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Black Sheep Hat Works

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16,648
Location
Central California
I would say to plan on 2 years and then if it's less you'll feel fortunate!


That’s a heck of a way to run a business. If it’s going to be two years why not just be up front about it? My plan is to just not think about it until it gets close. If/when Leon Drexler starts accepting orders it will be “over a year” for one of his hats too. Makes me appreciate what the Indy crowd was/is going through.
 

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,352
Location
Norman Oklahoma
...Makes me appreciate what the Indy crowd was/is going through.
Wow, I would have ASSUMED that the Indy Crowd already had the Indy hats that they wanted since there hasn't been a new Indy movie in a few years. I guess new ones are born every minute. I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the theater in 1981 so it's been a while.

Later
 

Raybuntu

Familiar Face
Messages
63
Location
Germany
That’s a heck of a way to run a business. If it’s going to be two years why not just be up front about it? My plan is to just not think about it until it gets close. If/when Leon Drexler starts accepting orders it will be “over a year” for one of his hats too. Makes me appreciate what the Indy crowd was/is going through.
I'm also waiting over 2 years now. I was told one year too but I guess it is what it is. I mailed Bob approx. one month ago and didn't get any answer either. I thought it is due to Corona or something or he simply forgot. I just asked friendly if I should expect it this Fall or next ;).
I doubt I will get it this year. I think Bob's queue should be at 3 years by now (just guessing).

Overall I think it is still worth the wait because Bob is the best.
 
Messages
16,648
Location
Central California
I'm also waiting over 2 years now. I was told one year too but I guess it is what it is. I mailed Bob approx. one month ago and didn't get any answer either. I thought it is due to Corona or something or he simply forgot. I just asked friendly if I should expect it this Fall or next ;).
I doubt I will get it this year. I think Bob's queue should be at 3 years by now (just guessing).

Overall I think it is still worth the wait because Bob is the best.


If he’s taking two or three years then why not just be upfront about it? Lots of hatters go over their estimates, but one or two years over...without an explanation or even any communication? I’m subjecting myself to the ordeal to see what they are all about, but I’ve also heard from people I respect thatwhile he makes a good hat there isn’t anything particularly great about them. I’ve even heard people express some disappointment. I guess I’ll see for myself...eventually.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
If he’s taking two or three years then why not just be upfront about it? Lots of hatters go over their estimates, but one or two years over...without an explanation or even any communication? I’m subjecting myself to the ordeal to see what they are all about, but I’ve also heard from people I respect thatwhile he makes a good hat there isn’t anything particularly great about them. I’ve even heard people express some disappointment. I guess I’ll see for myself...eventually.
I placed an order with him in February of this year and the quote was a one year wait. I ended up cancelling in May and Bob was gracious about refunding the full deposit. But he was still quoting the one year. Interestingly he has not raised his prices since my order years ago.
 
Messages
10,233
Location
Boston area
If he’s taking two or three years then why not just be upfront about it? Lots of hatters go over their estimates, but one or two years over...without an explanation or even any communication? I’m subjecting myself to the ordeal to see what they are all about, but I’ve also heard from people I respect thatwhile he makes a good hat there isn’t anything particularly great about them. I’ve even heard people express some disappointment. I guess I’ll see for myself...eventually.

I have three of his hats from circa 2010, and I really enjoy all three, each for different reasons. He’s probably the most creative of our custom hatters in my opinion. Bob likes to challenge himself, and I believe that trait is what drove him to be the only hatter (that I know of) who is currently producing a manufactured (aka Cavanagh) edge brim. Also his compulsion for challenge and detail-oriention makes him do thing others might not bother with. (See the photos, below, of the patch he did in this Peters Bros crown).
If memory serves, he trained making Westerns, and sometimes that influence can be felt in his creations.
Bottom line, at my age I don’t even buy green bananas anymore. But I would get in line for another Black Sheep Hat. Probably for something with his manufactured Pinnacle Edge.

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Last edited:

Tukwila

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,393
Location
SW of Antifa Central (PDX)
I would get in line for another BSHW if the wait was truly 9-12 months. The younger guys (and eternally hopeful gents like my good friend, Charlie!) can have at it otherwise. After the surgery last year and a few other tests (all of which came out fine, thank you) I am simply reminded of the immortality of earthly man.

