Pockets full of wood chips are indeed better than pockets full of ice cream, but both are equally aggravating when you are trying to pay for something that requires pocket change. I am constantly trying to clean out wood chips from all my pockets (yes, including my dress pants). Even when my clothes come right out of the wash, I end up with a handful of mulch when I reach for my car keys. This problem has gotten worse since I started doing more wood turning (it is akin to standing in front of a wood chipper with an open trash bag), and don't get me started on the pockets of my hoodies! In short I have been having trouble leaving the workshop mess in the workshop. This is why I have been on the search for a good shop apron.
I bought a wood turners jacket a while ago, but I don't wear it much. It is extremely hot (it buttons up like a chef's coat) and it doesn't keep the debris out of my pants pockets at all. I tried a denim apron that I found at an online retailer but it lasted abut a month before I wore a hole in it and the pocket came un-stitched... it is now a shop rag. For Christmas this year my wife, tired of finding wood pulp in the washing machine (I told her I was making paper), bought me a well made, sensible shop apron. It is a heavy leather split with a pocket on the inside for the rare occasion I am not wearing my overalls...genius! There are two straps that go over the shoulders and cross in the back to keep the apron from sagging or shifting while I am madly toiling away in the shop.
This apron, aside from a little sawdust, looks brand new after almost three months of heavy use. We'll see what it looks like after a year or so to determine its true durability. The leather, believe it or not, actually breathes a little and without a back is much cooler to wear than the turners jacket, and it fits over my sweatshirts if it's extra cold. The apron covers the upper pockets on my overalls and is long enough to cover my pants pockets at the same time. Another nicety of the leather is that I can use it while I'm working on my metalworking machines without worrying about ruining my clothes (not that I'm wearing my Louis Vuitton overalls into the shop, but metal is sharp and oil makes a mess). If you are considering a shop apron, I'd feel comfortable recommending this one from Lie Nielsen to anyone.
Whew, I made it through the entire post without making a joke about wood in my pants.
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