Project Tutorials

Baseball Cap

Click image for enlarged view
checking tailstock tightness

Check the tightness of the tailstock continually to make sure it does not loosen off when turning an irregular or out of balance piece of wood. You don’t want the blank flying off and landing on your foot or otherwise hitting you.

measuring the cap diameter

The cap is sized the same as the cowboy style hat. Measure your head front to back and side-to-side to get the average for the diameter you need to fit your head. My head is 8” by 6” so the average is 7”. Add about Ύ” to the diameter to allow for wood shrinkage, this amount will vary some with the species of wood you use so you need to know the characteristics of the wood you are using for an exact size. The diameter is measured on the outside of the headband area, for me the outside diameter is 7 Ύ”.

measuring bill length

The bill on most caps is 2 ½” to 3” long so I have plenty of extra on this blank to work with.

compare shape to real cap

This is the style cap I wear, your favorite cap may vary in shape slightly with sides that start straighter and then round over to the top button. Use you style cap as an example for shape and follow these steps to create a wood version.

Look closely at the picture and you will see the bill of the cap is angled downward from the top in the rough turned blank and the real cloth cap in the front. Turn the wood cap to imitate the curves and angles of a real cap. Don't expect the wood to bend in all directions to compensate for not turning the cap closely to shape from the start.


turning chuck tenon

I always orient the side of the blank I am going to turn the tenon on for the chuck on the tailstock side. Since I am right handed it is more comfortable and the tailstock is smaller than the chuck so I have more access to turn the tenon. Cut in toward the headstock to for a straight-sided tenon.

Your chuck jaw design may require a dovetail shaped tenon instead of the straight tenon for the Oneway chuck jaws.

squaring the tenon shoulder

Pull the gouge to the outer edge to make a square shoulder or slightly under cut for the chuck jaws to seat firmly against.

tenon complete

The finished tenon for holding in the chuck.

blank reversed in chuck

The blank reversed and gripped in the chuck. You can see the profile the cap will be and the bill is already turned to slope down from the top.

chuck close up

The chuck jaws seated against the shoulder of the tenon for best lateral support of the blank while turning.

refining cap shape

Refining the outer profile of the blank now that it is gripped in the chuck for final turning.

< Back page: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, Next >