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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, folks. I have a dilemma I can't solve and I can't find anyone who can so far. This is not specific to Spey so please forgive me as I do not know where else to turn. Have been tying flies for about 40 years. Cannot find out how the strips are cut from tanned fur? My problem is that I want to get some strips cut from Aussie Opposum (tanned hide) and cannot find a way to do it. I'd even send it to someone to have it cut into 1/8" or 3/16" wide strips if I could? Any advice and direction will be most appreciated. Thanks, Stiver
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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I have not personally done this, but I would imagine all you need to do is mark your 1/8th inch strips and with a nice pair of fabric shears or even a scalpel, just score the hide until the leather is cut through. Good luck... :confused:

Vinnie
 

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I'd draw parallel lines on the back and cut with a razor or scapel. (I think that shears might destroy too much hair.) And somewhere, I can't remember where, I've seen an ad for some kind of caliper-controled fur strip cutting device.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I think Feather-Craft in St. Louis Missouri sells a fur strip cutter and I think it runs about $25.00. However, you can make one for yourself by using an Exacto knife handle, and 2-4 exacto blades. What you have to do is put thick flat washers (so the space between the blades is about 1/8"), hold the blades together with a small diameter machine screw of bolt, and mount one of them in the Exacto handle.

You can cut the hides with a very sharp utility knife or an Exacto Knife by putting alignment dots on the back of the hide and using a steel straight edge to guide the utility or Exacto blade. This is who I used to cut rabbit strips back in the 70' and early 80's when I used to buy tanned rabbit hides at Tandy Leather and cut them to tie Zonkers because there were no pre-cut ones on the market back then.
 

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Another thing don't put the hide on a flat surface to cut the strips, you need to suspend it while cutting.
Leroy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks much...mission accomplished

Thanks so much for your help. I did not think going in that this would be "rocket science"; however, I could not cut the strips without cutting the hair as well. Well, all your suggestions, plus an e mail from a midwest bro who is a Spey Pages guy and used to be associated with a furrier operation in his former days gave me a step by step method to cut my strips. I'm in business now. My problems centered around suspending the hide during the cutting with a very sharp, pointed scalpel or razor and it's slick indeed. Thanks again and best regards, Stiver
 

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My good friend,

it's funny to see this post as we fish together. We must have just not gotten to that topic yet. I've cut my own for a few years now, and would be happy to show your and/or describe the tools and setup. It's all homemade, and would give you something extra to do while Carol recovers.

Regards, Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #8
great news, Carl.

Thanks, Carl. I am ALWAYS open for lessons in anything that applies to tying flies and fly fishing. Let's get together ASAP and I am indeed ready to take lessons. Thanks again, dear Bro. I will be homebound after the 6th for probably several weeks as my wife wants me to sharpen up my nursing skills which indeed do need sharpening as I'm a very poor nursemaid. I'm gonna try and do my best, however. Stiver
 
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