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T Jones

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,602
Location
Central Ohio
Did you punch the hole all the way through and then plug it? I have had success using that as long as i have a donor felt I can cut the plug from. Great job.
What I did was do some light pouncing on the hat to smooth out the finish, (the finish on Akubras can be 'scratchy'). I saved the fluff from the pouncing. Then I took some sticky tape for a backer and put it on the inside of the hat over the hole. After that, I put a little glue into the hole on the outside and shredded up the fluff with tweezers and lightly patted the fibers into the hole with my finger to blend it all in with the surrounding felt. The texture and the color matches perfect and you can't even tell that there was ever a hole in the hat.
 
Last edited:

TWKundrat

Familiar Face
Messages
86
What I did was do some light pouncing on the hat to smooth out the finish, (the finish on Akubras can be 'scratchy'). I saved the fluff from the pouncing. Then I took some sticky tape for a backer and put it on the inside of the hat over the hole. After that, I put a little glue into the hole on the outside and shredded up the fluff with tweezers and lightly patted the fibers into the hole with my finger to blend it all in with the surrounding felt. The texture and the color matches perfect and you can't even tell that there was ever a hole in the hat.
What kind of glue do you use?
 
Messages
10,376
Location
vancouver, canada
What I did was do some light pouncing on the hat to smooth out the finish, (the finish on Akubras can be 'scratchy'). I saved the fluff from the pouncing. Then I took some sticky tape for a backer and put it on the inside of the hat over the hole. After that, I put a little glue into the hole on the outside and shredded up the fluff with tweezers and lightly patted the fibers into the hole with my finger to blend it all in with the surrounding felt. The texture and the color matches perfect and you can't even tell that there was ever a hole in the hat.
Yes, that is what I do to repair divots. For holes all way through , or big deep holes I use the plug and then cover with the fluff. I use a light spray craft glue from Michaels that I spray on a piece of cardboard and use a toothpick to spread a light coat of glue into the divot. If I use too much glue it leaves a hard spot. The sticky tape is a great idea in case I don't have any donor felt to cut the plug from. I throw nothing away so I have a few hundred brim cuttings and lots of colour choice.
 

T Jones

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,602
Location
Central Ohio
Yes, that is what I do to repair divots. For holes all way through , or big deep holes I use the plug and then cover with the fluff. I use a light spray craft glue from Michaels that I spray on a piece of cardboard and use a toothpick to spread a light coat of glue into the divot. If I use too much glue it leaves a hard spot. The sticky tape is a great idea in case I don't have any donor felt to cut the plug from. I throw nothing away so I have a few hundred brim cuttings and lots of colour choice.
Your divot method sounds interesting too. I may give that one try as well. My method of gluing is somewhat similar to yours. I have a bottle of white household glue that I'll dip a tooth pick into and put any excess on a piece of cardboard. I put just enough glue into the hole for my felt fibres to stick to, being careful not to use too much glue for the same reason you stated. Also, I'm the same way you are about not throwing anything away if it can be reused on another project. I try to save as much as I can, especially with all the monstrous price increases in felt bodies and other hatting materials. That's why I make "Frankenhats"!
 

LorenWho

New in Town
Messages
41
What I did was do some light pouncing on the hat to smooth out the finish, (the finish on Akubras can be 'scratchy'). I saved the fluff from the pouncing. Then I took some sticky tape for a backer and put it on the inside of the hat over the hole. After that, I put a little glue into the hole on the outside and shredded up the fluff with tweezers and lightly patted the fibers into the hole with my finger to blend it all in with the surrounding felt. The texture and the color matches perfect and you can't even tell that there was ever a hole in the hat.
Incredible. I was predicting you were going to punch a vent pattern. Didn't expect you to fill it - and do it so perfectly.
 

T Jones

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,602
Location
Central Ohio
Incredible. I was predicting you were going to punch a vent pattern. Didn't expect you to fill it - and do it so perfectly.
Thank you Loren! It looked like the hole was made by some kind of pin with a clasp(?) It didn't look like a moth hole to my eye. It was pretty easy to patch and you can't even tell that there was once a hole there.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
Hey all,

First off I want to say thank you for everyone that has posted tips and tricks in here. I've been lurking for a while and have read through all 76 pages of this post. The info in here has been invaluable in my journey to making hats.

