Fur Removal Device


This is my implementation of an idea that I first encountered from Sandy K. M. who made one for my horse P-nut. It’s an absolutely brilliant thing, and very simple to make.

Horses, as you may know, shed their fur in the spring. P-nut, being a Percheron/Suffolk, always throws lots of fur in the spring, and it gets itchy. In fact, it itches everyone in the mere vicinity of the horse. But this story is not about P-nut.

Voyager’s dog Jack apparently also throws itchy fur in the spring, and they mentioned that in a blog post so I ran to the shop and made one for Jack. That’s one of the nice things about having an extremely well-geared shop: you can just make stuff like nobody’s business, with no need to prepare. In the case of this, I had everything more or less sitting around on shelves.

I was in such a hurry to get the thing to Voyager that I forgot to grab my camera and take an official picture of the thing. So that’s a screenshot from a quick video I grabbed on my iPhone.

The wood is some old curly maple that I had, which I had resin-impregnated as an experiment. I figured that something that will be close to a dog ought to be sealed against dirt and moisture as much as possible. So, all I had to do was grab a piece of scrap, cut the edge-shapes, pop it onto the bandsaw vertically and make a thin 3/8″ cut along the leading edge, find a new hacksaw blade and cut it with the angle grinder, smooth the ends, and epoxy it all together.

The silverbling ‘J’ (for “Jack”!) was from a piece of leatherwork I did years ago, my initials “MJR” on it. Since this was a better cause, I just unscrewed the J, epoxied a screw into the back, drilled the wood, added a drop of epoxy, and pressed it into position.

Jack, by Voyager

The rest was sanding and waxing. On the other side, I ground a sort of curved area for a better hand-grip. [If you want a better view of the whole thing, the video that frame was extracted from is here]

Scrapers like this work amazingly well – a new hacksaw blade is very sharp and “grabby” and the teeth are short enough that they won’t touch an animal’s skin (obviously, don’t use a hacksaw blade on a horse’s nose or the horse will remonstrate with you!) it gently pulls great handfuls of fur out and leaves everything all shiny and nice. When P-nut threw his spring fur, I used to take a garbage bag out and scrape, wipe the scraper into the bag, and repeat – he’d stand there with a blissed-out look on his face, drooling and demonstrating his massive penis. [That’s how P-nut says he’s happy, who can argue?] I suppose if you wind up in prison with your dog/horse-scraper, you can use the hacksaw blade to polish spare fur off the prison guards! It may also be used against nazis, with a sort of sweeping motion.

Then, I boxed it and sent it post-haste to Jack!

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These are so easy to make, I’ll offer: if any of you desperately need a dog/horse scraper (I suspect this would be below the dignity of a cat) I can easily be talked into making you one. I have lots of hackwsaw blades and some lovely walnut…

Comments

  1. kestrel says

    That’s really clever! *And* beautiful too… They make a product called a “Sheddin’ Blade” that is a bit similar (it’s just a big wide blade) but much much bigger. This looks far handier to use, especially on a smaller animal like a dog. I’ve got miniature horses, and let me tell you those guys can grow hair. They look like tiny mammoths in the winter. They start shedding in March and the ground becomes covered in hair, there is so much. They keep shedding until about the middle of July, there are about 2 weeks where they are nice and slicked off and look very sleek, then they start growing a winter coat.

    Every bird nest I’ve ever found around here features horse hair.

  2. dashdsrdash says

    We use a device called a Furminator Deshedder on our Maine Coon cats: it’s basically a steel comb with 1/8″ teeth and a spring-loaded blunt blade that can push the trapped fur out of the teeth. The Mainers enjoy it all year round; the Siamese also like it when spring starts but are generally disdainful in winter.

  3. says

    kestrel@#1:
    They look like tiny mammoths in the winter

    I wonder if there’s any room for “mini horse cosplay” … make ’em up to look like Mammoths. Arrgh, my mind wanders!

