Shop aprons that cover the torso are great in cold climes, but they are impractical during the summer or in heated shops. 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. It is compact and 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 it feeling too bulky.
The 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 side pockets on both the right and left 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. From string tip to string tip, the apron is 67".
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.