Hat Making Tool Custom Shape Crown Hat Block Set Long Oval Shape Cowboy Western Hats

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 10-15-2010 07:42 PM 24449 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Custom Shaping of Long Oval Shaped Crown Blocks

This is a project I did for a custom hat making shop in Texas.

This is a “Crown Block”, used to do the preliminary shaping of the felt hat body into the shape of a head. I make several other tools that are used for the shaping and cutting, etc. of hats.

Hat making tools are about 35%-40% of my sales, enough to be very glad to have found the niche, not enough to get worn out on doing them.
What a variety of work I get to do…..

To make my 200th Project Posting, I just had to post something today to get over that milestone.

More of the story to come later…...gotta get away from this computer now.

thanks for reading,
Mark DeCou


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.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

8 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4519 days

#1 posted 10-15-2010 07:43 PM

Hey Mark,

I sure don’t know what the heck that is, but I can say you did a fine job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23544 posts in 3645 days

#2 posted 10-15-2010 08:44 PM

Very nice work on those hat forms. Did you cut and shape by hand to get that oval shape? do you have templates to work to?
Thanks for sharing. Glad to see you have a market for you products.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3378 days

#3 posted 10-15-2010 09:13 PM

What an interesting niche you have found!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4945 days

#4 posted 10-15-2010 11:06 PM

Shapes & Profiles? I copy antique hat tool forms that are sent to me, and just make templates and shape with a pattern maker’s rasp and sure-form tool and sand paper. They aren’t hard to make, but making them symmetrical and without any flat facets is the hard part, as well as getting the shape just right.

There are subtle differences between what “shape” makes a good hat, and what block makes a crummy hat. I just listened to what the hat maker wanted these to look like, and sculpted them accordingly, matching the older block that he sent for an example. There are literally thousands of different looking hat shaping Crown Blocks, especially in millinery work, less with men’s hats but there are a lot variations.

reporter Alysha Del Valle with the KABC Los Angeles team recently wrote a story showing that “Hats are Back! Here is a link to Ms. Del Valle's story

I hope it is true, and that the decades dominated by ball caps with advertising on them are over. Hats are “back” at my house anyway.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3843 days

#5 posted 10-16-2010 03:06 AM

maybe if the folks at saturday night live hear of your talents…the cone heads could see some new hats…i wonder what shape they would be…lol…great works…glad your finding a way to make your wood work stay alive…grizz

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

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 3684 days

#6 posted 10-16-2010 03:41 AM

Great work.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4940 days

#7 posted 04-09-2011 10:47 PM

Mark; I guess I missed this one. Nice set of forms. Great job.

-- 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 Eddie1's profile


1 post in 1597 days

#8 posted 07-04-2015 08:06 PM


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