I own a hat shop in Idaho and have had tons of trouble buying hats from the name brands as most are way too backed up to take new dealers. So I decided to start making my own but now I'm stuck. I'm using western weight hare bodies from Millinery Warehouse but can't seem to get the finish presentable. After I get all the fibers laying the same direction I start sanding (by hand) and it seems that the fibers either stay too long or it goes right past that and appears to be over-pounced to the point that there's virtually no nap to it. I'm using 320 grit, but I saw a few days ago that MW recommends using 220 on them. Could that cause my problem?

Its driving me crazy, so if anyone has input at all I would love to hear it. I've already flipped this body inside out once so I'm running out of trial/error space with this one. Thanks y'all
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
297
Location
Piner, Kentucky
Hey all,

First off I want to say thank you for everyone that has posted tips and tricks in here. I've been lurking for a while and have read through all 76 pages of this post. The info in here has been invaluable in my journey to making hats.

I own a hat shop in Idaho and have had tons of trouble buying hats from the name brands as most are way too backed up to take new dealers. So I decided to start making my own but now I'm stuck. I'm using western weight hare bodies from Millinery Warehouse but can't seem to get the finish presentable. After I get all the fibers laying the same direction I start sanding (by hand) and it seems that the fibers either stay too long or it goes right past that and appears to be over-pounced to the point that there's virtually no nap to it. I'm using 320 grit, but I saw a few days ago that MW recommends using 220 on them. Could that cause my problem?

Its driving me crazy, so if anyone has input at all I would love to hear it. I've already flipped this body inside out once so I'm running out of trial/error space with this one. Thanks y'all
When I do any pouncing work on my hat felt bodies, I start out with 400 or 600 grit, then use 800 and the final pouncing is with 1,000 grit. If you use a course grit you will pounce the felt right dow to the shellac and that creates some nice shinny mottling. Since you have been using the course grit sand paper and you are down to the shellac. What I would try is purchase some denatured alcohol 95% from amazon and give your felts a good bath in the alcohol, you will remove a lot of the shellac, in fact if you soak the felts in the alcohol you can remove almost all of the shellac. You can get a gallon plastic bottle and turn it upside down, placed over a 1/2" dowel rod, put your felt over the bottle to dry, if the temperature is good I would do this work outside, leave the felt to dry, it shouldn't take to long. Go to Etsy and find a shop that sells blonde shellac flakes, you can mix the shellac flakes in the alcohol and re apply it using a paint brush, a very light coats at a time. The other way to fix the heavy pouncing, turn your felt inside out and pounce that side of the felt, however with your description of how the felt looks, I would use the alcohol and give that felt a good bath. I maybe wrong with this method, and if I am maybe someone else will have a better suggestion.??
 
Last edited:

TWKundrat

Familiar Face
Messages
86
Hey all,

First off I want to say thank you for everyone that has posted tips and tricks in here. I've been lurking for a while and have read through all 76 pages of this post. The info in here has been invaluable in my journey to making hats.

I own a hat shop in Idaho and have had tons of trouble buying hats from the name brands as most are way too backed up to take new dealers. So I decided to start making my own but now I'm stuck. I'm using western weight hare bodies from Millinery Warehouse but can't seem to get the finish presentable. After I get all the fibers laying the same direction I start sanding (by hand) and it seems that the fibers either stay too long or it goes right past that and appears to be over-pounced to the point that there's virtually no nap to it. I'm using 320 grit, but I saw a few days ago that MW recommends using 220 on them. Could that cause my problem?

