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Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
100% Beaver felts from Pure Beaver Supply. This is the second time it has happened, both times same felt and color. The first one I did experiment on making it a Distressed hat. Actually turned out nice and is now my favorite everyday hat.
I have only had one issue with the FEPSA from purebeaver. It was on a Flagstone 95gr beaver. It wasn't so much mottling as the dye bleeding out ......in copious amounts. I kept it and made a hat for myself. I would contact Tim or Lisa and report it. He needs to know if he is getting spotty quality from FEPSA. It has happened with certain shipments. I didn't bother for just one felt as I live in Canada and it was easier for me to just keep it. But at $235 us a pop it can't happen that often.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
19
Well, on the bright side, you could always sell it as 'distressed' and maybe get more $$$ out of it. There's also another method to getting a smooth finish out of those MW Western weight rabbit felts. We had a conversation on this a couple of pages back. You can sand all day on these felts and not get the result you want and probably end up over sanding. I've got some of those very same felts and I ended up with a nice smooth finish on mine. After you block it and cut your brim, set your hat on fire and let it burn just long enough to cinge the hairs, a few seconds. Then put it out. Afterward, sand it per MW specs. It reduces the sanding effort and reduces the risk of mottling which comes from over sanding. This method is used mostly on thick felted Western hats. Some hatters use this method to activate the stiffener for a stiffer Western hat while other hatters use it to get a smoother finish after pouncing. I do it mainly to get a smoother finish, although I didn't get the activation of the stiffener that I expected. After firing the felt and pouncing it, iron it to get everything nice and smooth. Here's a picture of mine. It's the same felt you have. This finish on mine is smooth, almost like a dress Western. As I said, I only fire a felt body on an as needed basis, and this was one of those instances. All in all, I actually these MW Western felts. They're a breeze to block.

I'll have to revisit firing my felts. You got a great finish out of that one it looks like. I think I have an issue with burning them too long. I'm using 91% IPA and it seems to burn for longer than I would like so I need to find a quick way to extinguish it. Maybe I'll keep my water nearby and try a spray of that.

I discovered that my block from Clint had some significant ripples and bumps in the top so I've taken it home to refinish it and I think that will clear up the last of my pouncing issues. Hopefully. I've got the brims almost to where I want them so once the block is smooth I think I'll be good to go
IMG_2784.jpeg
 
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Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
I'll have to revisit firing my felts. You got a great finish out of that one it looks like. I think I have an issue with burning them too long. I'm using 91% IPA and it seems to burn for longer than I would like so I need to find a quick way to extinguish it. Maybe I'll keep my water nearby and try a spray of that.

I discovered that my block from Clint had some significant ripples and bumps in the top so I've taken it home to refinish it and I think that will clear up the last of my pouncing issues. Hopefully. I've got the brims almost to where I want them so once the block is smooth I think I'll be good to go
Do you use an orbital sander on all by hand? If you pounce the crown by cupping the sand paper in the hand you get much better control...especially as you move off the crown and down the sides.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
19
Do you use an orbital sander on all by hand? If you pounce the crown by cupping the sand paper in the hand you get much better control...especially as you move off the crown and down the sides.

All by hand. I don't trust myself with a sander if I can't even figure it out by hand. I stopped using the block for the crown too until I get a better feel for it all. I talked to Drew at MW last week about it while talking about private label hats for the shop and I think I've been using too much pressure. So I'll be trying the new technique today while I'm here at the store.
 
Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
All by hand. I don't trust myself with a sander if I can't even figure it out by hand. I stopped using the block for the crown too until I get a better feel for it all. I talked to Drew at MW last week about it while talking about private label hats for the shop and I think I've been using too much pressure. So I'll be trying the new technique today while I'm here at the store.
The best piece of pouncing advice I ever received is; don't apply pressure. It is not needed. Your hand just guides the sandpaper, let the grit do the work, not you.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I have had a simular problem and I put the felt back on the block, then soaked the hat brim with hot water, then used my steam iron on the felt, I ironed the felt the same way that I do when I first block a felt, after the felt had completely dried, I needed to apply some shellac because the brim was really floppy and wouldn't hold shape very well.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I'll have to revisit firing my felts. You got a great finish out of that one it looks like. I think I have an issue with burning them too long. I'm using 91% IPA and it seems to burn for longer than I would like so I need to find a quick way to extinguish it. Maybe I'll keep my water nearby and try a spray of that.

