As to the hole in the center of the board, I have one board with a hole in the center, I wish I could put it back. It does make the pelt dry faster, but I clean skin my beaver, then nail them on the board or sew on a hoop. Then I scrape them with an old ice cream scooper (don't ask, its what my dad used and what his dad used, it works good is all I'll say) to get the milky fat out of the hide and any spots I missed while skinning. The edges around the hole (I put the center back in to scrape but there is still an edge) you have to be careful of when scraping or you can rip a hole, especially if there happens to be a scar right at the edge. If you are doing all your fleshing on a beam and not scraping once on the board the hole in the center wouldn't be a problem, and like I said it does make them dry faster, though still not as fast as hoops.