View Full Version : Home shop fashion

06-15-2004, 12:57 PM
Ok, very important question here. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif What are you guys wearing for pants and shirts when working out in the shop?

I've had a home shop in one form or another for the past 16 years and have always worn just plain old blue jeans, Lee jeans or Levis etc. However, for the first time I'm considering switching to something else that may be more comfortable and longer lasting. My Lee jeans seem to always rip out just above the knee or tear near the belt loops.

So, I was considering maybe Car-hart. They have this one style of pants that has an extra layer of denim riveted on the front of the jeans. This would seem to be tougher, though heavier and hotter.

Or, maybe the Dickie's work pants. I don't know what these are made out of, but it's not denim. You know what I'm talking about, the dark blue uniform type pants. I call them "gas station pants" because my father wore them years ago when he owned a Chevron station. I wonder how well these would work? They look like they may be kind of hot in the summer time? The other thing I noticed about these pants is the belt loops are very small. They look like they were designed for a 1.25 or 1" belt. I usually prefer to wear a 1.5 belt.

While were on the subject. Anybody wear suspenders? I'm a belt guy, but do have a pair of suspenders that hook under the belt itself instead of on the pants.

How about shirts? I have been wearing print t-shirts but they don't last very long and quickly become dirty. I wonder if some "gas station shirts" would be more soil resistant and longer lasting?


06-15-2004, 01:10 PM
Shirts? What shirts? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-15-2004, 02:35 PM
You ain't workin' your machines hard enough or you have leather skin! What happens when you stand in the spray of hot blue curlycue chips?

06-15-2004, 02:45 PM
Pretty hard for my old SB9 to spray steel chips. It was a bit uncomfortable the other day when it was spitting hot teeny chips of bronze. They get caught in my beard.

06-15-2004, 02:52 PM
I wonder, Evan must be kin to my pup..

I was welding on "the Frame" and lost a big old slag ball to the floor, I smelled something like hair, looked down to see my pup smacking the red stuff with his paws and biting at it.

He is kinda crazy, probably like evan running machines without a shirt.

I get excited when the bibs on my overalls catch chips/or slag and they stop on my rotundus maximus. (belly). when I move they poke me.

I wear a denium bar-be-que apron, cost $7.. and saved probably $100 in clothes.. I have a leather apron to cast with, I have a Silicone layer under that leather (600+ degrees protection)
My pants used to wear out on the knees, then I leaned not to spend so much time on my knees begging for more tools..


[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 06-15-2004).]

06-15-2004, 03:35 PM
"He is kinda crazy, probably like evan running machines without a shirt."

And if I remember correctly, there was a picture posted that made Evan look like he could run a machine without his hands too.

Did we ever figure out for sure how he was controlling that machine? I know there was some speculation. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Forrest Addy
06-15-2004, 03:54 PM
Real men run big powerful machine tools to maximum capacity naked and stand unprotected in the blizzard of hot chips.

I aint one of them. Wear clothes made of natural fibers around machinery. Hot chips and welding sparks won't instantly melt through them.

Square-back bib overalls are traditional for the machine and bench hands and full cuvvies for dirty work. Blue cotton chambray shifts lightly starched are wonderfully comfortable in hot weather when the chips are flying. I weat cotton flannel shirts in the wintertime. I mostly wore Navy dungaree jeans at work but then I was a clever worker and wore an apron to keep my front clean.

Dirty ragged clothes are out of fashion not to mention foolish in a working shop. If you have holes in them OK but neatly patch them. Your clothes are your first line of defense against flying chips so make sure they are an effecive barrier.

Hats are a good idea too - safety hats for overhead hazards; soft brimmed hats for flying chips. I have iron control but I still flinch when I get a hot chip down the back of my neck. I found an old fireman's hat years ago I kept for when I was boring shaft seal castings and the jaws were lobbing 3 oz cask K monel chips 20 feet in the air.

06-15-2004, 04:03 PM
So what's a square back overall?

06-15-2004, 04:57 PM
What I want to know, is how many regularly wear a full face shield when machining.
(Now be honest.)

I don't have one, but have considered it.

As for attire, I'm usually in shorts and a T-shirt down here in the Alabama summer. Having hairy arms and legs helps to hold the hot chips away from the skin. But I do wear low-quarter leather work shoes and socks. I'll put on more if I expect to do much

I have some of the Carhart pants which I wear in cooler weather. They are great. If you rip or tear them, then you're just too tough for any clothing. Mine aren't double layer, but I can't see where that's needed, as tough as their fabric is.

