Tabletop Hatters of The Lounge

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

  1. Bertie.Wooster

    Bertie.Wooster One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    London, UK
    I am thinking of purchasing a new iron. Should I purchase a steam or a dry iron? I am buying one only for hatmaking. I already have a jiffy-style steamer.
     
  2. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats A-List Customer

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Southern California
    Most hatters I'm acquainted with use a steam iron. Good one's aren't cheap, but worth the expense if you're serious about working on hats.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  3. Bertie.Wooster

    Bertie.Wooster One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    London, UK
    Any brand or model recommendations?
     
  4. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,441
    Location:
    Denver
    Try the thrift stores. I have a decent steam iron I paid less than $10 for, and I've seen the fancy new ones that work vertical for a little less than $20.
    You will sometimes tilt it wrong and pour water out with a traditional one.
    At least I do.
     
    Dm101 likes this.
  5. humanshoes

    humanshoes One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I agree with Mustang Mike on this one. Buy a good quality steam iron. Also very handy for those little touch ups when you don't want to fire up the Jiffy.
     
    Dm101 likes this.
  6. hatsRme

    hatsRme I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Boston area
  7. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito A-List Customer

    Messages:
    498
    This is the one that I use and I really like it. You have a button to provide a lot of steam. I would also but the Teflon sole plate for it as well, I use it for ribbon swirling.

    Reliable 3000IS 3/8-Gallon Professional Ironing System, Made in Italy https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00170HVFO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_U2JUCb4QBE83Y
     
  8. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito A-List Customer

    Messages:
    498
    If the Reliable is too expensive then I would go with something like this:

    Rowenta Perfect 1800-Watt Eco Energy Station Steam Iron, Purple https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FZM1PUM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_MvKUCbZCY6DCE

    I like steam station or steam boiler irons for the higher pressures and the control
     
    Armando likes this.
  9. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,441
    Location:
    Denver
    I'm not sure I'm going about sharing this the correct way, but trust it will be relocated to the correct place if not. I've been a shopper on the discount shopping app, Wish.com for a while. Certain really inexpensive things for autos, trucks and SUVs are now available on eBay and Amazon for very close to the same price, but I still watch Wish for new things they bring up.
    Today I ordered an item that looked like it may make a tolerable brim cutter until I can afford a rounding jack. It measures and guides from the brim to the blade, not from the crown, so will be better for sizing down brims than trying to cut a freshly blocked and flanged felt. I'm wondering if I can figure a way to use the flange block to guide the initial shape, then size it after taking that hat off of the block. We'll see.
    Wish sells it as a leather cutter, but I fail to see why it would not cut felt just as well. I paid $10 for it this morning while my wife was behind the wheel on our way to church, plus $7 for express shipping. I'll post more about it after it arrives and I have a chance to try it out.
    I thought I'd share it now though, in case anyone else want to brainstorm with me on ways to make it pay.
    Happy Resurrection Sunday everyone!
    (I wore my Panama for a premature straw hat day this morning)


    I hope my file upload worked.
     

    Attached Files:

    ruvort likes this.
  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,608
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Yes, give us a review. The only other i have seen is $50 from china in metal and it too designed as a keather
     
  11. ChicagoWayVito

    ChicagoWayVito A-List Customer

    Messages:
    498
    That item is a leather strap cutter and I don't think it will work well for cutting felt on a hat body but I may be wrong. First, notice that for leather use the leather is going between the two wooden pieces that is coming out the side of it. In leather working the only way it works is if the edge is already straight and requires that you first straight edge it with a knife and straight edge ruler. You won't be able to get the hat body felt between the pieces of wood without first using scissors and cutting into it. You would have to have the felt ride on top of the wood that comes out the side. It will require the brim to be stiff a bit in order to pull it through without causing the felt to bind up. Also, note that hat bodies do not come with perfect edges on them, which is why we using the rounding jack to index off the crown. If you want to use this kind of tool then you want a different type of leather strap tool called a draw gauge and they are made by CS Osborne. I have seen Bob of Black Sheep Hatworks post a picture to his Instagram account showing the draw gauge in use to cut the brim. Link to BSHW picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlYH_JCgl0W/
     
    Mustang Mike's Hats likes this.
  12. Moviehats

    Moviehats One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I have a Black and Decker steam iron. Used it for years and works great.
     
  13. Moviehats

    Moviehats One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Leather cutter. Brim won't be round.
     
    Cornshucker77 and deadlyhandsome like this.
  14. If you are okay with it referencing on the brim edge (requires a symmetrical brim...modifying an already completed hat?), and you’re looking to not spend too much, then why not just use the existing M&F Western Brim Cutter?


    [​IMG]


    Or you can contact @humanshoes and get one of his rounding jacks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  15. Mustang Mike's Hats

    Mustang Mike's Hats A-List Customer

    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Southern California
    Agreed. Most hat bodies , if you start from scratch, (and sometimes even when you don't), aren't consistent from the crown to the edge of the brim. That said, even if you did have a stiff enough brim, the consistency of the cut from crown to brim would be uneven if you begin the cut from the edge of that brim.
     
    Cornshucker77 and Moviehats like this.
  16. humanshoes

    humanshoes One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I do applaud you for thinking outside the hat box Hat and Rehat. You just never know when you might hit upon an idea that proves to be an effective substitute for proven methods. In the earlier days of my hat making journey I tried many shortcuts and cost saving workarounds. Some were, to some degree, successful and some were destined to fail. With that being said, my leather strap cutting tool and my hat brim cutting tool are located at opposite ends of my house. Just as nature intended.
     
  17. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,441
    Location:
    Denver
     
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  18. Hat and Rehat

    Hat and Rehat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,441
    Location:
    Denver
    Did you ever see that movie, Heartbreak Ridge? Clint Eastwood is a hard drinking Gunnery Sgt., trying to get a bunch of misfits that seem to have enlisted in the XXXX marines thinking there would never be another war, combat ready. They don't take him seriously until he fires some AK rounds over their head (not in any of the training manuals, I expect). After that he gives them a big talk about how, in the field, you have to improvise. The XXXX Corps is sure to lay some kind of cluster on them, but they need to improvise and get the job done.
    That's why I do it. I'm Gunny Sargent Highway! Well, other than the fact I'm not as tall. And, come to think of it, I'm not as good looking. I don't have as much hair, either. Enough said on that.
    Improvising does seem to be in my nature. The truth is, though, the ten bucks really got my attention. I improvise because I'm cheap. I was getting more and more interested in hats, then ordered and read Henry Ermatinger's book, Scientific Hat Finishing and Renovating. He made it sound like a beginning hatter could start with a few tools, and learn as he goes. I'm a carpenter, or more properly a remodel carpenter, or handyman in an earlier vernacular, because my skill set branches into several trades, not just carpentry, per se. I've always worked with my hands, but there was a lot of back, legs, shoulders, etc. involved too. I'm 61. The back always hurts. Both shoulders have had rotator cuff surgery with less than stellar results (grim ones in my left, weak shoulder). I don't think I can do what I do for very much longer, and I don't possess the kind of nest egg needed for a cushy retirement.
    This is fun, and I enjoy it immensely, but I'm in no position to take on an expensive hobby. I feel a strong pressure to get a real, monetary return on what I spend, and I think I have a business plan developing that will be enjoyable, as well as economically rewarding, and I don't see anyone else in the industry doing what I plan to do. I became very excited after reading Ermatinger's book, but then experienced a real downer calculating cost for hat blocks, flange blocks, a special sewing machine for sweat bands, etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    humanshoes, Dm101 and deadlyhandsome like this.
  19. I’d edit your post if I were you. Have you ever seen what happens when a Marine is misidentified as a soldier? The Marine Corp and Army are not interchangeable. ;)


    All you really need is a block(s) and flange(s). You can probably improvise the rest. You will not get the same quality results as those with the specialized tools, but you can make a wearable hat without too much of an investment. Sweatbands and brim binding can be sewn on by hand, a tea kettle can be used for steam, a standard clothes iron can be put to use, etc. Still, if you want to do all the common sizes you will need to spend a few thousand dollars at a minimum. After that, you have to make your way in a market with some great hatters selling hats at very reasonable prices. It’s something you need to have a passion for. Some of the hatters take on apprentices or just temporary employees where you can learn the trade and the tricks. What I just don’t get is the new hatter who is learning his/her trade and offering hats at the same price (or even more) than the established masters who have all the specialized equipment and knowledge. When a new hatter starts out, particularly if they are doing it on the cheap, their prices should reflect their knowledge, investment, and brand recognition. There have been a few new hatters that I’ve thought to try, but for the price of their hats I could get a custom from a recognized master. And it’s not just the name brand, I can get a better hat for the same or less by going with the established hatter. There is always room at the top, but it seems like a labor of love for most rather than a significant profit making proposition. Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  20. Dm101

    Dm101 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    497
    Location:
    Maryland
    You got to him before I did...
    I was fired up when I read that.
    :eek:o_O
     
    Hat and Rehat likes this.

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