Eric Renderking Fisk - Revised December 2010
Introduction By Eric 'Renderking' Fisk.
me, the history of The Internet is synonymous with the history of the
retrocentric and "Indy fan" on-line community, I can't separate the two
in my mind or heart. Back in 1998 When I first starting posting on-line
in my search to find other retrocentrics, vintage style aficionados and
of course other 'Indiana Jones' fans, there were a handful of
communities out there. If you can call two a handful... But this was the
dawn of the public internet, only a few years earlier were we allowed
use of the on-line infrastructure. I remember I was using a browser
"Mosaic" back in 1994 trying to find where I could buy a
decent fedora, and failing badly.
When I found one of the earliest communities that
MIGHT possibly have an idea where I could find what I was looking for, I
got more then I bargained for. Let's face it - the reason why a lot of
us love classic movies is because of "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and the
two other sequels. Were it not for the Spielberg/Lucas blockbusters...
I'm not sure how many of us would be wearing brown melon toppers with
tall crowns and medium brims. Finding an on-line community where there
were people who were just as obsessed about how this character dressed
and the specifics of particular items made me feel like I was home. Home
Of course there were the people we met on these
early bulletin boards. They were just as colorful and eccentric as those
at Rick's Cafe American in "Casablanca," except we weren't looking for
no lousy "Letters of Transit," but the most accurate, highest quality
One of those people were of course none other than
Steve Delk, the only man who's obsession was deeper than mine. I just
wanted to buy one fedora, have it be "the best," and move on and buy the
next one only when I had to. Steve on the other hand would buy up any
new fedora on the market, whether he had one that was “good enough”
already or not.
Then Mr. Delk did the work that none of us dared to
do; he went to the library and e-bay to find books on hat making end
read. He bought felt bodies, authentic hat bodies and tools, anything
that he could get his hands on that were part of the process and craft
all the while he was learning to reblock his own fedoras. When he got
tired of doing that he made his own using new materials. He also sought
out the best material makers.
All the while, he was reblocking fedoras from other
manufacturers for fellow fans like me. I had two rabbit-felt fedoras
reblocked by him, one I have a way to a visiting fan that was hatless
during the holidays, and the other that’s a collector’s piece
so-to-speak. People come into my home and ask “Is that it? Is that the
one?” meaning is that the same fedora Harrison Ford wore in “Raiders Of
The Lost Ark,” I say it is indeed “The One,” but not the one they think.
It’s significant for a whole host of reasons that I can’t explain
without a whole new rant.
Steve’s generosity to the fans is legendary, first
by making old fedoras new again, then by making new ones with better
material than we could ever imagine, and then making
the fedora for “Kingdom Of The
Crystal Skull.” For me, though, that’s not why Steve and his work are
There’s no other way to say it; Steve doesn’t take
any crap from anyone. He doesn’t put up with other half-assed fedora
vendors trashing the fedora wearing community. His vehement loyalty to
the community is second to none, not even to my own, and he wasn’t
afraid to stand up to a few con-artists and swindlers who wanted to sell
inferior products at ridiculous over-inflated prices. To my knowledge
he’s stood up to more than a few of those types and at least two forums
that were trying to pass chicken-scat as chicken salad. All of whom have
suffered the consequences, not because of anything he’s done to them
besides turning their own lies and ridiculous twisted concept of logic
against themselves. He did it all with a kind word to the fans, his
customers and supporters while at the same time mentoring a few of the
other, newer fedora vendors who will pick up where he will leave off in
the decades to come.
There are some things you buy because of its
quality alone. There are things you buy because it’s a status symbol.
Then there are things you buy because of the reputation. Steve’s
products are the best of all three, his fedoras have a pedigree that are
like no other. He’s a fellow fan of the Indiana Jones films and fedora
aficionado who didn’t accept “good enough” as good enough. This
community is better for it and I highly doubt there could have been a
Fedora Chronicles without an advocate like Steve “Fedora” Delk.
With that said, I'm forever grateful for Steve and
what he's done, from his friendship, loyalty and perfection that's both
consuming and infectious; we're all better people for knowing him and
being his customers.
I'm excited to see what happens in this community
now that he's brought the hat industry to a higher level, if not saved
J. "Hemingway" Steiner: Location: Metro-Boston
"Steve Delk crafts a fedora in the same tradition and to the exact measurements
of the original This is a hat meant for sailing down the Nile on the way
to Luxor and The Valley of the Kings, or following an ancient map to a lost
There is a photo of me with a blue shirt in Puerto Rico at the Arecibo
Observatory, which was in The James Bond Movie: "Golden Eye". You can wear
yours sipping cappuccino at a cafe in the Piazza Navona or strolling along
the banks of the Seine. Either way, the spirit of adventure is the same..."
Richard A Wolles - "Fedoralover"
Location: The Great Northwest
let me say that since I'm mainly a vintage fedora collector, my standards
for a good fedora are the ones set by the quality Cavanaghs, Stetsons, Borsalino's
etc. So to be honest I was a little nervous about getting a new fedora as
most of the ones I've had or seen I've been disappointed in. Also, since
I have known Steve for around 4 or 5 years, I thought, "what am I going
to say if I don't like it?" I didn't want to hurt his feelings if it didn't
meet my expectations.
