Fleshing Board for scraping pelts


I've got a guy wants a curved fleshing board like this - http://www.mntrappers.com/beams.html
I'm going to go with poplar and I was wondering if I should finish it in any way. These boards are for scraping the fat from the back of pelts, so they can get pretty messy. I'm sort of thinking that I'd like to put on a couple of coats of real thin poly just to seal it. Never made one, never used one.
JP **************************** SCANDAL!!!! (AP): The new "Miracle Finish" called AFAB, which has been sweeping the woodworking industry, turns out to be nothing more than animal fat and blood. Noted finishing expert Jeff Jewitt is "outraged". Story to follow.
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Jay Pique wrote:

Snip G'day Jay, I'm by no means an authority on Skinning and Tanning hides, having only done it a few times. My thoughts however would be to seal the board with an oil type sealer, as the fats etc, from fleshing the hide would tend to seal the timber every time it is used. It may get on the nose after awhile so good scrub down every now and then would be recommended ;)
regards John
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Try something a bit more water resistant such as cypress, white oak or even yellow pine. A clear 2x10 or 2x8 will work fine if you can find one with no pith down the middle. Orient the slab so that when the board cups, the convex side is up, and round the topside corners. Raise the grain a couple of times and knock it down. Tiny splinters can poke tiny holes in the hide. These can become big holes during dry scraping. DAMHIKT.
Big fleshing beams tend to get left outside rather than stored in the house, during the tanning season. A couple of good rains will wash it off for storage in the shed/barn during the off season. If you use a twoby plank, you can nail a hunk of twoby four to the bottom of the thing, then add a hinged leg of twoby four a couple of feet from the end of the plank for a leg, and you have a portable setup.
No one I know has ever applied a finish to one of these. I suppose the fat does that. The tip should be fairly blunt, as you lean into the thing to hold the hide in place while fleshing.
Regards, Roy

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Roy wrote:

I'll remember to do that. I was just telling the GF the other day about how my parents' deck was installed "wrong". They've got the boards so the growth rings cup down, which, unfortuantely, means they have physically cupped UP, and thus hold water.

I hadn't thought of that - the bluntness being for comfort. I sort of thought that it was for stretching or something. That's the beauty of usenent. Thanks much.
JP
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I've used 4" Schedule 40 PVC for this purpose.... similar in 8" or 10" would be better as it doesn't need finish and only needs a scrubbing with hot water, some detergent, and a sponge to clean up. I'd forgo the wood if this thing is intended to be around a while and need to be stored...
John
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