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These tools are used by custom Hat Makers to form the “Kettle” and "Pencil" curl in a hat brim, typically a Western Style Cowboy Hat. But, this type of curling iron can also be used on Fedoras, and Lady’s Millinery Hats.

Curling the brim of a hat is not hard if you have the right tools and some experience. To see a video of this process, go here: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/14571

You'll notice in the various descriptions of my curling tools, some are listed as "half-circle" while others are listed as "full-circle". This is how I designate the shape of the groove in the main block of wood of the curling tools. If you look at the end of the block, you'll see that the carved groove is either 90 degree bend, or a 270 degree bend. This difference in the curl profile will affect the brim shape you can achieve. Both tools will curl a brim, it's just your preference on how much roll over you wish, and which tool will do it. The Full-Circle carved groove is more time consuming for me to build, so the price is a little higher.


I have sold these curling tools faster than I can keep them in stock, and so I am unable to offer that this item will ship immediately upon your order.

Therefore, by "buying" this item you are custom COMMISSIONING THE MAKING of this tool.

I build each of these tools by hand, carving out a solid block of wood and assembling the parts, and I keep booked up with orders. So, I would expect that it will take me approximately 4-12 weeks to ship the tool after your order.

If you have any questions, or you are in a pinch and need a tool faster, please email me to discuss your needs.


Using the Tool:

The hat material is first steamed, and then the curling tool is pushed, or pulled, around the brim edge in stages. As each pass around the brim is accomplished, the felt/straw is moved and shaped to form the desired curl. Brim Stiffener is often used to help hold a curl tighter than it will normally lay.


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.

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.

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.


The Material is Hard Rock Maple, Brass, and a signature “Abalone Shell” inlaid dot.


Other Tool Sizes:

I have several different sized Wooden Curling Shackles available to ORDER, all based on the size of brim curl you are wanting to make.

The common nomenclature for the type of hat brim curl someone wants is pretty hard to describe with the common names, such as “Pencil Curl” and “Kettle Curl”.

To help distinguish between the size of curlers I can make, I’m using the diameter of the carved groove, such as:

Hardrock Maple Wood:
3/8” dia. (Item ORDERED in this Listing)
1/2” dia. (Item ORDERED in this Listing)
5/8” dia. (Item ORDERED in this Listing)
3/4” dia. (Item ORDERED in this Listing)
1” dia. (custom order, not included)


Here is a posting with more photos, and a VIDEO on how the tool works:

If you would like a curling shackle that I don't have listed here on Etsy, please email me: mark [!at] decoustudio.com

To see other hat making tools I sell, visit this web page, and it has links to other postings with other tools shown.


Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou

Built-to-Order, Hat Making Tool, Kettle Pencil Curl Brim, Four (4) piece SET, Half Circle Shackles, (Dia. 0.375", 0.50", 0.625", 0.75")


  • Handmade Supply
  • Materials: hard rock maple, german brass, nickel silver, brass, abalone
  • Made to order
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 102 reviews
  • Favorited by: 12 people