Shop aprons that cover your torso are great, but they can be impractical during the summer, in heated shops or for people who do a lot of physical handwork. For years, we tried using tool belts for carpentry, but those are designed for a ridiculous amount of equipment and a 50’ tape measure.
The solution that we love is a waist apron. And we have designed ours from the ground up to be ideal for woodworkers. It is compact and breathes – it won’t leave a giant sweat stain behind like some shop aprons. And it is designed for the tools that most woodworkers need constantly – but not much more. A 12’ tape measure, a 6” combination square, 6” rules, pencils and maybe a knife or a small block plane.
All these fit nicely into the waist apron without feeling too bulky.
The Lost Art Press waist apron is made from 10-ounce cotton canvas, with reinforced pockets that will withstand heavy workshop use. The two main pockets are 6” deep and about 8” wide, with a side pocket on the right for a pencil or a 6” rule. You secure the apron to your waist using two canvas ties, which can be easily tied around an apron hook if you prefer. (The total length of the apron including the two ties is 67”, and the ties have a nice amount of elasticity.)
The front of the waist apron is printed with our favorite “Never Despair: Nothing Without Labour” woodcut in blue, just like an old fashioned nail apron you could buy at the hardware store. Unlike those cheap aprons, though, ours uses much tougher materials and is sewn to last.
The aprons were designed by Tom Bonamici, screen printed in Eugene, Oregon, and expertly sewn by Terry Shuck in Springfield, Oregon. The price is $48, which we think is remarkable for a garment of this quality and complexity.
— Christopher Schwarz