Hat Making Tool: Foot Tolllikers, Three in White Birch Wood

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-28-2008 05:21 AM 4561 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hat Making Tool: Foot Tolllikers, Three in White Birch Wood
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SOLD: All of these White Birch Tollikers shown in the photo have been sold.

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


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


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

email: [email protected]

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Project Story:

In the process of filling an order for Tollikers, I took the time to make a few extra to have on hand so that I could ship quickly when someone orders one. These three birch tollikers have abalone shell inlay for a decorative touch.

I often take on unique and outdated craft projects in the midst of my other work with furniture, walking canes, knives, and scrimshaw artwork.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

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 -

9 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4529 days

#1 posted 03-28-2008 05:37 AM

I’ve seen those before. Very interesting.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4867 days

#2 posted 03-28-2008 01:18 PM

the grain looks fabulous in this set. I hope they sell quickly for you.

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 4271 days

#3 posted 03-28-2008 01:33 PM

As a carver I really appreciate this work. I have never heard of tollikers. I made tools one time for weaving…. the comb, the shuttle and so forth.


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4503 days

#4 posted 03-28-2008 03:05 PM

Mark, those are very well done tools. They should sell quickly. I had a bump from a hat maker recently wanting to know if I could build leather hat boxes. I guess more than just cowboys are wearing custom hats these days.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4946 days

#5 posted 03-28-2008 03:13 PM

You are right Thomas. The hatmaking niche is growing. Watch tv much, and you can’t miss them turning up on Rock Star heads, and in music videos, and on professional athletes.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View NDwoodworker's profile


48 posts in 4275 days

#6 posted 03-28-2008 03:48 PM

I like the inlays, it adds a great touch to a useful project

-- Stuart, North Dakota

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 4610 days

#7 posted 03-28-2008 04:34 PM

Mark you are definitly MULTI-TALENTED.If someone asked me if I could make a Tolliker I’d be like “make a what???”

-- Scott NM,

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4520 days

#8 posted 03-28-2008 04:56 PM

Scott; I think that’s a guy that licks toll booths. LOL

Mark: Again more beautiful work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4640 days

#9 posted 04-14-2008 03:50 PM

The simplest hand tool in it’s most exquisite form.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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