06-15-2004, 05:07 PM
Don't take but one pair of tennis shoes with poly-propylene in them to remind you of footwear while welding..

I had flames up to my knees.. I kicked faster than I ever did IN karate class.


John Stevenson
06-15-2004, 05:15 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ibewgypsie:
Don't take but one pair of tennis shoes with poly-propylene in them to remind you of footwear while welding..

I had flames up to my knees.. I kicked faster than I ever did IN karate class.


I can just imagine that, IBEW break dancing all over the floor with his spuds on fire.
Then being chased around by his pooch trying to snap his bollocks off.

Gotta be a classic.

06-15-2004, 05:44 PM
Evans machining cloths will be a little more in a couple of weeks. He has the grandsons coming for two to three weeks. (for how ever long we can handle 2 eleven year olds) He is not going to be showing pics like he did last year. You guys let him know all the things he needed to improve.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

06-15-2004, 06:07 PM
Yes dear....

John Stevenson
06-15-2004, 06:16 PM

Lynn Standish
06-15-2004, 06:36 PM
I'm reminded of a time when a friend and I were out rattling around, and he decided to stop by another friend's place. He pulled off the road and headed down a gravel road going into the woods. After about a hundred yards, he stopped and went over to some sort of electrical pedestal and entered some kind of combination, then returned to the truck and told me it was a nudist colony and you had to have the combination or the electronic eye would announce you as an intruder. I didn't expect much nudity, as it was late December.

Well, we finally found the guy in his shed doing the work he did to supplement his meager income, i.e. sawing points on bluetop grading stakes on his bandsaw, naked as a jaybird and oblivious to all the sawdust, chips and splinters that were flying around.

06-15-2004, 06:48 PM
Splinters!!!! There!!!! No way. That thing still works. I'll stick with my undies at the minimum.

But seriously, snug denium overalls work great for me. You can wear little to nothing underneath, if you care to. I would guess that the heat index might control the nature of the clothing underneath. The belly area always has stains. Thats what I use for a rag when a shop towel is not to be had.

06-15-2004, 07:11 PM
ibewgypsie, how/where did you get a layer of silicone to go under the welding apron? I'd like some extra protection from the heat when I cast. I had thought about cutting patterns out of space blankets and having them sewn into the apron, and maybe also into the leggings and sleeves. I even considered making an outer pair of leather gloves lined with it to fit over my welding gloves. Anything to buy a few more seconds.

lynnl, I wear a faceshield all the time. I like it because it doesn't fog as easily as my goggles, is more comfortable, and keeps the hot, sharp stuff from hitting my face and forehead.

06-15-2004, 07:21 PM
Almost forgot. I found that my belly is the perfect fixture for holding pallet jack control handles down and in position when I'm working on the directional/hydraulic/horn controls and hardware.

06-15-2004, 07:37 PM

Silicone impregnated fiberglass cloth is available at all supply houses as a welding cloth. They still call it A-cloth, used to be asbestos, but not anymore.. just the A-word to keep the scary silicosis word down. It'll really itch you if you get it all over you. It just looks like a fiberglass blanket, but keeps sparks and slag from going through.
The silver pad Silicone cloth can be had at any insulator supply. I want to build a powdercoat oven out of the stuff.. it'll fold up.. It is good for about 700 degrees if I remember right. They stuff cerwool into it and put it on steam lines as insulated pads.

I kept a few pieces around. I sewed the piece in the back of the leather apron myself.
Hope this helps, if heat touches the back of the cloth, and skin is touching it, you'll get burned anyways. It usually drapes down in the front on my apron tho. Like you said, a splash would stop on the cloth instead of hitting raw flesh.. hopefully.. Shoe covers I need,,,, and a real good face shield.. and..

I think a Dry sand box to pour in is the most needed item to stop spatters. Concrete is the worst.. Like water in grease.. splatter.. hits the ceiling.. I ran when they spilled a pot of iron onto the concrete at Wheland foundry.. I was going I bet 25mph.. and not looking back.. I saw molten iron hit the ceiling.. Didn't look anymore.. just ran..


