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jchcollins
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Joined: 14 Aug 2016
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Post Posted: 09/07/18 3:34 pm    Post subject: First Timer Oven Results Reply with quote
Ok, so I will weigh in here since I finally got up the nerve to put a cap in the oven last night. My wife had burned something already on the stove, so the house stunk to high heaven. I figured this would be a good chance and told her my plan. Besides about 2 seconds of a very strange look, she agreed and had no problem with me using the oven to bake a cap at 300 degrees.

Disclaimer that the cap I chose (a 7 1/8 MUSAIM poly authentic, which fit ok circumference wise, but was a bit boxy) had already been through the "soak and leave on the dashboard in hot sun for 5 hours" treatment. So it had shrunk a bit already, but I wanted to see if I could do more. I used 5 minute increments in the oven so as not to burn anything, with a cookie sheet and a paper towel to prevent burn marks. Everything turned out fine. Some general observations, in no particular order:

* I wet the cap where I wanted it to shrink (crown outside and buckram) but not everywhere. Somehow the oven must have distributed the moisture, because when I took it out at first after 5 minutes, the hat felt wet in other places. Later after a few more rounds, I was dismayed to see that some of the blue dye from the cap itself had appeared to leak on to the lower white threads of the batterman logo on the back. This did not occur to either the New Era flag logo (yeah, they don't bother me) or the primary logo on the front of the cap. Maybe because these had gotten wet when I soaked it before the first round? I don't know.

* The cap was steamy and very flimsy each time I took it out of the oven (I made sure to let it rest for a while to not wind up with the "burnt head" effect from the squatchee...) but did not give off particularly noxious fumes. The kitchen in other words was no worse for the wear in terms of smell than my wife had left it an hour earlier.

* At least for this particular cap - perhaps since I had tried to shrink it before in the car - I did not notice a ton more shinkage. The circumference of the 7 1/8 did get a bit tighter, and the front crown has a bit more shaping texture than it used to, but not a ton. I have read that polyester shrinks less than 5% from the get-go, so guessing it had already gotten half of the way there or more in the car when I tried that earlier.

* The aforementioned staining or bleeding (I thought anyway) of the cap dye to the batterman logo got a lot better once the cap fully dried. It looked a light blue to me in places when examined up close, looked like nothing was wrong with it from far away. I used some tide pen action and Dawn dish soap on the remaining blue, and now it's 99% gone.

* Wearing a cap / trying to shrink to shape the crown? Err....jury is still out on this one I guess. The cap definitely got a more "round" shape, in that it's not as boxy and sticks closer to the side of my head. The front crown is lower, to about the height of my low crown caps anyway - but does not sit at the same angle on my head like a Low Crown model will with those thinner cut front panels. But if you work with the cap enough - start by pulling down further on the back of your head and then stretching the crown more over the top...at least for me anyway I can get it low enough to not look like total dorky, truck-driver or chino-crap esque super high crown. Be careful in doing this however that the extra material (whether from shrinking or something else) might bunch up immediately behind the crown if you have a smaller head - to cause light dimples in the middle two panels on either side of the cap.

In the end I don't know - I hate buying LC caps online because it's just total russian roulette - you may get a sweet cap, or you may get a foreign made POS that is a non-starter from the word go due to a crooked visor. At least for me, and I'm not sure if this makes sense - the look of a traditional authentic high crown 59Fifty and it's front panels - is more authentic than the out-of-the-box look with a low crown - where the panels are simply cut thinner. What do you guys think ? Right now I'm leaning toward buying regular crown caps that can be high quality (i.e. picked out prior to buying by me) and then shaped into what you need. It's a super huge pain compared to wool - but from what I can tell at least somewhat possible with a good poly cap.
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