In the event of something dreadful happening, like me passing before the hat was completed, and for something as custom and full of personal taste as a hat, I would rather not leave it to an heir who probably won't appreciate it as much as I.

I like and treasure my one BSHW custom. It's not perfect, but it has bunches of the good stuff I like in a custom fedora.
 
Messages
16,648
Location
Central California
I have three of his hats from circa 2010, and I really enjoy all three, each for different reasons. He’s probably the most creative of our custom hatters in my opinion. Bob likes to challenge himself, and I believe that trait is what drove him to be the only hatter (that I know of) who is currently producing a manufactured (aka Cavanagh) edge brim. Also his compulsion for challenge and detail-oriention makes him do thing others might not bother with. (See the photos, below, of the patch he did in this Peters Bros crown).
If memory serves, he trained making Westerns, and sometimes that influence can be felt in his creations.
Bottom line, at my age I don’t even buy green bananas anymore. But I would get in line for another Black Sheep Hat. Probably for something with his manufactured Pinnacle Edge.

View attachment 264182 View attachment 264183 View attachment 264184


There’s no doubt he is creative and pays attention to details.

Aside from wanting a nice custom hat, I’m trying to collect hats from as many of the custom hatters I’m interested in so I can compare and contrast. The problem is that the hats and felts are all different enough that direct comparisons are not fair. Add to it that a 2016 Gannon is a lot different from a 2020 Gannon (as an example) and my project lacks all validity...except I’ll end up with some great hats!
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
I have three of his hats from circa 2010, and I really enjoy all three, each for different reasons. He’s probably the most creative of our custom hatters in my opinion. Bob likes to challenge himself, and I believe that trait is what drove him to be the only hatter (that I know of) who is currently producing a manufactured (aka Cavanagh) edge brim. Also his compulsion for challenge and detail-oriention makes him do thing others might not bother with. (See the photos, below, of the patch he did in this Peters Bros crown).
If memory serves, he trained making Westerns, and sometimes that influence can be felt in his creations.
Bottom line, at my age I don’t even buy green bananas anymore. But I would get in line for another Black Sheep Hat. Probably for something with his manufactured Pinnacle Edge.

View attachment 264182 View attachment 264183 View attachment 264184
I met with Bob when I purchased my hat. He told me that he was working in a western shop and the owner came home from an auction with I think a sand bagger or steam press of some sort. Bob asked..."What the hell is that?" His boss replied he had no idea but he was counting on Bob to figure it out. And that began his hatter's life. He figured it out along with a bunch of other stuff on his way to master craftsman.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
There’s no doubt he is creative and pays attention to details.

Aside from wanting a nice custom hat, I’m trying to collect hats from as many of the custom hatters I’m interested in so I can compare and contrast. The problem is that the hats and felts are all different enough that direct comparisons are not fair. Add to it that a 2016 Gannon is a lot different from a 2020 Gannon (as an example) and my project lacks all validity...except I’ll end up with some great hats!
I began that decision early on in my collecting life. I was curious as to what were the differences especially considering the wide price points amongst the hatters. I have hats from everyone on my list (I think 9 custom hatters) although one day I plan to visit Chicago and check out Optimo just for the hell of it. In my opinion all of these hatters bring something great to the table. I would put BlackSheep and Leon Drexler at the top of the heap.....mostly because of their attention to detail. I have heard from people who know Steve at Drexler that he brings an almost obsessive OCD attention to the details and finish on his hats. I have two of his, both Winchester beaver, and his finish is superb....he obtains an almost vintage feel to the felt on his beaver hats...all Winchester. If I had just one more hat to buy I would make it a Drexler.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
There’s no doubt he is creative and pays attention to details.

Aside from wanting a nice custom hat, I’m trying to collect hats from as many of the custom hatters I’m interested in so I can compare and contrast. The problem is that the hats and felts are all different enough that direct comparisons are not fair. Add to it that a 2016 Gannon is a lot different from a 2020 Gannon (as an example) and my project lacks all validity...except I’ll end up with some great hats!
Another point of agreement....I am close to ordering another Gannon to see in person how his work has evolved. I have one of his early works and I love it.
 

