They can also work well to HOLD a shape for a particular hat that you own in between wearings. I use these to hold the shape of my own hats on a specially designed Hat Rack that I make for my own hats so that they don't shrink between wearings (I use a custom size measured with a Conformateur - email me if you need more information).
*Sizes INCLUDED IN THIS SET (American Measurement):*
1) Hat Size 6-1/2 (Circum. 20.47" or 52cm)
2) Hat Size 6-5/8 (Circum. 20.87" or 53cm)
3) Hat Size 6-3/4 (Circum. 21.26" or 54cm)
4) Hat Size 6-7/8 (Circum. 21.65" or 55cm)
5) Hat Size 7 (Circum. 22.05" or 56cm)
6) Hat Size 7-1/8 (Circum. 22.44" or 57cm)
7) Hat Size 7-1/4 (Circum. 22.84" or 58cm)
8) Hat Size 7-3/8 (Circum. 23.23" or 59cm)
9) Hat Size 7-1/2 (Circum. 23.62" or 60cm)
10) Hat Size 7-5/8 (Circum. 24.02" or 61cm)
11) Hat Size 7-3/4 (Circum. 24.41" or 62cm)
12) Hat Size 7-7/8 (Circum. 24.80" or 63cm)
13) Hat Size 8 (Circum. 25.20" or 64cm)
CUSTOM SIZING: Some Hat Makers, and Hat Owners, want a specific, custom shape and size. Send me an email to work out with me exactly what you are needing, if it is not listed here.
DO YOU NEED THEM?
If you don't understand how useful a set of Band Blocks can be for custom making hats, send me a note and I'll connect you with other hat makers who can explain their importance.
When you "Buy" this Set, you are COMMISSIONING THE MAKING of these tools, as they are not in stock (see notes below on Schedule and Shipping for more details).
PHOTO: The photo shown is just "a representation", your order will appear similar
If you are used to using something you bought from another maker that is not the correct Oval Shape, or are not sized perfectly, with straight sides, made from pine 2x8's someone bought at the lumberyard.....then you will love using, and trusting, your work to these Band Blocks. The better materials I use, and the quality level I produce comes at a cost though, namely it is more expensive for me to build these Band Blocks, but I hope you will see the advantages.
OK, SO WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THEM?
1) WOOD TYPE: Made from premium Poplar Wood, an American Hardwood, and one of the most "stable" species of wood available. The "stability" property means that the wood will not shrink and swell in humidity changes and seasonal variations, like most other wood will do. You will also not need to worry about pine resin-bleeding out of the wood like what is common with construction lumber that others use for Band Blocks. Talk about ruining your day, and your hat, a little steam and heat is just the thing to encourage pine-resin to flow out of the wood.
2) Oval Size: I use an old time-tested oval shape/size, made from templates that were sized and shaped more than a century ago. This means that all of the size variations that you have become so frustrated with in factory made hats, can be "fixed" , if you size your hats to the size of the customer's head circumference. I make these Band Blocks to an exact size, whatever you specify. If you prefer certain sizes, just tell me what you need. See below for a specific list of sizes that are typical for modern hat makers.
3) OVAL SHAPE: Heads are not round like a circle, and they are not perfectly elliptical, and they are not straight on the sides. So, why would you buy a band block like that?
The Band Block is a "head representation" used to shape and size the completed hat for the customer's head. In reality, everyone's head is as individually unique as our fingerprints. So, to buy one set of band blocks to be used for a variety of people, hat makers for years have have named certain shapes as Regular Oval, Long Oval, Extra Long Oval, Wide Oval, Extra Wide Oval, Extra Extra Long Oval....etc.
If you try and put a Regular Oval hat on a Long Oval head, you'll find the brim will wrinkle at about the point of the temples on both sides of the hat. If you didn't know what was causing the "wave", this is probably the culprit. The hat looked great, all ironed out, brim nice and smooth....until the customer put it on, and then the horrible "wave" showed up. The only way to really solve that problem is to use Long Oval band blocks for the final shaping and brim ironing. Thus, the large variety of oval shapes that hat shops use.
