Quick Poll

Shop ApronWoodworking can be tough on your clothes.  I can’t tell you how many times I have reached across a glue up to only to discover later the telltale streak of glue over a favorite tee shirt.  Ruined forever!  Or, after routing a series of dovetails, find that I have sawdust in ‘uncomfortable places’ in my clothing.

To overcome these challenges, some woodworkers turn to shop aprons.  Many are dirt cheap, made of light canvas and given away to advertise some lumberyard or hardware store.  Others are from the other side of the spectrum, custom made of top-grain leather, expertly tailored to fit comfortably and keep a selection of tools close at hand.

So, what are your thoughts about shop aprons?  Essential comfort and safety clothing or something for woodworkers who care about the designer clothes they wear to the shop?

[poll id=”41″]

10 thoughts on “Quick Poll”

  1. There’s one thing about the ones you buy in the woodworking stores–they must be made for 6’5″ men and not for 5’3″ women!!!! I bought a denim Gourmet Cooking apron that fits me perfectly. It has two pockets, it doesn’t pull uncomfortably at the neck, and it now sports lots of speckles of stains on it!!!


  2. I came across my Woodworking Apron the other day when I was doing some clearing in my old workshop. It had fallen down behind something and got hidden.
    Don’t think I’d even registered it was missing!
    It tend to wear really old clothes when I’m WW-ing.
    The amount of glue I’ve wiped of my hands onto the trousers has to be seen to be believed:)
    For Turning, a ‘proper’ turning smock beats an apron hands down anyday.

  3. I put mine on when I enter the shop.

    Most everything I need is at hand. Saftey glasses, marking knife, small sq., pencils, block plane in a pocket, 12′ tape, 6″ ruler Etc.

    Just like Norms’ Tool belt, an apron is my Go To Gear.

    Then there is my tool tray that I move from station to station. But Heah That is another story.


  4. Hey Tom,

    On weekends, when I have a choice, I wear bib overalls, but on weekdays, after work, and before I go home, I’ll wear an apron when things get messy.

    When I retire, I hope to wear nothing but bibs every day!


  5. I have two, a light weight one for messy jobs. A heavy leather one I got from a farrier, a horse shoeing guy. After experiencing a kickback and sporting a nasty bruise on my belly for weeks I saw him when he was shoeing my daughters horse and asked why such a heavy apron. He said not so much to keep clean but “To spread the force should a horse kick”.

    I have yet to test this theory but it looks good on paper!

  6. I use an old Rockler denim one my mother gave me as a birthday present a few years back. It is covered with glue, finish and silicone (I don’t limit its use to woodworking). Anytime the glue or stain comes out of the cupboard the apron goes on.

  7. I just have shop clothes. You know, a few pair of jeans and shorts that can’t be worn in public anymore, and an assortment of T-shirts and sweatshirts. I have actually considered an apron, but am more prone to wear a tool belt if the need arises. Maybe if I could find and beautiful lavender apron:D

  8. We don need no stinking aprons!!!!

    I have one… (denim) and I do wear it from time to time….when I think of it… but, who has time to think about “messy” when you are in the shop??


  9. Laugh at me all you want. I can’t my inspiration on until I put my apron on. I have a GREAT apron I ordered from Duluth Trading. Unfortuantely, they don’t sell it anymore. I has wide suspender straps, so it doesn’t bind or hang off of your neck. Just enough pockets. I sewed a rare earth magnet into a chest pocket so it will hold my double square ready at hand.

  10. Hey, Doug, do you see me laughing? 🙂

    I can understand. All those pockets make it very convenient to find those small tools you reach for all the time…

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