  4. voyager says

    It’s the best fur removal tool we’ve ever used. It doesn’t clog, it feels great in my hand and Jack loves the way it scratches. I keep it on the shelf by the back door and Jack’s started barking to ask for it once or twice a day. We only use it outside because this thing seriously pulls out a lot of hair! There’s a better photo of it over at Affinity, along with my full review. I give it 5 stars – the first four stars are for function and feel and the fifth star is for looks. The maple wood of ours is gorgeous. Thanks for making Jack (and me!) so happy, Marcus.

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2019/05/23/a-marcus-solution-for-ronja-and-other-hairy-beasts/

  5. dangerousbeans says

    ooh, that’s a great idea! my housemates dog could probably use one, although i’ll try making one myself. I need to go buy more hacksaw blades anyway.
    It looks like a 30tpi blade? Bi-metal or HSS? :P

  6. dangerousbeans says

    Marcus Ranum:
    Thanks, but i’ll give it a go myself. I have some tallowwood i think would work well

  7. rq says

    Marcus
    Would it work as well for a long-haired dog? Ronja could use a lot of help and she’s not a big fan of the usual combs and brushes because they pull the long hairs. She’s still shedding the winter coat in this 30+ degree weather, and our other alternative is shearing… Anyone need some nice dog’s wool socks?

  8. jrkrideau says

    A what? A Percheron/Suffolk? What is he to do, haul the jeep out of the mud? Which I am fairly sure he could do. No idea why you did not ask him.

    NB: Horses like to work when well-treated.

  9. Jazzlet says

    Marcus I would very much like a fur removal device when you have time, I think both Jake and Thorn would enjoy it more than the rake that I use at the moment.

  10. says

    rq@#12:
    P-nut’s fur is pretty long! So’s Otto’s (he’s a shire) so I suspect that it works fine on long hair.

    I’ll queue up a couple scrapers when I get back into the shop this weekend, and I believe I already have your address someplace.

    Anyone need some nice dog’s wool socks?

    Exwife was a knitter and spinner and had a large bag of samoyed dog fur. I can attest that there are people who make dog wool socks!

  11. says

    jrkrideau@#13:
    A what? A Percheron/Suffolk? What is he to do, haul the jeep out of the mud? Which I am fairly sure he could do. No idea why you did not ask him.

    P-nut and I have a deal: I stop asking him to work and he stops trying to buck me off and break my neck. I have heard that there are horses who enjoy working, but P-nut isn’t one of them. Other than that, you’re right: if I had a collar and all the riggings I’m pretty sure he’d have been able to pull the truck out just like it was a cannon, or something. P-nut is small for his ancestry (he’s about 5 and 1/2 hands) but that just makes him look like a short tank. His butt is a gigantic mass of muscle and his legs are “sturdy” like he invented sturdy. To balance his butt, he has a great big block head full of more brainpower than horses should have. (Which is why I nearly got him a doctorate in equine massage from an online university)

  12. lochaber says

    Marcus Ranum @ 15
    I think someone I used to knoww did some felting with shed husky fur.
    Not entirely sure how it turned out, but I’m under the impression it’s possible.

    I just can’t get by my associations of: fibre-arts=washing, and wetdog=unpleasant odor

  13. says

    That is awesome, Marcus. My cat could really use one of these! It would help keep my allergies at bay. Pretty please?

  14. avalus says

    I would also like to get one as a gift for two dear friends with a pair of cuddly cats. They (the cats) don’t like the scratchers you can buy here.

    (I also need to add, that reading your post also inspired two different friends of mine to invest in a massive horse dildo to, as they said giggeling, show appreciation…)

  15. says

    I don’t know how these things work on cats. But today I got a bunch of top-notch bi-metal hacksaw blades and spent some time with a machinist’s square getting my bandsaw perfectly aligned. I have some truly lovely spalted maple baking in the oven, full of resin.

    I’ll get to each and every one of you, it just may take some time.

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