In the Old Days, a hat factory would have a set of band blocks for every situation, and then foam or fabric was used in the retail store, to "fill out" the sweat band of any misfitting hats. A Custom Hat Shop would use an adjustable band block, called a Formillon. Other Custom Hat Shops cut out a special band blocks for each hat they are making for a specific customer, which is still done today in some shops.
4) CROSS-HAIRS: If you have made a hat, you know how hard it is to find the exact back of the hat to start the sewing of the sweatband seam. This problem is easily "fixed" buy using my band blocks, lining up your markings with the Cross Hairs that I carve in each block. You can use tailor's chalk to mark the center-lines on the hat, and rub off the chalk when the hat is complete. This allows you to keep consistent center-lines throughout the fabrication process.
5) EDGE TAPER: Most folks don't think about this when buying band blocks, but you'll want to have the sides tapered, since everyone's head is tapered. This taper can typically vary from 3.5 - 9 degrees. You will want to match up the band block edge taper to the best match you can get with the taper of the Crown Block you will be using to make the hat with. If you know what taper will work, just tell me and that is what I will make the band blocks to. If you don't know what taper to select, send me a note and we'll discuss what will work best for the Crown Blocks and hat styles you are making. If you don't specify a taper, I will use my proprietary taper, based on my research of antique band blocks.
6) HAND HOLE vs. CENTER HOLE?: Band blocks can be difficult to remove if they "stick" to the damp, or dried felt/straw. The long oblong hole allows you put in three of four fingers and pull out the block. If this is still difficult, you may need a "Slip Stick" to use to gently remove the band block. If you need a Slip Stick, let me know and I'll make you one, for a fee. Often times you will want to use your Band Blocks with a Block Spinner Stand (another tool sold separately), and to utilize the center post of the Block Spinner, you can choose to put in a round hole in the center of your band blocks. An alternative is for me to make you an adapter piece that fits in the Oblong Handle Hole, which has a center hole for the Block Spinner Post. I need to charge an extra $5/each for this adapter, but since this extra piece is interchangeable between band blocks, you may just want one. Other hatters like to have one for every band block they have, so just specify what you need, and I'll adjust the pricing and make the set accordingly.
7) WOOD THICKNESS: I can make these band blocks in any width you specify. Typically, you want the thickness to be similar to the sweat band width. In most cases 1.5" in thickness will work well, however I've built them ranging from 3/4" to 2" thick for special situations.
8) WOOD GRAIN DIRECTION: It would be quicker to use wide boards and just cut out the oval shape. However, as you know, wood warps, and warps the worst when "plain sawn", which is what building materials are sawn like. So, if you buy a cheap "block" from someone else, and they've cut out the block from 2x8 pine construction lumber, you can expect later warping, splitting, cracking, or even worse, pine resin weeping. I solve as many of these problems as I can with using Poplar hardwood, and gluing the wood grain in such a fashion as to orient the wood's growth circles in such a way as to make them the most stable. I also start with professionally kiln dried lumber, which is much drier than is typical for construction lumber.
9) BOTTOM FLAT OR CURVED? For most modern hat making techniques, the flat bottom band block will work great. In older vintage tools, a "Bottom Board" was often used for shaping an arc from hat front to back, raising the brim break line above the ears. Also, antique Formillons were used on "Plot Boards" that had a curved top profile, therefore the Formillon bottoms were curved to match, and many Band Blocks were made that way also. The curve I use was taken straight off of antique tools, and adds a bit of complexity to each band block, since I have to carve the corresponding curve in the bottom of each one. If you want the curve, specify such, and there is an added cost for that extra work in making the tools.
