Aprons play a prominent role in the world of woodworking. Aprons come in a variety of styles and varieties. If you are a woodworker, you are probably looking out for a useful apron for yourself as well.
Reasons, why woodworkers wear aprons, are many. Primarily, they wear them to protect their clothes from flying debris and liquid splashes. But you will find that you can use aprons for many other purposes like storing your tools and keeping them at a place where you can whip them out when you need them.
We use woodworking aprons for a variety of purposes. Primarily, we use them to protect our clothes. But they are useful for other purposes as well. Woodworkers have worn aprons in their woodworking workshops since time immemorial.
If you are not familiar with aprons, then you might feel awkward wearing such long apparel with ties and perhaps a strap or two. But when you think about it, you see chefs, butchers, blacksmiths, and a long list of people from other professions wearing them.
Aprons are a quick and practical solution to protect your clothes from stains and other damage. They are easily accessible as you hang them on hooks on the wall or doors of your woodworking workshop. They are also easy to clean when soiled.
Aprons come reasonably priced although you may find some of the leather ones a bit pricey. But ultimately, aprons are a cost-effective and easy solution to several issues on your woodworking shop floor.
If you were to wear an apron only for protection against sawdust, it might seem a bit of an awkward thing to do. But woodworkers wear aprons for a variety of reasons. Once you know the various reasons, you will probably agree with their usefulness.
Facts About Leather Aprons
Before we go into the reasons why aprons are so useful, let us consider a particular type of apron, the leather apron.
Leather aprons are among the thickest ones around. The sheer thickness of the leather protects you from heat, sharp tools, flying debris, and shards of metal and wood.
Further, because of the thick material and tight fibers, you can get protection from a hazardous work environment.
You can get leather aprons in all sorts of styles and sizes. They vary according to the specific requirement of the job at hand. Leather aprons for woodworkers usually come with multiple pockets and pouches where you can store your tools for quick access.
Leather aprons come with a provision to secure them on the neck and waist with the help of belts, straps, and buckles. You can also get custom-made aprons, and if you are a bit creative you can make one of your own.
Reasons Why Woodworkers Wear Aprons
Now we come back to the original question that we asked above – why do woodworkers wear aprons? We can cite five reasons why aprons are so useful to woodworkers:
#1 Protection From Sawdust
Being into woodworking for some time, you may already be aware of the hazards of breathing in sawdust. But did you know that sawdust can harm your skin as much as your eyes, nose, and lungs?
There are a few wood species that produce particularly irritating sawdust while cutting and machining the wood. Prolonged exposure to sawdust can cause medical issues like skin ulceration and dermatitis.
If you wear a woodworking apron you get protection from sawdust. The material of the apron creates a barrier between the sawdust and your skin. Using a thick woodworking apron is a good idea. You should also use safety goggles and have an efficient system for collecting the sawdust.
#2 Protects Your Clothes
Sawdust is not an easy substance to remove from clothes. Even if you handwash your clothes, you may encounter some difficulty. But if you put it through the washing machine, it can clog the filters and perhaps damage the machine. An apron will prevent sawdust from getting on your clothes.
Moreover, if you don’t use an apron, you will find that you need to wash your clothes more frequently. Once you are done with your woodworking tasks, you can hang up your apron for use the next time.
If you want to get the sawdust off your woodworking apron, you merely need to brush it, keep your dust collector going, and your apron will be clear of sawdust.
#3 Tool Storage
A woodworker’s apron can store a surprisingly large collection of handy tools. These aprons usually come with pockets, pouches, and tool holders that can store the tools that you use most frequently.
Before you start each woodworking task, you can load up your apron with the tools you are most likely to need while working. You will be surprised how much time and effort you can save by having your tools at the ready. You are saved from having to go back and forth to your toolbox and shelves multiple times.
#4 Prevents Injuries
Undoubtedly, your woodworking apron isn’t a bulletproof vest. But a lot of thought goes into the materials used for making these aprons. At best, it will be made of thick leather or some heavy synthetic material.
Just as a good pair of work boots can protect your feet from injury, the tough material of a woodworking apron will protect your body from flying shards and chips.
#5 Professional Feel
Like any hobby or profession, when you are passionate about it, you want to look and feel the part. It’s the same with woodworking. If you wear an apron while working, it will add the overall appeal of how you look. You could even consider it as your “uniform.”
The psychology of wearing an apron is like wearing a suit and tie to the office. Once you don your apron, you slip into your woodworking mode and you enter your special world created by you.
Whether you make YouTube videos of your woodworking projects or want to “get into” the role of a woodworker, you will be surprised by the effect wearing an apron can have.
What to Look for in a Leather Apron
We have established the value of using an apron while woodworking. You will find it useful to you know what to look for when you have to buy an apron for yourself. Here’s what you need to consider:
Heavy and Thick
A woodworking apron needs to be sufficiently thick to protect your body from flying debris and sharp tools. The material should be tough enough to withstand penetration from these flying objects.
When you wear your apron, it should allow you adequate movement. You should be able to reach out and stretch here and there without restriction. Whether you are working on hand or power tools, the apron should allow your arms and torso sufficient movement for you to perform your tasks.
Pockets and Pouches
A major attraction of a woodworker’s apron is the pockets and pouches that come with it. You may have some specialized tools that you use. Ensure that the apron has enough pockets, pouches, and loops to accommodate all you need for each task.
Even if you feel that an apron has more pockets and pouches than you need, it’s OK. You can never have enough of them – you never know when you need to add a few more tools to your apron for specialized tasks.
A woodworking apron can be one of the most valuable and useful assets in your woodworking shop. It protects you from minor injuries and protects your clothes from getting spoiled as well.
Aprons are easy to maintain and you don’t have to clean them that frequently. Once you know the benefit of using an apron while woodworking and you know what to look for, you can customize your aprons according to your requirements.
You need to look for an apron that meets the combination of your preferred shape and style with suitable material that will be durable but cost-effective. Start looking for the ideal woodworking apron to take you through all your woodworking projects.
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