Cross cutting a rabbit hide

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by MrP, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. MrP

    MrP Member

    I have purchased a full rabbit hide and am hoping to cross cut it. Any suggestions for how to accomplish this? Thanks.

  2. lcconrad

    lcconrad New Member

    I made a jig that would cut four strips at a time, cutting from the underside to the hair. It worked, but was a real pain and a big mess, I have have gone back to buying strips precut. :mad:
  3. kodiaksalmon

    kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    I hold the hide fur side down on my lap or on a table top. I anchor it with the heel of my left hand and hold a very sharp razor blade in the same hand. With my right hand I put gentle tension on the skin, pulling away from my left. I cut in the direction I want- with the hair or against for cross-cut. The secret is to hold the area you're cutting off the table, otherwise the hair will be caught underneath the blade and will get cut along with the hide. You'll always have a little hair get cut, but run the strip through your fingers a couple of times, and it will come out fine. And obviously, a sharper razor works better than a dull one. Rabbit skin is very soft and thin, and a sharp blade goes through it like butter, and leaves you a nice, clean edge. A duller blade is more difficult to use, and can leave a jagged, less presentable edge.

    Hope this helps.
    Take care all,
  4. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

    I heard this great idea, but haven't tried it yet.

    You get a long bolt, snug washers, razor blades, and a nut for the end.

    Place the washers onto the bolt as spacers, and then space the razor blades on the bolt (might have to drill a hole through them) at equal distances.

    Now you can drag that across the hide, if it's under tension, and get smooth, evenly spaced strips.

    Like I said, haven't tried it, but it makes sense in my mind's eye.
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, I don't go that extreme. But I do buy whole hides since I use alot of a couple colors. But don't do the multiple strips at once. Plus, I don't use crosscut, I only use zonkers, even for palmering. So what I do is stretch the hide in a rack (just a simple wooden rack that clamps on the hide) and draw out the strips. Then use a razor and start cutting. Pretty fast when you're used to it. But easier with zonkers. You're cutting with the hair flow, so not cutting into the hair at all, or not enough to worry about.
  6. GRSteelie

    GRSteelie New Member

    This is timely info for me on cutting rabbit hides. Just found a local source of inexpensive hides. I too made a little jig that holds 8 evenly spaced razor blades and by stretching the hide can wip out lots of nice uniform strips in a hurry. My challenge now is dying. I can get black or white hides. I've tried some Rit dyes with moderate success on the white strips. Any suggestions out there on where to get better selection of dye colors and types of dyes to use?
  7. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

    i've heard that kool aid works great. go to then go to the forum and do a search for kool aid and you will find it. unlimited colors that way as you can mix your own and it reportedly works great.
  8. MrP

    MrP Member

    Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen; I'll give it a try.
  9. GRSteelie

    GRSteelie New Member

    Kool aid, novel idea. Thanks for the time and source, will give it a try. :beer1: