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What Hat Are You Working On Today?

VoodooSan

Practically Family
Messages
954
Location
Caldwell, ID
Can I see a side view of your final crease?
Here you go, Bill:
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VoodooSan

Practically Family
Messages
954
Location
Caldwell, ID
Newest project delivered by the nice mailman today. A decently nice but dirty Stetson Gun Club hat ( no tag inside so Im not really sure exactly WHAT it actually is lol) The hat band looks like the ones that Ive seen on the "Billy the Kid" line hat, so Im pretty sure its not original. Buts a decent looking band for now. Brims a bit bigger than most of my others (3 1/4" in front/ rear, and 2 7/8" on sides). Ill leave it alone till ive cleaned it up a bit then may tale a hair off later. It just about the same size and dimensions as my Akubra Lawson) Has a few stains that brushing doesnt seem to change, so I suspect it will get dis-assembeled and get a gas bath at some point. Till then Ill just use it as a rough around bad weather hat. I think it will clean up just fine



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Wow, those really ARE similar! Looks like the new one's gonna be a great bad weather hat!
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Wow, those really ARE similar! Looks like the new one's gonna be a great bad weather hat!
Akubra is a bit more center dent and crown sides are a bit more tapered, and the Gun Club is more teardrop bash with a bit straighter sides. Their both attractive.. each in it own way. Cant wait till I get some of the darker splotches out. Till then Ill just camouflage it with either a really loud shirt lol
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
The whole point of having a couple walls full of hats is to avoid having multiple hats that all look the same! As a case point, Ive somehow ended up with 4 different Sovereign Temples over time.. all in different colors, all have a different feel / hand to the felt, and they all have a slightly different shape. Looking at them on the wall, yould have a hard time believing they all started out as the same model.
 

VoodooSan

Practically Family
Messages
954
Location
Caldwell, ID
Akubra is a bit more center dent and crown sides are a bit more tapered, and the Gun Club is more teardrop bash with a bit straighter sides. Their both attractive.. each in it own way. Cant wait till I get some of the darker splotches out. Till then Ill just camouflage it with either a really loud shirt lol
ALWAYS a solid plan!
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Alrighty now! Got a bit of cleaning, a bit of really light 800 grit sanding, and some steaming done. Took a serious look at the brim and did end up taking 1/4 " off the brim... Now 2-3/4" front and back and 2-1/2 on sides... steamed and ironed the side "wings" a bit flatter....its more "me" now. Still going to need some more serious cleaning to get some of the splotches out. Im thinking Ill try a foaming cleaner before I dive into a gas bath. Im all for NOT dis-assembeling a hat if I dont have to. As it is, its way cleaner and more than wearable now... For a casual hat, that braided leather band is growing on me... think Im going to leave it there for a while. I can call it a day now

Didnt notice that Moose the Lab photo-bombed himself into the background when I took the pics... Oh well, at least hes scratching and not licking! lol


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VoodooSan

Practically Family
Messages
954
Location
Caldwell, ID
Alrighty now! Got a bit of cleaning, a bit of really light 800 grit sanding, and some steaming done. Took a serious look at the brim and did end up taking 1/4 " off the brim... Now 2-3/4" front and back and 2-1/2 on sides... steamed and ironed the side "wings" a bit flatter....its more "me" now. Still going to need some more serious cleaning to get some of the splotches out. Im thinking Ill try a foaming cleaner before I dive into a gas bath. Im all for NOT dis-assembeling a hat if I dont have to. As it is, its way cleaner and more than wearable now... For a casual hat, that braided leather band is growing on me... think Im going to leave it there for a while. I can call it a day now

Didnt notice that Moose the Lab photo-bombed himself into the background when I took the pics... Oh well, at least hes scratching and not licking! lol


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It's looking good, Rick. And Moose is always welcome to put in an appearance!
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
I pulled the liner out of the Gun Club getting ready for a gas bath cleaning in the morning (too many mosquitos out this evening) No identifying tag inside, but I did find a receipt tucked under the liner from the Stetson Outlet store.... $49.95 in Jan of 1993. Guess that explains the hole punched in the sweatband maybe? At least I learned a little bit about its history. Got the paper size tag and back bow removed so nothing happens and theyll still look new after reinstalling.

