How to Turn a Knit Hat Stopper

   With the stopper blank in a scroll jaw chuck, bring up the tailstock so you can round it quicker with little vibration, plus it’s safer. A 2″ – 2 1/4″ square blank 3″ long works best.
   After the blank is rounded, I use a 1 3/8″ Fostner bit to drill in 1.5″ deep (tape on shank assures exact depth every time).
   Now you have to use a 23/64″ or 9mm bit and drill a 5/8″ deep hole for the threaded stud of the stopper and for the mandrel. I have a red line on the bit to be sure the bit is in the jacobs chuck the same depth and a blue line 5/8″ up the shank for drilling depth.  
   I prefer to shape the hat a little while it is in the scroll chuck because I can round the bottom edge and sand it so when it is on the mandre, you don’t have to worry about getting the tool in too close to the mandrel. This is especially helpful if you are using the #2MT-B mandrel and have it in the chuck as I do.  
   Again, I bring up the tailstock for speed of shaping the top of the hat because I can take faster and slightly more aggressive cuts. You might also like to put a pencil line showing the depth of that 5/8″ hole you drilled so you don’t end up with a hole in the top of the hat!
   After the shaping is done, using wire (I like guitar string) make burn lines as shown in the picture.
Please note: you have to either use a 3/8″ bit and re-drill the threaded hole to cut off the threads because you will not be able to get your fingers inside enough to thread the stopper all the way into the wood.
Or, if you are careful, you can grind some of the threading off the stopper stud.  I do either of these then put a few drops of glue (I use Tite Bond II) into the hole and push the stopper in tight.  The Tite Bond holds very well because you are just filling in the space and once it dries, there is no getting it out.The picture to the right shows how burning a few lines in the ball and the cuff makes the knit hat come to life.
   You can dye the hat any color before you do the burning. I have jars with each color dye, and some mixed colors, and just dip the whole piece in the jar then let it dry on a rack (an old oven rack works).
The hats on the right that are black are actually branded with Molly Winton’s branding pen, it gives them a real “knit” look and really does not take a lot of time to do.

Have fun and be creative