Band Block Styles Available;
1. Poplar Wood, Flat Bottom w/ a center hole (MOST POPULAR STYLE)
2. Poplar Wood, Flat Bottom w/ 1” x 4” Hand Pull Hole.
3. Poplar Wood, Curved Bottom, w/ a center hole.
4. Poplar Wood, Curved Bottom, w/ 1” x 4” Hand Pull Hole.
The Set Pricing includes a discount for ordering in quantity. I make each of these items to order, and I can be more efficient, up to a point, when making several at once, and so I pass on the savings to the customers.
*Oval Shapes Available:*
> Long Oval
> X-Long Oval
> Wide Oval
> Special Shapes to fit a Conformateur Reading of a person's head shape.
> Nobody's head is straight up and down, but there sure have been a lot of band blocks made that way over the years. Sure, Band Blocks are cheaper to make that way, but I prefer to build them with a the proper side taper used on quality vintage tools to fit the true nature that a sweat band fits the head.
The taper angle that I use is a proprietary detail of what I'm selling, but if you wish to specify what you would like to see, just let me know.
> My standard is 1-1/2", but if you need a specific thickness, send me a Convo message to clarify. Thinner ones are a little bit cheaper, while thicker ones are a little more expensive, I'll quote that for you when you contact me about your needs.
I am a solo-artisan that works full time at my crafts, and so I can easily get overwhelmed with orders. To survive the Recession/Depression, I have gone to custom making everything, so that I don't carry the cost of Inventory, and gallery fees. This however can make the wait for your items longer than you would like.
I build each of these tools by hand and assemble the parts myself, and I keep booked up with orders. So, I would expect that it will take me in the range of 4-12 weeks to ship the tool after your order.
I solely control my schedule, and so I will do whatever I can to help you in your work, but you will need to understand that I may have already made commitments that interfere with your needs.If you have any questions, or need a definite schedule, please email me.
I ship these Hat Tools to customers across the United States, and many international locations, and it is increasingly hard to predict the actual shipping costs. I have tried to include the cost of shipping to cover most people, but really it is just a guess until I actually hand the package across the counter to the shipping clerk. If the shipping cost listed on your purchase seems too high to be reasonable, don't forget that once the package ships, if you have paid more than I need to cover the cost, I will refund the difference to you through Paypal, after I know the exact amount. This can be especially true if you have ordered multiple items and the combined individual shipping cost calculation is higher than what it will actually be when I put all of the items in one box. But, don't worry, your final shipping price will be the actual cost of the postage and insurance.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING: email me before you buy, and I will alter the listing to accomodate your specific country.
For many places in the World, I can not buy enough postage insurance on any particular package to cover the cost of the contents should it get lost, or stolen while in transit. In particular, Mexico and Eastern Europe are deemed worrisome by the United States Postal system.
For USA orders, I prefer to use UPS, since they have a better package tracking system.
I will insure your package for the full replacement cost if I can, and if not, I'll get you as much insurance as I can toward the actual value. If a package is lost by the postal carrier, I will send you whatever the insurance payment is, after I receive the payment. Unfortunately, if I am unable to insure the full replacement cost, you'll only receive what insurance value I could purchase for you. Filing a Claim, and getting payment is about a 3-6 month adventure if it happens, so you'll have to be patient with UPS or the USPS if your package isn't delivered. In all of the years I have shipped packages, only one time did UPS lose a package, and never has one gotten lost by USPS, but you do need to be aware of the risks, especially to foreign Countries that are deemed risky by the shipping company. Some Countries are deemed so risky by the USPS, that they will not insure the package at all. I'm sorry if this causes you concern, my other option is to accept USA only orders.
*Didn't See the Size You Need?*
Note: If you are hat maker, and I have not listed the size, or oval shape you need, send me an email and I'm sure I can come up with the Band Block you need.
you can see more photos here
I do a lot of International Shipping, so if I haven't listed your Country, please Convo me to figure out the specific shipping costs and methods BEFORE you order.