Shop Apron

UncleJoe

Joe
User
Listened to a recent Podcast from Finewoodworking and they got on the topic of shop aprons. I began using an apron about 8 years ago and I like it. I currently use an apron from Dulth Trading and one of the features I like is mesh bottoms in the ppockets so sawdust flows through. I don't like everything on the apron adn I thought about making my own. My mother taght me the basics of using a sewing machine when I was a boy and an apron really does not require any fancy thread work.

For those of us that use aprons, what do you have in your apron all the time? I want to make custom pockets for the things I carry and place them where they make sense. For example on the Duluth apron there are 3 nice small pockets in the center at about waist hieght for sscrew drives. It looks good but if I put 3 screw drivers there and have to bend over it just does not work.

I am looking for Ideas here. This is what I currently carry on a daily basis:
  • 12' Tape measure
  • Small Square
  • Small Triangle
  • 6" combo square
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie
  • Pen
  • Notepad
  • 6" steel rule
  • Dust collector remote
  • Small rag for glue cleanup hangs from hammer loop
  • Razor knife
  • Kreg Multi Mark
  • Cell Phone.
Any ideas are appreciated. I may be missing something.
 

Dee2

Gene
Corporate Member
I carry two pencil sized pockets of shavings whenever I turn on the lathe. It's a leather apron and it takes about 2 minutes of thumping to clear those leeches out of the pockets. LOL!
 

Graywolf

Richard
Corporate Member
I currently wear an apron with three pencil pockets and two lower pockets that I carry a small tape measure, a small tab of wood for checking my hand planes, sometimes a sharpe or a marker of some kind. These pockets have short flaps to keep the saw dust or shavings out of the pockets. They work pretty well. The pencil pockets carry just that pencils. I do not turn in this apron, experience has taught me that a turners smock is a better choice In that circumstance.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
Hudson Durable Goods apron.
6" ruler, 4" double square, 3" engineer's square, 12' tape measure, a chuck of paraffin wax, chalk, folding marking knife, utility knife, mechanical pencil, conventional pencil, Lee Valley pocket tool. I too work at the lathe in a smock instead of an apron.
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
I have an apron that I bought from Klingspor's, but I don't wear it as much as I "should." When I do, I'll keep a lead holder/pencil, tape measure, and maybe a 4" double square
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
I like to wear an apron, it does cut down on the amount of dust I carry into the house. While I like to wear one, I don't always think about it. That said, I am not sure about the "mesh pockets", I typically carry wood screws and I am not sure how this would work with mesh. Flaps are an absolute essential, without them (or if they become tucked into the pocket) I would carry more sawdust than anything else. In addition to screws, I typically have a few pencils, tape measure/rule and a small square.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
I use an apron that used to have a neck loop and strings to tie behind my back. I cut those off and made criss cross straps that I can just drop over my head and it neatly fits on me. No fussing, never too tight or too loose or itchy around my neck! Joe, I pretty much carry what you do. Mine has flaps over the lower pockets, but they're way too small and so I empty the pockets of saw dust about once a month!
 

UncleJoe

Joe
User
Hudson Durable Goods apron.
6" ruler, 4" double square, 3" engineer's square, 12' tape measure, a chuck of paraffin wax, chalk, folding marking knife, utility knife, mechanical pencil, conventional pencil, Lee Valley pocket tool. I too work at the lathe in a smock instead of an apron.
What is the Lee Valley Pocket tool?
 

UncleJoe

Joe
User
I use an apron that used to have a neck loop and strings to tie behind my back. I cut those off and made criss cross straps that I can just drop over my head and it neatly fits on me. No fussing, never too tight or too loose or itchy around my neck! Joe, I pretty much carry what you do. Mine has flaps over the lower pockets, but they're way too small and so I empty the pockets of saw dust about once a month!
love the criss cross strap feature, I will have to do that. I hate reaching around my back trying to clip my apron together. It would help if I lost some weight but it is what it is.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
I don't wear an apron but I do wear a turners' smock and that works out just fine for me.
 

Gunnage

Greg
User
I have been thinking about a new apron myself. I have a Rockler fabric one which has lots of pockets, but I love the idea of mesh bottoms. I think there is probably about 1 lb of saw dust in the big pockets right now. Flaps are also interesting.

I really like having things close, but I often take it off if I'm doing any finishing, b/c I don't want to get saw dust on things. One thing I like is having several slightly different small pockets. I wish had more so I could store some chalk and/or lumber crayon in addition to pencils and a sharpie.
 

Ed Fasano

Ed
Senior User
I have been thinking about a new apron myself. I have a Rockler fabric one which has lots of pockets, but I love the idea of mesh bottoms. I think there is probably about 1 lb of saw dust in the big pockets right now. Flaps are also interesting.

I really like having things close, but I often take it off if I'm doing any finishing, b/c I don't want to get saw dust on things. One thing I like is having several slightly different small pockets. I wish had more so I could store some chalk and/or lumber crayon in addition to pencils and a sharpie.
After many years of use in my home shop, my Rockler light denim apron now resides at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse workshop where I volunteer. A good apron for the money, but the sawdust in the pockets was/is an issue.
The perfect shop apron is elusive. It's not unlike looking for the perfect camera and/or golf bag. I do like my new Hudson Durable Goods apron. The flaps over the lower pockets are welcome, as is the kangaroo pocket. On the down-side, it's perhaps a bit heavy and a little harder to get into.
In any case, a good shop apron can be the best tool in the shop.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
This is the one I wear: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W3V6735/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1. It has good sized flaps over the pockets which work well to keep out the dust. I carry a 0.5mm pencil and a carpenters pencil, a 12 foot tape measure, and a flush cut folding saw all the time. I put squares and other things in it when I need them. I also load up a pocket with screws when I am using a bunch. I don't love the way it goes on, I have to slip the head in that opening and the arms in their opening and then clip it together in back. I also don't love the magnet on the front. It is occasionally handy but usually it just attaches to the table saw or something. But overall I like it. I had a different apron that I didn't like as well because the pockets filled up with dust. I have also tried a couple tool belts. They were too bulky. I used my apron when I was framing up a few walls and hanging the drywall. It was the handiest way to carry the tools I needed.
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
I got a ballstic apron from fastcap and hung it up and then never used it, lol, Might need to rethink that as I keep "losing" stuff. Think its one of those things I have to ingrain into my routine.

 

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