Who wears a shop apron?

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Forum topic by GrizzlyBagWorks posted 03-24-2014 04:14 PM 1968 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 1015 days

03-24-2014 04:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop apron apron artisan apron woodworking apron

Hey Guys,

So I’m hoping to get a little input from those of you that have a little more experience than myself. I’m making a shop apron for a friend to give as part of a wedding gift but am not really sure what features I should build into it for him. Since it’s a surprise I can’t exactly ask and I’m really not experience enough in the shop to know what is practical

I made the apron seen below for myself and like it but am wondering what things a more seasoned craftsman looks for. Half the time I’m just shoving in my digital calipers, a pencil, a pocket square

I guess most basically:

  • What tools do you keep in your apron?
  • What kind of strap, or retention system do you like?

Thanks so much for your help guys!

21 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21591 posts in 1762 days

#1 posted 03-24-2014 04:19 PM

Yours looks awesome. What kind of tools anyone carries varies greatly with the type of work they do. General purpose is the best you can probably do.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#2 posted 03-24-2014 04:41 PM

View chrisstef's profile


15489 posts in 2430 days

#3 posted 03-24-2014 04:48 PM

Ive been wearing the Veritas shop apron on and off for a few months. Ive found that I like to keep a sharpie and a couple of pencils in the upper pouch and a tape measure or rule in the lower pouches. Occasionally ill tuck a block plane in there too.

The one thing I like about the Veritas version is the criss cross strapping that doesn’t hang around my neck. It puts the support more on my shoulders. My only beef is that most of the time in the winter I wear a hoody in the shop and getting the apron on and off is a pain with a hood.

I like the stylings of your apron.

-- "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

View lateralus819's profile


2236 posts in 1314 days

#4 posted 03-24-2014 11:54 PM

I definitely need a damn pouch. Im constantly losing tapes, pencils, squares, and small block planes. What is the faric you used?

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16822 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 12:12 AM

I wear an apron or a shop coat. One thing I found is that when I use the coat for turning, I sewed flaps over the pockets so they did not fill with chips

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View GrizzlyBagWorks's profile


61 posts in 1015 days

#6 posted 03-25-2014 12:13 AM

thanks for the feedback and compliments! I really appreciate it. I’ll look into the x-strap setup a little further. I discounted it initially because I thought it would be a nuisance to put on and take off but it sounds like it might be a good option. I was considering adding a flap over the large pockets on the waist that could be pulled over the top to keep sawdust from filling the pockets but then tucked behind the opening for quick access. Looks like the veritas apron has something similar.

Do you think those loops for hammers/tape measurer are really worth it? Seems like people just add them on to the aprons for looks or “added features” but I really wonder how useful they would be. I’d rather make it as minimalist as possible.

@lateralus, the fabric is a midweight cotton canvas with polyester inner lining to “class it up” a bit. The first one I made was out of denim, which I also liked. I ended up remaking it in canvas since I felt this one was a little too narrow across the chest and a little too long.

View lateralus819's profile


2236 posts in 1314 days

#7 posted 03-25-2014 12:16 AM

Awesome very nice. Sewed it yourself?

View GrizzlyBagWorks's profile


61 posts in 1015 days

#8 posted 03-25-2014 12:18 AM

Thanks—I did!

View lateralus819's profile


2236 posts in 1314 days

#9 posted 03-25-2014 12:21 AM

Great job! It’s very clean. My M-I-L owns an alteration shop, was thinking of having her make one. Now that i see this i should just try it myself!

View theoldfart's profile


7945 posts in 1875 days

#10 posted 03-25-2014 12:38 AM

Grizzly, when I had loops on my work clothes they kept on catching on the machines I worked on. Most inconvenient.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View widdle's profile


2054 posts in 2423 days

#11 posted 03-25-2014 12:55 AM

i’ll chime in as i was recently looking into one.. Trying to get a tape onto a strap is not happening. If your right handed..The tape would be on your left and pencil on your right..Square on the left ..Pencil on your right.. nails on your left..hammer on the right side..

View Rick's profile


8287 posts in 2457 days

#12 posted 03-25-2014 03:05 AM

I don’t use an apron unless I’m on a job site. I’m Left Handed, have never had a problem with Standard Aprons, which I assume are designed for Right Handed People. OR Maybe they’re Universal.

Excellent Workmanship on Yours!

The one below is Lee Valleys Largest One. On Site they have Other Details of this one.

They also have 4/5 other types.

This Is THE LINK for the lead in page for all of them.


My Personal Favorite is the Cotton Canvas One As Below.


-- Hope Everyone Is Doing Well! .... Best Regards: Rick

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1870 days

#13 posted 03-25-2014 04:44 AM

Grizzly,why don’t you make a few and sell them to members here? I like the one you made ,it looks tough and durable.
I have cheap one I wear ,got it for free from Pizza-pizza,but I would hate to be seen wearing it I look like a bloody cook.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View JoeinGa's profile


7386 posts in 1431 days

#14 posted 03-25-2014 12:05 PM

For the “criss-cross” straps check out the aprons they wear at Home Depot. I wore one for 7 years. You can adjust the way it hangs on your body (higher or lower) and also how tight it is around your stomach area by adjusting the length when you tie it on.

Another thought… is your friend right handed or left handed? The way you have the narrow space for a pencil angled on yours appears to be for a lefty.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View DrDirt's profile


4143 posts in 3166 days

#15 posted 03-25-2014 01:48 PM

I have the Lee Valley apron – an it is comfortable.

I find I mostly wear an apron when I go to a woodworking class, and not as much at home… just because I need to keep my crap together more at a class, and can’t leave pencils on the table saw fence – and I like to keep setting my ruler down, and walking away.

in my shop, I can put stuff where I want rather than needing to wear it.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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