Its driving me crazy, so if anyone has input at all I would love to hear it. I've already flipped this body inside out once so I'm running out of trial/error space with this one. Thanks y'all
It definitely takes a good amount of practice to get good at pouncing. I used to do everything by hand but more recently I have started using a palm sander and a motorized spinner that I made and I am really happy with the results. The palm sander does take some getting used to and can be risky before you get the hang of it. The spinner is nice to give the hat a nice even finish.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
When I do any pouncing work on my hat felt bodies, I start out with 400 or 600 grit, then use 800 and the final pouncing is with 1,000 grit. If you use a course grit you will pounce the felt right dow to the shellac and that creates some nice shinny mottling. Since you have been using the course grit sand paper and you are down to the shellac. What I would try is purchase some denatured alcohol 95% from amazon and give your felts a good bath in the alcohol, you will remove a lot of the shellac, in fact if you soak the felts in the alcohol you can remove almost all of the shellac. You can get a gallon plastic bottle and turn it upside down, placed over a 1/2" dowel rod, put your felt over the bottle to dry, if the temperature is good I would do this work outside, leave the felt to dry, it shouldn't take to long. Go to Etsy and find a shop that sells blonde shellac flakes, you can mix the shellac flakes in the alcohol and re apply it using a paint brush, a very light coats at a time. The other way to fix the heavy pouncing, turn your felt inside out and pounce that side of the felt, however with your description of how the felt looks, I would use the alcohol and give that felt a good bath. I maybe wrong with this method, and if I am maybe someone else will have a better suggestion.??

Thanks Darrell! I had originally done the same grits you describe but that seemed to bald the felts faster for some reason?? So now maybe I'm just gun shy now, but the 320 has gotten me a better result than stepping to finer grits did for some reason.

I did buy some denatured alcohol and put it in a chemical resistant spray bottle, it works great for forcing the shellac down deeper and fixed the mottling very well! I'll definitely think about getting a bath worked out somehow, that would be great practice for restiffening hats. I have customers come in often that want the body restored to their hats. Ive had good luck thus far with just steam and an iron but there's been a few that didn't come back white as stiff as they wanted.

It definitely takes a good amount of practice to get good at pouncing. I used to do everything by hand but more recently I have started using a palm sander and a motorized spinner that I made and I am really happy with the results. The palm sander does take some getting used to and can be risky before you get the hang of it. The spinner is nice to give the hat a nice even finish.

I really wanted to get the hand sanding down before I moved to a palm sander. I actually am in the middle of getting my motorized spinner situated. I'm waiting on some aluminum gears as my 3d printed ones can't handle the torque that it puts out. I did use it to lure the body before I started pouncing and it worked so well I almost wanted to leave it with the "Grizzly" finish
 
Messages
10,376
Location
vancouver, canada
Hey all,

First off I want to say thank you for everyone that has posted tips and tricks in here. I've been lurking for a while and have read through all 76 pages of this post. The info in here has been invaluable in my journey to making hats.

I own a hat shop in Idaho and have had tons of trouble buying hats from the name brands as most are way too backed up to take new dealers. So I decided to start making my own but now I'm stuck. I'm using western weight hare bodies from Millinery Warehouse but can't seem to get the finish presentable. After I get all the fibers laying the same direction I start sanding (by hand) and it seems that the fibers either stay too long or it goes right past that and appears to be over-pounced to the point that there's virtually no nap to it. I'm using 320 grit, but I saw a few days ago that MW recommends using 220 on them. Could that cause my problem?

Its driving me crazy, so if anyone has input at all I would love to hear it. I've already flipped this body inside out once so I'm running out of trial/error space with this one. Thanks y'all
Which city in Idaho? Heading that way this spring on a road trip.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
Which city in Idaho? Heading that way this spring on a road trip.
Meridian, which is basically a suburb of Boise now. If you come through the area definitely stop by, I'll make sure to be there if at all possible. Would be cool to chat!
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
297
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I have never used a palm sander pouncing the felts, I use the fine grit sandpapers and sand by hand. A palm sander will remove felt fibers real fast and if you work to much in spots you might develope flat spots in the felt or get down to the shellac PDQ. I did try a sanding block one time and I stopped using it because I could feel the felt under the sandpaper, pouncing is one of those things that you just can't rush. I have used denatured alcohol to spray the felt and even out the mottling from the pouncing, I have also used the fractionated coconut oil on the felts after pouncing, it brings the color back, just apply it lightly. I have thought about making a motorized spinner to use with the hat blocks and felts, that would make things go faster, however you should wear a mask when pouncing, nothing like ending up with a hair ball in your mouth and caughing because of the fibers.
Buy some shellac flakes off of one of the shops on Etsy, mix about a tablespoon of flakes with about 16 ounces of denatured alcohol then use a fine bristal paintbrush to apply the mixture in thin coats, let each coat dry and check the felt, then apply until you're happy with the hat.
 
