Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Buying a flange

lci419

Familiar Face
Messages
66
Location
Tennessee
I need some advice. I'm looking at buying a flange so I can reshape my own snap brims a bit more professionally without having to ship it off or leave it with someone. The brims on my hats vary in width from around 2 3/8"-3". I note that there are apparently different styles of flanges such as #810 and #901. What I'm wondering is what style should I be looking for to take care of my '30s and '40s style hats; and can I get away with buying one width (say 2 3/4" or 3") to shape all of my brims, or will I have to get a separate flange for each brim width? Thanks.
 

Doomstein

One of the Regulars
Messages
165
Location
Tampa FL
I've had a few drinks, so bear with me. It's a tough call. There's much more documentation and research done on blocks rather than flanges, also a lot of flanges don't have a consistent numbering metric. It tends to vary from maker to maker, like most crown blocks (except for 51's and 52's, respectively). I have one that I use consistently for some friend's hats that says only "Borsa 7 3/4, 2 1/2." Ideally you would have one flange for each brim style and brim width, but for a do-it-yourself'er, try and eyeball it, and try and choose a flange with the maximum brim width (if the flange is too short, the end of the hat brim will be uncurled and look silly). As for curl, that's up to the owner's taste. I like a pretty dramatic upturn/cup, some like it more subtle. I usually get my flanges from antique stores so I can judge them for myself, now if you're using ebay, I dunno man. I'm sure someone else will have some input from their own experience buying on there.
 
Last edited:

tommyK

One Too Many
Messages
1,789
Location
Berwick, PA
I don't think just one will cover it but you may be less picky about it then I am.

I've got about 5 different flanges in that range and it doesn't come close to covering all the different variations. 2 1/2, 2 5/8, two slightly different 2 3/4 and a 3 inch. Some are flatter, some more curled. Not all 2 3/4 are created equal, have the same curl, front to back and so on. I'm always looking for more variations in each of these sizes.
 
Last edited:

tommyK

One Too Many
Messages
1,789
Location
Berwick, PA
If you look at the top flange in my stack here you'll see a flange with a very flat front section, most of mine have a more curled back section than the front
8f6de392-3a8c-43f1-b26a-1e8ceca3b885_zpszhxevhos.jpg

Some brims can come to you pretty wonky so it's hard to determine the original shape
e5dbf23d-fe41-4055-86e0-ba709f5fcbd6_zpsdwfphtxs.jpg
 

lci419

Familiar Face
Messages
66
Location
Tennessee
Thanks for the responses. I was afraid it would be more complicated than it would at first appear. :eusa_doh: I may just start out with a wider brim width and see what that nets me, then go from there. I like the concept of the one with a flatter front than back, but I'm guessing those are a bit harder to run across. Am I correct in thinking that one which is equal all around would be okay after shaping and then turning the front portion of the brim down afterwards?
 

tommyK

One Too Many
Messages
1,789
Location
Berwick, PA
Unfortunately, if you try to neaten up a 2 3/8 brim on a 2 3/4 flange you're going to get a very flat brim all the way around. You could maybe neaten up a 2 5/8 brim on a 2 3/4 flange without too much ill effects but it's not ideal.

You can always tweak the brim with a little steam after you've straightened it out.

Brim flanges are out there, you just have to be patient to get the sizes and shapes you want.
 

lci419

Familiar Face
Messages
66
Location
Tennessee
Points well taken...the reality is I only have one hat with a brim that's 3" wide, most are around 2 1/2-2 5/8. I'll just keep my eyes open and cash ready! :)
 

tommyK

One Too Many
Messages
1,789
Location
Berwick, PA
Happy hunting!

If you're a smaller hat size, as always there's more out there. You don't have to spend a fortune. I've never paid more than $30 for a flange and never more than $60 for a crown block. People ask a lot more money sometimes, I don't buy those. I've seen them at local antique shops in the $5-10 range but always smaller sizes (6 3/4-7 1/4).
 

RJR

Messages
10,620
Location
Iowa
The larger ones pop up but a lot less frequently,usually when you least expect it.
 

bowlerman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,294
Location
South Dakota
Reviving this old thread I found while trying to search info regarding what the numbers mean on blocks and flanges.
For instance, I have an old block that says 6----7 1/8----25, but I thought it was really a 52.

00138c797698115149f8f38d77482231.jpg

b3c5eddf0092db1df4559cf19d05615b.jpg

7c3abaa16b49b2ea2de0d52fc5029f6b.jpg


And I have a flange that says 810 (7 1/8--- 2 3/4).

173e97b79be215c294caff8b3b080bab.jpg

89adf9f13e061423de19b8e0c91cd0fc.jpg


Obviously 7 1/8 is the size, 6 is the height, 2 3/4 is the brim width... but what are the 25/52, and 810 all about??

I know I've had a few customs made on 52s, and just saw that one of them was flanged on a 32.

