I’ve had a few students show up for classes with brand-new full-length leather aprons. In August. Cool. But not cool. After about 5 minutes of handwork, the aprons came off.
Canvas shop aprons breathe better, but they are still too hot in the spring, summer and autumn, especially if you do a lot of handsawing and planing.
That’s why we decided to make a waist apron instead of a traditional shop apron. I stay much cooler while working in this apron, even in the crazy heat.
Our apron is made in the USA and is designed to take a serious beating. The pockets are reinforced so your tools don’t rip through the canvas (a common problem). And the apron is not so big that you feel like a contractor who has a mobile workshop around the waist.
I’ve been using our waist apron every day for months now and could not be more pleased. It’s so comfortable and lightweight I’ve forgotten that I’m wearing it and have gone to lunch with it on.
If this sounds like a shameless plug, forgive me. But thanks to designer Tom Bonamici and the crew that stitched these aprons, they have exceeded my every expectation.
If you’ve read this far, here is a morsel of news to reward you: We are working on a compact tool roll using the same canvas and design principles.
It took us only 15 years, but we finally have our T-shirts exactly how we like them. Lightweight, long enough, breathable and made in the USA.
These gray heather shirts are 90 percent cotton and 10 percent poly. They fit true to size (we have a size chart in our store). Plus they are made in Tennessee and printed right here in Covington.
Megan and our summer intern, Harper, worked with our supplier to comb through dozens of brands to find the ones we liked. We narrowed it down to a few different brands and brought those in for testing. These shirts were far and away everyone’s favorite.
This shirt color and logo will be our standard shirt for the next couple years. When we sell out of a size, we will be able to quickly and inexpensively resupply because our screen printer is just a few blocks away.
The logo is screen printed in navy blue and is our “skep” (beehive) logo design by Joshua Minnich. The skep and the bee have long been symbols of woodworkers, who are busy bees. Our skep and bees have no connection to the Mormon church or Masons. There’s nothing wrong with either of those storied organizations, it’s just that the association between bees and woodworkers pre-dates either of them. (Sorry if this paragraph seems weird. People are always asking if the symbolism is connected to something outside woodworking.)
These shirts are $27 – a great price for a nice USA-made shirt. You can order yours here.
If you live overseas or are allergic to the gray hue, don’t despair. You can simply download this logo via this link and take it to your local print-on-demand shirt dealer. Or you can buy special printer paper that allows you to make a T-shirt transfer. Please just don’t put the logo on a thong. Or if you do put it on a thong, don’t send us a photo.
We have just received stock of our newest bandana design, and it’s a throwback to our first bandana. This one is black and features our skep logo, plus a bunch of dividers and bees. The big difference is that this bandana was made by One Feather Press.
These are the nicest, softest, well-printed bandanas we’ve ever encountered. They are made one at a time by one guy in his shop. Pre-washed. Ready to become a good friend on the first day.
The bandanas are 22” x 22” and cost $25. More details in our store.
Crucible Card Scrapers Back in Stock
For the last few months we’ve searched in vain for the steel to make our scrapers. Everyone was backordered until late July. Then one company said they had our steel in stock. We sent them $8,000 and discovered they were lying/mistaken/something not libelous.
A few terse communications later, they somehow found the steel and shipped it to us.
So now (after a lot of waterjet and machine tool action) we have scrapers in stock and ready to ship.
Other stuff: The GoDrilla bit extension is nearly done. We’ve solved the problem of the binding threads. Our holdfasts have been poured, but we are waiting on the grinders to do their thing. And we are working on some new T-shirts.
I know this last line of the blog entry (always a dangerous place for me) might curse us. But if you need a little bit of good news today, many things in our supply chains seem to be returning to normal. Everything we do is in the United States, so I have no idea how things are going with international companies. But here, my torn fingernails are starting to grow back a bit.
Several people have asked how to make their own apron hooks out of common hardware-store S-hooks. There are a few ways to do it, including some methods that are insanely better than what is here. (They will be posted in the comments shortly, I’m sure.)
Get a cheap S-hook at the hardware store. This package of two cost less than $3. Then hammer one of the hooks closed to make a piece of hardware that has a hook and a loop.
With one string of the apron, tie a loop as shown.
Hold the apron to your body and figure out where the hook should be secured on the other apron string. Then make it a little tighter than you think it should be. Once you load up the apron with stuff, you will want it tighter.
You are done. Now you can hook the apron on and off your body with one quick hand motion. And you have a couple hooks that make it easy to hang the apron on a nail in the wall at the end of the work day.
Our new Workshop Waist Apron is made in the USA and built to last. I have destroyed so many aprons made of “ballistic cloth” and other high-tech fabrics. This cotton canvas one takes a real beating. Above is a quick video discussing its development and features.