Messages
10,376
Location
vancouver, canada
Meridian, which is basically a suburb of Boise now. If you come through the area definitely stop by, I'll make sure to be there if at all possible. Would be cool to chat!
I have been to Meridian. We love Boise, take our bikes and bike the Greenway into town and then the other way up to the bike park. Have cycled through Meridian, stopped at the Mall. Stop for coffee in Eagle. Love the area. If you have trouble with mottling and shellac core with the Mill Whse felts send me a PM. Wolfbrae is my hat brand and I have a dedicated thread here in the Lounge.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
I have never used a palm sander pouncing the felts, I use the fine grit sandpapers and sand by hand. A palm sander will remove felt fibers real fast and if you work to much in spots you might develope flat spots in the felt or get down to the shellac PDQ. I did try a sanding block one time and I stopped using it because I could feel the felt under the sandpaper, pouncing is one of those things that you just can't rush. I have used denatured alcohol to spray the felt and even out the mottling from the pouncing, I have also used the fractionated coconut oil on the felts after pouncing, it brings the color back, just apply it lightly. I have thought about making a motorized spinner to use with the hat blocks and felts, that would make things go faster, however you should wear a mask when pouncing, nothing like ending up with a hair ball in your mouth and caughing because of the fibers.
Buy some shellac flakes off of one of the shops on Etsy, mix about a tablespoon of flakes with about 16 ounces of denatured alcohol then use a fine bristal paintbrush to apply the mixture in thin coats, let each coat dry and check the felt, then apply until you're happy with the hat.

I'm not sure if I like using a sanding block either. I definitely have to be more gentle with it.

I haven't experimented with the oil yet but I have some sitting in a spray bottle waiting for my pouncing adventure to be done. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for the tips! Very helpful information!

I have been to Meridian. We love Boise, take our bikes and bike the Greenway into town and then the other way up to the bike park. Have cycled through Meridian, stopped at the Mall. Stop for coffee in Eagle. Love the area. If you have trouble with mottling and shellac core with the Mill Whse felts send me a PM. Wolfbrae is my hat brand and I have a dedicated thread here in the Lounge.

The greenways are so nice here. I like the one that runs along the river, its remarkably peaceful if you hit it at the right time of day. Definitely give me a shout when you come through. I'll send you a message here soon probably!
 
Messages
10,376
Location
vancouver, canada
I'm not sure if I like using a sanding block either. I definitely have to be more gentle with it.

I haven't experimented with the oil yet but I have some sitting in a spray bottle waiting for my pouncing adventure to be done. I'm excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for the tips! Very helpful information!



The greenways are so nice here. I like the one that runs along the river, its remarkably peaceful if you hit it at the right time of day. Definitely give me a shout when you come through. I'll send you a message here soon probably!
It is easier to post a pic here rather than in the PM. Here are two pics of a Military green rabbit felt 160gr dress weight
military1.jpg
military2.jpg
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
That looks great. I can’t seem to get the nap that short without it just balding completely. I stepped to 600 today and that got me closer but the 1000 is still going right to the shellac
It is easier to post a pic here rather than in the PM. Here are two pics of a Military green rabbit felt 160gr dress weight
 
Messages
10,376
Location
vancouver, canada
That looks great. I can’t seem to get the nap that short without it just balding completely. I stepped to 600 today and that got me closer but the 1000 is still going right to the shellac
I have not spoken to Drew at Millinery Whse about his reason for using such coarse grit. I used my usual 800 to start, then 1000 and a final 1200 grit finish. I only use the coarse grit if I want to shed a lot of felt to thin it out.....and then I do it inside out first so I shed most of the felt from inside the crown.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
21
Interesting. I’ve definitely got something wrong in my process then.

This is 1000 grit on the top of the crown, 600 on the sides. It’s so hard to get accurate pictures of this stuff. Is this not overpounced?

IMG_2723.jpeg
 

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