The Sweatband is in great shape, but Im a bit nervous about the gas bath... its looking like its a man made leather like material... ( as a leather hobbiest, we see lots of "Genuine Leather" tags during repairs that usually mean leather and paper dust in a glue binder thats pressed into shape... we jokingly call is "Pleather"). I played with some spot cleaning all afternoon, and this poor thing REALLY does need a full bath so I dont really have a choice. If things dont go well for the sweat, I DO have two nice lambskin ones I can replace it with

I did find a little cut on the edge of the hatband and have the edges gluing overnight. Ill prob add a couple of stitches tomorrow for reinforcement and give it a good Pecards treatment. I dont think its the original band anyway so one way or the other no biggie, Ill prob go through my ribbon box and see if Ive got a good match if the felt cleans up well. I kinda like the old "Campaign ribbon" like I found a picture of and posted earlier today...
ribbon.jpg
that would look pretty cool if I decide to retire the leather band.

So far its a fairly typical rebuild... felt is in decent shape except for lots of stains /dirt, a few warts, but does have lots of potential





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RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Cleaning day! Just finished the bath for a SIlverbelly Moose River. It wasnt horrible but was a bit dingy and the ribbon was kinda browninsh. Out to dry now and already looks better

Already have the grungy Gun Club presoaked and is now doing the every 15-20 min sloshing for the next couple hrs. It had some really nasty spots so Im not going to rush that one... update to come later!

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RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Well the Gun Club hat is out of the gas and drying. Its definately a LOT cleaner but will need some brushing, steaming, and ironing. At least the big brown blotches are gone... Im guessing the previous owner wore it while rebuilding car engines. Lots of gunk left in the bottom of the container... glad I use a stainless steel grill that fits on the bottom (kept the felt up out of the sludge). Turned the gas a nice green/ brown tint. Thinking there was lots of oil in that hat... not just dirt. Big news is that my fears were confirmed.... the man made "leather" sweatband did NOT survive. (Thank you 1990's Stetson for using such quality material lol) Shrunk down to about a size 6 in the gas and got rock hard when it started drying... Not even any Stetson markings on the cheap sweatband so no big loss.... one of the spare premade lambskin sweatbands I have on hand will be just fine. (Tan will look better than black anyway) Ill add a stamping from my leather Makers stamp so it wont just be a plain leather. Time to let it dry, and I guess I get to sew in a new sweatband tonight. Nothing like a challenge! if it was easy, everyone would do it lol


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ruvort

One of the Regulars
Messages
137
Location
Portland area
I had some misfortune yesterday while sprucing up a vintage hat.

I was working with a new steamer and didn't realize it would get so hot... But I was steaming like normal and all of the sudden I got too close to the leather sweatband and it curled badly on me.

Needless to say I am extremely distraught...

To add insult to injury I had just conditioned the sweatband, so it was a complete waste of time all around.
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
I had some misfortune yesterday while sprucing up a vintage hat.

I was working with a new steamer and didn't realize it would get so hot... But I was steaming like normal and all of the sudden I got too close to the leather sweatband and it curled badly on me.

Needless to say I am extremely distraught...

To add insult to injury I had just conditioned the sweatband, so it was a complete waste of time all around.
at least yours didnt melt lol
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Well I got the Gun Club dried, reshaped, new sweatband in the english tan sheepskin looks and feels way better than the cheap man made leather black one), the hatband is reassembled and stitched on, the shape is good, it feels just fine BUT.... After cleaning and getting about a cup of dried oil out of it, the felt has a definate blotchy-ness to it (reminds me of a buddys old Blue Heeler dog) Ok in daylight, but in subdued light its a bit dissappointing. I have zero experience with any of the coloring powders that Stetson and Resistol have heard they sometimes use. Im kinda guessing the cleaning bath removed some of it ( any experiences and suggestions are welcome). Maybe a proper dye would work, but I really dont feel like dissassembling again, considering my past less- then- sucessful experiences with trying to dye shirts and jackets. ( and I really done need another Black or Dark Brown hat)The oil HAD to come out so it is what it is. There was a definate discoloration under the hatband, so I decided to just reinstall the braided leather band. It looks fine and covers everything up ( if you cant see it... its not there)

Call it what it is... an inexpensive used hat. Guess I could just spray it down with scotch-gard and call it my newest bad weather hat and be done with it. Any learning experience is a good experience. Besides...nothing wrong with a semi rough looking, really casual fishing hat lol

Maybe it will look better in the morning?


