Project Tutorials

Baseball Cap

Click image for enlarged view
bill thickness started

The outer edge of the bill at final thickness of about 3/32. When you stop the lathe the flat edge of the wood itself will give you a visual indicator of the thickness.

You need to maintain the 3/32" thickness (or slightly less) throughout the entire cap to allow for bending and shrinking without cracking. Variations of thickness in the bill will be most noticable to the eye in the finished cap but maintain a constant thickness while turning the entire cap.

measuring the bill thickness

Thin the bill a step further and check the thickness before proceeding toward the center with any more cuts.

bill turning progressing

Keep thinning the bill area.

power sanding the bill

Sand the bill with the lathe stopped. Remember just spend time sanding the bill you will keep.

removing the center cone

Now the tailstock can be slid back and the cone of wood removed that was used for support.

hollowing the interior

I have reversed my lathe rotation to make it easier for hollowing. The chuck on the Oneway lathe locks to the spindle with set screws for safe reverse turning.

wetting wood

Wetting the wood with water will make it easier for a light to shine through to help gauge the thickness as the cap is hollowed. Remember to maintain a consistent thickness of 3/32" or slightly less throughout the entire cap.

Using a light is not necessary for completing a cap. The sides of the cap can be measured with most any 6" caliper with the lathe stopped. Turn the inside to final thickness in small steps, measure and then proceed another step toward the center. Any color wood, wet or dry, can be turned in this fashion to produce a thin walled bowl if you have calipers that can reach from the rim to the bottom.

cutting interior to thickness

Cutting from the bill to the center with the gouge flute facing the direction of cut.

light through wet wood

The light shinning through the wet end grain area of the wood.

measuring wall thickness

Check the thickness and proceed with hollowing.

When turning irregular edged pieces like this cap or a natural edge bowl always stop the lathe before repositioning the tool rest. This picture shows the wings of the turning are closer to the tool rest banjo than the center section where the cutting is taking place. Any time you adjust the tool rest make sure and rotate the wood by hand to see that it clears the upright section of the banjo before you turn the lathe on.

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