I’m going to start this blog with some doubt. I’m not sure if this qualifies as the type of subject matter that is appropriate for Lumberjocks. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone by talking about something that is not wood or tool related. However, this could be something that could be considered as a “tool”. I’m talking about the lowly nail apron. You know, like the one Norm made famous in his TV show, “The New Yankee Wood Shop”. He always wore one on his show. But, the type I’m talking about is the “old” cloth or canvas nail apron your grandfather wore. In fact, my grandfathers apron was the start of my collection many years ago.
I like nail aprons. In fact, I like them so much, I collect them and hang them in my wood shop. It all started when my grandfather died when I was 3 months old. He was a carpenter by trade. When I turned 18 years old, I inherited his wood tool chest. In it I found the usual things such as; a block plane, hand saws, pencils wore down to only a couple of inches, hammers, etc. and tucked way down in the corner was a cloth nail apron. My grandfather died in 1953, so these items were tucked away for several years. When I opened the tool chest it was like opening a treasure chest. I never met the man, but when I hold his tools or look at his well worn apron, I get the sense of knowing him and how he worked.
Everywhere I go, wherever I live, I had some type of wood shop. I would hang his apron on the wall for me to look at. A few years ago, I ended up with a couple of extra old cloth nail aprons so I hung them up to keep Granddad company. Then it happened! Someone saw what I had and gave me a couple. When I go to estate sales, I pick up a couple. And it just snowballed.
Recently, a local newspaper caught wind of my collection and wrote an article about it. It’s not just having an apron, but it’s listening to them speak to me about the hard work they went through. You can’t hardly find them anymore. They are becoming scarce. I guess it’s my way of preserving the past. My way of keeping grandpa alive.
This blog will be about my adventures with the cloth nail apron. I’m going to start out with the article and go from there. Thanks for reading.
-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!