Am I fleshing wrong?
So I bought a couple fleshing tools, one that looks like a draw knife. I've draped the hide over a smooth log and have tried pushing and pulling but nothing ever really comes off. I've seen several videos on You Tube and their flesh and membranes come off so easily it only frustrates me more.
Right now the only thing that gets down to the skin is a small knife and ulu but this is gonna take forever. Can anyone tell me if I'm doing something wrong on this caribou hide....
I'm sure a professional will chime in here, but in the meantime, are you talking about fleshing a raw skin, or a skin that has already been salted and rehydrated/ further along in the tanning process?
Originally Posted by gokorn1
We tried it fresh and now have it salted and layed out flat in the garage as we were slowing working on it with a ulu and knife
I have only done fresh and it was easy as long as the skin was taught. Be careful around the belly area specifically on the nipples so you don't cut a hole in the thin skin.
As for a salted hide, I have no personal experience here. My neighbor is a a taxi and uses an electric round knife mounted on a workbench to remove flesh from a salted hide. He draws it across perpindicular to the blade and it shaves the hide, both salted and tanned to make it pliable after tanning.
Okay, couple thoughts come to mind. Are you trying to get it ready to send to the tannery or tan it yourself? If you are getting it ready to go to the tannery, you just need remove the meat and fat. Then salt and let dry. If you are trying to do a home tan, well, I can't help from personal experience. But you shouldn't salt and then try to flesh. The salt will dry out the surface layer and leave what's underneath damp which can cause slip.
I have a taxi bus and use a fleshing machine like what has been mentioned above. I just remove the meat/fat and then put the salt to it. Then it goes off to the tannery.
Yes, what Hughiam says, never salt until it is fleshed!! I won't even accept a hide that has been salted before it was fleshed. As far as you're question, is your fleshing knife razor sharp? I've bought a couple that did not come sharp. You have to keep them razor sharp at all times with a good steel.
Just use the KNIFE !!!
I hardly ever use my flesher exept on bears, & on most of those I prefer to just use my knives.
I fleshed off 3 bears yesterday in about 3 hours total.
Caribou are Very thin skinned & in some cases the membrane is tough to get all off but that is ok.
Just get off what you can , Salt with a lot of salt, covering EVERY inch of the raw side of the skin.
The next day move the salt around to make sure all of the wet spots are covered again.
let sit for another night , then shake all the salt off & hang to dry.
Just before it is all dry & hard , fold it to the size of box you want it to go in. Send to a tannery.
In the case that you are trying to tan it yourself, The fleshing of a caribou skin is the EASY part & it might be too more than you want to tackle at this time.
we have our own tanneries at both of my taxidermy studios & to come out with a nice skin takes a LOT practice & hard work.
PRO Taxidermy Fairbanks
907 322 0936