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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2021, 08:26 PM
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Workshop clothes suggestions?

What do you guys wear for your shop wear type clothing?

I'm due to replace some of the older jeans and looking for something that has a bit more robust type fabric. I have a pair of Carhartts that seem pretty nice so looking for ideas on what to shop for.

I also ponder having cargo styles to put stuff in pockets but that's not always necessary.


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Old 08-13-2021, 08:48 AM
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As a Bladesmith, I am literally in the heat of things, along with all the other situations knifemakers face in the shop.
For me, NOTHING synthetic, from head to toe. That's more difficult than it sounds. Even during the winter, I have to be careful what I wear. I learned the hard way that I cannot wear a Carhartt vest with the quilted/nylon lining. That HURTS when it melts to you when you get a bit too close to the forge. I love my carhartt vests, but can only use/wear the "sherpa" lined versions in the shops.

Pants..... I personally like Dickies "Workhorse" jeans. They don't break the bank, and are heavy weight, with double thickness/fabric on the front of the legs from thighs to ankles. I thought the Duluth trading "firehose" jeans/pants would be great... but the material contains too much synthetics.... they melt.

For me, I try to wear only natural fabrics....mainly 100% cottons in the shop..... they will burn...but it's a slow smolder...versus a melted blob blistering me with any synthetic materials!

Otherwise,


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Old 08-13-2021, 11:34 AM
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I do the carhartt's as well. The double thighs allow them to stay useful much, much longer than a single layer. Like Ed says above, nothing synthetic, I try to keep to heavy cotton. I have a good, light leather welding apron/chaps, but still can't convince myself to wear it in the summer.

Another thing to think about is footwear. Make sure scale can't drop into a shoe that you can't kick off. This is where boot-cut type or wider ankle cuffs are useful.
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Another thing to think about is footwear. Make sure scale can't drop into a shoe that you can't kick off. This is where boot-cut type or wider ankle cuffs are useful.
That information is GOLD!! In my young/stupid days, I wore tennis/running shoes in the shop.... until hot flux globbed on top of one shoe...and burn it's way into the meat! That took a LONG time to heal, and hurt the entire way there!

Every since I actually cut heavy leather "covers" that lay over the tops/laces of my boots, and are held on by the laces.


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Old 08-13-2021, 05:41 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I know that they're getting pricy now days but look at 100% wool garments. About 100lbs ago I used to have heavy surplus Canadian Army pants. This was before I started smithing but they were great for canoeing in the winter. Admittedly, I would have not idea where to get them anymore.

Doug


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Old 08-13-2021, 10:50 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Shoot! I'll make you a leather apron like I did for myself with shoulder arm covers. All that you can buy from a good welding supply too, but the best thing to buy are some tinted safety glasses to protect your eyes from 1400 to 1900 degree heat or higher from a forge or HT Oven. Believe me, 2050 F hurts your eyes.
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Old 08-14-2021, 05:28 PM
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Cool! Some of the Dickies were 65-35 blends, the jeans look interesting. Levis when I bought them were affordable and those lasted many years. Now days some places sell them at $45+ which for beater pants gives me a bit of pause. Picked up the Carhartt's and some Columbia for $35 which was really good. Wish I bought more of them but one doesn't know initially since this was my first time buying them.

Good thought on a leather apron. I wear a canvass type which is good but it has pockets at the waist. That's a terrible spot as it fills up with whatever is being ground.

I'd typically worn leather steel cap work boots but when they wore out I have been wearing sneakers. Suggestions for mid rise leather work type boots? Somewhere in the $70-$120 range.


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Old 08-15-2021, 03:09 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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For $75-$120 you might be able to refurbish your old steel toe boots.

If you can make a nice leather knife sheath you can make a leather apron from a 3-4 oz cheap side of leather from Tandy. I'm sure there's one near Cerritos? A side would leave you enough leather leftover to make a variety of items, but remember you can't use chromic acid tanned leather for knife sheaths, only veg tan against the steel.
As for the boots they probably just need to be re-soled, unless the seams are falling apart as well. In which case new ones would be cheaper, but I doubt you'll be able to get steel toes. If there is an REI store near you you can check on sales, I bought a nice pair of leather work boots 50% off there once.
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:32 AM
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All good points/advice. Hard to beat leather foot wear and heavy cotton pants like Carharts. I only wear an apron (leather) when welding up pattern stuff to hot as it is otherwise. Also suggest you get whatever pants/jeans you wear in camo if you can. Won't show the dirt as bad.


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Old 08-16-2021, 11:59 AM
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Another thing I'll mention is long sleeves when arc/TIG welding. I have long gauntlet gloves that go up to the elbows but have given myself 'sunburn' on the 2"of exposed skin between the short sleeve and gauntlet when welding up dies and billets.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:29 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Originally Posted by billyO View Post
Another thing I'll mention is long sleeves when arc/TIG welding. I have long gauntlet gloves that go up to the elbows but have given myself 'sunburn' on the 2"of exposed skin between the short sleeve and gauntlet when welding up dies and billets.
And it don't take long to "sunburn" the area under the arms from elbow to bicep. I've done that more times than I like to count - grab the stinger for just a "short" bead, then wind up welding more than expected - then that night you see the red. (yep, sometimes I get carried away with those neat icons.
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Old 08-19-2021, 03:40 PM
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One of the other things I dislike about summer are the mosquitoes. Repellent only lasts so long when one is sweating away. If in short sleeves I invariably wash my arms down from the dust and metal that sticks to me. Thus eliminating the repellent in short order. Long sleeves are a must at other protection levels too.

Great suggestion to check Tandy and see what leathers they have for an apron. The leather aprons at the welding shops and hardware are fairly $.


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Old 08-19-2021, 07:52 PM
vlegski vlegski is offline
 
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if you have a Harbor Freight nearby they usually have a cheapo leather apron for around 12-15$.
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