Blog Archives

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: , , , ,

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.

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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.

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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: , , , ,

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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Category: Creativity, Hats TAG: , , ,

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: ,

Hillbilly Drying

J. Matthew Phipps | May 3, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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The hat is up for drying after a shrink to about 1/3 of the starting size. The variegation is really coming through. Once it is dry and lightens up, it should really show up.

Hillbilly Drying I

Hillbilly Drying II

Category: Fedora, Felting, Hats TAG: ,

Hillbilly Beginnings

J. Matthew Phipps | | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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This is the start of layout for my next hat project. My vision is for a floppy backwoods hillbilly hat.

I’m using this super rich sandalwood merino roving.

Sandalwood Merino

Laying the wool out on the resist, it’s almost ready for prefelt.

Layout Begins

Stay tuned as this comes together.

Category: Creativity, Felting, Hats 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: , ,