I have a pretty long list of skills that I am interested in learning. It just takes so much time to get to all of them! Recently, I've decided to tackle hide tanning. I still have the salted hide from my first deer stored away, just waiting until I figure out how to turn it into fine leather.
Of course, I've already watched hours of video about the process, so I think I have a basic knowledge of the chemistry involved and a general plan for how I want to proceed. Now, I just need to put together the tools and resources that I'll need to carry out the plan.
One of the tools that I'll need is going to be a fleshing knife. A fleshing knife is a blade used to scrape the fat, muscle, and hair off of a hide to prepare it for the tanning process. The goal is to remove the tissues that would easily rot, leaving behind the collagen that has been reinforced by a tanning solution through the magic of chemistry. A fleshing knife need not be super sharp, as it is more of a scraping tool than a cutting tool. I've looked at lots of pictures of fleshing knives online, and it doesn't appear that it takes a whole lot of precision to make one. Since the edge isn't specifically designed for cutting, it doesn't necessarily hurt if it ends of a little bit wavy. As such, I feel somewhat confident that I can make one for myself using stuff I have laying around the homestead.
In this video, I'm going to try to turn an old lawnmower blade into a useable fleshing tool.