Wood cowboy hats.

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Project by Arthouse posted 05-28-2012 03:56 AM 5444 views 6 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

297 posts in 2765 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 04:14 AM


-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View kapanen's profile


121 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 04:29 AM

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

355 posts in 2934 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 05:11 AM

I am in awe !

-- Jeffery Mullen

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 05-28-2012 08:35 AM

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


15881 posts in 3450 days

#5 posted 05-28-2012 08:55 AM

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 3353 days

#6 posted 05-28-2012 09:59 AM

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


250 posts in 2767 days

#7 posted 05-28-2012 12:03 PM

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

Monte Pittman

29787 posts in 2454 days

#8 posted 05-28-2012 12:23 PM

First of all, very impressive.

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

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3693 days

#9 posted 05-28-2012 03:51 PM


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3134 days

#10 posted 05-28-2012 05:32 PM

Very nice, I love the lathe!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6129 posts in 3469 days

#11 posted 05-28-2012 06:51 PM

WOW!!! My hats off to you!!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18358 posts in 3792 days

#12 posted 05-28-2012 07:54 PM

Nice work. I wonder how long they last?

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

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2783 days

#13 posted 05-29-2012 01:19 AM

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


-- Kiefer

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21107 posts in 3222 days

#14 posted 05-29-2012 01:54 AM

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


54 posts in 3119 days

#15 posted 05-29-2012 02:23 AM

Those are excellent. Thanks for sharing

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