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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 12:12 
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Well for the first time I will putting up my own furs and will be sending them to NAFA. I'm not a complete stranger to it as dad did it back when I was a kid but that was then and this is now. I do have several questions so bear with me :lol:

First is stretchers. It's obvious that wood is loved by many an NAFA suggests it. I've been meaning to make my own but trying to buy bass wood in the sizes needed seems to be more expensive than I can buy boards already made. Could I use say poplar, pine, cedar, ect.. How about even plywood, can get all I want for free. Would the ply work as long as I sand the snot out of it so it's nice and smooth. Obviously it would be difficult to push pins in it but I could use staples. And how about wire? Do they have their place? Why I ask is I found a screamer of a deal on Duke #4, #5, & #6's. I already have a dozen #1 that I'll use for rats. Also how about split stretchers, adjustable and non adjustable the like? Seeing I could use wood with less width it could be a bit cheaper no?

Second is fleshing beams. I bought a nice 8"x60" hardwood beam but not sure how I'm gonna mount it. I see some at angles, some flat, and even some mounted vertically. I 'm guessing that's just personal preference? Also how about rats? I've read where some say they don't need fleshed but yet I see special beams? How about a fleshing knife? I just have a cheapo 12" my old lady bought a few Christmas back. I'm sure it will work but I see the necker and english knives come up a lot. They really worth the added price?

Third is drying. I'll be set up in a 20 x 18 garage and I have no intentions of heating it all so I'm going to basically tarp off a corner to work in as it will be easier to heat. What kinda of temp needs to maintained for the hides to dry properly?

And the last for now anyhow :lol: What stretchers does one use for stinkers and grinners?

Oh, I will be targeting coon, fox, yotes, rats, and mink. Also will be going after beaver as well but that's it's own ball of wax :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 15:25 
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Hi. I have used common pine and had no issues with sap. I'm sure poplar would be fine also. The dimensions are more important than the wood. I use wire only for rats. But tons of guys use wire. Use what you can afford until you can get wood.

Beams are put where you feel most comfortable. It does not matter as long as it works for you. Mine is mounted so when I stand, the point goes right into my belly button. Works for me. Those cheap fleshin knives will work but I highly recommend getting a better one. It will cut your work time by half if not more. Lol.

Rats don't get fleshed on a beam for me. I skin and use a spoon to scape the little bit of fat and muscle. Nothing there mostly that would need the beam.

Temps should be between 45-65. Air flow is important. The colder the longer it takes to dry. I like to use a fox stretcher for both grinners and stinkers.
Hope this helped.

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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 15:34 
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Yes it does! Thank you :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 16:10 
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Davy what I find that I don't like about plywood boards is that the push pins are more difficult to push in and then remove without destroying several.

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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 16:18 
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davydtune wrote:
Well for the first time I will putting up my own furs and will be sending them to NAFA. I'm not a complete stranger to it as dad did it back when I was a kid but that was then and this is now. I do have several questions so bear with me :lol:

First is stretchers. It's obvious that wood is loved by many an NAFA suggests it. I've been meaning to make my own but trying to buy bass wood in the sizes needed seems to be more expensive than I can buy boards already made. Could I use say poplar, pine, cedar, ect.. How about even plywood, can get all I want for free. Would the ply work as long as I sand the snot out of it so it's nice and smooth. Obviously it would be difficult to push pins in it but I could use staples. And how about wire? Do they have their place? Why I ask is I found a screamer of a deal on Duke #4, #5, & #6's. I already have a dozen #1 that I'll use for rats. Also how about split stretchers, adjustable and non adjustable the like? Seeing I could use wood with less width it could be a bit cheaper no?

Second is fleshing beams. I bought a nice 8"x60" hardwood beam but not sure how I'm gonna mount it. I see some at angles, some flat, and even some mounted vertically. I 'm guessing that's just personal preference? Also how about rats? I've read where some say they don't need fleshed but yet I see special beams? How about a fleshing knife? I just have a cheapo 12" my old lady bought a few Christmas back. I'm sure it will work but I see the necker and english knives come up a lot. They really worth the added price?

Third is drying. I'll be set up in a 20 x 18 garage and I have no intentions of heating it all so I'm going to basically tarp off a corner to work in as it will be easier to heat. What kinda of temp needs to maintained for the hides to dry properly?