John: now if the prospect of seeing me break dance made you laugh, imagine me laying under a 46 dodge panel truck welding in the winter time.. I had on a flannel shirt, it got hot, I raised the hood and sure enough it was on fire and had flames licking the underside of the truck.. Some detergents actually dry out the materiel and add phosphates that flame up easily.. I think Tide used to.. I rolled over and it went out.. I was still burned..

When my shoe caught on fire, I did about 50 flip kicks in about ten seconds.. shook the flames out. It had fire on it two feet tall.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 06-15-2004).]

06-15-2004, 07:52 PM
I pretty much always have on glasses and a face sheild. I have been burned in the face by hot wax, and have been thumped pretty hard in the leg by a carbide wood cutting router bit that bent and flew out of a router at 10,000 RPM. I think that my face would not take it too well, open air. I wear a face sheild but have seen many guys in small machine shops bare balling it. (eyeballs that is) I sometimes report people in Home depot for cutting on a panel saw without glasses. It freaks me out seeing it, thinking of someone pulling a splinter followed by half the vitrious fluid from an eyeball.

06-15-2004, 08:20 PM
Law states that electricians working in Hot panels shall wear that will not compound the injuries caused by a "flash fire" situation when fire erupts from electrical panels. Nomex coveralls, hood and gloves are required on most jobs.

Most companies reviewing this have purchased both flame retardant clothing and laundy facilities onsite to handle them.

It is still up in the air who is going to purchase the clothing, The individual or the company. Most the contractors I work for are of a temporary nature and they sure won't want to pay for 1800$ in clothes everytime they hire someone.

I currently wear cotton clothes at work. Any petroleum based clothing will compound (Dickies or other similar polyester industrial clothing) a burn by adding fuel to the fire intensifying the burn injury.

I do not wear rings or other jewelery because of the instance I saw a few years ago of a mans finger being Blowed off in a 480 panel.

I'll be glad when I retire from that kind of work, the insanity continues.

Nothing like being expected to wear "Bubbas" clothing unlaundered, (he sleeps with Hookers ya know) and he don't bathe.. He just drinks and parties and does intravenous drugs.. I have been asked to wear dirty clothing.. I won't.. or a used resprirator.. Or anything else I consider Nasty.. and I have worked at a sewage plant in my career as a electrician.. HA..


[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 06-15-2004).]

Dave Opincarne
06-16-2004, 12:02 AM
Side shields over my rx lenses. Pullover shirt and shorts with a full length apron and steel toes make up my year round attire. People always ask me if I even own pants. I do, but on the occasions I wear them I end up getting so many comments it's not worth it. The steel toes are a recent addition I'm not crazy about, but I didn't go cheep and my knee and back have actualy been happier. Hard hat when I'm outside the pattern shop. I refer to it as the OHF-Orange Hat of Fun because whenever I have to put it on and go over to the foundry I know I'm going to have some.

I'd wear a "Utilikilt" if I could afford one and didn't have to deal with the stupid remarks, but for what they cost it's not worth it. http://www.utilikilts.com/catalog-original-index.htm


[This message has been edited by Dave Opincarne (edited 06-16-2004).]

06-16-2004, 12:54 AM
Aside from what you wear, who does the laundry? My wife will no longer wash my dirty work clothes in the family washing machine. She won't even let me do them in it. Claims they leave a ring around the washer tub which comes off onto her fancier attire.

Once every two weeks or so I gather up some reading material and head for the lcoal coin laundry.

06-16-2004, 12:55 AM

[This message has been edited by DR (edited 06-16-2004).]

06-16-2004, 01:56 AM
I've been using overalls but they are a pain to get into and out of. I've noticed my pockets get some debris in them and more than once some hot metal so I would recommend pockets with flaps. Probably the thing I want to find is a shop-cloak like my old shop teacher used to wear. I used to think the horn-rimmed style safety glasses were nerdy but now that I'm old I kind of like them. My pet peave is dirty goggles.


I was at the fabric store the other day (yes they do let men in there, but they watch you, very closely) and I saw a big roll of silvery quilt looking stuff. A look at the label said it was for ironing boards. I don't know but it might be good for a welding bib.

06-16-2004, 01:57 AM
Double post. Hey Neil, is there any way you can set this so that the author can delete his own posts?

[This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 06-16-2004).]

06-16-2004, 08:24 AM
Its like a Girl I know (yes I do know a few)asked me what kind of cars are the most durable and dependable,so I told her,look at what the cops and taxi companies drive,lots of miles and few break downs.

