The Start of a New Hat

J. Matthew Phipps | November 23, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Started a new hat. I’m going to follow with a post each step of the way.  This one has a special purpose that I’ll reveal later. This hat will also have a name. But, for now, check this one.

The New Special Hat

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Hat Blocks: Crowns and Flanges For Sale

J. Matthew Phipps | November 16, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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These are a just a few of blocks that we are listing for sale. With over 800 pieces, it will be difficult to list them all. We have various domes from smooth rounded to flat. Our brim flanges are a mix of smooth rounds, ovals, westerns, bowlers, snap brims. Contact me with your needs and I’ll tell you if we can help.

Prices are between $75 and $150 with breaks for combos.

3 Crowns With Character

3 Crowns With Character

Bowler Brim

Bowler Brim

Smooth Round and Crown Together

Smooth Round and Crown Together

Smooth Round and Crown

Smooth Round and Crown

Smooth Round and Crown

Smooth Round and Crown

Crown

Crown

Crown

Crown

Flat and Flatter

Flat and Flatter

Crowns

Crowns

Crowns

Crowns

Western Oval

Western Oval

Western Oval

Western Oval

Squared Brim

Squared Brim

Snap Brim

Snap Brim

Bowler Brim

Bowler Brim

Bowler Brim

Bowler Brim

Category: Blocks, Equipment/Tools TAG: , , , ,

Hat Blocks for Sale

J. Matthew Phipps | October 5, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

We’ve started selling our hat blocks. I’ve been spending free time cleaning and cataloging the Houston shipment of blocks. At this point, I’m about 20% through. We have some wonderful pieces, mostly domes and brims of various sizes and shapes. We spent yesterday at the Longbranch Improvement Club’s Fiber Arts Fair. There was a lot of interest in the hat blocks. They are very tactile and people couldn’t help but touch them.

The blocks and brim flanges will be SHOW priced between $50 to $100, depending upon shape and quality, with a break for buying a combo of crown and brim. Contact me at matt@greyfalconproductions.com

2014-10-04 10.15.14

Category: Blocks, Equipment/Tools, Hats TAG: ,

Over 2 Tons of Hat Blocks

J. Matthew Phipps | July 19, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

On a little bit of whim, I took a trip to Texas to inspect the contents of a closed hat factory. As a result I’ve acquired over a 1000 wooden hat blocks and flanges from a closed hat factory. They are a combo of domes, western, and men’s hat styles. As of today, they are in transit to my location in Washington.

The plan is to sell many of them, and I’m working on a plan to lease sets on a deposit and return mail model, or a trade basis, if you have an interesting block I might borrow, I’ll loan you one of mine.

These are the pictures I took in Texas. I snapped more pictures of the brim/flange blocks than the crowns.  They’ll be cleaned up and cataloged, and we’ll list them in a few locations. But, contact me if you have an interest in wheeling and dealing.

I was also very lucky to acquire a Singer sweat band sewing machine. How incredible was this trip?

hbset4 hbset3 hbset2 hbset1hbsewing1

Category: Tools TAG: ,

DIY Felt Roller Build, Pt. 2 – The Bill of Materials

J. Matthew Phipps | July 6, 2014 | COMMENTS:2 Comments »

As promised, this is the “Bill of Materials” for the roller. The U.S. cost was a little over $400 (US). I tried to eliminate some of the prototyping costs from this list, for instance, my abortive attempt to use a sewing machine motor (hint: it worked fine, but then under load it began to smoke.) You’ll note, I did try to do a metric conversion, but then a looking at lumber discussion boards I began to realize that it is not as easy as just converting the numbers. If you have suggestions, please send me your input.

For builds in areas that aren’t 120 VAC 60 Hz, you’ll want to adjust your searches on Ebay, Amazon, or whatever you use locally for auctions and purchases. If where you live is like the U.S., then you probably have a neighbor who has a treadmill that they will let you have for free,  “if you will just please come and take it away” so their wives will stop bothering them about it.

I will post about the motor and controller box next.

