Hat Making Tool: Custom Rounding Jack for Steve Delk's Adventurebilt Hat Co. (Indiana Jones movie)

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-24-2008 02:59 AM 7275 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This Rounding Jack (Brim Cutter) was a commissioned piece, and so it has been sold.

If you would like something similar, please email me at

[email protected]


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

To See More Hatmaking Tool Videos from Tom Gomez:
  1. Foot Tollikers: click here to see
  2. Kettle Curling Tool: click here to see one
  3. Puller Downer: click here to see one:
  4. Pusher Downer: click here to see one


Customer Testimony Printed with permission:

”Hi Mark. Can’t recall if I thanked you for the fine rounding jack. It is superb!! This is a fine rounding jack and works even better than some of the vintage ones. You really do some amazing work my friend, and your artistry is unsurpassed. Thank you once again.”
Steve Delk
The Adventurebilt Hat Co.

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This project is a “brim cutter” that hatmakers use to cut the brims of Fedora and Western style hats. Actually, any style of hat can be cut, with a brim size ranging from 1.25”-8”.

The wood used on this project is Kansas Black Walnut. The rest of the parts are yellow brass. The inlay piece is synthetic ivory with Steve Delk’s business logo scratched with a knife by hand in a scrimshaw style artwork.

I enjoy mixed-media work, and making things that are pretty (handsome) and useful.

Project Story:

Few custom hatmakers can say they made history, but Steve Delk and his business partner Marc Kitter are two that can. After spending months of hard work researching and studying the old Indiana Jones hats from the early 1980’s movie trilogy, they designed and built all of the Fedoras for the new ”Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” Spielberg movie.

They told me that they made 48 hats in all for the movie, some were souvenirs that the production staff kept, as well as the ones used in the filming.

Now, they are selling copies of the exact hat that they made for the new movie. If you would like to order one of Steve & Marc’s Indiana Jones’ hats, you can contact them at their website:

Steve Delk found my Rounding Jacks on the lumberjock postings a few weeks ago and placed his order for the first of my production models. His Rounding Jack is serial number 2008-03 (the first two serial numbers are my protypes). A few days later, his partner in Germany, Marc Kitter, ordered one, serial number 2008-05.

Marc Kitter's Adventurebilt Hat Co. Rounding Jack

Display Stand: The display stand is designed to sit on the hatmaker’s work bench and hold the cutter when it is not being used. The retractable blade can remain extended this way between uses. This particular stand shown in the photos is Red Oak. This display stand is meant to make the whole project look like a functional-art sculpture, while it serves it’s functional purpose of the Rounding Jack safely.

To make the cut. The blade guard knurled nut is loosened, the blade dropped down and the nut retightened. The slider nuts are loosened and the desired cut width is indicated by the pointer, and the slider nuts are tightened. The hat is placed on a wood crown block to give a firm resistance to the pressure being applied with the cutter, and the brim is placed between the bottom brass plate and the bottom of the cutter. Then, depending on whether the hatmaker is a Clockwise, or a Counterclockwise cutter, the Rounding Jack is slowly moved around the contour of the crown while pushing the cutter toward the center (head). Felt Hat Blanks are very expensive, so after the cutting is complete, a big sigh of relief is heard from the hatmaker.

The Adjustable Brass Crown Band on the front of the cutter is used when the brim is to be cut wider on the sides, than on the front and back. By adjusting the curve of the brass band, the cutter is pushed away farther on the wider curve of the crown sides.

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Here is a Slideshow with more of my Rounding Jacks Shown
Click the “Speaker” icon for music


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 -

6 comments so far

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4739 days

#1 posted 05-24-2008 03:10 AM

These custom pieces like this one and the canes are right up your alley. Very nice functional artwork.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 4329 days

#2 posted 05-24-2008 04:44 AM

Mark, I know nothing about hats, but you obviously put a lot of TLC in this brim cutter…it looks great!
(as does the one for Brainpan)

Thanks for posting these.

-- Martin, Kansas

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4596 days

#3 posted 05-24-2008 02:58 PM

Beautifully done Mark. I’m a fan of all your stuff. You just know automatically when you see DeCou on the post, you’re gonna get something special. Now I’ll get to what I want (wink, wink). I have stared at all these hat projects you’ve posted and I just can not figure out how this brim cutter is supposed to work. Can you please, please, please, post a picture of it in action or an illustration or something for hat dummies like me? Please?

Thanks, (Did I say please?)

-- Jim

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4588 days

#4 posted 05-24-2008 05:35 PM

very nice precise work Mark … always enjoy your postings


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5006 days

#5 posted 05-25-2008 02:03 AM

Mark: Great job and congratulations on the commission.

-- 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 Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4585 days

#6 posted 05-26-2008 03:28 PM

Hi Mark;

As always, another fine project.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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