Apron Strings

I have had a shop apron for quite a long time now – heavy leather thing, possibly as fitting for a blacksmith’s shop as my workshop.  Has saved me a few times from debris from a kickback too.  Don’t wear it all the time though, as it is really a safety device, rather than a shop apron per say.

I don’t wear a carpenter’s belt in the workshop either – good for onsite, not for workshop use.

So there is a real gap, or niche waiting to be filled.

The apron to fill that gap would be cloth (cotton), light weight, breathable but durable.  It would need a heap of pockets – more tools the better!  Easy to put on and clip up.

Fortunately, that apron has already been made, in SA as it happens, by HenryEckert.com

HenryAlso available at this year’s Melbourne wood show on the Eckert stand.

This apron is for when I am using traditional tools/handtools/ working on the darkside. When sawdust is flying from power machinery then the leather apron which doesn’t have pockets, has a smooth exterior, and has a significant thickness (to stop pieces of timber intent on hurting me) is a real boon.

When I am wanting an apron that is more for protecting the clothing, and carrying a number of apron tools (without needing a carpenter’s belt), then this apron steps up to the mark. It is light weight, non-intrusive (you really know when you are wearing the leather one!), and places a number of hand tools right where you need them.

It is for the gentle schlich of the wood plane and the quiet rasp of the japanese saw, not the scream of tortured wood of the jointer, or the relentless rending of the tablesaw!

5 Responses

  1. I think the Veritas apron is a better design and it’s cheaper too. I like the flap over the front pocket that keeps sawdust away. On the Veritas, the pencil slot is horizontal so you don’t get jabbed when bending over.

  2. I actually have a different view on your discussion of aprons. I think having a light weight apron of cotton begs for it to get caught in something – not a good thing! Cotton is great when I am using the smoker or grill for BBQ, but I really don’t like it for the shop. Additionally, I don’t want a bunch of “stuff” hanging in front of me when I work.
    I loved your idea of a leather apron…..a bit stiffer and not so susceptible to catching on things. With the smooth side out, it would provide much better protection, and would not invite sawdust or splinters to cling to it. I’d have two pockets, one mounted high for a 6″ scale and a mechanical pencil, and perhaps one low for a tape measure. Where did you get your leather one??

    • I live in a similar climate to you Aussies and I think a heavy leather apron would be almost kinky!

      Seriously though, a cotton or canvas apron is just fine for hand tool work but perhaps leather is better for working the grinder and table saw.

      • Perhaps I should have clarified more! The leather apron I still use for machinery operations. I agree, when sawdust is flying, I don’t want it sticking to cotton, or going into pockets etc.

        This apron is very much more for handtool/darkside woodworking!

  3. Aprons are for women in the kitchen, Real men wear dust coats in the shop. That’s what my tool maker, cabinet maker, and gun maker Grandpa used to tell me. I was 6 or 7 I didn’t get it at the time.

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