And the last for now anyhow :lol: What stretchers does one use for stinkers and grinners?

Oh, I will be targeting coon, fox, yotes, rats, and mink. Also will be going after beaver as well but that's it's own ball of wax :mrgreen:


Basswood and cedar are used mainly because of the softness when inserting and pulling of pins. They are also good wood to work with for ease of shaping and sanding your board. I would not recommend any hardwood or plywood for stretchers, plywood a big no to because of slivers. Pine would work and I have met some trappers that have pine boards only because they have no use of a saw mill to cut there own and are on the cheap side to buy cedar :mrgreen: Wire stretchers will do until you can get some proper boards. Rats do very good on wire but wood is better. Other wire stretchers for fox just don't cut it. But you have to use what you have at your disposal for the mean time and you can update your stretchers as you go along. Like wci said proper dimensions for any board is necessary to conform with the auction houses size requirement.
My fleshing beam I mount in my bench vise so that it is easier on my back. There are many ways to mount a beam.

Drying fur should be 50 to 60 range with air movement. I keep my ceiling fan on in garage when drying fur.

My stretcher I use on skunks is a bag and fire into the bait pile :P


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 16:26 
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Dude I would not buy the Duke stretchers. You can squish one in and it will stay that way........very crappy metal. Sleepy Creek stretchers are much better if you are going with wire and they maintain their shape very well. I am not going to try to persuade you to wire or wood, just make sure you play around with those Duke stretchers a bit before buying them. Also when deciding wood or wire do an honest price comparison between the two, I think you will be surprised :D Either way I look forward to seeing your critters caught and put up! Have a good season man!

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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 18:49 
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Thanks all!


I passed on the wire stretchers and I just bought a half dozen boards. I remembered the place where I just took the PA cable restraint class and he had a bunch of boards but I didn't have the cash on hand. Well I found his web site and I feel the prices were pretty solid. I bought 3 coon boards @ 7.00 ea, 2 fox boards @ $6.00 ea, and 1 yote board at $11.00. Wedges were a buck a piece and shipping was only $9.00 for the whole order. I've been looking around a lot and most want almost double on the boards and at least twice the shipping. I figure that should give me a small start. Kinda feeling like a kid in a candy store :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 19:57 
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Slow but sure Davy. I started out the same way, yes I was as green horn once, then someone cut the grass and I was no longer green :P Send me your addy and I will help you out if I can with some boards, Maybe I can swing a deal with swamp to take some back with him to forward to you. Will be mink boards if possible. His and hers.


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 20:04 
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do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 20:07 
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Wow, I just bought some boards and that price was quite a bit cheaper then I paid. Nice find!


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 20:22 
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Use the boards you ordered as templates and use common pine boards to make your own. Will be fine and cheap

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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013, 20:38 
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Dave057 wrote:
do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


Davy you will have to plain your edges down or use a belt sander to obtain your tapered edge. I have yet to see any board that is massed produced that is correct even from the auction houses. To make the extra work involved to make the board more efficient would cost them extra time and no money value to be made. But at least you will have a template to make more and finish off the board.


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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2013, 04:46 
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Wow Wolf, that is very generous of you to offer :mrgreen:


I saw these boards when I was down there and I believe they are made by a local guy where this fur guy is at and they are supposedly made to NAFA specs. I'll see for sure when I get them :wink:


Here's the link to his store, he's in Tionesta PA

http://www.cooncreektrappers.com/


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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2013, 04:49 
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wolf1199 wrote:
Dave057 wrote:
do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


Davy you will have to plain your edges down or use a belt sander to obtain your tapered edge. I have yet to see any board that is massed produced that is correct even from the auction houses. To make the extra work involved to make the board more efficient would cost them extra time and no money value to be made. But at least you will have a template to make more and finish off the board.


You know thinking about it I haven't seen any with tapered edges, hmm. What does having a taper accomplish?


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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2013, 10:58 
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davydtune wrote:
Thanks all!


