Long sleeve, mid sleeve or short sleeve in the workshop?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 625 days ago 1288 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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795 posts in 710 days

625 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question shop dress winter clothing safety

As winter approaches, I find myself moving from the tee shirt to adding a flannel shirt over the tee. Eventually it will be thermal under garments. But, I don’t like to have long sleeves near power tools for safety reasons.

I am thinking about taking a couple of “work” flannel shirts and cutting off the sleeves so they just cover the elbow (what I call mid sleeve). The same with thermal under garments.

I would be interested in how you approach winter dress in the workshop.

Note: due to financial considerations it is not practical (cost) to heat the shop to much more than 50 degrees in the winter.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

25 replies so far

View junebug's profile


81 posts in 1004 days

#1 posted 625 days ago

when it gets cold, I have a cold weather compression shirt made by under armor that I wear. Fits super tight on my arms… I’m not concerned with it getting caught on anything

View dbhost's profile


5378 posts in 1831 days

#2 posted 625 days ago

It depends on the machine I am working on. I wear a long sleeve flannel when i don’t want to heat, up to the point that I start working on certain power tools. My big concerns are…

#1. Lathe. Under NO circumstances use the lathe with long sleeves. #2. Table saw. It’s less risky, but still risky. #3. Drill press.

Everything else, drill, jig saw, circ saw, recip saw, band saw, scroll saw etc… I am comfortable using safely with long sleeves. Just keep the sleeves buttoned at the wrists and you should be fine. No big floppy sleeves though, normal flannel type sleeves that stick close to your arm is best.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View BinghamtonEd's profile


1199 posts in 969 days

#3 posted 625 days ago

I wear lots of tassels whenever I’m going to be operating power tools.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Bill White

3344 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 625 days ago

Sweat shirt with the sleeves pulled up while operating some tools.


View Elizabeth's profile


792 posts in 1743 days

#5 posted 625 days ago

T-shirt. I have a zip up fleece jacket in the shop. If I’m using hand tools or planning/tidying, I have it on. Power tools, I take it off. I also have a heater in the shop to take the edge off on really chilly days.

View a1Jim's profile


112000 posts in 2176 days

#6 posted 625 days ago

long sleeves are fine as long as the fit snugly around your wrist.

-- Custom furniture

View mloy365's profile


429 posts in 1729 days

#7 posted 625 days ago

As usual, I agree with a1Jim.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1708 days

#8 posted 625 days ago

I work in a partially heated shop. During the winter, I start with long sleeve flannel until I am warm enough to take it off. I don’t wear it loose. I am not opposed to long sleeves on the lathe, I just won’t roll them up. Wood shavings can irritate the skin and the sleeves provide some protection. One thing to remember if you cut the sleeves to elbow length – Make sure that they are properly seamed on the ends that you cut. Threads start to unravel and those threads pose a higher risk of getting caught than a full sleeve in my opinion. Good question and good observations about shop safety.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Ripthorn's profile


735 posts in 1584 days

#9 posted 625 days ago

I have a work jacket that hangs in the shop that has elastic around the wrists, so there isn’t really anything loose.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View JesseTutt's profile


795 posts in 710 days

#10 posted 625 days ago

I should have mentioned that I don’t have much luck keeping sleeves rolled up.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View muleskinner's profile


662 posts in 1036 days

#11 posted 625 days ago

(photo deleted)

-- Visualize whirled peas

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


10409 posts in 1606 days

#12 posted 625 days ago

Ed – Sweeet tassles.

Ive got a shop hoody that i wear. Covered with filth and sawdust. No strings in the hood. Removed for safety.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Jeff in Huntersville

398 posts in 1794 days

#13 posted 625 days ago

Muleskinner – you must get splinters in interesting places

View ChuckV's profile


2378 posts in 2126 days

#14 posted 625 days ago

My shop is unheated. When it is cold, I wear a vest jacket over a sweatshirt. I roll up the sleeves of the sweatshirt when using machinery.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View MonteCristo's profile


2094 posts in 788 days

#15 posted 624 days ago

I’m with a1Jim.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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