Making a Western hat by hand?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Yahoody, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    LOL... welcome to Texas. I'm in Hondo, about 45 miles west of S.A. right on Hwy. 90.
     
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  2. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    This is a candidate for a project hat. It's a cheap Resistol wool felt hat in need of a new look.
     

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  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Damn, I think we drove through there. On a brighter note we stayed at Kickapoo State Park and saw the bats......all 3 million of them. And I saw my first live armadillo....my wife would not let me capture it and bring it home.
     
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  4. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    Have you ever been to Big Bend National Park?
     

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  5. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yes, it hit 106 degrees and I lived to tell.
     
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  6. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    That's a good lookin' hat. Nice work.
     
  7. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    Wow... I've seen some really nice looking hats on here. I'll be 67 here next month and need something to do with my time and hat making appeals to me. I may decide differently once I get into it but, for now, I like the idea of being able to make something that is worthwhile, looks nice and could become a family heirloom.

    This is a Resistol wool felt that needs some TLC (and a good cleaning). My objective is to use it to experiment and possibly a total new look. It's a project hat so not too worried about what could go wrong.

    The hat in the photo is a 7 1/2 but it's pretty tight, probably due to being hauled around all summer in the bed of my black truck under a black hard cover in the plus 100 degree south Texas heat. My good hat is also a 7 1/2 and fits just fine. The opening size is roughly (tape measure) 8 inches long by about 7 inches wide.

    1. Which hat block would best serve me for re-blocking and maybe eventually wet blocking a new hat body for western hats. If I can get the hang of it, I'd like to make one.

    2. I'd like to open the crown up on this hat. Could it ever be a candidate for something like a derby?

    3. What basic tools do I need? I'm on a small fixed income so this is something I'd like to "ease" into, knowing how expensive hobbies can be.

    Open to all ideas, recommendations, etc.
     

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  8. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots I'll Lock Up

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  9. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    The only thing I would caution against is to assume wool will behave as fur felt would. I don't think lessons learned on wool will translate as nicely once you up your game. I wouldn't bother with it.
     
  10. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    Thanks Bama. I was up till 2:00 a.m. reading it. I'll be ordering the book that Yahoody was talking about. I really like the hat that Cornshucker77 posted on page 10. Is something like that possible?
     
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  11. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    Point taken but I want to do something to it, maybe open the crown and flatten the brim, stiffen it up and start from scratch.

    Are the rabbit fur felts good for learning on? If not, what would you recommend?
     
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  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    If you have patience then scour Ebay for cheap beater rabbit fur western hats, (or sometimes you can score a partial beaver fur). I have found a few and have had great fun rehabilitating them.....some success, some failure but always a ton of fun.
     
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  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I consider cheap, $25 or less with low shipping.
     
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  14. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    I would recommend you follow @belfastboy's advice. I have never built a from-scratch hat from a fur felt hood. My experience comes from repairing, refurbishing, and rebuilding damaged and aged hats I find. I have completely torn down, reblocked/resized and rebuilt several hats, but never actually "made a hat."
     
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  15. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    I've been looking online but haven't found any "bargains". It's looking like this wool felt hat isn't a good project hat.
     
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  16. Moviehats

    Moviehats One of the Regulars

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    I found some cheap wool blanks when I first started. Now I can't stand using wool.
     
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  17. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

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    Since you’re taliking about reblocking the felt and practicing “making” a hat, you can get a smaller hat (cheaper and more plentiful) and size it up.
     
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  18. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

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    I wear a 7 1/2 LO. I know that to size up I will lose brim size so how small is too small?
     
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  19. deadlyhandsome

    deadlyhandsome I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
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    I like all sorts of hats. I mostly prefer westerns with brims of, say, 3 to 3 1-2 inches in width. Most hats in size 7 1/8 and bigger with a 4” brim can be sized up and made into my 7 5/8 LO. If you want a 4” brim then your options are fewer.
     
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  20. thundurchasur

    thundurchasur Familiar Face

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    South Texas
    I'm seen some really cool hats on here for sure. So I wear a 7 1/2 so I need to have a 7 5/8 block to allow for the sweatband? The more I see of the 3 and 3 1/2 inch brims, the more I like them.

    Do you know anything about hatbodies.com?
     
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