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I Forge Iron

More Hats


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Since my first cowboy hat turned out ok, I decided to make two more for my two sons.
One I made into a bottle opener for my youngest ( the bottle opener was his idea ).
The second I made into a belt buckle for my eldest ( the buckle was my wife's idea).
These are a little larger that my first. 3-1/2" in diameter, 1/8" thick.

Comments and cretiques welcome. Thanks for looking.



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HI Biggundoctor. The bottle opener works very well. I "cheated" with the tab and welded a piece of steel just inside the rim and another flat piece on the other side. I wasn't sure how to forge these parts into the hat, so that was my current solution. Thanks for the interest.


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  • 1 year later...

Windy suggested that I post my pm to him on how I did cowboy hats from pennies so:


I start by taking 1982 and earlier pennies and heating them with a propane torch till slightly glowing and dump into water to anneal.



Then I place on a chunk of steel with a nice round hole in it nicely relived and center a rounded bottom punch slightly smaller than the hole in my block and tap it so it produces a round  dimple in the penny.  (my base part came from a coffee can of cut off gun barrels a gunsmith sold at Q-S, I'd wonder about it's original use but it's about 2" across with a  fairly small hole in the middle that fits the rounded end of a punch I had with the needed slop)



Then using a very small crosspeen hammer  and a mallet I place the crosspeen in the center of the dimple (on the outside of course) and thwap it to make a crease that I then develop a bit more by holding the penny vertically with heavy duty needle nose pliers and placing the side of the dimple on my block and tapping with the crosspeen to make the round dimple oval and the center crease a bit more pronounced



Then I take some round bit needle nose pliers and bend up the sides of the brim a bit and tap with the small crosspeen to develop the curl--often not parallel from side to side but slightly V  like a real cowboy hat generally is.



I do a bunch of them and then match the ones that look closest to each other---or I match the ones the most different.  Even the ones I have over amped and had the dimple tear go into a set of tired worn out hat earrings.



You can anneal as often as you like I think I generally try to only need to do it twice in all.



I buff the resultant hats and use a wire drill to pierce the hole for the ear ring findings---which I buy pre-made.



Hope this made some sense


I've been wondering if on the larger hats one could make the curl such that it would act as a bottle opener---hook the curl over the cap edge and use the center bump of the hat as the pivot point and push or thwap it wity your hand...going to try that when I source some more rounds---of which a SWABA member found out that pipe supply places sell pre made rounds for welding in the ends of pipe.  Slightly domed; but a hammer and anvil "cures" that trivially..  *Much* cheaper than getting a bunch cut!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice work Mitch, I was thinking of making the bottle opener like Thomas said but since he has explained it that saves me a bunch of typing.

You might want to consider soaking them in white vinegar over night to get the rest of the scale off.  It will come right off with a wire cup wheel on an angle grinder.  Brushing with a brass brush at about 700 degrees or scraping with a brass rod adds a little more accent and interest.

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