I discovered that my block from Clint had some significant ripples and bumps in the top so I've taken it home to refinish it and I think that will clear up the last of my pouncing issues. Hopefully. I've got the brims almost to where I want them so once the block is smooth I think I'll be good to go View attachment 589666
When you use fire on your felts, keep a damp lint free towel close by and just toss it over your hat to smoother the flames, the last time that I used fire on a felt I used rubbing alcohol, it doesn't burn as long but it does work for the lose fibers.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I mainly use 95% denatured alcohol for desolving the Super Blonds shellac flakes and spraying the felts after pouncing to even out the color, it also stiffens up the felt and since it is 95% I don't use flame on the felts after spraying.
Does anyone use the denatured 95% alcohol to flame the felt to remove the lose fibers?
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I'll have to revisit firing my felts. You got a great finish out of that one it looks like. I think I have an issue with burning them too long. I'm using 91% IPA and it seems to burn for longer than I would like so I need to find a quick way to extinguish it. Maybe I'll keep my water nearby and try a spray of that.

I discovered that my block from Clint had some significant ripples and bumps in the top so I've taken it home to refinish it and I think that will clear up the last of my pouncing issues. Hopefully. I've got the brims almost to where I want them so once the block is smooth I think I'll be good to go View attachment 589666
Is that a 51 or 52 style hat block? From this view it looks like a 52 with straight sides?

Clint is using 2 CNC machines now, one to cut the rounded area of the top of the block, the other cuts the bottom sections. Clint told me that the machine that cuts the rounded section takes about 50 minutes to do all of the cutting and the other cuts all of the bottom sections in 40 minutes.
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
19
Is that a 51 or 52 style hat block? From this view it looks like a 52 with straight sides?

Clint is using 2 CNC machines now, one to cut the rounded area of the top of the block, the other cuts the bottom sections. Clint told me that the machine that cuts the rounded section takes about 50 minutes to do all of the cutting and the other cuts all of the bottom sections in 40 minutes.

Its pretty much a 52 I think. I told him to give me something I can make classic westerns on and this is what he came up with for me. Works well for the classic shapes but anything more modern needs some taper to it in order to not end up with the crown poking out past the brim break.

I tried denatured alcohol as a fuel to fire one of my felts, it worked fine I think. I did end up with burnt splotches where I didn't notice the spray bottle leaking onto the felt so thats definitely something to watch for. Definitely needs to be a mist, not drops. I'll be trying it again to see how it works compared to isopropyl
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
Its pretty much a 52 I think. I told him to give me something I can make classic westerns on and this is what he came up with for me. Works well for the classic shapes but anything more modern needs some taper to it in order to not end up with the crown poking out past the brim break.

I tried denatured alcohol as a fuel to fire one of my felts, it worked fine I think. I did end up with burnt splotches where I didn't notice the spray bottle leaking onto the felt so thats definitely something to watch for. Definitely needs to be a mist, not drops. I'll be trying it again to see how it works compared to isopropyl
Contact Clint and ask him to make you a 51 style with straight sides, he can make blocks with more of a rounded crown. The 52 block is a good block to have, it would be a good idea to have both hat block styles, gives you more choices to work with. Hat blocks are a one of the things that you can't have too many of.
 
Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
Its pretty much a 52 I think. I told him to give me something I can make classic westerns on and this is what he came up with for me. Works well for the classic shapes but anything more modern needs some taper to it in order to not end up with the crown poking out past the brim break.

I tried denatured alcohol as a fuel to fire one of my felts, it worked fine I think. I did end up with burnt splotches where I didn't notice the spray bottle leaking onto the felt so thats definitely something to watch for. Definitely needs to be a mist, not drops. I'll be trying it again to see how it works compared to isopropyl
There is misunderstanding with many modern block makers, I think, about the #52. I have a few vintage #52's and they do have a very slight taper. Many of the modern ones labelled #52 are completely straight sided. The #51 is certainly more tapered sides and front/'back. I use both styles about equally.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
I like straight sides on my blocks. However if you contact Clint you can tell him how you want your blocks made and he will work up a program for the CNC machine to follow, he can make the top of the block totally round. He has a program in his CNC machine for brim flanges that he would like to use, but he can 't get caught up on the block orders. He recently made some brim boards for a customer to use to keep the brim flat, he made the boards with a 1/8" block clearance for the felt. Clint is making the blocks to the customer's specs. I sent him photos of blocks yesterday for him to use to make me some more blocks, in the size and shape that I wanted.
 

dmeist

New in Town
Messages
31
Location
Ohio
Its pretty much a 52 I think. I told him to give me something I can make classic westerns on and this is what he came up with for me. Works well for the classic shapes but anything more modern needs some taper to it in order to not end up with the crown poking out past the brim break.