Delthayre

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
Location
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I placed and order and deposit for a Bismarck in November of 2018; I made an inquiry a few months ago, but received no response. I'm not in a hurry, especially under the peculiar current circumstances, but I get a little nervous when there's long silences. Two years, or even three, isn't a problem for me; I'm satisfied to know that he's still working, even if at a deliberate pace. I envision the hat as pairing with a navy velvet dinner jacket that my local tailor just finished that I likely won't be able to contrive any reason to wear until perhaps the end of next year, the way things are going. (It can pair with my Leon Drexler Venetian Finish homburg until then, if need be)

I have heard from people who know Steve at Drexler that he brings an almost obsessive OCD attention to the details and finish on his hats. I have two of his, both Winchester beaver, and his finish is superb....he obtains an almost vintage feel to the felt on his beaver hats...all Winchester. If I had just one more hat to buy I would make it a Drexler.

Mr. Temkin's work is excellent. I have four and I'm very pleased with all of them. I particularly like his brim curls and the stitching on the brim of my homburg is impressively fine work that I'm sure must have made his eyes bleed given that it's black thread on black ribbon on black felt. I do dread ever trying to get any of those hats refurbished; I don't know that anybody else would even know what to do with it.
 

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,352
Location
Norman Oklahoma
Hi
I took a pair of Browning Hunting boots into a shoe repair shop. The Vibram soles had come unglued. I came back in two weeks, and he hadn't started yet he said it would be a while. After monthly visits, I started on the twice a year visits, and after 4-5 of those, yearly visits. I went in after at least 4 years and he said sorry and just handed them to me. Great work, apparently gluing a whole sole on is difficult.

Of course, this was 3 miles from the house, so dropping by wasn't an issue.

Later
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
Hi
I took a pair of Browning Hunting boots into a shoe repair shop. The Vibram soles had come unglued. I came back in two weeks, and he hadn't started yet he said it would be a while. After monthly visits, I started on the twice a year visits, and after 4-5 of those, yearly visits. I went in after at least 4 years and he said sorry and just handed them to me. Great work, apparently gluing a whole sole on is difficult.

Of course, this was 3 miles from the house, so dropping by wasn't an issue.

Later
My very skilled and very reliable shoe repair guy just closed up his shop. I think they are a dying breed and now I don't know where to go to first find one and then find a good one.
 

Garrett

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Messages
3,777
Its sad to see this thread devolve into a belly aching fest about Bob's wait times and communication issues. We get it - longer wait than quoted, longer queue than other hatters, communication issues. If you can't wait ask for your money back and he'll refund you.

Now, can we get this thread back to posting Bob's work (the reason for this thread in the first place)?

Some of his recent work (NOT MINE)


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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,839
Location
vancouver, canada
Its sad to see this thread devolve into a belly aching fest about Bob's wait times and communication issues. We get it - longer wait than quoted, longer queue than other hatters, communication issues. If you can't wait ask for your money back and he'll refund you.

Now, can we get this thread back to posting Bob's work (the reason for this thread in the first place)?

Some of his recent work (NOT MINE)


View attachment 264648 View attachment 264649 View attachment 264650 View attachment 264651 View attachment 264652 View attachment 264653 View attachment 264654
I never viewed it as a belly aching fest at all. I think it important for clients to know before they place orders the reality of the wait time. If I know the true wait time then I am making an informed decision and will avoid the disappointment of discovering it to be much longer than advertised. So I would see this thread as providing an important public service. I think this would be true for any business/client relationship
 

Raybuntu

Familiar Face
Messages
63
Location
Germany
I agree @Garrett. All should drop out of the queue then I will place 5 more orders ;).
Seriously I was not complaining. Bob makes the best custom hats imo. It is a bit devastating to see a long wait time but it is also testament for the great work he does.
 

Garrett

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,777
Yes, and this has already been covered multiple times - kind of the point I'm making (beating a dead horse). It devolves into people anecdotally sharing stories of boot makers, instrument makers, anything else that takes a multi-year wait as a comparison. This is redundant and off-topic. Trying to avoid another AB / Steve Delk moaning thread and preserve what @jlee562 likely intended this thread to be about - the work itself. If you have an issue with the hatter - take it up with the hatter or your credit card company. Lets move on to the work now, shall we?
 

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