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Thinning A Hide Without A Fleshing Machine

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by xOEDragonx, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. xOEDragonx

    xOEDragonx New Member

    Is it possible and if so, how?

    I'm getting my list together of supplies I need to begin my adventure into taxidermy. Being entirely new to fleshing, I would think it best to start with the old school method of using a knife and a fleshing beam to clean hides. But the more I research into taxidermy and especially after watching the Rick Carter Deer Shoulder Mount A-Z DVD, the more I'm wondering if one can really "thin" a hide while fleshing with the old school method.

    All videos I've watched of fleshing are of just that-- removing the flesh and tissue from the skin. But in videos I've watched with experienced taxidermists actually tanning for use with taxidermy, they will typically thin the skin with their fleshing machines. In an attempt to learn how one could possibly achieve this thinness when fleshing by hand, I've repeatedly seen the same advice again and again... if you can't get a fleshing machine, just send the hide to a tannery to be tanned and thinned.

    Is there actually a way to achieve this thinness without a machine or tannery? One method is a tad expensive to invest in for a complete beginner. The other method makes me feel like I'd be giving up before ever trying. I just want to know if it can be done, what tools do you need to do it and any advice you have. If I'm going to get into taxidermy, I really want to do things right from the start. As it is, I'm already leaning towards the idea of just getting a fleshing machine so I can do things "correct" based on the many videos I've watched, but I also know people have been successful without such tools.
    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Hard work , plain and simple. Grinders, wire wheel.sanders, scalpel or a skife knife
    Westcoast and Robert Baker like this.

  3. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

    Do your self a favor start out with a tannery. So you dont blame a bad mount of your thinning job.
  4. Westcoast

    Westcoast Well-Known Member

    You can of course do it by hand with pretty much anything sharp but why the hell would you want to? It’s way too labor intensive, work smart not hard. Go with the last two sentences of your post. If you want to start off on the right foot, use a quality tannery. It’s less work, it’s less mess and it comes back clean and smelling nice!
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Very good advice! You will need a skife knife to shave in "touch up" areas on the face after it's tanned. It can be done with a scalpel by placing the skin over a ball.
    Azstick_and_string and coroner2 like this.