Hat Making Tool: Restored Maillard Allie Formillon, with a new Plot Base Board, and Thumb-Nut Wrench

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 02-18-2009 05:16 PM 10189 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a hat making tool, used to transfer the head shape measured with a Conformer or a Conformateur , to the actual sweat band of a hat. This allows any bumps, or dents in a person’s skull to be translated to the shape of the hat.


Purchasing Formillon (Formillion) Replacement Parts:
  1. Plot Board for your Maillard Formillon
  2. Wood Thumbnut Tightening Wrench
  3. Wood Clamping Ring with new Cork base
  4. Cork Pad
  5. Sliding Finger Keys for a Formillon, (I will need to have the entire Formillon to make the fit of the new fingers possible, and I am unable to give a quote on the repairs until I see the condition of the tool.

ARE LISTED IN MY ETSY.COM ONLINE SHOP, click here to check inventory

Formillon Restoration Work?:
If you have an old Formillon that needs some help, I can build whatever new parts it needs, but I need to have the whole Formillon shipped to me. Each of the finger keys are custom fit and shaped for it’s specific spot, and there is no way I can do that without having the whole Formillon here for the fitting.


Why worry about a Custom Fit for a Hat?
One Horse Training Cowboy friend I have buys his hats from a special hat maker in New Mexico. One day at a church picnic, he started talking with me about his custom hats, and I told him about my custom hat making tools. I asked him why someone would want to spend the money that it costs for a custom made hat, when they could just buy a boxed hat by Stetson, Resistol or another factory-made brand name boxed hat.

His response was, ”Once you put on a custom made hat, any store bought boxed hat just feels like a cardboard box crammed down on your head. You try it once, you won’t go back

I loved that response, and it also really helped me to see the value in custom fitting a hat. Maybe someday I’ll have a custom fit hat myself. I get lots of offers for trades of hats for hat tools, but I can’t pay my utilities and buy food with hats, so I haven’t been able to take the trade deals at this point.


Formillon Restoration & New Plot Board:
In this project, I removed all of the sliding fingers from the old Formillon, built somewhere in the mid-to-late 1800’s in France. Many of the old sliding fingers were damaged and broken. However, the front of the fingers were in pretty fair shape. So, I built 13 new sliding parts and mounted them on the old Front Finger parts.


Artisan Hat Tools by Mark DeCou Studio
(Do you want to see More? Just follow these links):

ARE LISTED IN MY ETSY.COM ONLINE SHOP, click here to check inventory

Rounding Jacks, Collector’s Editions:
  1. Ebonized Walnut Clockwise with Laser Engraving
  2. Walnut Counter Clockwise w/Laser Engraving
  3. Walnut Uni-Directional Cutter
Rounding Jacks, Deluxe Model:
  1. Maple Deluxe Model, Counter Clockwise Cutter
  2. Maple Deluxe Model, Clockwise Cutter
  3. Walnut Deluxe, Counter Clockwise Cutter
  4. Walnut Deluxe, Clockwise Cutter
Rounding Jacks, Hobbyist-Hatter Model:
  1. Walnut Hobbyist-Hatter Model, Counter Clockwise Cutter
  2. Walnut Hobbyist-Hatter Model, Clockwise Cutter
Bench-Top Display Stands for Rounding Jacks:
  1. Walnut Bench-Top Display Stand
  2. Oak Bench-Top Display Stand
    Click here to check inventory
Customized Rounding Jacks, Personalized for Specific Hatters:
  1. Spradley Hats in Apline, TX
  2. Rachel Pollock of La Bricoleuse
  3. Brainpan Hat Shop in Sumner, WA
  4. Steve Delk's Adventurebilt Hat Co.
  5. Marc Kitter's Adventurebilt Hat Co.
  6. Pyrate Trading Co.
  7. Hatman Jack at Wichita Hat Works
  8. Inaaya Hat Co.
  9. Penman Hat Co.
Formillons & Conformateurs:
  1. Complete Restoration of a Maillard Conformateur and Formillon
  2. New DeCou Formillion & Conformer, Prototypes #1 & #2
  3. Custom Designed Conformateur Carrying & Storage Case
  4. New Plot Base Board for the Maillard Allie Formillon
  5. Maple Wrench for Tightening Formillon Thumbnuts
Foot Tollikers:
  1. Left-Handed & Right-Handed Foot Tolliker
  2. Foot Tolliker: Elk Antler & Birch Wood, on a Display Stand
  3. Foot Tolliker: Walnut Wood, on a Display Stand
  4. Foot Tollikers: Three in White Birch Wood
  5. Foot Tollikers: Walnut Wood Set of Four
  6. Foot Tollikers, Birch Wood Double Set, on Display Stand
Brim Edge Curling Tools:
  1. Hinge-Shackle Curling Tool for the Homburg Hat
  2. Full Circle Shackle Curling Tool
  3. Half Circle Shacking Curling Tool
  4. Groove Tolliker Curing Tool
Band Blocks:
  1. Thick Poplar Wood, Various Sizes and Oval Shapes, with Tapered Sides
Crown Blocks
  1. Long Oval Crown Block Sculpting Work
Hat Block Spinners:
  1. Late Turned Hat Block Spinners
Flange Stands:
  1. Heavy Duty Flange Stands
Puller Downers:
  1. Puller Downers
Pusher Downers:
  1. Pusher Downers
Hat Racks, Hat Stands, & Cedar Band Blocks:
  1. Hat Racks to keep oval shapes
Stainless Steel Slip Stick:
  1. “Coming Soon”, please check back.

(Note:This project story, project design, and photos are protected by copyright in 2008-2012 by the Author, M.A.DeCou., all rights reserved, no use allowed without expressed written permission.)

use is allowed.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

2 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4935 days

#1 posted 02-18-2009 05:30 PM

Wow! Fabulous information and work.

Q: Does the Formillon only copy the shape of the pre-worn hat or does it also copy the shape of your head?

I would like to have a custom hat made for my husband. It would be like having custom made shoes. We don’t think of these as possible options in our “ready to wear” retail world of mass produced goods. That’s the same frame of mind we are dealing with in our wood working. It costs more but you get more for your money.

Thank you for sharing your work.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 4631 days

#2 posted 02-18-2009 07:40 PM

I loved reading this history.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

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