The Black Magic Fleshing Disk was originally designed to fill a need by taxidermists for a power fleshing tool that would replace hand tools like scalpels, safety razor blades and fleshing knives used for the hard-to-reach and delicate areas on the skin. The Black Magic is highly effective for this task, and the tougher the skin, the better Black Magic performs. It'll tackle the most delicate areas like the ears, eye lids; you can actually roll the lip using the Black Magic. Have you ever tried to flesh the tissue out of the scutes of an alligator on a traditional fleshing machine? You can easily work the scutes with a Black Magic. Black Magic can handle is equally at home with the more usual bench fare of deer and small mammals.
The disc was initially designed using a hardened stainless steel to resist corrosion and once it was sharpened it would retain that sharpened edge for a longer period of time. The disc worked like “magic” at first but proved difficult for many taxidermists to keep sharp. We worked with our R&D team, Ed Hardin, Georgia, Chris
Barnhart, North Carolina and Shawn Logan, Past President of Florida Taxidermy Association to re-evaluate our design and it became abundantly clear that corrosion resistance and a long life edge was not what the Taxidermist wanted most. They wanted in one word, SHARP, and an easier way to get there.
Thus, the second generation of disc was born. The disc material was changed from a hardened stainless steel to a special formulated 440 carbon steel. What is so remarkable about this particular grade of carbon steel is that it is self-hardening when it’s exposed to friction type heat, the type of heat created during the sharpening process. Changing to carbon steel make the disc easier to sharpen.
EDGE AND ANGLE
The type of edge cut into the Black Magic is known as a Chisel ground edge and is primarily found on Japanese knives, especially sushi knives. The edge angle (or bevel) on the Black Magic is set to 15 degrees which is
the ideal angle for a filet knife type blade. The width of the blade edge tip is approximately five thousands (.005) of an inch or less when it comes off the computer controlled CNC machine lathe making it a very sharp blade.
The blade is going to lose it’s proper shape and become dull when the angle gets altered by repeated use, but you can quickly returned the blade to the proper angle by simply straightened the waves, ripples and nicks on the blade.
Sharpening the chisel-ground or single-bevel edge is not tricky. You simply match the bevel angle to a sharpening stone and sharpen as usual – but only on the beveled side. It is simple but critical that the sharpening stone maintain a consistent 15 degree angle while sharpening. This can be tough to do, which is why we designed a special sharpener that maintains this consistent angle. This sharpening system will return your blade to that optimal combination of edge features.
The sharpening stone used is an India stone - a man made synthetic aluminum oxide stone. This fine-grained stone creates less serration of the blade edge during the sharpening process. The stone cleans up easily with a scouring pad or mineral spirits. You use the sharpening stone without oil or water. You’re going to find that because of the heat generated during the sharpening process the contact point on the sharpening stone will at some point crystallize. We’ve designed the sharpener so that when this happens the stone can be rotated to expose a new contact surface on the stone. You can continue to rotate the sharpening stone until you’ve used all
the stone, remove it, turn it over and use the opposite end. Repeat until the stone has been used up and then replace.
EASY TO USE
Using the sharpener is easy. While holding the grinder with the Black Magic attached, set the variable speed of the grinder to the slowest speed, turn the grinder on and then properly seat the sharpener into the Black Magic Fleshing Disc. The sharpener is designed so it can be fully seated without the sharpening stone coming into contact with the edge until you are ready to begin sharpeneing. You only have to hold the sharpening stone up against the fleshing blade for a millisecond. At the Merlin’s slowest speed the disk spins at 6,500 revolutions per minute. That means that in one single second the fleshing blade passes over the sharpening stone 105 times! Remember that the idea when sharpening isn’t necessarily that you need to remove metal, but to simply smooth
out the edge, AND that the thinnest edge isn't always the best edge as far as durability is concerned.
The last step is to grind the back side of the blade. Chances are that you’re going to raise a burr so you’ll need to grind it off by laying the flat side of the blade perfectly flat against your abrasive stone. Almost any type of abrasive material will work. The amount of material that you’re removing the bladeis minute. Just be careful that the back side of the blade is perfectly flat or you’ll round your edge. All you want to do is knock off the burr.
You’ll want to keep your Black Magic Fleshing Disc dry and lightly oiled when it’s not being used. Be sure to store the Black Magic so you can protect the blade edge. The blade is super thin and can be easily dented if not properly protected.