Having fun working on prototypes.

I love coming up with ideas for prototypes. Absolutely love love love coming up with new ideas! It's so satisfying to see something that's been tumbling around in my head for a while, usually starting as a fleeting thought, come to fruition through hard work, ingenuity, creativity, and pure damn luck. Some turn out great, ready to go right to production. Others require some more testing and tweaking. I've lately been experimenting with waxed canvas. Coming up with a proper wax mixture took a bit of playing around to perfect, but I think we have a solid process figured out. We are using a blend of beeswax, paraffin wax, and mineral oil. 

Mixing up a fresh batch of wax for our canvas using local beeswax

Mixing up a fresh batch of wax for our canvas using local beeswax

I've had a waxed canvas auger bit roll in development for a month or so now. It's now in the testing phase. I have sent a few of these prototypes out to accomplished woodworkers for testing. Once feedback has been established, any changes that need to be made will be and these should be ready for unveiling at WIA in September!

Auger Bit Roll prototype in use

Auger Bit Roll prototype in use

Also in the works is a nail apron, again made of waxed 18oz canvas. These feature two pockets for cut nails, a slot for a notepad, a leather pocket for a ruler, nail set, and pencil and a hammer loop that I've yet to integrate. These will have a fully adjustable waist strap that will be secured by copper rivets. These should really turn out nice. 

Nail apron prototypes in progress

Nail apron prototypes in progress

Prototypes are important to a small business, or any business really. The ability to introduce new products and new ideas to the market is indispensable. Of course, the final test of a prototype's viability is the response from the consumer. In the end, only time will tell...

Shop Apron review by The Renaissance Woodworker

"I couldn’t be happier with my new apron and want to say thank you to Jason and Texas Heritage Woodworks for their great work."

-Shannon Rogers, the Renaissance Woodworker and Hand Tool School founder



Recently I was approached by The Renaissance Woodworker, Shannon Rogers to build a custom shop apron for him. I've followed Shannon's blog for a few years now, I know what he expects in terms of fit and finish. The man has high standards. Those standards are reflected in the quality of his work. I was thrilled to work with him to design an apron that fit his specific needs. He's had the apron for a while now and recently posted a thorough  review on his blog. You can check it out here:


It's one thing to look at pictures of my aprons. While you can see the attention to detail and the overall potential of the shop apron in a photo, it's quite another to see it in use. Follow Shannon's blog, he regularly posts wonderful videos on a wide variety of handtool subjects. See the shop apron as it's used by an experienced woodworker. You'll be exposed to a wealth of traditional woodworking knowledge in the process. And that's a good thing!


For the Dads who like to get their hands dirty in the shop.

We are proud to announce that our shop aprons made the "Who's your Daddy" Father's Day gift guide over at Birch Barn Designs. Check out the blog post here.    http://birchbarndesigns.com/whos-your-daddy/

We feel honored to be in the company of custom six pack holders, mail order grass fed beef, and custom scotch drinking glasses! Lots of great gift ideas on this list. Go check it out and get something nice for your Pop. He deserves it. 



Shop Aprons and the joy of customization

I love doing custom work. While there is satisfaction in completing large orders of aprons, tool rolls, and coffee mugs, it pales in comparison to the feeling of creating a custom piece. Handcrafting something to fit the exact needs of the person who will be using it is a concept we built our business on. While it's not ideal in terms of efficiency and production, it more than makes up for it with every satisfied customer. I've made a lot of custom aprons these last few months. It's a lot of fun to hash out the details with the customer before construction begins. It's challenging trying to implement ideas the customer comes up with. Some end up as a one-off build, not really practical enough to offer as a permanent option. Others are so ingenious and useful, they've made their way into the rotation for good. Here are a few examples of custom work for you to peruse. 

This apron was my first, but hopefully not last, two tone apron. It was also the first double graduated chest pocket. I think it was a wonderful concept that the customer came up with. I liked it so much, I made a pattern of the pocket in anticipation of making more in the future.  

Two tone custom shop apron with double graduated chest pocket :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

Contrasting stitch color can be intimidating. Any misstep or poor stitches will be obvious. But when executed correctly, wow! The custom embroidery should tell you all you need to know!

Trouble Maker custom apron with contrasting thread :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

One of the best choices for customization is embroidery. In the eyes of the customer, it adds an immediate perception of professionalism and pride in your work. For the craftsman, well, it just looks awesome!

Custom Embroidery on shop apron :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

Another example of custom embroidery. We can stitch almost anything. Contact us for more info on personalization. 

Custom embroidery on a shop apron :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

Sometimes two lower pockets just aren't enough!

Custom apron with three lower pockets with flaps :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

This simple utility ring has countless uses. Whether it's used as simple storage for a marking gauge or a place to clip your dust collector remote, you will find it is a valuable addition. 

Utility ring on a custom shop apron :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

For all of the Southpaws out there, left handed versions are available!!! The chest pocket and waist strap have been flipped, allowing for greater ease of use for the lefties! 

Custom left handed apron by Texas Heritage Woodworks

This magnetic patch is a recent addition that was conceived by a talented instrument maker. He needed a convenient place to stick small screws and hardware during restorations and builds. There is a small pocket on the back side of the apron that houses a rare earth magnet. The pocket allows for easy removal if necessary. 

Hidden magnet pocket provides a great place to keep up with small screws and other things that would be lost. :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

And these rare earth magnets are strong!!!! While it may not be practical to carry around a hammer in this fashion, the coolness factor cannot be denied!

Rare earth magnets are very strong! :: Texas Heritage Woodworks

This is a custom tape measure holder that was added to my first ever apron order. The leather and rivet construction produce a slim, convenient means for storing a tape measure or pocket square. 

Custom tape measure holder on a shop apron made by Texas Heritage Woodworks.

Once any apron order is complete, I personally wear it around the shop for a half hour or so. Once I'm satisfied that the fit, finish, and overall construction are worthy, I'll add one of our labels and send it out the door to its new owner. 

Custom shop aprons by Texas Heritage Woodworks

We greatly encourage custom orders. If you have an idea or suggestion, let us know! We will work pesky with you to see the concept through to fruition. The shop apron is one of the few tools that gets used every single day. You might as well have one that works the way you want it to! If it's not working for you, it may very well be working against you.