What’s the Best Wood for Fur Forms?

Muskrat hides drying by the ceiling on home made adjustable fur stretchers.

Muskrat hides drying by the ceiling on home made adjustable fur stretchers.

This is a portion of Cary Rideout’s story “Formed Not Stretched,” which appeared in the December 2014 Trapper & Predator Caller issue.

By Cary Rideout

What’s the best wood for fur forms?

Mine are all made from cedar since it cuts easy, sands well and is soft to work pins or nails into. A sawmill or building center can supply wood, but don’t except to find the old-time scrap pile. Those days are long gone. A contractor might be a source for softwood boards. People who tear down or remodel old homes find all sorts of boards or paneling that you might be able to buy from them. Some job sites might let you take away a whole truckload just to be rid of it.

If you need it planed down to the right thickness and lack the tools, try the woodworking shop at the local community college or high school or attend a weekend class at a building supply outlet. Any of these will gladly help plane and maybe even cut out the forms for very little money. Whatever your source, look for as few imperfections as possible on the boards.

Plywood has a place in the fur shed, and beaver drying boards made from plywood with the correct size oval drawn on are the most common. But I’ve encountered raccoon, fisher and even fox stretchers made from plywood that worked fine. Plywood can be more expensive than a board to buy. It doesn’t sand all that well either and can be splintered easily. I use a few beaver boards made of plywood, but most of mine are made from several boards nailed together with the sizes penciled on.


Rideout’s full “Formed Not Stretched” story appeared in the December 2014 Trapper & Predator Caller issue.

You can pick up a copy of the digital issue on www.ShopDeerHunting.com.

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