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Making a Western hat by hand?

thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
Welcome, spent a week in your neck of the woods this spring til we got spooked by the weather trying to kill us.....6 hour lightning storm, tornado alert 3 miles to the north of us and tennis ball sized hail stones. ….sent us back to NMexico. May visit again when feeling braver or luckier.

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

thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
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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  • Resistol "Pay Window" Hat Project - Wool Felt-3000.jpg
    Resistol "Pay Window" Hat Project - Wool Felt-3000.jpg
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thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
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.

Have you ever been to Big Bend National Park?
 

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thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
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.
 

Attachments

  • Resistol "Pay Window" Hat Project - Wool Felt-3000.jpg
    Resistol "Pay Window" Hat Project - Wool Felt-3000.jpg
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Messages
17,464
Location
Funkytown, USA
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.

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.
 

thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
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?
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,294
Location
vancouver, canada
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?
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.
 
Messages
17,464
Location
Funkytown, USA
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?

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."
 

thundurchasur

Familiar Face
Messages
95
Location
South Texas
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.

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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