But when I got my black fedora yesterday and gave it my critical examination,
I have to say I didn't have to worry about that, as I really was impressed.
First the 100% beaver felt is finely pounced and is indeed probably the
closest thing one can get today to a vintage quality felt. It is soft to
an unimaginable degree. It is a heavier weight felt, probably twice that
of a vintage borsalino, that's just a guess but that's what it feels like.
Again for the price Steve charges for one of these felt hats is a deal you
can't get anywhere else to my knowledge.
met my specs for the dimensions. In the pic he sent, he said it had a 5
1 /2 inch open crown, well that concerned me a little since I had requested
it to be 5 3/4. So I think when Steve wrote that he had been up late making
hats, because when I measured it, it was EXACTLY 5 3/4 inches, just as I
requested. I had also asked for a 2 3/4 inch brim and that is EXACTLY what
The sweatband I really liked because it resembles the brown vintage ones
I'm used to, the liner was sewn in and not glued. Steve had some black vintage
ribbon he used and it really looked great. I also asked for a double bow
on the back which was expertly done. Nothing tacky about it at all. I could
only see one stitch holding it on, all the others are hidden.
crown block is the same one he uses for his Indy Raiders fedora. If anyone
wants a crown shape that matches the straight sided ones of yesteryear,
this is the one to ask for because he does have a different one he uses
for the Last Crusade style. When shaped it really looks like a vintage fedora.
the brim is raw edged as Steve doesn't put the edge binding on them, but
it is flanged just right to get the snap brim in front and the curl in back.
Steve specializes in Indy fedora's but if he starts to get more calls
for vintage reproductions, he may want to think about coming up with and
stocking another liner that has more of a vintage fedora look to it. The
one he has now is geared to the Indy fedora and while it is very nice and
suits that purpose, in my opinion if he could come up with a different Art
Deco design that would fit the 30s to 40s look it would just add to this
already great hat. I really like this hat and if anyone is thinking
of having a vintage reproduction fedora made, I can highly recommend the
Adventurebilt in 100% beaver made by Steve Delk. It is the best deal you
can get for that high of a quality fedora.
Location: Suburb of Chicago, Illinois
"I have been looking for a hat that
is the closest to the HJ that I had bought from Lee Keppler back in 1990.
After seeing many different pictures of the Adventurebilt lids I decided
to order one from Steve. I asked for and received the Cairo bash. This hat
is the most accurate hat on the market today." This is a
which gives a great view of that familiar shape...
Here are two of me lounging in the backyard and a few of me and my DW drum kit. I donned the hat for the pictures."
Jonathan – (“J_Weaver”)Location: West Virginia, United States
My Adventurebilt is pure rabbit felt, smooth and soft. I ordered mine
open crown so I could bash it myself. However, Steve will style the hat
for you if you want. There is just one problem with the Adventurebilt, it's
addicting. After you have one you will quickly begin to want another.
The Adventurebilt is without a doubt one of the finest hats made today.
Whether you want an Indiana Jones style hat or just a stylish outdoor or
dress hat the Adventurebilt is the hat for you.
I was a child I have always dreamed about an Indy hat. Few months ago I
met Steve Delk (and his production). Steve helped me a lot, his prices are
the best ever seen and the support service is really the best you can get
ever. He still keeps on helping me with any question I have by email replying
as soon as he can.
I paid him very easily, and shipment was very fast. An incredible deal!
on the left: Errico's Stetson and Adventurebilt for comparison.
About the style
I ordered a Raven bar-like Adventurebilt, I had to shape
it a bit more, customizing it, after it arrived but I can say it's the best
hat ever saw and so close to the original hat.
I like the Adventurebilt a lot more than my old 1984 Stetson because it's
more screen accurate, actually it's exactly like the Indiana Jones screen
used hat, and I'm so proud of this. The rabbit felt is a wonderful material
much better than wool and more shapable. It can take a bit of water with
no worrying (far from the wool Stetson hat).
I think the Stetson is a good cheap Indy hat and maybe the perfect gate
to the indygear world. The Adventurebilt is the perfect Indy hat and Steve's
support is great.
Fedora made a dream of my childhood come true! Thanks Steve
The first thing that I noticed when taking my Adventurebilt out of
the box was the quality of the beaver felt. This hat must be touched
and handled to be truly appreciated. It is extremely smooth and light
to the touch. The color is a very rich, deep, true brown. You can see
the quality from across the room.
I have shaped all of my hats
myself. This felt is by far superior to work with. It is
very pliable and responds well to a little coaxing with the fingers.
The brim also responds to whatever bending and shaping is applied.
The crown is straight sided making it easy to achieve that one of a kind
Having wanted a Raiders of the
Lost Ark fedora for many years, I now know that I have found the hat.
To me, the block is dead on, the felt is easy to work with, and the
finished product is screen accurate. If you have been searching for the
perfect Raiders, as I have, or just want a nice, high quality dress hat,
Adventurebilt is the way to go.