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Anyone build their own bird flesher?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy Forum' started by mrdux, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. mrdux

    mrdux Elite Refuge Member

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    I went to Stefan Savides's workshop last week. Had a great time, enjoyed the area and sights, and learned and brought back tons of new ideas and tactics. I have had a problem recently fleshing birds due to the lack of feeling in my hands. This is from my neck injury and something I thought I would just have to live with. Stefan uses a custom built flesher that has a low rpm motor and coarse 3" wheel. Once I sat down at his wheel to flesh a sprig, Ross, and pheasant- I found that this set-up was the solution to my problems. I will probably buy a flesher from Stefan in the future but have the parts to build one of my own in the mean time. How many of you have built your own fleshers? What rpm motor did you use? How does it compare to the commercial boxes, ie. Soft Touch, etc? Any ideas will be welcome.
    Thanks, Doug.
     
  2. muthagoose

    muthagoose Elite Refuge Member

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    yep sure did ..used a fan cooled motor and a 6" super fine wire brush..There was a killer one posted on here with a plastic box aorund theit,Killer job,,I am building a plexi linner now for mine so when I am done it can be slid out and drop in in the sink for easy cleaning.. I have a 1750 motor but with the bigger softer wheel I have NO burn thru's
    Yep I had some pretty bad back injuries and I have a adjustable arm rest for less'n the arm tension..Ive found since I did that and increased the lighting I have no more burn through and Im not in any hurry at all..Gotta be cumfy while working.., Well If I was you id look at the one that was posted on here it was KILLER
     
  3. MRhodes

    MRhodes Senior Refuge Member

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    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    Mill Creek, IN
    I had an old 1770 RPM motor from my grandfather's workshop that I used, and a 4" fine wire wheel. Just keep in mind that the tip speed of the wheel is what is important, ie combinatation of motor RPM and wheel diameter: Tip speed (ft/min) = RPM X Dia/12 X pi. A 1200 RPM motor with a 6" wheel will have the same tip speed as a 1800 motor with a 4" wheel. I bought a shaft adapter that fits over the motor shaft, and has a threaded shank on the end of it to mount the wheel. I then bought a plastic tub, cut a hole in the middle of one side, and mounted it so that the motor is on the outside of the tub with the shaft through the hole and the wheel is on the inside of the tub. I then took a ~6" diameter plastic ice cream container (1/2 gallon), cut a 2-3" wide section out of the side, an off-center hole in the bottom, and mounted this to the inside of the tub as a shroud so that it covers the wheel. The wheel is exposed at the cut out section of the shroud, facing down, so that all the duck gunk and slime that gets flung off the skin accumulates around the inside of the shroud. This works great until it accumulates so much that it starts dripping on your hands while you are holding the skin! The inside of the large tub stays surprisingly clean.

    For what it's worth, I have heard that the commercial units you can buy are underpowered, and that the motor will bog down if you push too hard against the wheel. The selling point being that this "feature" minimizes burn-through, but personally I'd rather have the extra power when I need it, and just rely on a gentle touch and common sense to not rip the skin to shreds. I have found that the biggest reason for burn-through is stray wires sticking out from the surface of the wheel that slice through the skin. If you break in the wheel for a few minutes with a piece of wood, and then trim the long, stray wires to be flush with the rest, you will minimize burn-through.

    Hope this helps - good luck.
     
  4. Mike Rathnow

    Mike Rathnow Senior Refuge Member

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    Eastpointe Michigan
    I found a metal bench that is 43 1/4" long x 21" wide. I covered the top and sides with 3/4 plywood, then laminated it. The top is white, and the sides are a wood grain. I built the box also from 3/4" plywood, it is 40" long by 24" high, and laminated the inside white. Then I installed a 1/4" plexiglass top. The motor I use is a 1725rpm motor, this is hooked up to a reostat, so I can control the rpm's I'm looking for. I use 3" and 6" soft wire brushes. I have a total of $75.00 tyed up in this. It's by far the best defatter I've used. It's big enough for turkeys, or geese, and any kind of duck or upland game bird I want to defat.
     
  5. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed Elite Refuge Member

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    I built mine.

    3x3x1 deep with 3/4 plywood lined with formica.

    I used an old condenser motor from an AC unit.

    it turns at 1178 rpms. I have 6 inch fine/med wheel I bought at wal mart.

    I did have to buy an arbor to adapt the wheel to the 1/2 inch shaft of the motor.

    it has worked for me for the last 12 years.

    I take a 4 inch mud knife and scrape it out every 6 months or so, weather it needs it or not. hehe

    I have always wondered why duck fat doesnt stink?

    I was having a problem with the floor getting greasy so I put a cup on the floor and now have a cup full of pure duck fat.

    it doesnt mold or rot? whats up with that? hehe
     
  6. muthagoose

    muthagoose Elite Refuge Member

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    Mr Rhodes
    Humm I understand the math...the large diam would be less tourqe and slower per revolution.Altho would cover a greater distance per rev with less friction as the smaller ....If ya stick a skin on the smaller wheel it will go flop flop flop faster,this is a bad thing LOL..
    I will say this..You've built the slickest flesher Ive seen..totaly thought through... I couldnt remember who did it ..Was trying to tell jon who did it thanks for bringing it up.If they was giveing awards for best built you'd have my vote...
     
  7. Wildlifedesigner

    Wildlifedesigner Senior Refuge Member

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    Sacramento
    I custom build these every once in a while. This one is the one I have used for all types of birds for years. It has a 1/40 Hp moter spinning a 3 inch brass brush at 1550 rpms. The moter is mounted on kind of suspension plate, so it will give a little and you can change the angle some. I will be moving up to slightly bigger moter because it is a little to small for turkeys, and I will add some doors to help conceal it. The Box is made with 3/4 inch White Mel with a half inch back so I can wall mount it if I want. To allow more light in the top is made with plexiglass along with the splatter gaurd over the wheel.
     
  8. mrdux

    mrdux Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the ideas.
     
  9. muthagoose

    muthagoose Elite Refuge Member

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    I have the same splatter sheild above the wheel and I have now added a removable plexi corner 3 sided bottomback and end.. So once I am done working I can slide it out scape it and drop it into the sink for easy cleaning,,,
    Hey HB I am going to try the duck fat thing...
     
  10. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed Elite Refuge Member

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    I'll take some pic's of it and put on later. :D

    I wonder if I can sell pure duck fat on ebay? hehe
     

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