Wood cowboy hats.

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Project by Arthouse posted 777 days ago 3469 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was helping out this weekend with the Texas Hill country wood turner club and wanted to share with you a master turner I know and love whose been turning wood for over fifty years. His name is James Johnson and been written up in Fine Woodworking and featured in National turning symposiums and have written articles himself . Here is James demonstrating how to make a wood hat out of sycamore on his hand made lathe he made himself. James takes green sycamore turns the wood so thin he installe a light behind the hat to see the translucent light to show him how thin he has gotten. Once turned he reverses the turning and turns the top hat with a button on top to hold the rubber bands to bend the wood brim into the shape he wants. Her are some hat owners and pic’s to show James handiwork. Amazingly even though the hat is turned in a round circle he squeezes the green round head portion with rubber bands to shape the round to fit a head. It takes about twenty four hours for the hat to dry totally for a finished product but many paid to take them home anyway. All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

17 comments so far

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

291 posts in 1235 days

#1 posted 777 days ago


-- Coming soon the new improved Neat hinge!

View kapanen's profile


102 posts in 1369 days

#2 posted 777 days ago

This is beyond my reason. Wow.. I would kill to see this done…

Just think….you are good enough at turning wood, that you are making clothing…lol.

-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso

View Jeffery Mullen's profile

Jeffery Mullen

319 posts in 1404 days

#3 posted 777 days ago

I am in awe !

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 1728 days

#4 posted 776 days ago

Hi Thanks for sharing. It is always a joy to watch a fellow craftsman / artist at work. The hats are super and the ladies wonderful thanks Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

View stefang's profile


12424 posts in 1921 days

#5 posted 776 days ago

Great work and nice shapes to those hats. That is a monster lathe. I wonder how he gets it loaded for transport.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 1824 days

#6 posted 776 days ago

The hats are beautiful. I have trouble waiting for a bowl to dry enough to finish it. I’ll try turning a thinner one so it will dry quicker… Somehow I don’t think I’m going to get as nice a result…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Arthouse's profile


226 posts in 1237 days

#7 posted 776 days ago

Stefang , I failed to take a picture but the whole lathe is bolted to a wheel axle and driven off like a trailer . I helped him load it on his truck took ten minutes . James kept boasting he has done this himself hundreds of times and I believe him. All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

12979 posts in 925 days

#8 posted 776 days ago

First of all, very impressive.

Second, curious, what does he get for one of these?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2164 days

#9 posted 776 days ago


-- Custom furniture

View Bearpie's profile


2583 posts in 1605 days

#10 posted 776 days ago

Very nice, I love the lathe!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View woodshaver's profile


2717 posts in 1940 days

#11 posted 776 days ago

WOW!!! My hats off to you!!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14553 posts in 2263 days

#12 posted 776 days ago

Nice work. I wonder how long they last?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kiefer's profile


2937 posts in 1254 days

#13 posted 776 days ago

Very impressive !!!!!
He should be at the upcoming Calgary Stampede to show his skills I would be there !
Hats off and thank you .


-- Kiefer 松

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

10972 posts in 1692 days

#14 posted 776 days ago

Beautiful hats and that is an impressive lathe!!

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

View lawrence's profile


53 posts in 1590 days

#15 posted 776 days ago

Those are excellent. Thanks for sharing

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