How do you keep a block in tip-top shape? There are a few basic rules in block use that if followed, will keep your block looking like new or if an old block, keep it looking better than when it came home with you.
Always cover the block with plastic or aluminum foil before using. This means, cover for felt, straw and buckram blocking. And always remove the cover when done blocking. Dye color especially is harmful and easy to transfer to the new hatbody if the old covering is left on the block.
It is also important to remove the plastic or foil after use in case moisture has crept under the covering. Allow the block to dry out before storing.
If wanting a nicer looking block, lightly sand to remove old stains and varnish. You can then apply a clear restorative finish if you desire.
Hat Block Repair Examples
There are things one can do to repair the cracks, chips and dips in an older block. Even a puzzle block missing a piece or two can be salvaged. If you are a skilled woodworker you can do this yourself. (See images one and two). Otherwise, find someone that can make the piece for you. The remainder of our examples can be done by anyone.