What does all this mean? I want to learn!!
 
Last edited:

Short Balding Guy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,727
Location
Minnesota, USA
Reviving this old thread I found while trying to search info regarding what the numbers mean on blocks and flanges.
For instance, I have an old block that says 6----7 1/8----25, but I thought it was really a 52.

00138c797698115149f8f38d77482231.jpg

b3c5eddf0092db1df4559cf19d05615b.jpg

7c3abaa16b49b2ea2de0d52fc5029f6b.jpg


And I have a flange that says 810 (7 1/8--- 2 3/4).

173e97b79be215c294caff8b3b080bab.jpg

89adf9f13e061423de19b8e0c91cd0fc.jpg


Obviously 7 1/8 is the size, 6 is the height, 2 3/4 is the brim width... but what are the 25/52, and 810 all about??

I know I've had a few customs made on 52s, and just saw that one of them was flanged on a 32.

What does all this mean? I want to learn!!

Jeff I am watching this thread with interest as I really need to learn also. I have a couple of crown blocks but no flanges at home. I have a few hats that could really need more assistance than steam and books and bowls for shaping.

Flange details?

Sage wisdom will come, I believe in it. Watching with interest. Eric -
 

ChicagoWayVito

Practically Family
Messages
699
Reviving this old thread I found while trying to search info regarding what the numbers mean on blocks and flanges.
For instance, I have an old block that says 6----7 1/8----25, but I thought it was really a 52.

00138c797698115149f8f38d77482231.jpg

b3c5eddf0092db1df4559cf19d05615b.jpg

7c3abaa16b49b2ea2de0d52fc5029f6b.jpg


And I have a flange that says 810 (7 1/8--- 2 3/4).

173e97b79be215c294caff8b3b080bab.jpg

89adf9f13e061423de19b8e0c91cd0fc.jpg


Obviously 7 1/8 is the size, 6 is the height, 2 3/4 is the brim width... but what are the 25/52, and 810 all about??

I know I've had a few customs made on 52s, and just saw that one of them was flanged on a 32.

What does all this mean? I want to learn!!

You pretty much got it right on for the numbers. On the block you have 6, 7 1/8, 25. The 6 is the height of the block, so it is indeed 6 inches from base to the highest point on the crown. 7 1/8 is the size (I don't trust this number, so I measure the circumference of all my blocks. I want my block to be 1/4 inch larger than the circumference of my head or that of the person that I am hatting for. The last number is the essentially the model number, so in this case it is telling you that it is a model 25.

Same thing with the flange. 2 3/4, 7 1/8, 810. The first number is the width of brim that the flange can accommodate. You an use smaller brims on the flange and you get less "cupping". 7 1/8 is the size of hat that it can be used on. 810 here too is the model number that was used by whomever manufactured it. The model differentiates the brim profile.

I hope this helps.
 

bowlerman

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,294
Location
South Dakota
You pretty much got it right on for the numbers. On the block you have 6, 7 1/8, 25. The 6 is the height of the block, so it is indeed 6 inches from base to the highest point on the crown. 7 1/8 is the size (I don't trust this number, so I measure the circumference of all my blocks. I want my block to be 1/4 inch larger than the circumference of my head or that of the person that I am hatting for. The last number is the essentially the model number, so in this case it is telling you that it is a model 25.

Same thing with the flange. 2 3/4, 7 1/8, 810. The first number is the width of brim that the flange can accommodate. You an use smaller brims on the flange and you get less "cupping". 7 1/8 is the size of hat that it can be used on. 810 here too is the model number that was used by whomever manufactured it. The model differentiates the brim profile.

I hope this helps.

It does, thanks!

So, is it standard practice to block 1/4 inch larger than your head size? Or just personal preference?

As for model numbers, do you know where I would look (online or otherwise) to understand the qualitative differences, ie; what makes a 25 block different from a 52, or an 810 flange different from a 32, etc.?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ChicagoWayVito

Practically Family
Messages
699
It does, thanks!

So, is it standard practice to block 1/4 inch larger than your head size? Or just personal preference?

As for model numbers, do you know where I would look (online or otherwise) to understand the qualitative differences, ie; what makes a 25 block different from a 52, or an 810 flange different from a 32, etc.?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I would think that blocking 1/4 inch larger than head size should be standard practice because you need to allow room for the sweatband which takes up about 1/16 inch on all sides. The reason I don't trust the size numbers on the blocks is because of the variance I have seen from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some seem to be actual circumference measurement and others seem to account for sweatband installation.

I do not know of any resource to know what the different model numbers pertain to. Since a lot of these business went out of business prior to the internet it is either archived somewhere in hardcopy or sadly lost (I hope to be proven wrong). For blocks it really seems to come down to straight sided vs taper sides and how much taper and how round or flat the top of the block is.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,725
Messages
3,045,596
Members
53,067
Latest member
Malory
Top