Hat Making Conformateur Formillon Shape Measuring Tool Millinery Custom Made

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 08-06-2014 05:50 PM 10890 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a mated set of Hat Making tools used to measure the head size and shape of a person’s head. The custom Hat Maker is able to take these measurements using the Conformateur, and transfer that shape/size to the Formillon, make a record of the size for future hats, and then shape the hat to the required shape.

This design is a combination of some original concepts inspired by some of the antique Maillard-Paris equipment made in the 19th Century. I have restored a lot of the old Maillard Equipment for hat makers over the past years, and have learned what parts did/did not work well, and used that to design this head measuring system. This antique restoration work (you can see samples of that in my Projects Section) has helped me to create my own design that is accurate, durable, attractive, and large enough to measure modern-sized heads.

The Custom Carrying Case is padded and is designed to store and carry the Conformateur Formillon Set while traveling.

The hardware is all brass material, the wood is Hardrock Maple, and Burled Walnut, with a Black Lacquer finish.

This is No. 1 of my latest Gen-3 2014 Design, which was commissioned by custom hat maker John Penman of The Penman Hat Company

John has waited patiently for about a year for this project, and he ordered it sight-unseen, a real gem for a customer of woodworking, and a great hat maker to boot.

Do You Want One for Yourself?
Go to this link to start the conversation with me Commissioning the New Gen-3 2014 Conformateur/Formillon Set

Some Other Hat Making Tools I build for customers:
> Flange Sets
> Rounding Jacks
> Restoration Work on Antique Maillard Allie and Brevete Conformateurs
> Tollikers & Other Hand Tools
> Brim Curling Tools

Thanks for Looking,
Mark DeCou

(NOTE: All photos, design, and story are protected by Copyright 2014, by the Author, and no use in whole or in part is allowed without expressed written consent by the author, M.A. DeCou)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

19 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4801 days

#1 posted 08-06-2014 06:06 PM

it sure is a beauty mark, i would imagine your work in this is now highly favored amongst hat makers and your reputation for doing exquisite work is as one of the best, i would think making such a tool is a lot of fun..its looks so to me..doing detail work is always fun for me, thanks for show this.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View mpounders's profile


1023 posts in 4393 days

#2 posted 08-06-2014 07:14 PM

Beauty and function! Glad to see your work once more.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 3047 days

#3 posted 08-06-2014 10:06 PM

Beautiful case and one finely crafted instrument for sure. Hats off to you!

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3505 days

#4 posted 08-06-2014 11:10 PM

Beautiful craftsmanship.

A tip of the hat to you, Sir!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5899 days

#5 posted 08-06-2014 11:23 PM

Beautiful job Mark.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4341 days

#6 posted 08-07-2014 12:46 AM


It’s Mark! He’s back! Yippee! Just wondering where you were and what you are doing. Nice!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View EWJSMITH's profile


157 posts in 5324 days

#7 posted 08-07-2014 01:42 AM

Oh my…. I could barely read the title of the post without messing it up…. let alone build something as intricate and beautiful as this. Outstanding craftsmanship. Cudos!

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4866 days

#8 posted 08-07-2014 04:01 AM

Everyone else has already said everything that can be said so I will just say ditto and WOW, what workmanship!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View Ken90712's profile


18123 posts in 4687 days

#9 posted 08-07-2014 08:22 AM

Amazing workmanship. Never would of guessed what it was, but now I know and it’s beautiful.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5904 days

#10 posted 08-07-2014 12:03 PM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the encouragement. I started on this Head Measuring Tool concept back in 2008, which wasn’t the best timing for an expensive new tool for hat making….but things seems to be healing a little with everyone’s businesses now. I have already had quite a bit of interest in this new Gen-3 2014 version of the tool, hoping to keep up now.

As for the project title, the guy that started this website, “Martin”, told me back when the site was first starting up that if I made my titles a list of key words that people would be searching for, then google would identify it and the traffic would be sent to it on searches easier.

So, my titles changed from cute little phrases and word plays like I used to do, and I changed to using lists of key words. But, I do realize that it makes them hard to read, sorry about that. Martin was right though, and my business transformed from zero internet sales, to 98% internet sales today, all because of key words and LJ.

Thanks everyone,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3916 days

#11 posted 08-07-2014 01:28 PM

Hi Mark, super work as usual. It a beautiful and finely crafted device.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5575 days

#12 posted 08-07-2014 04:23 PM

wow…this is amazing…I know nothing of the hat world (outside of the million baseball caps I own)...I would love to see some picts with the hat in the tool to see how it works…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4341 days

#13 posted 08-07-2014 05:01 PM


Miss your word plays, but it is understandable that Google would not. Are you using Google’s AD words as well? Glad your business is up. You are an innovative and excellent craftsman. You should do well.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5904 days

#14 posted 08-07-2014 05:58 PM

Napaman, the tool measures a person’s head, and converts that to the shape of their head, which is then used to shape the felt or straw of the hat to match the shape of the head. This makes the hat fit your head shape, which makes it much more comfortable to wear. Not a lot of hat makers are able to make a hat like that, but those that can “conform” the hat are very busy with business.

Doc, I don’t use any paid advertising or AD words, I’ve just posted on LJ and answered the emails. If I get to the point that I’m looking for something to work on, I would definitely consider using paid placement with key words.

I’m open to anything that positively markets in a truthful way, but at the current time, I just don’t need any more marketing….that is….God Willing and if The Creek Don’t rise.

A wise man once said:
” who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Just a vapor on the Windy Kansas Prairie,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4341 days

#15 posted 08-07-2014 06:01 PM

Well Spoken! Thanks.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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