Felt Roller Bill of Materials – Basic

Item (U.S.) Item (Metric) U.S. Supplier Unit Cost QTY U.S. Cost
115 VDC Treadmill Motor with Flywheel Ebay 35.00 1 35.00
MC 60 Treadmill Controller Ebay 25.00 1 25.00
Treadmill Motor Belt Ebay 7.00 1 7.00
Treadmill Front Roller Ebay 5.00 1 5.00
5K Potentiometer Amazon 1.25 1 1.25
Lumber 1x4x48 19x89x1200 Home Depot 4.00 9 36.00
Lumber: 2x2x30 38x38x705 Home Depot 2.66 4 10.64
Lumber: 1x2x30 19x38x705 Home Depot 1.75 4 7.00
Bolt 1/4-20 x 3 M6 76mm Home Depot 0.40 16 6.40
Bolt 1/4-20 x 1.5 M6 38mm Home Depot 0.38 5 1.90
Nuts 1/4 M6 Home Depot 0.40 21 8.40
Washers 1/4 M6 Home Depot 0.11 42 4.62
Fasteners 1/2 long (Box 50) Home Depot 7.00 1 7.00
Fasteners 3/4 long (Box 50) Home Depot 7.00 2 14.00
3/8 Bolt 6 Home Depot 3.40 6 20.40
3/8 threaded rod Home Depot 1.37 2 2.74
3/8 Tee Nut Home Depot 2.00 2 4.00
3/8 Nut (6 pack) Home Depot 0.20 7 1.40
4 PVC Pipe 10 foot Cut into 3 even pieces Home Depot 18.50 1 18.50
4 PVC Slip Cap Flat Home Depot 7.71 6 46.26
7/8 Washer Home Depot 1.20 48 57.60
Zinc Plated Corner Brace (4 pack) Home Depot 2.67 6 16.02
Zinc Plated Mending Plate (2 pack) Home Depot 2.49 1 2.49
3/8 Knob X2 (4 pack) Amazon 3.90 1 3.90
No Slip Feet (4 pack) Home Depot 3.00 1 3.00
Drip Pan Napa Auto Parts 22.50 1 22.50
Power Cord 9 foot Home Depot 15.00 1 15.00
Electrical Box Home Depot 20.00 1 20.00
Spa Timer Home Depot 20.00 1 20.00
Spyraflo Bearings BFM-375-B Amazon 5.50 6 33.00
#12 Bolts 2.5 inches Home Depot 0.22 16 3.47
#12 Nuts Home Depot 0.10 28 2.80
#12 Washers Home Depot 0.10 28 2.80
Category: Creativity, Tools TAG: ,

Building the DIY Felt Roller, Pt. 1 – Driving it

J. Matthew Phipps | June 22, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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I’m going to start this series with describing the most technical part of the build, even though, it is really the last to be attached.

First, a failure: I tried using a sewing machine motor that I had salvaged from one of my mother-in-law’s sewing machines. When I first turned it on, it did fine. I then put a felt project into it and the motor burned up. It did not smell good, either. This started my search for a good motor with enough horsepower. I settled on trying to find a treadmill motor. The motors are 120 VDC in the U.S. I looked around and found quiet a few used, but still working, motors on Ebay.

2014-06-22 14.05.59

In the U.S., there are perhaps 25 different companies selling treadmills, but inside they all seem to be Precor machines.  The motor I purchased was well used, and came with the flywheel that has an integrated pulley wheel. This has turned out to be essential.

2014-06-22 14.06.05

I also purchased the “front roller assembly” that has the other pulley. You’ll also need the belt. The big problem was attaching it to the roller. I’ll explain that later.

2014-06-22 14.06.34

This is the motor control box and the motor. You’ll see the “mains” going into the side of the box and the DC leading to the motor. The controller box has the MC60 treadmill controller circuit board, a 20 minute timer, and a 5k potentiometer that controls speed.

2014-06-22 14.09.56

The next post, I’ll show the controller board connection and post the Bill of Materials.

Category: Solutions, Tools TAG: , , , ,

Felt Rolling Machine Update Coming

J. Matthew Phipps | June 16, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »

Update: I haven’t forgotten. I just had a little business that interrupted. Pictures and details coming this week.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received two emails, one from Brazil the other from the Netherlands. Both asking about my felt rolling machine. So, I’m going to start posting about it. I’ll start this weekend.

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3 Day Felt & Straw Blocking Workshop

J. Matthew Phipps | May 27, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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Just finished 3 days of a seminar with Wayne Wichern (http://www.waynewichernmillinery.com/) in Seattle. It was a fantastic weekend. Learned an incredible amount that has already boosted our skills.

I ended up blocking a really nice straw cloche, that was for Mary, and a military/stewardess inspired women’s hat, and finally a bowler out of fur felt for me.

I’m going to post pictures shortly.

I did get raves on the Hillbilly.
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Finished Hillbilly

J. Matthew Phipps | May 10, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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The Hillbilly is finished. I had a good amount of burlap that I purchased to experiment with and settled on that for the hat band instead of a ribbon or leather.

The crown is lightly stiffened, and the brim edge has been needle felted back on itself to form a welt and add structure. The brim is stiffened only a little and left purposely floppy.

I’m in love with the colors and pattern that emerged from the wool.

Hillbill Finished II

Hillbill Finished III

Hillbill Finished I

I was toying with the idea of making a hat liner out of the burlap, but decided against it. I did add in a leather sweat band.

Head over to Hats Off to You to order your own custom made Hillbilly.

Category: Fedora, Hats TAG:

Hillbilly Cut

J. Matthew Phipps | May 5, 2014 | COMMENTS:1 Comment »
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The Hillbilly has been shaped, rinsed, and now the brim has been trimmed.
Hillbilly First Cut
I’m loving the pattern that has shown up.
Hillbilly First Cut II
And, now for the inside of the hat. The outside was laid out with a zig-zag, the inside was laid out with a straight line.
Hillbilly First Cut III
The hat has interest inside and out.

Category: Fedora, Felting, Hats TAG: ,