How to Build the Beam
Using a few basic guidelines you can build a fleshing beam out of a variety of materials, often for little to no cost. The one I built this year cost me around $30, but only because I didn't have the time to dig around for free stuff. I built mine out of one 2x10 (for the base), one 1x6 pine board, and one piece of 1x6 oak (the oak is used for the scraping surface). Like most guys, I like a bit of an angle to my beam, but the exact angle isn't critical. I made mine so that when I stand on the base with one foot, I can press against the tip of the beam with my hip to hold the hide in place while scraping. Any hard wood will work fine, but the scraping surface should be rounded, smooth, and free of knots or anything that the knife might catch on and tear the hide. One of the coolest fleshing beams I have seen was made out of PVC pipe. For mine, I screwed the oak piece on top of the pine very securely, to add rigidity, then used a jigsaw and sanding disc to round the tip of the beam (on which all of the scraping is done).