Same holds true for shop clothes,look at the pictures of the old railroad backshops and what do you see?Bibb overalls,cotton shirts and leather aprons.

I usually wear a cotton tee shirt(thick ones not the cheapies)and jeans along with pull on boots(lace ups aren't to good doing torch work)Jeans I usually get straight leg,the baggy cuffed ones catch and hold slag and burn pretty quick(don't ask how I know).

I do have to admit that for short welding jobs I usually weld bare armed/handed,but I've been at it long enough to weld overhead with out a single spark hitting me,plus I don't use 6011 or 6010,nasty rods anyway.

Ragarsed Raglan
06-16-2004, 09:16 AM
I can't believe I'm reading a topic on the sartorial elegance of the modern home machinist!

But, for all those that care about these things (and with a 'handle' that implies a total lack of sartorial respect!!) I go for Wrangler jeans, which for me are by far the best 'quality/cost/fit' of all the major brands. In fact whenever I get to travel over to the States on business I take a 'suitcase packed within a suitcase' to load up on Wrangler regular fit from the nearest Wal-Mart at $14.95 a time!

As for tops, I usually wear some old 'trade shirt' from my collection of dated corporate race wear. Let's face it I can't do much else with them! You would look a regular tosser down at the pub in a '96 Arrows F1 shirt with DANKA emblazoned across the back, front, and sleeves! The good thing about these shirts is the quality is top notch (100% heavy cotton), cool in summer and half decent in winter.

On top of all this I usually wear a 'cow gown', complete with oily left arm sleeve from leaning on the headstock of the lathe. I do have a rather nice chrome leather bib apron which I wear when gas welding. For times when I haven't got the cow gown on (like it's in the wash!) I'll wear some 'heat sleeves' to keep those pesky hot chips off the forearms.

As for shoes, I've only ever had one pair of 'trainers' in my life. They have to be the worst footwear ever invented. Poor support to the ankles and arches, inducing sweaty feet, and looking dreadful once they have a speck of dirt on them. And then, to cap it all, you find that is impossible to clean them. I wear boat shoes in the summer (old pair of Timberlands), because of their superior grip. And a hiking boot in the winter. Both are comfortable to stand in for any length of time.

Never ever worn a hat, other than a crash hat. Never found a 'baseball cap' large enough to fit!!

I see Wayne refers to wearing 'suspenders'..... I can only say that Mrs. Raglan has a natty pair (by Fredericks of Hollywood!)in black lace that she wears to keep her Nylons aloft. OOOOppppssss!! ..... what was it Churchill said about common peoples separated by a common language??

I await Alistair's comments on his shop wear with interest (Nomex kilt perhaps?)


06-16-2004, 07:35 PM
Whatever he's wearing I'll bet its green http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-16-2004, 09:19 PM
For me it is the Dickies work uniforms. They wear like iron. Make sure you start the new uniforms during the colder months to break them in. When they are new they are hot as blazes during the summer (unless you're working in a shop with A/C). They don't go up in flames when subjected to welding sparks like jeans and flannel shirts. The blue denim shop apron is always hanging near by for those "oil slinging" jobs. For welding the leather "cape and bib" for those jobs with lots of sparks and the fire retardant green welding jacket for the quick jobs. As for eye wear, I have prescription saftey glasses with side shields ( one of the best investments I've ever made). I never could stand goggles, they fogged up too much.

Hope this helps,

[This message has been edited by PolskiFran (edited 06-16-2004).]

John Stevenson
06-17-2004, 02:53 AM
Try hitting some of the workwear rental places.
I'm with Ragarsed in using redundant clothing with logo's.

At the moment I'm using up a supply of Dickies trousers, plain blue, no markings, various cotton shirts, all sorts of markings and finish off with shorty warehouse coats.
The warehouse coats or smocks as they are called here are in all colours and usually have a printed on label as against sewed of some company long gone .
At the moment I'm working thru a pile of blue smocks with GTP on the pocket.
This was an arm of the Plessy group that's had a corporate name change.

I buy these in brand new at £1.00 each, wear them full time for 3 to 6 weeks depending on the type of work and throw them.
At a pound each they are not worth the hassle of washing.
The rental places are glad to get rid of them as they are already paid for and they won't be able to use them again.

John S.