Hat Making Tool: Rounding Jack for Marc Kitter's Adventurebilt Hat Co. (new Indiana Jones movie)

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-25-2008 02:07 AM 7628 views 0 times favorited 7 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:

”I’ve received my rounding jack together with the tolliker a few days ago and I cannot believe how I have managed to work with other tools in the past. Aside from being a piece of art and a pleasure to look at, both tools are a TREMENDOUES ease when it comes to professional hatmaking. The angle of the blade on the rounding jack, the exactness of the cut, the easyness of adjusting the width of the cut and the overall superb craftmanship and construction, combined with the ergonomics that went into the design, makes this rounding jack the best available – vintage or modern – by far. Thanks for making these available.”

Marc Kitter
The Adventurebilt Hat Co.

Kind regards,


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Project Story:

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” in width.

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 Marc Kitter’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 Marc Kitter and his business partner Steve Delk 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. This is a popular item this summer to order, and so do it quickly to get on their project list:

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.

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 Kansas Black Walnut. 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 -

7 comments so far

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4741 days

#1 posted 05-25-2008 02:33 AM

Great description on how this works. A beauty once again!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4602 days

#2 posted 05-25-2008 03:30 AM

Looks like a beautifully crafted and accurate instrument. Nice work, Mark.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1256 posts in 4606 days

#3 posted 05-25-2008 04:02 AM

Wow, very nice project and post. Thanks for all the details. I love all your work, you are a true craftsman!! Go Indiana Jones!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4587 days

#4 posted 05-25-2008 11:50 AM

Nice work Mark.

Very good photography work as well.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5008 days

#5 posted 05-25-2008 03:24 PM

Great job Mark.

-- 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 Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4741 days

#6 posted 05-25-2008 04:27 PM

Am I mistaken or is this rule you used in tenths of an inch? Thanks.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View PurpLev's profile


8554 posts in 4256 days

#7 posted 01-13-2009 08:29 PM

awesome, nice to see that it works magic for the customer! it all boils down to that.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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