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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
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8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
Thanks for the information , also i found in facebook a chilean with blocks and tools, but they didnt respond me. In Argentina Mercado libre (E-Bay like site) i could found some tools at affordable prices, mostly blocks. i would test if the humidizer/vaporizer of my parents could be of some use for me.
Curious....how much does this Chilean company charge for their blocks?
 

GreyBard

New in Town
Messages
15
I’m also interested in the craft. I love to try to learn how to make my own things but this seems out of my league, sadly…along with pipe carving/making. I just don’t see how people learn these things anymore with very few people doing them.
 

belfastboy

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8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
I’m also interested in the craft. I love to try to learn how to make my own things but this seems out of my league, sadly…along with pipe carving/making. I just don’t see how people learn these things anymore with very few people doing them.
Yes, and sadly there is scarcity of info on the interweb. Most YouTube/internet based class that I have come across are geared to the millinery trade which is a different animal than men's fedora making with just some crossover. Watch the YouTube video documenting Art @VS making a fedora ....it is the best source I have found. Making a hat is not that difficult.....mastering it and making a good one is a much lengthier process but a fun one. The largest impediment is buying the base equipment if even for the one hat to fit you. I guestimate $700 is a minimum amount to procure the rudimentary equipment to make a hat unless you have the skills to make some equipment.
 

jlee562

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4,919
Location
San Francisco, CA
Well here's something different....FEPSA beaver/mink 225gram western weight, don't know what the official name for the color is but I'd call it sand.


Pretty stiff brim from the get go, a little less in the crown. Not sure what the breakdown between beaver/mink is, but figured I'd never afford the retail price of a beaver/mink hat (::cough::watsonshatshop::cough::) so when this body was offered I splurged a little. Does seem to have a little more luxe finish than an all beaver felt. Now what to do with it....

Having handled a few of these FEPSA bodies now, I have a greater appreciation for tonyb's comments in this old thread.
 
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belfastboy

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Messages
8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
Here are some pictures of my latest project. I have a client with an Extreme Long Oval head shape, 56cm. I block a hat on my Long Oval blocks and that produced an 1/2" gap at the temples on either side. With help from Stephen at Leon Drexler: first I made a crude conformateur out of pipe cleaners to get his actual head shape. Not so much Ex Long Oval as Extreme Egg shape with an extreme narrowing starting at the temples to the forehead. I did not want to risk attempting this on a good beaver felt I used one of my light weight millinery practice felts as the beta test.

Using the pipe cleaner as template I cut a 57cm band block and after blocking on the 57 Long Oval I removed it, steamed again and inserted the ExLong Oval band block into the felt. I don't think I would have attempted this at a distance but my client lives in town so I was able to give him the practice to try on. Damned if it didn't fit him....eliminating the gap at the temples. The downside is he wanted a full crowned Homburg and this is not quite there as of course there is the narrowing of the crown as well as the opening.
I have cut an exact shaped band block only in the 56cm for him to use as a 'shaper' to keep the desired shape and fit.
I am counting this as a win.....but it might be a one and done as not sure anyone would pay what I would actually have to charge for my time.
CIMG0123.JPG
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belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
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8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
Well here's something different....FEPSA beaver/mink 225gram western weight, don't know what the official name for the color is but I'd call it sand.


Pretty stiff brim from the get go, a little less in the crown. Not sure what the breakdown between beaver/mink is, but figured I'd never afford the retail price of a beaver/mink hat (::cough::watsonshatshop::cough::) so when this body was offered I splurged a little. Does seem to have a little more luxe finish than an all beaver felt. Now what to do with it....

Having handled a few of these FEPSA bodies now, I have a greater appreciation for tonyb's comments in this old thread.
How is the hat progressing? Finished? Thoughts on the finished product?
 

belfastboy

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8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
This is exactly why I used the plastic conformator Robert. What if he didn't live close? If you have a formillion you can reproduce the shape without having to make the wooden band block, cutting down the time. Good work!!
[/QUOTE]
Where did you purchase the ones you would send out in the mail once the deposit was secured? Yes, I would not have undertaken this if it wasn't local and if I didn't know the client. Being able to try on the sample hat was a big step up and gave me the confidence to take it to the real felt. I have used my crude pipe cleaner fit with remote clients to determine Reg Oval or Long Oval or identify any weird anomalies with their head shape.
 

jlee562

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4,919
Location
San Francisco, CA
How is the hat progressing? Finished? Thoughts on the finished product?

Plot twist! I decided to sub it for my upcoming BSHW custom. I was originally considering a lighter color, then Bob said he had a black cherry western weight, which then became the front runner. Conversely more recently, I was also trying to get one of the lighter FEPSA beaver blend felts that PureBeaver had (even bought silverbelly ribbon from Art's stash) but I missed out on those. Then the beaver/mink came along, I was going to do a thin ribbon western-ish, but then remembered my original idea for the BSHW custom.

TL;DR, it's on the way to Black Sheep Hatworks
 

ChicagoWayVito

Practically Family
Messages
692
Where did you purchase the ones you would send out in the mail once the deposit was secured? Yes, I would not have undertaken this if it wasn't local and if I didn't know the client. Being able to try on the sample hat was a big step up and gave me the confidence to take it to the real felt. I have used my crude pipe cleaner fit with remote clients to determine Reg Oval or Long Oval or identify any weird anomalies with their head shape.


Give Kathy at Cowboy Corral in Grants Pass, OR a call. She has been the distributor for the plastic conformed made by Jaxonbilt hats out of Salmon, ID.

