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Randall Renshaw Restorations

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
Those sweatbands do indeed look really nice. And that's a great-looking logo!

Most excellent, Randall, those will really put that something special on your hats.

That looks so top shelf!

Excellent stuff there, Randall. It will be well worth the wait. Those sweats look fantastic!
Thanks a whole lot guys!!
Now I can’t wait to see how my logo’d liners turn out!
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
Singer is great. He has always met his delivery dates. His prices and quality are top notch. It think his opening order is 6 dozen but it might not be a hard and fast quantity. I don't have mine stamped with logo but a fellow hatter here in Vancouver use Singer and has his stamped.
Thanks, Robert. I may PM you sometime for more info on Singer’s sweats, especially if they’re better and not too much more than
$10 apiece for these from Brent with logos.
 
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
Thanks, Robert. I may PM you sometime for more info on Singer’s sweats, especially if they’re better and not too much more than
$10 apiece for these from Brent with logos.
I buy 1 3/4" wide, no gold line, no logo and I think my last batch was $5.50ea plus $20 or so for shipping. He takes phone orders only, no internet.....Real old school. If you want to try one out I can pop one in the mail He also will cut extra long for larger head sizes. I do have a few 2" ones if you prefer. I like the 1 3/4" wide as i find them a bit easier to work with.
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
So, roan leather, probably nice and thick?
For only $5.50 per? Yeah, I’ll probably give him a yell. How do I get a number?
I’m 90 percent sure that I bought just one of his sweats more than 15 years ago just to try out and it was a really nice one. Heavy duty. I sewed it into one of my hats, but can’t remember which one and to look for it would be a chore; especially since I may have even sold it, idk.
Thanks for the tip and likely causing me to remember about him. Back then I wasn’t of the mind to get into hatting this deep.
 

RBH

Bartender
My new sweatbands are in and they look awesome!! Very cool to see your own logo design stamped in gold on some fine looking sweats! Much better leather than the ones I was using.


I just bought a new sewing machine last night to replace the new heavy duty sewing machine, that arrived broke down, I bought recently.
So I’m waiting on the newest HD machine to be shipped out. Then I can finish a few custom hats, re-creations and restorations that folks are waiting on—plus sew two rows of decorative gold stitching on the top edge of these new sweats.
Also got the shipment of various colored hat liners that I have to stamp myself with gold ink and stamp pad that I bought, but I’m still waiting on the custom rubber stamp I had made.
And then a pic of my new homemade rounding Jack of my own design to cut brim edges to size. Works great!
I feel so official all of a sudden! :) View attachment 560385 View attachment 560388 View attachment 560386 View attachment 560387


OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!
Thanks, RBH!
Making the decision to leave life sustaining, lucrative carpentry and convert a long time hobby into a semi retirement career at this age? Not an easy thing, but passion won the day.
Who knew that walking into a western store to buy my first high quality Stetson for the purpose of customizing it into something akin to what I saw Merle Haggard wearing on stage would’ve slowly led to a full time means of support 40 years later?

And you; maybe for another example?
Bartender of a formidable forum that so many come to for fedora information and daily interaction. (and so much more)
Funny how our lives can blindly ooze into crevices and sometimes find purchase.
 
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
So, roan leather, probably nice and thick?
For only $5.50 per? Yeah, I’ll probably give him a yell. How do I get a number?
I’m 90 percent sure that I bought just one of his sweats more than 15 years ago just to try out and it was a really nice one. Heavy duty. I sewed it into one of my hats, but can’t remember which one and to look for it would be a chore; especially since I may have even sold it, idk.
Thanks for the tip and likely causing me to remember about him. Back then I wasn’t of the mind to get into hatting this deep.
518.993.2709. He has a lot of NY city in him....brusque, to the point....but behind the gruffness he is a good guy. He is truly a one man show. First time I called I asked for the sales department.....he just laughed. He said you are talking to it......as well as manufacturing, shipping, accounts payable and janitorial.
He sells the ferrules separately at $11 per gross but you have to order them as they are not included.
He offers: black, antique, ginger, chocolate and natural.. Not sure if he has a burgundy or ox blood. You also need to specify black or brown reed tape. I get black on all but the natural and go with brown on those.

