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Technical Apron: leather, canvas, denim, other?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by atch, Dec 4, 2021.

  1. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    I'm getting pretty tired of picking wires out of my clothes after using an angle grinder with a wire wheel.

    Amazon has about a hunnert aprons; made of several different materials. I imagine that Carhartt (or others) might have something also.

    What are you folks using or recommending?

    Do you use it for welding also?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    continentaljohn likes this.
  2. Mine is leather.
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  3. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    Do the wires from wire wheels ever stick in the leather?
  4. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,116


    Don't use a grinder for wire wheels...............
    Use a sander polisher instead [@3400rpm], and you'll wear the wire wheels down instead of them flying to bits
    Elcohaulic likes this.

  5. No it does good, but I think Mimilan is right, I've had more er visits because of that 4"grinder with a wire brush on it than you'd ever guess. Dangerous piece of machinery at high rpm
  6. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    I've got a 7" sander/polisher that I haven't used since I bought my first angle grinder (I have 9 now; don't have to change wheels very often) many years ago. I'm not sure exactly where it is even. Sounds like I need to get a wire wheel for it. The 7 incher is heavier than a 4" angle grinder. Do you get tired of using it?

    Anyway; what about aprons? Leather would be good for welding also.

    Some of the ones I've seen pix of look like they don't go around your chest to under your arms as much as others. Seems to me that I should get one that goes as far as possible around the sides. Agree/disagree?
    continentaljohn likes this.
  7. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 1,116


    My Sander polisher is now dedicated to wire wheels
    4-1/2" and larger grinders have the same boss/thread [M14 x 2] as a sander polisher.

    Canvas is better for an apron [you'll end up picking wires out of them, But they aren't on the floor]
    But it needs to be "cotton duck" canvas

    When using the sander polisher you can safely wire wheel while wearing flip-flops and no gloves because they simply wear down
    My wire wheel life expectancy has increase 10 x plus
    indyjps likes this.
  8. I like my leather, it isn't flammable.
    WalkerMD and Crazy Steve like this.
  9. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,490


    Leather or a medium weight canvas would work. I use a leather welding apron for welding or if using the wire wheel on the bench grinder but if using the 4" grinder I'm more worried about the spikes in the hands and arms so use leather welding gloves.
  10. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    I've looked at all of them on Amazon and this one looks to be my choice. Do any of you see any drawbacks to it? b-t-w; it's 42" long and most are 36". I'm thinking I'd like to have the extra 6" (keep those comments to yourself).
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  11. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,490


    The only drawback I can see immediately is the pockets. For most things, no problem. For welding those pockets are going to collect red hot sparks and slag.
  12. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,850


    I wear my welding jacket. Wires do stick in leather.
    Variable speed buffer is a great idea.
    Even an old out of style cheap leather jacket would be good shop addition.

    I'm sticking with a jacket, cause your arms take a lot of flying debris even if the wire wheel stays together.
  13. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 842


    Wow I didn't know wire wheels were recommended for such high rpm.
  14. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,493

    from Berry, AL

    Only thing I use a wire wheel on is my 3/8" drill. Slow enough they don't fling apart.

    I've got a leather apron I bought years ago, used it a few times BBQ ing and a few times out in the shop. Too hot to wear long, so I never use it anymore.
    loudbang likes this.
  15. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,831

    from NKy

    Canvas cloth for me . The leather is nice , but hot and heavy as a day carries on
  16. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,928


    It was difficult to not post a girlie pic with only an apron...
    The Tillman leather apron is about $40. Works well, makes ya sweat in the heat!
    Johnny Gee and lothiandon1940 like this.
  17. Jay McDonald
    Joined: Apr 6, 2020
    Posts: 71

