Bob K.'s Softening Bench

On the left hand side of the bench is a piece of steel that curves from the top of the piece of wood its embedded in, down the sides. Bob uses this to work his hides in a 'cabling' type motion. On the back end of the bench is another wooden riser that he uses to work hides over the top of, putting his weight into it. Having a variety of ways to work your hides is good for the softening process and your muscles.


Working a hide soft over his knees. Marklin is a friend of ours from Takilma, Oregon. I made him pose for a series of pictures for our book. This isn't such a great shot of how to soften over the knees, but it is a great shot of Marklin.


Frame softening a wetscraped hide. The frame is lashed together with rawhide thongs, and the hide is laced onto the frame with half-tanned buckskin scraps

Matt Richards

Look how much the hide is being stretched.

Hey, I think I know these guys.

Blacktail deer with various softening apparati.