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shopkin

Familiar Face
Messages
70
I guess you tried brushing the blotches out with the stiff side of a hat brush. Since the blotches change with the lighting there might be some nap involved.
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
In the light of a new day... things dont look quite as ominous as they did last night... Blotchiness seems to have toned down a bit..( maybe some of the spots didnt dry as quickly as others?) I think it will be perfectly usable. Even put the feather back in lol. Im still thinking of doing some scotch-guarding and make this a dedicated foul weather / rough use hat

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RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Pulled a little brim maintenance on the Soverign Temples today (Sage, Carbon, Mink and Black)... Theyre pretty soft felt, and some of the brims were getting kind of saggy and womperjawed from the wall rack. Little bit of steaming, flanging, ironing and brushing and they snap a little better...we're good to go for a while now




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RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Just for info... 3 of the 4 Temples are way softer than my Stratoliner ( the carbon is basically new and still has a bit of body to it). My two Akubra StyleMasters have just a hair firmer hand to the felt, and the brim binding allows a little lower brim maintenance but I thinbk they are almost as comfortable. Someday (Maybe) ill decide I like one more than the other lol. Till then Ill probably just keep picking up more things I dont have ( Kind of the old "he who dies with the most toys wins" attitude)
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
After a couple really hot sweaty, yard sessions in a brutal sun, Ive decided I needed another option to to prevent sweat soaking a nice straw. Back in my closet was a 12 yr old 10x Larry Mahan western straw that got pretty crushed during my move here. It fits real well but it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down lol. Since its got way more brim than I usually wear, and its already pre abused, I thought it might be a great candidate to re-hab and re-purpose. More shade area and I wont be worrying about getting it sweaty, wet, or dirty. Got the wire brim tamed back into shape, steamed and smoothed out some wrinkles in the straw. Since I had the steamer out for the brim anyway, I softened up the crown and did a little reblocking and smoothing. Pretty much got the cattlemans crease removed and did a teardrop with a couple front dents. Guess its a bit of a western/ suburban/ crossover now. It may take a few days to finish getting all the wrinkles totally out , but its at least up to shape for lawn mowing and bbq duties. Always good to recycle an old hat


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VoodooSan

Practically Family
Messages
954
Location
Caldwell, ID
After a couple really hot sweaty, yard sessions in a brutal sun, Ive decided I needed another option to to prevent sweat soaking a nice straw. Back in my closet was a 12 yr old 10x Larry Mahan western straw that got pretty crushed during my move here. It fits real well but it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down lol. Since its got way more brim than I usually wear, and its already pre abused, I thought it might be a great candidate to re-hab and re-purpose. More shade area and I wont be worrying about getting it sweaty, wet, or dirty. Got the wire brim tamed back into shape, steamed and smoothed out some wrinkles in the straw. Since I had the steamer out for the brim anyway, I softened up the crown and did a little reblocking and smoothing. Pretty much got the cattlemans crease removed and did a teardrop with a couple front dents. Guess its a bit of a western/ suburban/ crossover now. It may take a few days to finish getting all the wrinkles totally out , but its at least up to shape for lawn mowing and bbq duties. Always good to recycle an old hat


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Nicely done, Rick!
 

RickP

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Gently scrubbed with some alcoholand a microfiber cloth to remove some nasty deteriorating laquer. Stripped the hat down a bit and misted it down to wet the straw and did some reblocking and wrinkle removal. Finally found a good use for an old stainless photo roller... hat on block and use the roller to smooth out wrinkles without risking hard scrubbing or stretching, Looks a lot better now so Im wearing it around the house till it dries a bit. Getting rid of the wrinkles, cattlemans crease, and gummed up lacquer really helped. Still way bigger a cover than I normally sport, but I forsee many happy hours under its shade on the lawnmower!

Ill get the band sewn back on and the crown label reattached after its all dry. This is really the first semi big job of straw rehab ive tried. Its definately a bit different than working on felt. Tempted to do some work on one of Dads old straws.. its grungy and just a bit snug. Think its going to be a total strip down, and a long slow stretching while its damp. If anyones had experience with minor straw stretching Id welcome any knowledge!



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