Mini Cowboy hat

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Project by jeffthewoodwacker posted 964 days ago 1674 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mini sized cowboy hat turned from freshly cut ambrosia maple. Hat is 4 1/4” tall and 8” wide at the brim. I turn these to a little less than 3/32 inch thick. To keep track of the thickness I turn the lights out in the shop and place a light directly behind the cut – when the glow becomes a yellow/orange color it is thin enough. When the inside of the hat is turned I reverse chuck on a jam chuck with an LED light. Sanding is done in steps as I work through the brim and into the inside of the crown. This hat weighs less than 2 ounces! Finish is several coats of hand rubbed danish oil. Hats are put on a bending jig after turning to get the brim shape. One day when I have time I will attempt to do a blog on the process. Turning time is around two hours total. Full size hats take longer.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

11 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


2580 posts in 1023 days

#1 posted 964 days ago

I’ve seen a few turned cowboy hats since participating on LJs and it never ceases to amaze me how you can turn a hunk of wood into a hat. They look so real. Wow. The grain and colouring on your hat is extremely nice.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View terrilynne's profile


833 posts in 1498 days

#2 posted 964 days ago

Beautiful wood and nice hat.

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11099 posts in 1710 days

#3 posted 964 days ago

Wow! What a gorgeous hat!!.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View KoryK's profile


229 posts in 1294 days

#4 posted 964 days ago

That is so neat, the way you can gauge your thicknes. I’m sure that took some trial an error. Great job!

-- If you not making sawdust, your probably wasting your time. Kory

View MShort's profile


1724 posts in 2023 days

#5 posted 964 days ago

Very nice. I think I would end up with funnel trying to make one.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Karson's profile


34862 posts in 3005 days

#6 posted 964 days ago

Great looking hat.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View rance's profile


4126 posts in 1765 days

#7 posted 964 days ago

Nice hat Jeff. I can’t bring myself to turn a full sized hat but a mini might be worth tackling. What part do you turn first and how do you hold it in the lathe? What’s the progression?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View ed220's profile


619 posts in 1998 days

#8 posted 964 days ago

Very nice hat. Great job !

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 2409 days

#9 posted 963 days ago

Rance, I start with the hat mounted on a screw chuck and turn the rough shape of the outside of the hat. A tenon is created in what will be the top of the hat brim and the tenon is then held in a chuck. I refine the outside shape of the hat and sand the outside through all the grits. The brim of the hat is turned from the outside edge to the inside of the crown of the hat in stages. I use a light directly behind where I am turning to determine if the thickness is correct. As each stage of the brim is finished I sand it through all the grits before moving onto the next part of the brim. This continues all the way up through the crown of the hat. Once the entire inside of the hat is turned and sanded I reverse chuck the hat on a wooden jamb chuck that has a light installed in the center. The top of the hat is finished and the tenon is completely turned away.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View rance's profile


4126 posts in 1765 days

#10 posted 963 days ago

That should do it Jeff. Thanks for the info.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View kiefer's profile


2971 posts in 1272 days

#11 posted 963 days ago

That’s a hat I be proud to hang on my rack.
Absolute fantastic job and so real looking .
Here in Alberta we still wear those felt once and I will put the word out that there are wooden one’s LOL


-- Kiefer 松

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