Hold on to your Hatblocks!!

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Kilgour Trout, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. Kilgour Trout

    Kilgour Trout One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    As I recently mentioned in a post, I'm blockless and flangeless (clueless...thats another matter:D ). But I came across a block and flange supplier and asked for a quote on a 6, 7, 52.

    Dear Rob,

    We would be pleased to make your blocks for you!

    A typical fedora crown bleock would cost $285.00 and a flange (brim block) would be $220.00. Shipping by UPS on the two blocks together would be $135.00. If you want a string groove on the flange, add $22.00. The flange would be the solid centre type with peg holes for attaching to the crown block if required. The brim is 'flipped' after blocking, so that the front turns down and the back turns up.

    I heard all my Scottish Ancestors screaming at once!
    This being in US. Dollars...all the colonial ancestors got in on it too. Could this be why there are so few Hatters in North America?

    Any of the hat makers..please comment.

    Warm Regards
    Kilgour Trout
     
  2. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    3,698
    Location:
    Central Point, Or.
    Welcome to MY world Rob. This is why hat equipment is still valuable after all these years. I am guessing that to equip a complete shop with all the bells & whistles it would take between $200K to 300K for a market where $150 hat is considered mid to high range. You have to make and sell ALOT of hats to make it a living AND pay for your investement in equipment. There are other places a person can go for cheaper blocks ( I can guess where the quote came from) but even the less expensive makers are still pretty high on the grand scale of things when you consider that every block size is needed, then every block height is needed in every size, then every size flange with every size brim width. Then we get into the way the brim is curved to get different effects on the hat, then.....Over the last 15 yrs I have collected about 300 flanges, 200 blocks and STILL find things that I need to fill a specific order. I have to believe that for most the hatting business is persued more for love than money unless you are one of the "big guys" with enough capital to make it all happen.
    For me, it's still the joy of bringing back to life a "dead" hat and getting an order for something that you haven't tried before and finding a way to succeed. Since I love working with Panama's and in fact wear one every day in summer I'm really stoked about getting the chance to work with the hats that PanamaBob is supplying to guys in the lounge as they are beyond $wise what I can afford to stock. There are a few recent posts of my work and some emails that i need not share that really encourage me personally to keep working on getting better at what still boils down to creating something of beauty from basically raw materials. As many on the lounge know, this is not my "real" job but it is my real passion. Oh gosh...I think I'd better step down off this soap box that sprung up on me.
    cheers
     
  3. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    My accountant has a client that is a antique dealer. He gets $500+ for a block from people use them for decoration. Go figure.
     
  4. Kilgour Trout

    Kilgour Trout One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Thank you!

    All I can say is thank you Art! When the reality of what it takes to build a business like this considered..it is literally A "God Send", that your're there :) . It also explains why a Good Fedora from say..."Optimo" is about $400.00 US.
    Having also talked to George "The Hatter" in Toronto, he said that by the time everything is delivered and set up on a new block and flange, he was looking at, at least $1000 Canuckistan Rubels, which equals about 750.00 US buckaroos! :eek: .
    To all the guys and gals who are doing this for love, "Keep up the good work", it takes a lot to do what you do for us.

    Much Appreciation
    Kilgour Trout
     
  5. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,839
    Location:
    Tennessee
    This is what separates 'craftsmen' from 'hobbiests', in my opinion....that being how serious they are regarding their tools. I like tinkering around with watches and clocks. I REALLY need a good set of watchmaker screwdrivers, but to get a real, live, serious professional grade set will set me back over $200 for a set of 6!!!!! This is what a serious professional 'craftsman' will invest to make his product the best. Needless to say, until I get a REAL boot in the posterier, I'll more than likely REMAIN a hobbiest in my watch/clock tinkering, as I'm just not that inspired to shell out that amount for the right tools, not just yet. That's why we need to support 'our' folks as much as we can, as a real craft that is considered a 'dying art' is one that deserves support. We can not continue to see folks forget these crafts, as we enjoy them so much, but without the support OF the craftsmen, we're the end of the 'breed' . I personally do not think it's time for these 'enjoyments' of ours to die....better yet, it's time for them to come BACK! So, with that ramble, I link arms with my friend Kilgour ( persistant bugger though he is;) ) in saluting our friends Art, Steve, Andy, Kevin, etc. (you know who you all are!) who continue to strive to pursue a true craft, and not just with words, but with actions. Highest regards. Michaelson
     
  6. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    3,698
    Location:
    Central Point, Or.
    WOW, thanks for that response Michaelson and Kilgour.. I guess my soap box grew all the way to Tennessee then headed north!! Fear not gentlemen..this quest won't stop...it's way more than me by now. Also, I agree Kilgour, the perspective has to be there. I have been to Optimo, their front rooms, back rooms, storage rooms, have seen what Graham has invested in equipment, have followed his travels to all parts of the world trying to get better materials to work with, and have the upmost respect for his committment to what he is doing and in my view, succeeding. In every creative field there is professional jealousy, envy, differing opinions as to what is the "right" way to this or that. The hat trade is not immune and every time it rears it's ugly head I just want to cringe. If the buyers were more aware of the obstacles that have to be overcome and the other "great" hatters could just tone down their egos and teach some more of the younger generation the trade will never die. I have spent my professional life in a "dying" trade, am considered pretty good at what i do, and have taught 3 apprentices in the stone trade so know that i live what I speak.
    Oh geeze, there's that soap box again. Sorry gents. A simple thank you would have been enough eh?
     
  7. Michaelson

    Michaelson One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,839
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hop up on that soapbox anytime, Art. Folks need to keep hearing 'the word'! High regards. Michaelson
     

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