I paid something like $150 4 - 5 years ago, not sure if the prices have gone up.

Or you can order one from Gary Dawson Designs, he made a 3d printed version of the Jaxonbilt plastic conformer and that runs $225 https://www.garydawsondesigns.com/store/p10/conformer-lite.html#/

He also has a professional conformer and formillian set that is 3d printed for $1,232
https://www.garydawsondesigns.com/store/p9/Conformer-Formillion.html#/ I also have this one but would never send it out. This would be for in-person use only. Maybe someday I will have an Allie Maillard conformateur and formillion set.

Gary Dawson is out of Eugene, OR and Mike Miller (Northwest Hats) worked with him to get the tools made.

I know that conformers have been debated in the past on this forum and if the head shape you are working with is in the expected head shape range then you can get away without one but when you get something that is out of the expected range, a conformer is a must. Good work Robert!
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
Give Kathy at Cowboy Corral in Grants Pass, OR a call. She has been the distributor for the plastic conformed made by Jaxonbilt hats out of Salmon, ID.

I paid something like $150 4 - 5 years ago, not sure if the prices have gone up.

Or you can order one from Gary Dawson Designs, he made a 3d printed version of the Jaxonbilt plastic conformer and that runs $225 https://www.garydawsondesigns.com/store/p10/conformer-lite.html#/

He also has a professional conformer and formillian set that is 3d printed for $1,232
https://www.garydawsondesigns.com/store/p9/Conformer-Formillion.html#/ I also have this one but would never send it out. This would be for in-person use only. Maybe someday I will have an Allie Maillard conformateur and formillion set.

Gary Dawson is out of Eugene, OR and Mike Miller (Northwest Hats) worked with him to get the tools made.

I know that conformers have been debated in the past on this forum and if the head shape you are working with is in the expected head shape range then you can get away without one but when you get something that is out of the expected range, a conformer is a must. Good work Robert!

I am thinking though that at this point it makes more sense to continue to cut my own band blocks out of 2x8" hemlock that costs me $1 plus time. I really think in the future I would decline a commission from someone with an ExLongOval or any other that my Reg & Long oval blocks cannot accommodate. The expense, the wait, the aggravation of mailing the formillion to & fro is a step I don't need or at least don't want to take. So far my pipe cleaner formillion, while crude, works in determining either Reg or Long oval and that is enough it would seem. Thanks for the info......I may change my mind!
 

Art Fawcett

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3,717
Location
Central Point, Or.
Where did you purchase the ones you would send out in the mail once the deposit was secured? Yes, I would not have undertaken this if it wasn't local and if I didn't know the client. Being able to try on the sample hat was a big step up and gave me the confidence to take it to the real felt. I have used my crude pipe cleaner fit with remote clients to determine Reg Oval or Long Oval or identify any weird anomalies with their head shape.[/QUOTE]

Kathy Sturm of Cowboy Corral, Grants Pass Or.
 

ChicagoWayVito

Practically Family
Messages
692
I am staying with the 3 styles that I have but filling in some holes especially in my Regular Ovals.
What are the 3 styles that you have out of curiosity?

I would ask about crown heights but my opinion on crown heights these days is to always buy the larger height and then raise the floor if I need to decrease the open crown height overall. I have one block that has an extension machined for it that will allow for 7-inch crown but I haven't blocked that height yet. Raising the floor may get a little tricky if the slides have much slope to them but the two sets I have at the moment are straight sided.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,842
Location
vancouver, canada
What are the 3 styles that you have out of curiosity?

I would ask about crown heights but my opinion on crown heights these days is to always buy the larger height and then raise the floor if I need to decrease the open crown height overall. I have one block that has an extension machined for it that will allow for 7-inch crown but I haven't blocked that height yet. Raising the floor may get a little tricky if the slides have much slope to them but the two sets I have at the moment are straight sided.
All are open crown. 2 sets for Long Oval....a slightly tapered, medium domed and then a slight domed straight sided/no taper. In the Reg Oval I have clones of the Stetson #52. I also have a few (4 blocks) of straight sided, Long Oval, flat top....Bolero style. My flanges are Reg Oval to 2 5/8" and Long Oval 2 3/4". I have made flanges to fit upwards of 3 1/4" wide. This winter will add to the flanges so I have more sizes for both Reg & Long.

I always get them to 6" height and tie off higher up the block if the client wants a lower crown. I also have cut 1 1/2" high extensions in many sizes so that I can add height (tape the extension to the block with a vinyl painter's tape) if necessary but only had to do that twice now. All my blocks are straight sided most of the way up....the one only begins to taper at the top as the dome begins. It is amazing to me how much extra the full crowned, straight sided block takes up of the felt. For a lot of felts (non western weight) I have to use the slightly tapered one to get the height and brim width. If i use the full crown blocks there is not enough to get the size, the height and the width using that block.
 

ChicagoWayVito

Practically Family
Messages
692
Documenting these videos that show techniques of other hat makers. Some of these are more promotional videos but watch closely and you can get some ideas.

Of course will re-post the @Jed I. Knight video of @Art Fawcett working on his hat.



Sewing Milan braid on a modern home sewing machine!!


https://vimeo.com/98932613

Used leather pricking irons to punch holes for closing up the sweatband.
https://vimeo.com/490466830

https://vimeo.com/227186325


Video overview of Hornskov making a hat
https://youtu.be/NYl3_ea-C_c
 
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jlee562

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,919
Location
San Francisco, CA
Scientific Hat Finishing references a "penetrating brush" for cleaning and velours. Anybody know what made a penetrating brush different? Is there a modern equivalent?
 

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