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What the heck happened to my flesher blade.. really upset, please help !

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Amy, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Hey guys,

    Can anyone help me figure out what happened..

    I own the Dakota IV (small flesher) from VanDykes. I have been using the SAME blade on it for over four years! It finally started to get really dull and worn down so I changed it the other day.

    Bunch of deer capes to flesh today .. on the first cape, the new blade was razor sharp. Towards the second one, it started dulling slightly so I sharpened it with the steels just like I always do and have done for four years.

    Well the blade did not sharpen, in fact it was worse. I kept messing with it and no matter WHAT I do, that blade is as dull as a butter knife. I did everything I could think of and after two hours messing with one cape, I ended up fleshing it by hand.

    I've got a bunch to do so can anything suggest ANYTHING? Did I wreck this blade or something?? I didn't do anything to it that I haven't done to the old one!
  2. oldterryr

    oldterryr Terry's in Heaven with no worries at all.

    call van dyke's and get their take on it

  3. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Doesn't sound right to begin with
    Takes me at least 25 capes top even START to see any dullness on a NEW blade
    I'll bet I don't touch a steel to it for at least 40 capes.
    You must have hit it to hard with the steel or turned the edge in to far or ground it off.
  4. Larry B

    Larry B New Member

    You could have rolled the edge over and caused an under hook. Easy to do on new blades as the edge is longer and easier to bend with the steels. Carefullly run your fingernail (or small steel etc..)under the blade edge and feel for a lip on the underside of the cutting edge. New blades require very light touch ups with small steels.
    You can remove the underhooked edge and start over a bit but it is not the easiest thing to do.
  5. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    This is really a crisis because I have lots of capes and hides to flesh, and basically no fleshing machine now. Even if I order a new one from VanDykes that will probably take well over a week.

    I know that you have to be careful with the blades. Over four years of sharpening that old blade and it always worked well for me. I figured that I knew how to sharpen one.

    I barely hit the new one with the steels and I guess it's safe to say it's ruined. I spent almost three hours of precious work time today dealing with it. I tried everything, sharpening this way and that, taking off the guards entirely (to see if the guards were a problem - they weren't).

    The thing is not just dull, it won't cut a thing. I would feel safe in laying my finger on it.

    I guess I'm gonna put the old four year old blade back on. I was really having to bear down on the hide to get that thing to cut but it's much better than this one.
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Contrary to everything you hear or read, I ALWAYS keep a soft Arkansas stone near my flesher. VanDykes used to sell Carborundum stones that worked great but discontinued them. When I get a curled blade like that, I use the large steel and straighten it out. Then I use the soft stone. First I place a sharp edge of the stone on the underside and dress the blade edge up. Then I carefully lay the stone down horizonatlly flat atop the blade to smooth out any imperfections. Then I use the steels one last time and I'm ready to go.
  7. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    The edge was turned too far. You got a bad grind, or should I say turning of the edge , from your supplier. They went past a 90 degree angle. I see this happen all the time, when I am training shavers, to operate a grinder. You always stop, just before 90 degrees. Much past a 90, and most people will chew the edge off, with the first few steelings. People think of the whole lip, as the actual part that is doing the cutting, but its the very tip , of the hook, that is cutting. The rest of the lip, is basically a place to insert a steel, and keep it from jumping off, while you are tuning the edge. Without great force, you are not lifting, or lowering the whole hook, just the very tip, of the lip. The only reason suppliers grind blades, with a large lip, is so the blade will get used up faster, and they can sell you a new one.

    The only option you have here, is to apply alot of pressure while steeling. Lift hard with the bottom steel, and apply considerable pressure, with the top. Sparks will fly, but, you will make a new edge, that is not as sharp, but will do for fleshing raw skins.

    Ask for a free grind. They screwed up.
  8. hunte567

    hunte567 Member

    Hey Amy, What we do is take the sharpening steel, turn it around and use the wood end of the steel and insert it under the lip of the blade (while it is turning) and lift the lip up, it takes a good amount of pressure. Then flip the steel around and sharpen. Good Luck
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    That "lifting" sends chills up my back. BE VERY CAREFUL. I was "lifting" my edge one night on the spinning blade and the tooling steel slipped over the edge of the blade. The "pressure" I was applying allowed my hand to be shoved into the blade. A 6 hour wait in the ER and 17 stitches later, I learned to be VERY CAREFUL when "lifting" that edge.
  10. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Thanks for all the help guys .. I think I got it fixed.

    Larry you were right, it was a quite obvious underhook. I could feel it with my fingernail. My husband has a small square stone (I guess kind of what George has) and we used it underneath the lip to get the ridge out, and then smoothed it out on top. I ran a raw hide across it and it sliced the meat off fairly well. I think I've got it good as new. Atleast I know what to do if this happens again.

    I believe I rolled it under by applying too much pressure with the steels. When you go from a 4 1/2 year old blade to a brand new one, it's very different. I was used to sharpening that old blade really often to keep an edge, and really going hard at it with the steels. I may have just overdone it on this tender new blade !

    Thanks for the help guys. I was really panicking. Lots of raw hides and an unsharp flesher just won't work !
  11. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    And here I thought it was a blade from China or Bush's fault. I'm kind of disappointed now. ;D
  12. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    It was kinda like Hillarys toe nails Cecil. Rolled under slightly.GAG-LOL
  13. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I just wanted to post a follow-up to this post.

    I have called VanDykes and they are sending me a new blade, in return for sending this one back for them to take a look at.

    I was able to get the blade sharp but it would almost immediately (within several passes) go dull. I have done everything imaginable and this is driving me crazy. It works "ok" for fleshing meat off raw capes but trying to shave capes has been hell. I have to apply lots of pressure and it's killing my back and arms.

    I fail to believe that I ruined the edge on this blade. Over four years of steeling and grinding that other blade and I was always able to get it sharp and have it stay sharp for a reasonable amount of time.

    Hopefully this new blade will be better.
  14. Dave H

    Dave H New Member

    I just got a new dakota pro, and have had the exact same problem with mine. I will look at it tonoght, but I can't get it to stay sharp for a whole cape, let alone 25.
  15. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Now, did you buy the regular blade or the Stainless one?
    I'm curious.
  16. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member


    Ya think with all that scrap metal we are sending there they are going to send us the good stuff back? :eek: ;D
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Dave, I'm just like "*". A new blade doesn't even get steels before about 25. I suspect that your blades have the long edges instead of the short ones. I love the short ones as they are much more stout. Carbon steel blades will beat stainless hands down any day for keeping an edge. Stainless only retards the rust and corrosion and seldom holds a good edge. I'd bet I get 200+ deer capes on my blade before I have to have it resharpened. Now when you get into pigs and buffalo and elk, they tend to dull MUCH quicker.
  18. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    I received my new blade from VanDykes today and I'm a bit perplexed. I think the blade that was giving me problems was not ground correctly..

    This new blade has a very small lip, just a nub really. But as we know, it's only the very tip that's doing the cutting. The problematic blade has a huge lip, at least 1/8". Looking at both blades side by side, they are incredibly different. But they were both from VanDykes and as far as I can see in the catalog, they only sell one style of blade for the Dakota 4. Unless they have changed blade styles over time, I am wondering if the problem blade was left with way too much lip on there.

    Can't wait to try out the new blade.
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Amy, that's the "shallow cut" blade I was speaking of. The "standard" blade has a much deeper edge and tuning it can be critical. You can also "turn under" the standard blade much easier while it's nearly impossible on the shallow cut. I insist on the shallow cuts as I thnk their harmonics are much better.