does anyone know how to soften up the surface of a hard
leather mallet. The one I have has a sort of varnish finish and is
hard and in a video I saw someone hammering with a leather mallet
that looked sort of worn/soft.
sharon, go outside, and find either a nice large rock (granite and
other hard rocks work especially well), or just the concrete curb by
the street. Hammer the rock or concrete for a while to break up the
varnish surface. You can also use something like a belt sander or
grinding wheel to rough up the surface a bit first, speeding the
process, but it's the impacts from hammering something like that
rock or concrete curb, that will break up the smooth hard surface to
a worn rawhide one.
You can also, if you're in a hurry for a soft mallet, use a rubber
band, wire, packing tape, or whatever you like to hold a piece of
ordinary leather stretched over the head of the mallet. Not quite as
controllable in some situations, but it works.