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The Conversion Corral

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Davidson, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Cowboy hat conversions

    I've been playing with some ebay buys as I get up the "hat learning curve". Old cowboy hats are pretty easy to find in larger sizes, and pretty cheap. I cut all the brims down from 3 1/2 or 4 inches to 2 3/4 or 2 7/8.

    Conversion #1 is a light taupe / fawn Stetson 3X. It was so dirty I ended up soaking it in Woolite and wet-scrubbing (always counterclockwise:) with a hat brush. Before:




    The second one is a pretty old hat, another Stetson 3X. I would have kept the bound edge, except it was stained and frayed beyond redemption. Before:




    The last one I don't have a "before" picture. It is a Resistol that came with a tall cattleman's crown. Open crown is >7"!


    It was a fun exercise. Comments welcome!
  2. TaxMan1

    TaxMan1 One of the Regulars

    I'd LOVE to see 'em but there is no link showing up? I just sent mine off to Rodney at North Valley Hats for him to work a little magic on one of mine, as I am inept.
  3. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Practically Family

    Your pics didn't come through.
    I cut down a Resistol and cutting it down was easy, soften it up was another matter. I soak it in hot water, it stiffened back up when it dried. I soaked it in alcohol and then very hot water and that work though it was hard on the sweat band. I've heard that a borax soak in very hot water will dissolve the stiffener and then rinsing in hot then cold water. My hat's going to end up as a casual bad weather hat.
  4. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Images getting stripped out

    They were there (at least for me) for 30 min or an hour, and now they are gone. Maybe I'm too new to post images, and there is some robot software stripping them out. I'll ask a bartender.
  5. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    15 post minimum for images

    According to some search results, you have to have 15 posts to be able to link images into a post. So this is one closer, when I hit 15 I'll load up the images.
  6. TaxMan1

    TaxMan1 One of the Regulars

    Do you ever get them to soften up, even a little? The one I sent out was stiff as a board.
  7. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Practically Family

    That's only if you upload to the lounge, you can use a 3rd party site like photo bucket then link the pic by right clicking and choosing copy image location/
    [​IMG] this is what I do all the time then I don't have to worry about resizing.
  8. cooncatbob

    cooncatbob Practically Family

    Mine soften up after the alcohol soak. I afraid to work is over anymore as the stitching on the sweatband is coming undone.
  9. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    I haven't tried to soften them up. They will always be much stiffer than my dress felts, since the cowboy felt is 2x or 3x thicker. The only reason I can see that a nice cowboy hat costs 4x as much as a nice dress hat is that it has 4x as much fur felt in it.

    The tradeoff for the stiffness is they ought to hold their shape well and last about forever:)
  10. Pics just showed up for me.
    GREAT JOB!!!!
  11. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    The pictures should be up for you now. I hosted them over at imageshack.

    Nice job on the hats. ;) :)
  12. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Thanks Hemingway Jones! I'll try imageshack, sorry for the inconvenience.

    RBH, really nice work you did in those threads. I obviously have a lot to learn. When I get my photo hosting thing working, I want you to see the thin ribbon versions, so I might qualify as at least an associate member in the Brotherhood of the Thin Ribbon.
  13. Wolfmanjack

    Wolfmanjack Practically Family

    Unlike many, I prefer a hat that is a bit stiff. I don't like a hat that flips up in front in a headwind like Gabby Hayes:

    I resemble him too much as it is.
    jackfyddle likes this.
  14. Earp

    Earp One of the Regulars

    Fantastic Job Davidson!!

    I'm very impressed. I have a couple cowboy hats I'd like to convert. Is there any way you would consider posting a detailed step by step treatise (with photos?) on how you do your conversions, brim shaping, and bashes? I'm sure many would appreciate the info.

    Those hats look really great! :eusa_clap

  15. Very nicely done.

  16. Duck

    Duck Practically Family


    Those are very nice, you did a great job. I too, like converting old cowboy hats.
    I have done one, but it is still a work in progress, as I am not happy with my ribbon. Yours look fantastic!!! :eusa_clap
  17. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    Yes, Earp, I'll do that, at least so the more knowledgeable here might reply with how it should be done instead. Probably take a week or so...

    Duck, I cheat on the ribbon. I use Offray stretch elastic grosgrain so I don't have to tack the ribbon onto the hat or worry about curve fitting. Actually, I cheat more than that, I have my wife make them. I like to change from thin ribbon to wide, and change colors, depending on what else I'm wearing.

    Let's see if I have the imageshack thing going now:


    This is my ribbon hanger, where I keep them ready to go on any of the 3 hats above. 7/8 on the left, 3/8 on the right. I still want to add 7/8 navy and light gray to my ribbon portfolio, and I'm still in discussion with my sewing wife about the best form for the thin ribbon - bow or no bow, knot or no knot...I find changing the ribbon changes the impression the hat gives.
  18. Davidson

    Davidson One of the Regulars

    Getting closer, one more try

    OK, that was a thumbnail link. I hope this is a direct link to the image, nothing to click on. Looks, finally, correct in preview.

  19. Wonderful job, I like your ribbons! :eusa_clap

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