More on Apron Hooks (Apologies)

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Based on some comments from readers, my blog entry on apron hooks was a waste of time.

And so, in my never-ending efforts to annoy, here is some more on apron hooks.

Data digger Jeff Burks started searching for the things. In all his travels, Jeff says he’s never seen any in New England, and I’ve never seen any for sale at Midwest auctions. However, Jeff turned up tons of them in France.

Called “crochets de tablier,” they are many times trade-specific. Check out the one above for woodworkers.

“I’ve found a lot of images of French metal detectorists who have unearthed these things in a field,” Jeff writes. “The designs seem to be mostly trade specific, with the pile of joiners tools and the workbench being unusually common. There are many variations on the same theme, which suggest that they were made over a long period of time by many foundries. I’m having a difficult time understanding why the heart shaped ones are associated with tanners. Have not seen any three- or four-leaf clovers.”

Want to see a bunch? Jeff recommends this page.

Despite R.A. Salaman’s drawings, which shows two hooks on the apron, these things show up mostly as one piece. The implication is that the hook goes into a reinforced button-hole-like opening in the apron.

If I get to France this summer, I’ll have to look for some.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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31 Responses to More on Apron Hooks (Apologies)

  1. Rick says:

    I think apron hooks are f-ing cool. I vote we (woodworker community) revive them! Viva la hook!

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  2. mitchwilson says:

    That apron hook looks great. I think that everyone who has ordered a Roubo book should be given one as a bonus.

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  3. Nick Conner says:

    I love the idea of an apron hook. After I read your post I kept thinking of ways to make them for my shop and kitchen apron. A great idea indeed.

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  4. lew60 says:

    Reposting my comment from your earlier blog. The simple technology of securing an apron (or other clothing) can illicit such a range of solutions and responses. Surprised no one mentioned velcro with it’s many hooks.;-)

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  5. Nobody knows what they were for (the patissier?), but you can have your very own authentic heart-shaped crochets de tablier right here, Chris.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Boucle-crochet-de-tablier-en-forme-de-c-ur-/140903624589?pt=FR_JG_Collections_Cuisine&hash=item20ce82af8d

    First it was pollssoirs, now crochets… What next? Je ne sais pas! Mais, il sera interessant, bien sur!

    (Ahhh…. ouch. Had to dig deep for that future tense. Stupid irregular etre. I’m spent.)

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  6. Mike Brookes says:

    If you get the opportunity please come and visit us in the Loire valley

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  7. John Vernier says:

    These could be the direct ancestors of giant pewter belt buckles with trucks on them, but they are much less likely to scratch your work!

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  8. Jeff Burks says:

    You must have at least 15 pieces of flair on your apron to work in this shop…

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  9. Brian says:

    After becoming trapped in my apron due to the neat bow turning into a “knot of death”, I’ll order a bunch of these. Do they come in extra large?

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  10. Chuck N says:

    It’s sad I know, but now I must have one.

    Where is that article I kept on casting bronze?

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  11. Brett says:

    They’re like cuff links with hooks.

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  12. Narayan says:

    The nice thing about apron hooks is that you can hang cured meats off them.

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    • David Pickett says:

      Good idea, but not while they’re holding your apron on you, or you’ll have have people following you around with sharp knives trying to cut off a slice. Not to mention every dog and cat in the vicinity.

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  13. John says:

    The legs of the bench on the hook are not flush with the bench top – not Roubo?

    If I tried wearing one of those meat hooks, I’d back up, catch it on my clamp rack and need a lot of stitches after I called for help to get loose!

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  14. Wendy D. says:

    Chris, I can cast items like this at work (metalsmithing studio). What design would you like? I’m serious.

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    • You know you’re going to have to make more than one if you make one for Chris, right Wendy?

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      • Wendy D. says:

        Are you asking if I’m going to bring enough for everyone? 🙂 Once I have a wax master carved, then casting more is easy. Any ideas on what design this rowdy crowd would like?

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      • (In Reply to your response below, Wendy…)

        If not a copy of an original, then… How about something along the lines of Chris’s Anarchist “A” Dividers? Or the wooden square he makes?

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      • Wendy D. says:

        Is this a test? The Anarchist “A” is an English layout square, not dividers. Chris’s maker’s mark is a pair of dividers.

        The square would make a good tramp clamp design. Let me get at least one done before I offer them to the masses (with LAP’s permission, of course.).

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        • The dividers is used for more than the maker’s mark, though. I’ve always viewed it as a stylized Anarchist “A”.

          Take, for example, his #5. Dividers engraved on the cheeks. Not a maker’s mark per he didn’t do it, so I would consider it another representation of “A” for Anarchist.

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  15. tsstahl says:

    I envision a future anthropologist musing over a plastic clothespin and much the same conversation being repeated. 🙂

    I like the flair quip, and ‘tramp clamp’; funny. 🙂

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  16. Paul says:

    Okay, I’m hooked 🙂 But will using an apron hook improve my woodwork?

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  17. JackF says:

    Do they come with a bottle opener on the back?

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  18. Rick says:

    Wow, a friggin french apron hook, to go on a french apron while working on a french bench made with french oak…..amazing

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  19. John Switzer says:

    The sharp little points on the hooks are really there to keep you from lying down on your workbench and taking a nap.

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  20. maeldred says:

    I bet there was a button hole on each side and the hook slipped through one all the way to the hilt then just clasped the other like a meat hook.

    The guy in the drawing was probably wearing two because they didn’t make aprons in his rather portly size.

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  21. Paul says:

    We don’t wear no stinking aprons, not in my shop!

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