Gambrel Designs


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CollinLeon
December 13, 2011, 07:59 PM
Back in the old days when we would get a deer, we would just use a gambrel made out of some rope loops and a short piece of 2x4 for a spacer. Yeah, we weren't exactly high tech back then. I've recently seen a bunch of other designs out there and was curious what others might be using...

I've seen one made with a metal spreader bar and wire cable used as loops for the legs:

http://www.bowhunter.com/files/2010/09/wn.jpg

I've seen ones that were basically a straight bar that folded in half and had hooks at the end:

http://assets.academy.com/mgen/71/10114171.jpg

I've seen ones that basically looked like a clothes hangar with hooks on the end:

http://images1.opticsplanet.com/1020-680-ffffff/opplanet-do-all-outdoors-bg100-bull-gambrel.jpg

I've seen adjustable width ones like this:

http://nfpusa.com/shootwright.gambrel.200x.jpg

I've seen ones that were basically made from chain with a metal spreader bar:

http://www.pcsoutdoors.com/images/products/display/heavyudutyskinninggambrel.1.JPG

Or DIY ones made from pipe and wire cable like this:

http://www.texasboars.com/photopost/albums/userpics/10042/100_2229.jpg

And even adjustable "t-hanger" designs like this:

http://www.huntingclub.com/portals/0/uploadedimages/Product_Reviews/Member_Tested_Products/Other_Outdoor_Gear/Northwest_T-Hanger_Game_Gambrel/NORTHWEST-T-HANGER_247.jpg

So, the survey question for today is:

What type do you use for deer / hogs / elk / whatever and why do you think it is better than the others?

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NOLAEMT
December 13, 2011, 08:05 PM
I use the "clothes hanger" design. Just cut a slit above the ankle for the hook to go in.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 13, 2011, 08:34 PM
For skinning, I use a heavier hanger that I made out of re-bar. I hook it in just under the knees. I then slice the skin off the hind legs and then loop in a short cable into a slit just under the tail. I attach that short loop to a eyelet that I have anchored into my floor. Then, using my electric wench with foot controller, I raise the deer slowly while making release cuts on the inside of the skin. This method is about 500 times easier on my back and hands especially on a deer thats ice cold! Skins the deer with VERY minimal effort.

courtgreene
December 13, 2011, 11:02 PM
heavy coat hanger thingy. Not adjustable. I chose it because it was cheap and I was in need of one. Most of the time, though, I just use rope that seems to always be in my truck bed and no gambrel at all. The gambrel makes it easier, but then you have to actually go and get it.

wankerjake
December 13, 2011, 11:09 PM
We use the clothes hanger model. This one was welded from 5/8" rebar and it's what we use for elk:
http://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo33/wankerjake/bullhunt10.jpg

jmorris
December 14, 2011, 08:26 PM
I have several that are made from flat strap (1/4") that use tiedown straps. If you haul things you have them and the hooks are premade, not to mention when you are done they go back to use for the rest of the year. 2"x1/4" flat cut to length and drill two holes is all you need...and the strap.

Once you tie a knot in the center to keep it from shifting it looks like this.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/gn/lion.jpg

CollinLeon
December 14, 2011, 09:11 PM
I have several that are made from flat strap (1/4") that use tiedown straps. If you haul things you have them and the hooks are premade, not to mention when you are done they go back to use for the rest of the year. 2"x1/4" flat cut to length and drill two holes is all you need...and the strap.

Once you tie a knot in the center to keep it from shifting it looks like this.

Do you have a more detailed view of the device? I can't make it out from that photo...

Cob
December 14, 2011, 11:57 PM
that's a LYIN' LION!

CoRoMo
December 15, 2011, 03:18 PM
I welded together my own, but it is basically the 'coat hanger' type on steroids.

jmorris
December 15, 2011, 04:49 PM
Do you have a more detailed view of the device? I can't make it out from that photo...


Like this. The cross bar can be almost anything. You could use eyebolts in wood, chain links or washers welded to a bar, whatever can hold the legs apart, the strap holds the weight. I have a few of the dedicated ones here and there but I always have a strap around and in a pinch you can even tie the ends to both sides of a stick and make one this way.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0567.jpg

CollinLeon
December 15, 2011, 06:59 PM
Like this. The cross bar can be almost anything. You could use eyebolts in wood, chain links or washers welded to a bar, whatever can hold the legs apart, the strap holds the weight. I have a few of the dedicated ones here and there but I always have a strap around and in a pinch you can even tie the ends to both sides of a stick and make one this way.

I think I see what you are doing... You're starting with a pair of ratchet type cargo straps, removing the ratchet portions, and just using the longer portions which consist of a nylon strap with a hook on one end and just bare strap on the other end. You then lay one strap on top of the other, align the hooks, and tie a knot about 12-15" from the eyelet of the hooks. You then insert the hooks through the holes in the metal spacer bar and toss both of the plain ends of the two straps over a limb or use a hoist of some type.

Starting out with something like this, right?

http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/219061_lg.jpg

CollinLeon
December 15, 2011, 07:19 PM
As far as the actual portion of the gambrel that attaches to the legs of the animal, it appears that there are two schools of thought...

1. A hook that is inserted between the bones
2. A loop of chain, cable, or rope that goes around the leg above the knee or ankle.

Although we've always used the second method, I can see how the 1st method might have advantages in that you can still easily get to the skin for removal instead of the rope / chain / cable getting in the way...

