Shaping Keaton hat

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Canadave, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    Below, you'll see 4 views of a hat I'm working on. I formed this Keaton shape without water or steam. I now want to smooth out the kinks that are obvious in that last view.

    I have access to mineral-free steam. Any advice before I get started? (I know the brim is larger than his would be, but I'm not sure I want to cut it down.)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mr E Train

    Mr E Train One Too Many

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    That looks really good to me, but I agree that it would be nice to get those kinks out around the telescope. I'm sure someone will be able to give some helpful advice. I just wanted to say that personally, I like the upturn of the brim on yours more than Keaton's usually very flat brim.
     
  3. Stan

    Stan A-List Customer

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    Hi,

    A series of steamings and working with your fingers will fix that telescope crown nicely. I've reworked a number of western hats with boxtops and such into gamblers that way. Yours should be easier as the felt is thinner. :)

    If you dampen the brim with some distilled water out of a spray bottle, and then use a household iron on a medium setting with a lint-free cloth between the iron and the brim, you can flatten it out as you'd like.

    The key is to work it a little at a time, section by section rather than trying to to it all in one fell swoop.

    later!

    Stan
     
  4. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    Hi again,

    It's been a little while since I posted this, but I've since used steam on the crown and worked it with my fingers. It's not much better. Is it really possible to smooth out all those "kinks", or might Keaton's actual hat have looked the same? (No one would see those kinks while on my head...I'm tall enough. :D )
     
  5. Viper Man

    Viper Man Banned

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    Don't bother with the steam, just spray the hat with water and then shape it. You'll be able to get a nice smooth shape if you wet it down good.
     
  6. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

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    Go on You Tube and search Roy Rogers shapes hat and Roy will tell you all about using water to get a perfect crown crease with no wrinkles. He really does a good job explaining the whole thing and how he used water to perfect his bullseye, crease within a crease style.
    Good luck .... and the brim looks fine

    Sam

    PS Buster Keaton was born in Kansas, you know!
     
  7. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    Thanks guys, I'll try both your suggestions. I forgot to mention that, as you can see from one of the photos, I've left the liner in, but I read one suggestion that says to remove the liner for this procedure. How important do you think this is?

    edit: Sam, that video was amazing. If anyone hasn't seen it, check it out here -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OisMaRcdQI
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  8. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

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    "Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat that ate your new shoes?"

    Don't know about his shoes, but the cat knew his hats.

    I know what he meant about changing hat styles.
    I was probably the only kid in our neighborhood who picked up on that, or who had messed with enough cast off old dress hats to understand the massive difference between a good hat ... even a beat up one ... and the cheap wool felt cowboy hats we got as kids.

    Nevertheless, I can still remember the excitement I felt the day ... it must have been in 1958 ... when my genuine Lone Ranger hat came in the mail.

    What a moment!

    Anyway .... Roy knew which end of the hat was up. It makes you wonder how much control he had over the rest of his outfit, from the boots on up.

    Sam
     
  9. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    OK, I got some warm, distilled water to it from a sprayer, then worked it like Roy Rogers. :D Better, but not perfect.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

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    Heres a pretty good video of how to make a Keaton hat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LIucjouJPE

    I don't really agree with the video's way of cutting the brim or the fact that he is just using sink water, but as far as shaping the crown, I think he's pretty spot on. When I cut a brim, I use a tailor's tape roll and take a pencil and mark every inch or so all the way around the brim to maintain a constant and even width. Then once i'm done cutting a brim, I will use several grits of sandpaper to sand the edge and make sure the edge looks to be just as good as a factory cut.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  11. danofarlington

    danofarlington My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Good enough.
     
  12. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig One Too Many

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    Dan
    That looks terrific.

    The Great Stone Face would be proud.

    It was Piqua, Kansas, where he was born and look what Wikipedia says about his hat ...

    Keaton designed and fabricated many of his own pork pie hats during his career. In 1964, he told an interviewer that in making the pork pie, he started with a good Stetson hat and cut it down, stiffening the brim with concentrated sugar water. The hats were often destroyed during Keaton's wild movie antics; some were given away as gifts and some were snatched by souvenir hunters. Keaton said he was lucky if he used only six hats in making a film. Keaton estimated that he and his wife Eleanor made thousands of the hats during his career

    You did a great job,

    Sam
     
  13. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    Thanks Sam. I hope Buster (and Roy) would be proud. ;)
     
  14. job

    job One Too Many

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    Here is a top view of Keatons hat.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. zetwal

    zetwal I'll Lock Up

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    Interesting ... and well done ... ;)
     
  16. job

    job One Too Many

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    The way you press the crown down to the sweatband then back up makes it look like the hat would only sit on top of your head mostly. I don't think you could pull it down on your head far. One day I'll buy a old hat and make me a Keaton pork pie since I am huge fan.
     
  17. Canadave

    Canadave One Too Many

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    Hey, thanks. That makes my job look pretty good.
     

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