You can specify your width. I started out ordering 2' and 1 5/8" but on my subsequent orders settled on 1 3/4" to simplify inventory. The are better than Sullivan's IMO as I found his too soft. Singer's are soft but have more substance.
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
Thanks a bunch, Robert! Sounds real good.
Hancock sells a full grain lamb skin leather not unlike Sullivan’s; too soft and thin for my preference. These stiffer ones I got from him are pretty decent and look real nice, but for a thicker roan leather embossed sweat for maybe less I will be giving Swinger a call once I deplete some of the 25 already made.
I’ll tell him you sent me.
 
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
Thanks a bunch, Robert! Sounds real good.
Hancock sells a full grain lamb skin leather not unlike Sullivan’s; too soft and thin for my preference. These stiffer ones I got from him are pretty decent and look real nice, but for a thicker roan leather embossed sweat for maybe less I will be giving Swinger a call once I deplete some of the 25 already made.
I’ll tell him you sent me.
I place just one order a year for 6-8 dozen so he might not remember me. I am due to place an order in Jan/Feb. I think his minimum order is 5 dozen or so.
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
While Brent @deadlyhandsome is getting the 7 7/8 block made I figured I’d go ahead and wet block the nutria hat body he bought from Sunrise hat co. for a soon to be custom.
It’s on a composite 7 3/8 hat block from RA.
I wanted to see how this body reacted to stretching and it seems to be doing fine.
I’ve already pounced the top side brim, and not the crown—you can see that as it’s perched on a flange for these photos. It pounced really well, too. No mottling and smoothed right out when finishing with 800 grit after using 320 to start.
As is, it’s blocked at 5 3/4” crown X 4 1/8” at its narrowest brim width.
Neither of us know where we’re going with this hat from here, but neither are we in a hurry.
I decided while waiting on a much needed sewing machine that I’d take this body out for a spin. Does well, I’d say.
17D0940C-9CBC-4793-BBE8-E328202F81C9.jpeg
782ABF39-52D1-4E5C-B2E1-13DE0F553386.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
While Brent @deadlyhandsome is getting the 7 7/8 block made I figured I’d go ahead and wet block the nutria hat body he bought from Sunrise hat co. for a soon to be custom.
It’s on a composite 7 3/8 hat block from RA.
I wanted to see how this body reacted to stretching and it seems to be doing fine.
I’ve already pounced the top side brim, and not the crown—you can see that as it’s perched on a flange for these photos. It pounced really well, too. No mottling and smoothed right out when finishing with 800 grit after using 320 to start.
As is, it’s blocked at 5 3/4” crown X 4 1/8” at its narrowest brim width.
Neither of us know where we’re going with this hat from here, but neither are we in a hurry.
I decided while waiting on a much needed sewing machine that I’d take this body out for a spin. Does well, I’d say.
View attachment 560564 View attachment 560565
I heard an interview with the guy behind Sunrise and it seems he has worked out many of the issues he had when starting out. They used to mottle and discolour really easily and you had to be very careful not to get them wet and steamed at the same time as it would effect the dye. They were nice felts to work with other than the fear it would all go south with the next pass of the sandpaper. Glad to hear it is working out.
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
I heard an interview with the guy behind Sunrise and it seems he has worked out many of the issues he had when starting out. They used to mottle and discolour really easily and you had to be very careful not to get them wet and steamed at the same time as it would effect the dye. They were nice felts to work with other than the fear it would all go south with the next pass of the sandpaper. Glad to hear it is working out.

I had a talk with someone from Sunrise about an hour and half ago. He said his name, but don’t remember and probably couldn’t spell it with a gun to my head. Said they were based out of Berkeley, Michigan , but get their nutria bodies from Bolivia.
I think nutria fur is all they deal in.
I’m wanting to order a few bodies in the same color as the one above. Hard to tell when soaking wet, but it’s what they call “The Playa” color. He said it with an hard “i” sound. Anyway,
It’s a bone color, maybe a darker version.
I asked and he said they use a shellac based stiffener, which is good.
It truly sanded out easily and absolutely no mottle when I used either an orbital or vibratory sander or by hand. Wanted to try all three ways so I could know what’s up.
I’m impressed with it, though admittedly, I don’t have any experience using modern hat bodies. I’ve had mottling problems on some vintage felts and some not at all. Do you know what the difference is?
 
