Tabletop Hatters of The Lounge

Discussion in 'Hats' started by ChicagoWayVito, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito A-List Customer

    Messages:
    440
    I appreciate the kind words. We all start somewhere, I have been fortunate to have a couple of mentors in hat making and there is a lot of great information here on the lounge.
     
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  2. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    One thing that made bnding a brim on the sewing machine was my lead foot. I never dreamed it would get me in trouble off the road!

    I picked this up today for a song. I probably could have even loballed the guy, but didn't have the heart for it.
    Its supposed to work![​IMG]

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  3. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver


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  4. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,600
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    That's really superb!
     
  5. bond

    bond My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,504
    Location:
    Third coast
    Nice to see all the good work going on here!
    Here’s a Stetson I picked up last week here in the classifieds from williebob. There was no liner or sweatband in the hat but I liked the color and wide brim so I took a chance on the felt being good and it was.
    Washed it out and reblocked ,upsize to fit 7 1/2, added Vented sweatband and made a silk liner for it. Brim is 3 3/8. Color is a faded toasted almond with a patina colored golden ribbons. Cleaned up real nice and steamed even better. Thicker than a stratoliner but not as thick as a 3x . [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  6. Armando

    Armando New in Town

    Messages:
    9
    Wouldn't the Jiffy do the same thing? I'm looking for the right iron as well. Gathering as much info as I can while I start to purchase all I need to start making hats.
     
  7. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    I did a video call to my daughter yesterday and the twins were right there. Hi Grandpa! was Molly's welcome, but the first thing Liberty said was, Are you working on our hats?
    I asked for head measurements a while back and they must have asked why. My daughter said Grandpa is going to make you hats. It stuck with Libs.
    When my sister's death brought them here much sooner than expected, she came down to my shop looking at the hats everywhere and asked if I had her hat. Molly followed suit, but probably wouldn't have thought about it on her own. They also saw some of the colored thrift store hats and started placing their orders.
    My intention had been to make blocks, then work on felts when I had time, to present in the Fall.
    I realized it wasn't going to work, at least with Libby. At 3 years old she already compliments my hat when we do face time.
    So, I began looking around at my inventory.
    Here's a hack to produce quick kid size hats from old straw hats lying around. I guess you could call it reverse blocking.
    I had a couple of cheap straw youth cowboy hats, ones you can order in 6 or 12 packs for child parties, with half trimmed blue and half red. I'm not sure what size they were for the party, but by the time I got them they fit on my 7 1/8 head just fine. Liberty and my grandson, Abel, have almost the same size head, so I designated those 2 for them. Molly is tiny, with a smaller head, 18 1/4". I saw this silly gondoleer straw I had 2 of for her
    I soaked the hats, but instead of stretching them over a block, I found disposable plastic containers of the right size. One from Cool Whip worked for Molly, and potato salad for the others. I heated the plastic with my heat gun to oval the tubs, then compressed the straw into smaller crowns with my hands before shoving them into the reverse blocks before leaving them there to dry. I sprayed them with shellac when they had, removing them after that had dried.
    I painted the two for the twins with spray paint last night, then picked my trimms.
    Abel will get his own straw OR clone and Molly a clone Boss, though both will have edge binding because I cut the straw. Librty was doing the Yee-Ha on the rocking horse, so I gave her a riders hat. Here they are waiting for me to sew on trim.

    The last pic is the hat Molly's came from. That oval must be 7 3/4.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  8. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    I should have mentioned in the kid hat hack post that we're headed to KC this weekend. Arriving empty handed didn't seem like an option.

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  9. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    Did you read Westerns growing up?
    I mean the romance fiction of the westward expansion. Stories about woodsmen at Fort Henry in the early years, or mountain men whe kept moving ahead, leaving genteel society behind, but it's unwilling vanguard when the full story unfolded. The beaver drew them, and they trapped rivers, creeks and streams from Spanish territory which is now New Mexico, to country many moons north for a man on horseback. Waters iced in the morning a third of the year, but flowing on to the great, muddy river, the Colorado (color red) which ground its way south through chasms difficult to grasp, even when seeing them, taking the snows of Northern peaks to the hot, arid South. Did someone first mutter, "my lying eyes" while watching big Red plunge into the Grand Canyon? It wouldn't surprise me.
    But when they chased ol' beave north, rivers beyond those headwaters with names like Yellowstone, Snake, Dirty Devil shed their waters on the other side of the divide, but gave up their pelts all the same.
    The beaver became harder to find, but fashions change for reasons hard to understand. Hats made from the labors of a worm gained ascendancy over furs that had given succor for well over two centuries.
    Beaver trappers were no longer in demand. They were out of work. A little side gig was available, guiding the military and a few stalwart pioneers through lands sometimes as fickle and dangerous as they were beautiful.
    Guiding work picked up when war broke out/ armies needed meat as well, after all, and their harvesting opened the world to another animal ripe for deciman p to supply demand for protection from the elements.
    The great herds of the American bison became the next great decimation. Of animals and also of the natives who's economy relied upon them.
    All day the big guns boomed. The buffs fell by the hundreds, then the thousands. When the westering sun began to slip toward the horizon men set guns aside. They honed their knives, then ventured into the killing fields for long, hard nights of unending toil skinning the monsters they had peppered the land with. The meat they mostly left to rot, but the hides came off, providing for the whims of demand and for the fickle tides of fashion.
    In that spirit I changed hats, and am now skinning the docile beast that was a great friend for much of the last 30 years, and who once drew an almost obscene price when we brought her home. As I take my knife to her I can almost hear the spirits of others who once camped along the Platte river less than 1/4 mile West. White men telling me what I do is nothing compared to matching wits with the beaver, or even shooting buffalo like giant fish in a barrel. But I hear another voice of a pragmatic people who never quite knew what change was doing to them. The voices say, "Heap many sweatbands!"[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  10. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,702
    Save the furniture dude!!
    Buy some cheap leather jackets in the classifieds for your “heap-o-sweats!!
    I’ll take a few horsehides, some goats and maybe a steer or two, when you finish them out! Lol
     
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  11. Cornshucker77

    Cornshucker77 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,053
    Location:
    Northeast Nebraska, USA
    I like your imagination man. Nice work.
     
