Category Archive: Tools

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?

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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 »
More Galleries

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.

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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.

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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.

Category: Tools TAG: , ,

DIY Felt Rolling Machine

J. Matthew Phipps | October 23, 2013 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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I needed a felt rolling machine but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. The professional machines were either too big and too expensive or two small and too expensive. In future posts, I’ll detail how I built it, but for now, I’ll post some pictures and the more creative of you can deduce how it was done. Of course, I’ll be more than happy to discuss details.

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Category: Felting, Tools TAG: , ,