Last edited:
Messages
18,831
Location
Central California
I had a talk with someone from Sunrise about an hour and half ago. He said his name, but don’t remember and probably couldn’t spell it with a gun to my head. Said they were based out of Berkeley, Michigan , but get their nutria bodies from Belgium?
I think nutria fur is all they deal in.
I’m wanting to order a few bodies in the same color as the one above. Hard to tell when soaking wet, but it’s what they call “The Playa” color. He said it with an hard “i” sound. Anyway,
It’s a bone color, maybe a darker version.
I asked and he said they use a shellac based stiffener, which is good.
It truly sanded out easily and absolutely no mottle when I used either an orbital or vibratory sander or by hand. Wanted to try all three ways so I could know what’s up.
I’m impressed with it, though admittedly, I don’t have any experience using modern hat bodies. I’ve had mottling problems on some vintage felts and some not at all. Do you know what the difference is?


I think Sunrise is based in Berkeley, California. They also make finished hats as Hampui Hats. I can’t say that I’m their target audience for finished hats.

https://www.hampuihats.com/pages/our-story
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
Ah, Cali. Ha.
He only said Berkeley and I ended up googling it to find out where it might be.
Michigan was the one that came up.
I’ll have to look up Hampui hats, too. :)
 
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
I had a talk with someone from Sunrise about an hour and half ago. He said his name, but don’t remember and probably couldn’t spell it with a gun to my head. Said they were based out of Berkeley, Michigan , but get their nutria bodies from Bolivia.
I think nutria fur is all they deal in.
I’m wanting to order a few bodies in the same color as the one above. Hard to tell when soaking wet, but it’s what they call “The Playa” color. He said it with an hard “i” sound. Anyway,
It’s a bone color, maybe a darker version.
I asked and he said they use a shellac based stiffener, which is good.
It truly sanded out easily and absolutely no mottle when I used either an orbital or vibratory sander or by hand. Wanted to try all three ways so I could know what’s up.
I’m impressed with it, though admittedly, I don’t have any experience using modern hat bodies. I’ve had mottling problems on some vintage felts and some not at all. Do you know what the difference is?
I think it must be related to the process and batch. I went through a period where Winchester was very bad for mottling and I was afraid everytime I began to pounce. But lately they have been ok. My experience with the mottling of the Nutria was worse. They even warn you not to get it wet and hit it with steam as it will flash out the dye. It is a small operation in Bolivia that he discovered on his travels. So I stopped using them as they were so delicate and finnicky. Interesting interview with him (Willie) on "Hat Makers Podcast" on YouTube. A hatmaker out of Australia interviews a hatter from around the world about once a month. A lot of them are long and boring but once in while they get interesting.
 
Messages
10,272
Location
vancouver, canada
Pretty sure ole Nick fouquet and his cloners have that market sewn up.
But hey, if I could get $1500 for a hat I almost might think about using match sticks, bandannas, buzzard feathers and torch em up.
In the last 6 years the number of custom hatters in my area has gone from zero to 6. I am the only one making classic fedoras, one other making classic western hats and the other 4 are the modern BoHo distressed hats. The bad news is that they are charging upwards of $1200 for their 'creations'. I have no idea who is buying them but somebody is. So if you wanted to make any money at this endeavour then the BoHo is the way to go.
 

Randall Renshaw

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,702
Location
Nahunta, Ga.
I think it must be related to the process and batch. I went through a period where Winchester was very bad for mottling and I was afraid everytime I began to pounce. But lately they have been ok. My experience with the mottling of the Nutria was worse. They even warn you not to get it wet and hit it with steam as it will flash out the dye. It is a small operation in Bolivia that he discovered on his travels. So I stopped using them as they were so delicate and finnicky. Interesting interview with him (Willie) on "Hat Makers Podcast" on YouTube. A hatmaker out of Australia interviews a hatter from around the world about once a month. A lot of them are long and boring but once in while they get interesting.

So far, my method for blocking hats and this one hat body hasn’t included steam.
Just complete water saturation, work the wet felt over the block and let dry.
Only use steam when putting in creases on the finished hat.
And only use a steam iron on dry felt, as well.
I don’t know if that’s the best way to go, but to this point it’s been working well.

I may check out a few of them YouTube vids.
Thanks.
 

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