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  12. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    I have butchered a jacket or two, but this was a $5k sofa. Even the hidden areas are leather, not vinyl. Sweet hide, and I like the fake tooled embossing.
    It's much more fun to write about than dismembering jackets too.

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  13. Sage Brush

    Sage Brush New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Howdy,
    I’m new to FL and I’m looking for a source for bulk Hatter’s Sizing/Stiffener for fur felt hat making.
    I’m an old hat maker or at least I was until I went on sabbatical about 15 years ago to pursue being a property manager in the Black Hills of SD (outside work and it pays better).
    I retained all my tools, equipment, blocks, flanges and etc. because I knew I’d eventually build hats again.
    Without going into detail I’m starting to make a few hats again and I see that sources for hat makers supplies has fallen off even more than what was available 20 years ago.
    Anyway, I have about a half gallon of sizing/stiffener left but since I build primarily working western hats I know I need to find more in the near future.
    I’ve tried googling sizing, stiffener, lacquer etc. to no avail.
    Are there any hat makers out there willing to share a source? I’d be much obliged.
    Thanks,
    Sage Brush
     
  14. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats A-List Customer

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    Southern California
    Several options... Hats by Leko https://www.hatsupply.com

    sells it both in the liquid form, pre-mixed, or dry; the blonde shellac in a bag that you can mix yourself. I have both.

    M&F Products sells it in a spray bottle but I've not used it and I don't see it as nearly as good in quality. (MY perception anyway) Since you'll be using it bulk, I'd go the first route. Or, you can buy your own blonde shellac and make it yourself. There's a good video clip on YouTube:

    Best of luck to you and welcome to both the Forum and back into hat making!
     
  15. humanshoes

    humanshoes Vendor

    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Welcome back to the hat biz Sage Brush and welcome to the Lounge. Good leads here from Mustang Mike. On the very rare occasion that I need additional stiffener I use the ready made stuff from Leko. I bought a gallon 3 or 4 years ago and still have most of it left. I don't know what the hat bodies were like 15 years ago when you stopped making hats, but I personally find the modern bodies, western and dress, are more than stiff enough, if not too stiff, just as they are. I'd love to buy hat bodies that have the same pliability, suppleness, and tight felting that the old ones had, but I believe, sadly, that those are a thing of the past. Anyway, best of luck to you in your future endeavors and happy hatting.
     
  16. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    Well, it took a while, but cosed loop binding is ready for the sewing machine.

    But now I have to go earn some money!

    (That's a replacement sofa in the background. I didnt kill the old one just to skin it for sweatbands .... I mean, really!)[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  17. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    Is the shellac you mix yourself from chips any different, and better, than the Zinzer Bullsey shellac I've been using, mainly because I already had some.
     
  18. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Practically Family

    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Denver
    I love to come to the lounge, but it sometimes keeps me from other things. The thing I had planned to work on today was a hatmaking project, but I got so wrapped up in other fascinating hat features that not much has happened in the production department.
    I finally got sewing machines back up and running, and even commandeered a wide hall outside of my woodshop/hatshop to use for sewing. I also need to move all of my inventory hooks put here. Using the other space for woodwork makes too much dust, so I can only have a hat tree and couple of hooks in there for hats in process there. Everything else has to migrate away from the dust.
    However, today I intended to show my reeded sweatband project.
    I completed my first prototype a couple of days ago. It's small, about 1", and somewhat crude, or at least unpolished. Functionally, I believe it will be perfectly servicable. It's destined for a hat for one of the three grandchildren.
    My pictures show the first one, including some areas for improvement, and also show the next 6 I plan to make. The next three will be additional small ones, and they're on the masonite surface I used to cut leather. I'm hoping they will evolve, improving each time until I get to the 1 5/8" three destined for nicer hats. One of my vintage milan straws had an immitation leather sweat that I thought was thin leather right up until the naptha made a mess of it. I have another vintage straw that also had a sweatband that was a completely convincing fake leather, and a fur felt fedora with one either fake or some sort of laminated leather.
    The source I've used for roan reeded sweats prices out at about $10/ with shipping. It's a decent price. I've seen them much higher. But if I can knock out leather reeded sweats for a couple of bucks each the number of hats I'll be willing to put them in will inrease tenfold. I see a lot of hats that are pretty nice, "if not for that crappy sweat and trim".
    These I hope will be perfect for them. Time to post some pictures, then get sewing![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  19. Rockwater

    Rockwater A-List Customer

    Messages:
    379
    E7A08C1E-D188-47DD-A780-E6521814782A.jpeg Custom mahogany block made for a FL’er. See more in Photos of Hatters Tools thread.
     
  20. ^^^^^ I'd almost hate to cover that up with a hat. That's a beauty @Rockwater !
     

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