In addition to Carhartt overalls I have a vest with a lot of pockets. Very little dust and shavings find their way into the overall pockets. The vest pockets I vacuum. In addition to being able to have loads of stuff with me all the time, I spend zero time on pulling up my trousers.
I recommend Calavera aprons. They are made of quality leather, and come in different sizes and colors, with options to customize.
Downside: they are a bit expensive, but they are made well, so you probably wouldn’t need another apron in your lifetime.
They have a website that you can find by searching Calavera aprons.
Note: I have no affiliation with this company.
I rarely wear an apron but when I do I put on an old blue denim Machinist’s shop apron like the ones I wore daily back in my mechanic days. These were cheap and comfortable with plenty of pockets but they are hard to find these days. The best thing about them was the long straps, which were sewn to the top of the apron and went over the shoulders, passed through grommets at the waist, and tied at the back. These aprons from Harry Epstein are classier examples with the same basic design:
For some reason, most aprons sold these days hang off your neck, which gets really uncomfortable after a while, especially if you have stuff in the apron pockets. Horrible design.
I have a waxed canvas apron from Texas Canvas Wares I use in warmer weather, I didn’t used to use an apron but it is an easy way to keep sawdust off your clothes (and by extension the furniture in the house). it was a bit expensive but it might end up being worth it. I have a cheaper apron for wood turning that’s basically got a tight fitting collar to prevent chips from going down your shirt and aside from that one feature it doesn’t feel as nice to wear or feel as sturdy as the waxed canvas.
When it gets cold out (around freezing temperature) I switch to some carhartt overalls and then when it gets cold enough that “around freezing temperatures” seems warm I add a really heavy duty carhartt jacket on top of that.
I use two ones my wife made for me. They are made from fabric (sorry, I’m spanish and i’ve doubts about if “tissue” would be a better word) that has the same strenght of good jeans trousers. They work very well. No pockets in them because I don’t find them very practic.
When my wife was making the second one she found that there wasn’t enough fabric to finish it, so she used a piece os fabric from an offcut from making cushions. My second blue apron has the strips for neck and waist made with white tissue with FLOWERS. Really, really coloured flowers. I’m absolutely spectacular when wearing it. George Clooney, you’re done.
Rockler has a turning apron for about $40 which has full front coverage around the neck with no junk protruding in the front and nylon buckles in the back.
But you might Find better luck looking in Welding supplies, which often have high, tight collar, zip-front welding smocks for about $20.
Bakersgas.com has some Black stallion cotón welding smocks for as low as $16.55 on sale.
Turning supply places sometime have elbow length turning smocks for as low as $30..( turning smocks often cost twice that. )
The high, tight fitting collars keep the shaving on the outside.
Even though some say you shouldn’t wear long sleeves while turning, my prefence is the full coverage welders model which protect the lower arms from splinters ( and welding sparks.) but you can always cut and hem the sleeves and learn a new trade. 😋
Thanks, Larry. I’ll have a look at those. Since I spend so much more time at the bench than at the lathe, I’ll probably optimize for bench work and not care too much about chips getting down my shirt and so forth. I’ll take a look at your list. It sounds like some good ideas.
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