Hat Making Tool: Hinge-Shackle style Wooden Curling Tool for the Homburg Hat Brim

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 09-10-2008 12:42 AM 32616 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These hinged brim edge pressing irons are custom made items. I can carve any profile, for more information, please email me at: [email protected]

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Customer Testimony:
”....Just to let you know, the gear you crafted for me are working a treat; I’ll be making another homburg for my cousin – will send you a picture…..”

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Project Story:

I’ve been asked to create a curling tool for the brim edge of a Fedora hat, in a style of hat called a Hamburg Style.

The most notable example of the Hamburg Hat is the Michael Corleone Hat from the “Godfather” Movie series. I don’t remember which of the three movies it was featured in, probably the third one.

Normally, this style of brim edge is fashioned by ironing the hat blank upside down on a carved wooden form, called a Flange.

These flanges are fairly rare, and expensive if you can find an antique one. So, The concept here with the “experiment” is to try and create the curl on the edge of the brim with a hinge-shackle curling tool with water and steam heat.

To design the tool, I looked closely at the profile of a Homburg Flange, and tried to duplicate it in a hand held curling tool, where pressure could be applied to the back side of the curl, thus the moving hinge shackel section. The Hinge-Shackle is not a new concept, I saw a drawing of one in an old hat making manual by Ermatinger, and adapted the idea to a new method for working the brim curl.

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Homburg Hat Style Fedora:

Here I/m giving the hinge-shackle curler a run through, with my practice-shop hat, and it has not been wetted, or steamed in the photos.

Here’s where I adpated the concept from, an old drawing from the Ermatinger book showing a Hinge-Shackle curling tool, hinged so that the tool can be removed without disturbing the curl.


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 -

3 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5638 days

#1 posted 09-10-2008 12:47 AM

Looks like a creative concept. Good luck on it.

-- 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 Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5475 days

#2 posted 09-10-2008 12:59 AM

Pretty slick Marky.

View Zee's profile


5 posts in 4752 days

#3 posted 10-21-2008 08:34 PM

Mark, the homburg shackle works a treat. It’s spot on! Thanks god I don’t have to get a series of flanges made for the homburgs now.

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