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Apron Choice


Drewed

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I'm looking at buying / making a new apron for smithing and was wondering pro/con on full apron vs half apron? I'm also thinking that I want a hammer loop, and a pocket. I think I will put a flap over the pocket to keep burning stuff out of it, but it would be a nice place to set a chisel or the marking pen....

I know the full apron provides more coverage, but I'm thinking that the 1/2 apron would be cooler ( temp, not style ) I currently have a full apron / split leg, but I dont like the split leg.

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Full apron provides more protection. Definitely use the full apron when grinding, using a wire brush or wheel, etc.

The half apron is good for half protection (pun intended) or when full protection is not needed.

Leather is better than heavy cloth. I have and use all 4 types mentioned depending upon the job at hand. Any apron is better than no apron at protection, as well as keeping your clothes cleaner and with less holes.

The hammer loop I attach to the belt, and tools (other than a marking chalk) I leave at the work station.


The big question is do you use a neck loop, or do you use straps that attach and cross the shoulders?

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I'm also looking for a new apron. I have a good leather one, but it gets too hot. I need one mainly to help keep clean. I like the canvas ones, especially with the cross the back straps. The neck loop cuts into my neck after about an hour. The trouble I'm having is finding an apron with no pockets and the cross straps. Doesn't seem like it's out there. May have to find some where to get one made. Any tips?

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I'm also looking for a new apron. I have a good leather one, but it gets too hot. I need one mainly to help keep clean. I like the canvas ones, especially with the cross the back straps. The neck loop cuts into my neck after about an hour. The trouble I'm having is finding an apron with no pockets and the cross straps. Doesn't seem like it's out there. May have to find some where to get one made. Any tips?


Can you turn the apron around (inside out) so the pockets are on the inside? Can you change the straps on an apron you like with the wrong straps? You can get cotton webbing at most craft and fabric stores, as well as buckles and such if you want.

Phil
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How about a hybrid? Cloth upper and leather lower. You know you can help the flame retardance of cloth by soaking it in a borax solution and letting it dry---also helps clean it when you bung it in the washer! The soak and dry has to be repeated after washing it however.

I buy belts from the thrift store and retrofit them onto the aprons to allow for smiths with more gravitass. A drill and a couple of copper harness rivets and you're good to go! (though it's funny to watch a 140# beanpole wearing an apron with a belt that will expand for a 300# student---lots of added holes!)

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I have a suede welders apron that is similar to what grant has posted but has a cross strap at the back and buckles at the back of my waist. Works for me, and is cheap. I would advise not to have a pocket on the outside, for obvious reasons. Also I can see a that a hammer loop might get caught on anvil horn, or anything pokey outy in your workshop,and in blacksmithing workshops there tends to be a lot of pokey-outy stuff. :D

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I had a nice Park Tool apron, but too many pockets and it finally went thread bare. So I drew up a pattern without pockets and cross-back straps and have sent it out to companies that do custom canvas awnings and bags. I'll let you know the response.

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How about a hybrid? Cloth upper and leather lower. You know you can help the flame retardance of cloth by soaking it in a borax solution and letting it dry---also helps clean it when you bung it in the washer! The soak and dry has to be repeated after washing it however.

We used to do this to the white canvas tents when we did the Civil War re-enacting. It does make the material a little stiffer than normal but nothing I would think would be uncomfortable. Like so many others have said, you can buy webbing (not nylon) and strapping at many craft and hobby stores. You can even buy "push snap" buttons like are used around the edge of cheap truck tonneau covers to do like Thomas said and make a cloth upper and leather lower. Then you could even "snap" them together or apart when you didn't need the top.

I like the idea of the split apron, and thanks for reminding me of the borax soak.
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  • 1 year later...

All the welding supply houses in the US sell Green cotton Sateen welders jackets and aprons, and they offer good burn resistance being treated. They are much cooler than leather, but offer less impact resistance. They can be washed up to 50 times without loss of the fire resistance and very reasonable.
I buy them in lots of 10 for about $5.00 US each. My factory workers won't wear the leather as it is too heavy and hot, but love the green cotton sateen.
In my shop at home I use both cotton sateen aprons and jackets.

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