Hat Making Tool: Foot Tolliker in Walnut Wood on a Display Stand

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-28-2008 04:44 AM 5391 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hat Making Tool: Foot Tolliker in Walnut Wood on a Display Stand
Hat Making Tool: Foot Tolliker in Walnut Wood on a Display Stand No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

SOLD 4-29-2008: This Tollliker and Stand is headed to Buckaroo Hatters in Tennessee.

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

email: [email protected]


What does this thing do? Watch this video by California Custom Hat Maker Tom Gomez from Premier Panama Hats using one of my Foot Tollikers on a straw body Panama Hat. Here is a link to Tom's ebay Store

If the Player screen doesn’t work, click here to go straight to the youtube page

If you like Hatmaking Tool Videos, click here to see Tom use one of my Kettle Curling Irons


I often take on unique and outdated craft projects in the midst of my other work with furniture, walking canes, knives, and scrimshaw artwork.

Almost always, these unique projects come as a request from someone who has gotten frustrated trying to find either antique copies, or someone capable of crafting them.

Hatmaking tool crafting is a lost art, but hatmaking is gradually gaining a comeback. The problem is that there aren’t many antique tools to buy, and nobody making them. Hatmaking has been making a comeback with small hat shops where true craftsmanship is used to make artisan made custom hats.

Either Western, Fedora, or other historical hat styles, there appears to be more and more folks out there that are tired of dressing in ball caps with Nascar, or sports teams on them. Those discerning folks find it challenging to find hatmakers today, and hatmakers find it difficult to find tools.

That creates a niche for someone like me, willing to spend some time whittling, carving, shaping, sculpting, sanding, and polishing these tools. They aren’t cheap, but compared to a gallon of gasoline, or a cup of fancy coffee, a handmade original product like this that is useable for decades really doesn’t seem so high priced.

Tollikers are used to shape the hat for a customer during the process of making and forming a hat to a customer’s specification.

If you find yourself in the position of collecting, or using Tollikers, or other hatmaking equipment, I would appreciate your business. Please email me for more information, pricing, and such.

This is a Walnut single tollikers, with an inlayed “dots” of abalone shell. The display stand is walnut.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Here are a couple of old drawings from Ermatinger’s book on how the Foot Tolliker used to be used.


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 2008-2010 by the Author, M.A.DeCou., all rights reserved, no use allowed without expressed written permission.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

10 comments so far

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4835 days

#1 posted 03-28-2008 04:47 AM

I like the look of the walnut.
What type of finish do you put on something like this, or do you leave the finish off to avoid transferring something to the hat material?

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4585 days

#2 posted 03-28-2008 04:51 AM

very cool mark…and I DID LEARN! I bet you will do well…and be able to make more…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4914 days

#3 posted 03-28-2008 04:51 AM

Hey Darryl. No finish.

Tollikers are used with heat and steam to shape a hat, and so any finish, or stain is scary to a hatmaker. They get covered with hand oil, and such over time. To put a luster on them, I buff them on a muslin wheel, basically burnishing the wood surface.

thanks for asking, forgot to mention that. Crap, there I go again giving away trade secrets.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4383 days

#4 posted 03-28-2008 10:56 AM

It looks great to me. I am glad you explained it so well. Otherwise, I would have probably thought it was a sculpture of someone’s foot, or something.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4330 days

#5 posted 03-28-2008 11:32 AM

Hi Mark,

To tell the truth I am like rikkor. If you had posted this as a “What is it?” I would never have guessed. Thanks for the insight on hat making too. I have never been “into” anything other than baseball hats but the hat you pictured looking interesting.

Thanks for the post. It is always a good day when you learn something new.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 4239 days

#6 posted 03-28-2008 01:47 PM

Actually , at first I thought they were mounts to be screwed on to a board and make a gun rack. So I too learned something. I’ll bet they could be used for gun racks. Ummmm ! A two fold purpose.
Great work Mark !


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4914 days

#7 posted 03-28-2008 03:12 PM

Thanks folks for the encouragement. Gun mounts, or drawer handles, I guess it would work, but it is lots of work for that though.

The hand shape works for right or left handed people. I have also made them with the foot curving the other way, which helps a left handed hatmaker.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4488 days

#8 posted 03-28-2008 04:54 PM

Hi Mark;

Not being a hat man I don’t really have a clue how useful this is, but I do recognize great workmanship.

Nice job


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4595 days

#9 posted 03-28-2008 06:50 PM

I thought for sure you’d model that hat for us.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4914 days

#10 posted 03-29-2008 10:54 PM

Hey DocK, I don’t get caught in front of a camera often, and surely not often when I’m shooting the photo.

I was thinking it would be good to get a photo at the Hatman Jack’s Wichita Hatworks store in Wichita, KS where they use the Tollikers. Then you could see a real expert make a hat using a tolliker.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics