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Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by little fred, Mar 15, 2019.
What is the best bird flesher on the market I keep hearing Bird flesher by Van Dyke's
You keep hearing it because , the Van Dykes bird fleshed is a very good flesher and many of us own one ....
And probably one of the few you'll find . Personally I have owned mine for 15 yrs or longer , quiet and runs great . Pretty simple to make your own if you don't want to spend a lot on the Van Dukes ....
I had mine for 30 before I sold it and its still chugging along in another shop. I replaced the plexiglass cowl once and the deflector shield twice. Hard to beat. It was the first one ever marketed and though others have tried, IMO nothing else has come close.
Sounds like they are worth investment so if anyone would happen to have one for sale please let me know or pass the word along thanks a million
Dang , had no idea that they cost nearly 300.00 ..... If I didn't already have one .... Ain't no question I'd build my own ....all you need is a 1/15 HP motor , some wood and a little woodworking skills . Probably build one for next to nothing ....Anytime something is considered specialized it costs way more than its worth .... It's like when I buy taxidermy supplies , some stuff you have to buy from a taxidermy supplier but a lot of the stuff can be purchased much cheaper if you shop around ... 99 cent store is my go to for lots of stuff ...
GotHonks, I was a bit shocked at the sticker price as well, and I've seen people use a variety of things to defat a bird. I grew up in an era of scissors and a fine wire brush doing each feather, one at a time. One of the most novel was done by R.J. Meyer using an old fan and a cardboard box. He stuck the fan shaft through the box and mounted a soft wire wheel on it. Did the bird inside the box and when he was done, took the wire wheel off, pulled the fan motor and threw the box and fat in the trash. (WARNING: Fan motors won't last long enough to do more than a bird or two).
When you price it out, however, that's just not a bad price. The 1/15th horse motor can be bought at Granger but it's not cheap (no motor is any longer). It will run you $75. A piece of exterior grade 3/4 inch plywood is going to be close to $20. The Lexan is going to run you $50 (Plexiglass just won't last or be nearly as flexible as Lexan.) If you bought the metal to make that cowl, aside from having a welder, you'd still spend $25 on angle aluminum or steel. Then there's the time involved as that's worth something.
I started out , same as you ...scissors and wire brush.... pretty cool guess were old school .... I don't know what's worse burning a hole with the wheel or cutting one with scissors .... The wheel is faster but its still my least favorite step in bird taxidermy.... Messed up many birds over the yrs and still do .
When I said build one for next to nothing I meant scrounge around and find what I need for the build ...
I wasn't talking about buying anything to build one , ....I'm pretty tight when it comes to some things and most of the time I'm fairly good at using junk to make what I need ...
Matt Smith's (blue ribbon birds) Mallard Methods DVD comes with a bonus disk that details how to build your bird flasher. His DVDs have improved my birds. I own the VD bird flasher and its great, my only issue with it is its a bit too small for geese, turkeys and swans where a build your own unit could be made to accommodate all birds.
I built my own but on the first one I made a big mistake. I mistakenly assumed bigger is better so I use a 1/2 hp motor. It wasn't long before I realized that bigger isn't always better! So, if you are going to build your own (which is what I would do before paying $300.00 if I needed to get a new one) you probably wouldn't want more than a 1/8 hp motor.
In my former shop with a
10’ ceiling there were pieces of a Fox in the walls and ceiling. I have the Van Dykes flesher. I had read here where people used a bird flesher to flesh the face on small mammals. Well a little fur got grabbed and the circus began. Fox paws with claws turning over 1550 rpms at shaft speed hurt like crazy as you reach for the switch. That was the last time I used it in a mammal. After wrapping up a honker in it I was considering putting a foot switch on it. The goose was an IKEA project as it ended up in
7 pieces. I ended up with an extra
Piece that I couldn’t figure out where to sew it in.
LOL That is some funny stuff Dave!
That's hilarious , I bet we all have a story similar to yours .... I've and still do once in a while ruin birds on the Wheel ..... What do you guys tell a customer when you ruin their trophy .... Usually for me I just tell them sorry I ruined your bird and give them back their deposit and tell them to shoot another ..... Although I did replace a BlueWing I ripped to pieces on my wheel . Had to buy one for 200.00 ... They are rare in CA and chances he'd see let alone shoot another one were slim .... I felt so bad I offered to take care of it , he was happy , I made nothing on the deal , but gained a customer for many other birds after the BlueWing .... Sometimes doing the right thing is hard but pays off down the road when you do ....
I purchased my Van Dykes Flesher for $125 shipped from a young man here on this site. I replaced the worn out brush and bought a spare shield since the original might not last too much longer. You have to have instant payment available to beat out the "tire kickers". I was actually 3rd in line but the two others had checks or partial payment (lol)..... I purchased my mini-flesher and Dakota IV the same way. Lots of deals on thus site!
You bet .....Used is the best way to go if you find what your looking for .... Haven't purchased used taxidermy equipment but I buy a bunch of used like new hunting gear on the refuge forums .... Looks like the one you picked up had little use ...
hey george what whhel you use for the birds fine?
I always kept 4 wheels at hand. I always used 2 at a time to give me a wider footprint and refuse the possibility of burn through. I used the soft brush for ducks like woodie. Teal, and barnyard mallards. Turkeys and sea ducks along wit small mammals got the stiffer brush.
George, curious about the soft brush, is this still a wire brush or a nylon one?
I have the soft brush on my VanDykes flesher and it appears to be wire if not mistaken.
Would that be the one they call "Fine brush" or "Coarse brush," (if you happen to know). I use a wire brush which was the softest I could find at the time (twenty years ago) but it still seems a bit aggressive and will rip a bird skin real quick. I think I tried a fox on it once but ditched that in short order.
Fine and coarse. Mine were always steel wire. I keep seeing the burn through issue. Try putting two brushes together on the spindle and see if that doesn't help.