I passed on the wire stretchers and I just bought a half dozen boards. I remembered the place where I just took the PA cable restraint class and he had a bunch of boards but I didn't have the cash on hand. Well I found his web site and I feel the prices were pretty solid. I bought 3 coon boards @ 7.00 ea, 2 fox boards @ $6.00 ea, and 1 yote board at $11.00. Wedges were a buck a piece and shipping was only $9.00 for the whole order. I've been looking around a lot and most want almost double on the boards and at least twice the shipping. I figure that should give me a small start. Kinda feeling like a kid in a candy store :mrgreen:



Shocked :shock: My boards come in the mail already this morning! That was fast! :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 06:32 
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I 'm almost ready :mrgreen: Now we just need some frost and cold weather to get these critters primed up :)


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 21:10 
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Another question on boars, does the thickness of the board matter? If I have 1/2 inch pine boards is that OK, or do I need to plane those down to 1/4 inch or whatever the correct spec may be.


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 21:22 
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Mine are made out of pine. I work at a place that sells lumber. So I can pick up the premium grade boards when they get damaged.

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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 21:33 
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davydtune wrote:
Wow Wolf, that is very generous of you to offer :mrgreen:


I saw these boards when I was down there and I believe they are made by a local guy where this fur guy is at and they are supposedly made to NAFA specs. I'll see for sure when I get them :wink:


Here's the link to his store, he's in Tionesta PA

http://www.cooncreektrappers.com/

wow cooncreek isent bad on prises.


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2013, 22:31 
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davydtune wrote:
wolf1199 wrote:
Dave057 wrote:
do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


Davy you will have to plain your edges down or use a belt sander to obtain your tapered edge. I have yet to see any board that is massed produced that is correct even from the auction houses. To make the extra work involved to make the board more efficient would cost them extra time and no money value to be made. But at least you will have a template to make more and finish off the board.


You know thinking about it I haven't seen any with tapered edges, hmm. What does having a taper accomplish?


the more thicker the board and edges the more leather is used to go around, thus resulting in shortness of length. Some times that extra 1/2 inch or 3/4 will gain you another size. Course you haven't seen any, like I said it takes more time to turn out a board like that and they would not make any money doing so. They are only mass producing to the size only, no extra work into shaping the board to perfection. You don't have to take my word at that but just trying to help you out where I have knowledge in certain areas.


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013, 07:01 
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wolf1199 wrote:
davydtune wrote:
wolf1199 wrote:
Dave057 wrote:
do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


Davy you will have to plain your edges down or use a belt sander to obtain your tapered edge. I have yet to see any board that is massed produced that is correct even from the auction houses. To make the extra work involved to make the board more efficient would cost them extra time and no money value to be made. But at least you will have a template to make more and finish off the board.


You know thinking about it I haven't seen any with tapered edges, hmm. What does having a taper accomplish?


the more thicker the board and edges the more leather is used to go around, thus resulting in shortness of length. Some times that extra 1/2 inch or 3/4 will gain you another size. Course you haven't seen any, like I said it takes more time to turn out a board like that and they would not make any money doing so. They are only mass producing to the size only, no extra work into shaping the board to perfection. You don't have to take my word at that but just trying to help you out where I have knowledge in certain areas.


I have no fear that once Davy sees what you are talking about, all of his boards will have tapered edges...he is a Master Wood Worker in his own rights! :wink:

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013, 07:15 
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wolf1199 wrote:
davydtune wrote:
wolf1199 wrote:
Dave057 wrote:
do you just sand papper the edges down some on the thicker boards.


Davy you will have to plain your edges down or use a belt sander to obtain your tapered edge. I have yet to see any board that is massed produced that is correct even from the auction houses. To make the extra work involved to make the board more efficient would cost them extra time and no money value to be made. But at least you will have a template to make more and finish off the board.


You know thinking about it I haven't seen any with tapered edges, hmm. What does having a taper accomplish?


the more thicker the board and edges the more leather is used to go around, thus resulting in shortness of length. Some times that extra 1/2 inch or 3/4 will gain you another size. Course you haven't seen any, like I said it takes more time to turn out a board like that and they would not make any money doing so. They are only mass producing to the size only, no extra work into shaping the board to perfection. You don't have to take my word at that but just trying to help you out where I have knowledge in certain areas.



Awesome, thank you! That makes perfect sense :wink: These boards will be very easy to taper since they are only 1/2" thick, shouldn't take much at all :mrgreen: Think I'll have to pull out ye olde block planer :D


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