1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Old Fleshing Machine ?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by TD, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    Any of you old timers know who made this machine?I bought it years ago used and been running it since.No I.D. on it any where.When I bought it ,it had a leather belt.This is a good one for you George........if anyone knows,you will.Thanks.....Tom King
  2. Randy Mac

    Randy Mac New Member

    To me it looks like a old Dakota! I have seen some that has the same front guards and back guard, but I may be wrong

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I don't recognize it and really, I'm no expert on those issues. Though I'm old enough, the age and era I grew up from was quite isolated, so information was limited. The person most likely to help you is John Janelli. John worked for one of the best tanners who's ever been in the business, a black man named Sinclair Clark. If it was a production machine and not a home made one, John Janelli will know. Email him at [email protected]
  4. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    Thanks George,Ill ask him..Tom
  5. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    I just sent an email with pictures...Thanks again.Tom
  6. That is a vintage Reliable fleshing machine. I have used one for 25 years and they are the best you can get if you know how to set one up.

    I have three in my shop.
  7. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    TY David.It has served me well over 15 years and still kickin.....Tom
  8. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    How Old is it BTW?
  9. Tom,
    I have always heard the Reliable Machine Works company quit making these machines in the mid 40's. The company was based in Brooklyn, NY. The machines I have are stamped with the name and address. One has a serial number "615" stamped on it, so there were at least that many produced.
    A couple things I noticed on yours was the guard missing from the left side and it looks like it is set up for a lefty. For taxidermy purposes I suppose the missing guard is OK, but it is dangerous in a commercial setting. You have already accustomed yourself to the set-up, but I would not recommend that set-up for a beginner.
    The Rawhide machine incorporates some of the design features of the Reliable. Bill Metterhauser still makes the Rawhide, both table top and floor models.
    The machine you have originally was designed to run on a long shaft in a line of 20 or so. The leather belts could be cut and re-stapled to shorten the belt, thereby tightening when the belt got too loose. The shaft was driven by a single motor.
    You can take an angle grinder with a steel wire brush attachment and remove the rust and paint down to the original metal. Prime and paint and it will look brand new!
    I took 3 out of Tan-Bec in Quebec City that were severely corroded. After refinishing, they are kicking like a mule! If you ever decide to part with it, call me. I love that machine model.
  10. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    TY David,There is a guard there,It just doesn't show on the picture. This is the email I got from the link George gave me. Hello Tom,
    Judging only by what I can see in the photos, this machine was built of parts from other machines. That seat is like the one that was only installed on a Monarch brand fleshing machine used in the furrier trade where tons of small pelts were shaved daily by one or two workers. The knife on a Monarch was not unlike that of an aspheric deer eye or soup dish shaped which are hardly ever seen anymore in the taxidermy trade. The head of your unit is on par with that of the Reliable brand machine now commonly reproduced by most supply houses. The guard seems to be made of the exact ones that were on the old Van Dyke's Dakota machines but somewhat less manageable than the Raw Hide fleshing machine which is the ones that most professional tanneries still use today.
    See that hood over the machine? Well the Reliable and the Monarch used bronze for their models and never aluminum or anything else. Colorado Fur Dressers that were owned by Jonas Bros., never used any hood or guards at all making their workers shave over an open naked knife!! All in all, it looks like a pretty nice rig you have for yourself and I would highly recommend that you call my friend Bill over at Raw Hide Fleshing Machine Co. ([email protected]) if and when you should ever need parts for yours.
    I hope this helps some what for you and thanks for asking.

    John Janelli
    NTA Board Member
  11. Well John has a few good years on me, so I can't vouch for a bronze hood. Never have seen one on any of the Reliable machines I have used over the years. They all had the cast aluminum hoods and I can't even begin to think of what OSHA would say about using one without the hood!

    We had three at the old Con-Tan back in the 80's in Conroe, Texas. Rick Morgan had at least 6 or 7 when I last worked there at Carolina Fur and some were marked with the manufacturer's stamp and some were not.

    I like them so much because of durability and adjustability. You have a seat that is identical to the seats I use. This machine has lasted probably 60 years and there is no reason to think it won't go another 60 with a good coat of paint, periodically. The bodies are cast iron and are heavy duty.

    With a 1 hp motor, I would put that machine up against anything out there today.
  12. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    I has been a good one and still going strong after 15 years..Thanks again for the input.
  13. TD

    TD My GGG Grandfather John "Tanner John" King b 1820

    Thanx guys,Now I know........oldshvaer,I have no idea what you mean about the belts and your talkin to a poor boy when it comes to buying somethin lol.My Ole Dinosaur rocks but I bet I would be in heaven with a new model.............Thanks...Tom King
  14. The arbor can be taken to a machinist and grooved with a lathe. My next door neighbor actually makes the entire arbor from scratch for me in his machine shop. He charges me $260 per arbor and you can't touch one for less than $400 from anyone else. My guy would lathe a flat belt arbor for about $35. Then you slap a 3" v-belt pulley from Tractor Supply for $6 with a 5/8" diameter on the motor shaft, go to Advance Auto and purchase a $5 Gates belt and for less than $50 bucks you are in business and can get rid of the old Dino Belt.