Now that we've entered 2016, it's time to share some of my new goodies that I added over the holidays.
I've tried many aprons, shop coats, and even a vest to hold various small but oft needed tools. None of these were satisfying. I do have a friend (Marilyn) who speaks highly of their Texas Heritage hand made apron. I decided to try one out even though it is definitely a premium product.
Over the past few weeks, I have had a chance to run it through it's paces and it is definitely worth the premium. First, the material and quality of the product give you confidence that it will not only work out for your woodworking lifetime but also be able to be handed down to any woodworking heirs. Next, the lower pockets with their covers are roomy enough to hold key things (I keep a simple mask and gloves in one side and a block plane in the other) and with their covers, they keep the saw dust and chip gathering to a minimum. Lastly, the upper pockets are the perfect number and size for the commonly needed items during a project (square, 6-inch rule, various marking implements like pencils). My only complaint is that my square will fall out every time I bend over. Not sure what solution would fix that though.
While I was at Texas Heritage's site, I decided to get their Moxon vise hardware. I already have a Moxon bench which has Benchcrafted's Moxon hardware and am quite happy using it for cutting dovetails, carving and anything else that needs a slightly higher bench surface. I modeled this design after Shannon Roger's Moxon bench. The use I had in mind for the Texas Heritage hardware was for a vise that would clamp dovetails while I was chiseling out the waste, giving me a crisp line, via the vise, for the cuts.
My last holiday splurge was for a sharpening jig. I have read nothing but great things about Lie-Nielsen's new sharpening jig. I have still been struggling to master free hand methods and get inconsistent results so I wanted to go to the simplest jig method possible. I have tried Veritas's jigs but their is a slight level of complexity to them that i don't like. After trying the new Lie-Nielsen's jig, I think it will fill my needs.