Pretty cool seeing a picture of the singeing process. Thats high percentage alcohol or methanol in the spray bottle. I see they also use a sweatband cutter purchased from JW Hats as that is his design and identical to the one posted earlier. He sells them to other hatters and there is quite a bit of machine work in one. Thanks for posting these Dav3!
Yes, I know Smithbilt Hats well. Years ago they were on my customer list when I was in coatings sales and hat sizing was one of the products I sold. More recently, I had them clean and put a new ribbon and binding on a Stetson Deluxe I picked up. Their new location is actually just down the road from my shop.
I wanted to revive this thread, as I just picked up my latest JW hat. Like other reputable hat makers we all know and love, JW uses the finest quality Winchester felt rawbodies. He offers 100% rabbit, 100% beaver, or a 50/50 blend. He mostly does western hats, but offers dress hats as well. I wanted one of his 100% beaver hats to round out my collection, so now I have a Steve Delk, an Art Fawcett, and a J.W. I wanted a nice dark gray, and I was very taken by the color "Steel". The ribbon and brim binding are a matching gray, as I like to keep my hats simple and subtle. The specs are as follows:
5 1/2 open crown, with front crease set at 4 1/2.
2 1/2 brim.
Standard teardrop, or C-crown bash.
Turn around time on this hat, 16 days.
I told my wife I was going for something similar to the old Stetson Whippet, modified for my own personal specs.
A very fun, informative thread. Thanks to the folks who generously posted photos for our enlightenment. Anyone else care to visit another hatmaker and post? I believe there would be interest from the group!
Indeed, I'd love to go over to Oregon to visit Vintage Silhouettes and watch him build my next one. But, given current uncertainties, I doubt the spouse would approve since I already have one coming from Steve Delk. :cheers1:
We live in Idaho- one of the states known as "community property" - so we both do! Uhhhh- not the same ones. shakeshead Seriously, I do hope we can make it over there this summer- but best clear it with Art first!
JW's has made two hats for me plus reconditioned another. Very good work and excellent communication. If I have some more work that needs done, I will call them. It seems stupid to send a hat so far, but I dont know anyone else who does this work so well!!! Thanks Big Jim and Little Jim!!
Unfortunately, not a very good article. Always hard to tell what the subject said and what the
reporter distorts. This one contains the claim that he has made more hats, "than any other shop in the country"
and seems to claim that he makes his own felt: "Using rabbit or beaver pelts, or a combination, I use the process
of felting to make the hairs align and hook together". Somehow I suspect the latter at least was a misunderstanding
on the part of the reporter.