I tried denatured alcohol as a fuel to fire one of my felts, it worked fine I think. I did end up with burnt splotches where I didn't notice the spray bottle leaking onto the felt so thats definitely something to watch for. Definitely needs to be a mist, not drops. I'll be trying it again to see how it works compared to isopropyl
I made the same mistake. You need a continuous mist spray bottle. https://a.co/d/45zDZvi
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
Well if you end up with a hat that has burnt splotches, there is only one thing left to do, use a small hand held torch and turn it into a new design, use a paisley print scarf for a hat band, add a length of leather shoe lace and sell it as one of the new styles of hats, see if you can sell at a high price, who knows, maybe Johnny Depp might buy it, that would be an improvement over the last hat that he was wearing. The hat had holes in the pinch of the crown and the brim in the front had rips in it, so bad that part of the brim hung down in front of his eyes, I bet that he paid over $1,000.00 for that hat.
 
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townaj

New in Town
Messages
19
I've commissioned a set of 51s from Poland so we'll see how those turn out. I think I'm still on Clints books for a set of 52s but I'm not sure what his lead time is. I've got people chomping at the bit for hats so I gotta get to it on figuring out my pouncing process. I think I was using too much pressure with how belfastboy said it should be very minimal. I'm used to carpentry I guess

I made the same mistake. You need a continuous mist spray bottle. https://a.co/d/45zDZvi

Ahh thats a great idea I'll pick one of those up asap. I didn't even think about grabbing one like that, I've just been using the regular ones. Thanks!
 

townaj

New in Town
Messages
19
Well if you end up with a hat that has burnt splotches, there is only one thing left to do, use a small hand held torch and turn it into a new design, use a paisley print scarf for a hat band, add a length of leather shoe lace and sell it as one of the new styles of hats, see if you can sell at a high price, who knows, maybe Johnny Depp might buy it, that would be an improvement over the last hat that he was wearing. The hat had holes in the pinch of the crown and the brim in the front had rips in it, so bad that part of the brim hung down in front of his eyes, I bet that he paid over $1,000.00 for that hat.

I've seen a lot of those for north of $5,000. Its quite crazy. But if people can get that price more power to them I guess.
 
Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
I've seen a lot of those for north of $5,000. Its quite crazy. But if people can get that price more power to them I guess.
I am friends with two other hatters nearby me. We each have totally different markets. One is a western hat maker and he sells a custom western beaver for $1275 and his wait list is lengthy. The other sells the modern BoHo hats, distressed, burnt etc etc....a Canadian Nick Foucette. He too is close to $1200 for beaver. Not sure who wears them but he runs it as a full time business and does very well.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
285
Location
Piner, Kentucky
My wife had a knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday, so my hat work has come to close to a total stop, I am a little busy taking care of her and some cooking, cleaning, next week she gets to start therapy sessions 1 hour long, round trips will be another hour, so far I have been able to get all of my book keeping on a straight path for 2024, so far my investments are more than my income from selling, basically a write off at this point. Tomorrow I plan to get back to work on my hats, a bottle green ladies hat, a chocolate brown, that I am going for an Indy look and another that I am thinking about turning into a hat with the distressed look, the color is close to a fawn color and dark stains on the bottom of the brim at the crown break, which look like sweat stains.
 
Messages
10,273
Location
vancouver, canada
My wife had a knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday, so my hat work has come to close to a total stop, I am a little busy taking care of her and some cooking, cleaning, next week she gets to start therapy sessions 1 hour long, round trips will be another hour, so far I have been able to get all of my book keeping on a straight path for 2024, so far my investments are more than my income from selling, basically a write off at this point. Tomorrow I plan to get back to work on my hats, a bottle green ladies hat, a chocolate brown, that I am going for an Indy look and another that I am thinking about turning into a hat with the distressed look, the color is close to a fawn color and dark stains on the bottom of the brim at the crown break, which look like sweat stains.
I was 3 years in before I started taking money out of the business in wages. I still have equipment to buy.
 

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