pro will outlast a V due to aluminum housing etc. But seems a lot of guys have been using a earlier version for many years. If there really is a night and day difference in the two then I could possibly be persuaded to go w the pro. Anyone have a v or even a IV that they regret buying? Does it get the job done? If the pro won't do it faster or thinner, then what would be the benefit of the upgrade?
     
  10. tef

    tef New Member

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    I've been researching and getting prices on machines. I really feel like I can swing getting the Dak. V right now. I don't see a ton of differences from the pro. Granted the pro is better, but not sure how much in the sense of actually "fleshing" or "shaving" a hide. For the money, I just can't see a double in price. I assume the pro will outlast a V due to aluminum housing etc. But seems a lot of guys have been using a earlier version for many years. If there really is a night and day difference in the two then I could possibly be persuaded to go w the pro. Anyone have a v or even a IV that they regret buying? Does it get the job done? If the pro won't do it faster or thinner, then what would be the benefit of the upgrade?
     
  11. Second Mouse

    Second Mouse New Member

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    Here are the advantages that I know of.
    1- The design is such that skin chunks can't fall onto the bottom pulley making your machine start dancing.
    2- The ease of adjustment will speed up the learning process because adjusting is easier to do when experimenting
    3- You can get a hard blade with the pro that will stay tuned longer, cutting shaving time. ( 4 doesn't have one, not sure about 5)
    That's all I can confidently list. I assume shave time is faster but can't speak on that.
    You asked who bought a 4 or 5 and regrets it....I can't say I regret it because I learned with it and got some use out of it, but if I had it to do over I would bite the bullet and go Pro
     
  12. tef

    tef New Member

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    Gotcha, good points. Thanks for the help.
     
  13. tef

    tef New Member

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    I talked to a guy in tech support at McKenzie today. He was helpful and pointed out the differences in the V and the Pro. Told me a few tricks on keeping shavings off motor. Basically compared them to buying a regular car or a Cadillac, they'll both get you to where you're going, its just one has more options and style. Mentioned the bearings will last longer on a pro, but will last many years on the V. Will develop rust on the V where you won't on some places on pro. No bigger than my business is I can't see that I need to buy such an expensive machine as the pro. Its got to beat doing them by hand! I hope I'm not making a mistake getting the Dakota V.
     
  14. Not sure how long you have been doing them by hand,, but I'll bet a lot that you'll wonder why you waited so long! I'm speaking through experience.The V is not nearly as bad as everyone makes it sound! I built a home made belt guard for mine,, so the shavings in the pulley is a non-issue. My advise to you is to get the best machine you can afford comfortably and go with a soft blade. Easier for a new person to tune. Whether you get a IV, a V or a Pro,, you will love it. So get your order in. ..... And by the way, I bought mine used 5-6 years ago and it was probably 15 years old when I got it,, if they made them that long ago, and the bearings are still good!
     
  15. tef

    tef New Member

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    Wow, thats good to hear. I think I'll give it a try. Been doing them by hand for over 20 years! Its time for a break lol. I assume the machine you have is a Dakota? The series number is different I'm sure.
    I noticed you recommend a soft blade, idk what it comes with, will they give me the option? Or are blades purchased separately?
     
  16. It should be a complete unit. Since I bought mine used, I'm not sure which blade they come with. Maybe someone else can answer that. I bought a soft replacement blade for mine and if I keep it sharp, it works great.
    I have a Dakota IV and a V . I use the V the most,, but they both do a great job.