I think I'll grap a piece of scrap rebar and weld up one of the hook type gambrels...

jmorris
December 15, 2011, 07:30 PM
For my method above, any strap will work. I use both hooks (they are powder coated and blood washes off easy) and tie them so you can lift from the center. Once you have the hooks in the spreader loop the extra in a knot so you have something to hook to. If you don't do that the weight will shift to one side or the other.

A rope will work too. What is that saying about the mother of invention...

interlock
December 16, 2011, 06:44 AM
i use one like the big metal coat hanger. You know... the webbing strap based ones are dificylt to clean thoroughly, this is a bad thing as it is a source of contamination to your venison.

when i am shooting red deer (big animals like your elk). i have a winch that i have set up on like a set of gallows. i can put the gambrel in and winch straight from the truck and up to the top of the gallows. There is a permanant attachment at the top of the gallows. i can hang the carcass up on that by the front legs. then move the winch cable down to the bottom which has a big broad roller bar. this way i can just winch the skin off. easy.

I am part of a deer management group and we have a butchery facility. this is lovely. the winchwork is all electrical and the points are on rollers so you can just take the carcass throughg a series of hung up points all the way to the cold room at the back where it waits for a couple of weeks then the butcher comes in and prepares it for sale.

As "certified" hunters, there are a number of steps we have to do before the animal gets into the food chain. it is easy at this facility to do them all right.

Bwana John
December 16, 2011, 12:02 PM
I used a fence stretcher this season for a 150 lb deer, it worked well.

472x1A/B
December 16, 2011, 01:49 PM
This is a good thread CollinLeon, thanks. Mine is just like wankerjake's, but with a heavy duty swivel at the hanging point. Great pictures folks.

25cschaefer
December 16, 2011, 05:16 PM
My dad made his out of U bolts from a big rig (he is a mechanic and has alot laying around) in the coat hanger style, it will easily hold a moose. we use a cheap block and tackle to hoist and this year I learned about air skinning. I've done two deer with air and after the initial cuts around the head and legs were made I didn't use a knife but two times.

41 Mag
December 17, 2011, 05:08 AM
Over the years I have used a variety of different methods to hang and skin out deer or what not.

Probably the most used has been the coat hanger type fashioned from what ever we had laying around. Some had hooks welded on the ends, some on the side, some with the hook bent and a welded cross bar like pictured above. I managed to pick up close to a dozen, similar to the clothes type pictured above a couple of years ago on clearance for only $3 a piece. We use those now for hanging deer and hogs in the cooler.

This said we have begun to use the cable type with the cross bar almost exclusively. IT is simply way easier to adjust, and everything stays put as you quarter out the carcass. With the others once you got to a certain point you had to have hands on as you split the hams or something usually hit the ground or dropped into the bucket. The cable holds on to everything even if the weight shifts for what ever reason.

They are easily made up using the 3/16' plastic coated cable and any type of bar with a couple of holed drilled in the ends. Just be sure to strip back the very end so that when you put the small cable clamp on it holds the cable so it won't slip. I am thinking of building one that is adjustable for width using a piece of 1/4" flat bar and a series of L shaped slits. This would allow for a wider spread when cleaning or butchering a big hog. Instead of using the cable clamp I might also give one of the double barrel crimps a try as well. Running the cable in through one side and back down the other should keep it from being able to slip, and then allow easier adjusting on the flat bar. Don't know how well it will work, but the thought came to me when I was working on a decent hog not long ago and was really wanting a bit more room to get in and cut the hide around the insides of the hams.

CollinLeon
December 17, 2011, 05:42 AM
I guess it depends upon where you are skinning the animal. If you are doing it back at home / camp (and you do it often enough), you can choose to create a more permanent system. I could see how one could utilize an A-frame (like the old heavy duty swing sets) as the main support and then to have a couple of spots where you could put pulleys so that you could run a cable through them to each of the legs of the animal that you were going to use to lift him. An advantage of that might be that the animal would not be swiveling. Some people might prefer the animal to not be rotating while they are skinning or butchering it. I've never really considered it, but that might be convenient. You could have a boat type hand crank winch on the two ends of the A-frame so that you could lift the animal.

I guess since I'm an engineer, I'm always looking to see if the way that I've done things in the past could be improved... Of course, always being careful that I don't come up with a solution to a problem that doesn't even exist... :)

Hmmm... I was just thinking... An adjustable width spreader bar could be made from a few pieces of steel plumbing pipe that would fit inside of each other... Maybe 3/4" for the inner piece and then 1" for the two outer pieces... The 1" pipe will slide over the 3/4" pipe if you sand it down a bit... Just like if you were making an improvised 12-gauge shotgun (aka zip gun)... Put a few holes evenly spaced along it so that you could put some pins in it to lock it in at a certain width... Come to think of it, since the stress on the spreader is basically in compression, you could probably use Sched-40 PVC pipe for it also...

Nawh, never mind... I think I just over-engineered that a bit... A lot more complicated than what is necessary... It's probably not worth having a single gambrel that can handle a small whitetail doe and also a full size bull moose...

jmorris
December 18, 2011, 08:25 PM
I would think any "A" frame swing set would hold the weight, be a bit low for me. At the farm I prefer to use the front end loader. The bucket makes it easy without any winch and you can gut out in a field then drive it to water/table for final carve up. Gravity makes sure "stuff" doesn't drip up into the straps I use.

wild willy
December 18, 2011, 11:05 PM
I use like the third set down from the top. For an animal you split in half you can take one half off to cut up and they won't dump the other half on the ground.I butcher hogs for a little extra money kill 10 or 12 at a time.Mine might be a little heavier built than the ones in the picture.

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