    Jay McDonald

    I have had both over the years, leather gets heavy real fast
  18. I use cheap cotton hoodies and cup-style wire brushes in the drill press with the belts set up on slowest rpms. Always use leather gloves and a full face mask.
    Guy Patterson likes this.
  19. Leather for me. I have wire wheel scars from my bullet proof youth. I use mostly 3m purple stripit discs whenever possible now.
  20. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,276

    from Oregon

    I have leather welding chaps I use for things that might hurt my legs. Those and my welding coat are what I use for grinding, welding, etc. Once you've paid up for leather, it will likely last your whole life if you're a hobbyist.
    Cosmo49 and chevy57dude like this.
  21. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    Sounds reasonable at first blush. However; I'm not strong enough to hold up a 4 speed transmission under the wire cup in a drill press and move it around to get it clean. Cleaning my T-10 is the current project that's getting wires in my shirt. See this thread if interested.
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  22. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,142

    from WA-OR, USA

    My two daughters got this for me after seeing all the holes I have in my clothes and skin from working in the garage. Never had one before and now see how useful it is. Only used a few times to date, but I really like it.
    hobart apron.jpg
  23. Atch, I wasn't thinking of those big projects. Yeah, when I can, I'll use the cordless drill set on slow torque for those larger projects or getting to chassis and brake areas. Safer, but not fool proof, as I still rip into myself from time to time. We buy bandages in bulk and go through leather gloves about once a year.
  24. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,444

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I never wear an apron. My socks, sweat pants and Fruit of the Look pocket T shirts do on occasion get some unique hole patterns.:D
    Just Gary, Mimilan and choffman41 like this.
  25. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 36,094


    I NEVER use a wire wheel. We didn't use them in the rod shop either. 3m has so many good abrasives that do a better job and are safer.
  26. Guy Patterson
    Joined: Nov 27, 2020
    Posts: 369

    Guy Patterson

    I agree with Tman hate wire wheels and only use abrasives that are much safer but still use a few bandages
  27. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,487


    Never had an apron. Seems that I end up with more burnt holes in my sleeves than anywhere else
    continentaljohn likes this.
  28. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 8,453


    Leather sleeves. Not real heavy duty, but I get mine at HF. About 10/12 bucks a pair as I recall.
  29. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 5,065


    You really have my attention. I've Googled and searched Amazon for 3M abrasive products. So far I haven't found anything that can get down into a corner. Look specifically at this example; down in that 3-sided corner just under the top left ear on this T-10 trans. Or any inside corner. I'm hoping that something exists and I just haven't found it yet. Note: I've found many sheets, discs, rolls, belts, etc. but I can't see them helping me.

  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,870




    This is Mr. Paul Schrianka, our high school Metal Shop Teacher. He was a good guy, taught with a flair and was a loyal, ex- U.S. Marine through and through. Although we asked, he never gave us a pass to get on to the base at the South Orange County entrance to the Pendleton Marine Base. We wanted to be able to drive to the sand/surf, park in the U.S. Marine parking lot, and spend all day there.

    There was a small Church there ,along with several small houses for the usage like a Marine-only resort. The private parking lot was in front of a surf spot called Church Beach. It was a short walk up the beach to the premier surf spot, Lower Trestles. He did like us, but never faltered. So, we found other means to get access to the great surf along this part of the coastline.

    Mr. Schrianka always wore a light blue heavy duty cotton jumpsuit/work overalls. When he taught in the classroom, he rolled up his sleeves and was proud of his muscular forearms. When he demonstrated the gas welding techniques, he wore an extra heavy duty cotton blend apron to ward off the errant flying particles. There was no MIG/TIG back then and the “arc” welding was just introduced to everyone as the way for the future welders.

    Needless to say, he was a stickler for safety and would not allow anyone to use the “arc” welding units unless we had on a heavy-duty jacket and the thick aprons. As well as the, “so dark-you-could not see” even the “arcing,” clearly.


    But, we had to do the heavy coat/apron attire if we wanted to use the “ARC” welding units. At home on our own gas welding units, it was a thick Pendleton long sleeve shirt. When I used the cutting portion of the gas unit, I put on an old Army Jacket over the Pendleton long sleeve shirt. It was not a certified welding jacket as sold at our local welding store, but it did keep off errant flying debris off of our arms.

    A recent search for a rugged Carhart jacket online brought up one that could serve as a daily jacket wear as it is water resistant and flame resistant duck coat. Even if you did not use it for welding, it is a nice jacket for normal daily wear. It reminded me of an old leather jacket I used to own/wear a long time ago... Since I am a T-Shirt/jacket type of person, this jacket might be another Christmas present. YRMV
    Cosmo49 likes this.

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