Catchup

Been very busy the past few days finishing off a large desktop publishing job, which has simply meant no time for anything else (including packing for the trip to Brisbane……tomorrow at 6am) (ouch).

Hmm – that reminds me, better check in and get my boarding pass!

Will be at the Brisbane Timber and Working with Wood Show from tomorrow (Friday) through to Sunday.  I’ll be on the Maxis Tool Systems stand talkin’ about my old favourite, MagSwitch, and probably Kreg, DMT etc.

I’ve had a few questions (etc) come through – sorry I haven’t been able to get to them, but will do a bit of processing the backlog.

And a big thanks to John – he found a limited edition Skillers power driver holder and very kindly sent me one.  Very much appreciated!

Limited Edition Skillers Power Driver Holder

Uses exactly the same attachment method as all the other Skillers pockets, so this can also be attached to the belt, or jacket, or workpants (etc)

Very cool.

Skillers Gear

I wanted to go into a bit more detail with the Skillers gear from Proskill, so had to concede to trying some self-portraits – photographing the gear on its own just didn’t do it any justice.

Space Ship Maintenance Squad

These are the 3211s (workpants), with the 9702 Ergo belt and 9723 shoulder straps. The workpants as mentioned previously come in 40 different combinations of waist and leg length, and have toughened material at the knees over pockets specifically designed for kneepads.  They can be left in the pockets quite comfortably, even when the pants end up in the wash. I’ve added a couple of pockets on either side, tool holder, nail bag, hammer hook.

Inserting Kneepads

The Ergo belt is well padded, and has a significant number of the double-velcro tool fasteners that you use to add an assortment of pockets, nail bags, tool holders etc.  If you use them with the shoulder straps, this greatly assists dealing with the weight of what you are choosing to carry, by transferring it to the shoulders.

Ergo Belt Double-Velcro Tool Fasteners

Even the shoulder straps have connector points, for things like the mobile phone pouch.  There are a couple of those – one for traditional phones, and a squarer one perfect for iPhones, Blackberries etc.

Zombieland

Substituting the Ergo belt and shoulder straps for the 4294 Flexi Vest and now we are really ready for action.  Still with a number of double-velcro tool fasteners for additional pockets, a waist strap to assist with the loads, and a stack of pockets, large, small, overlapping, even document holders makes for a flexible system that you can customise to your requirements.  The jacket has a secondary zip that gives an extra couple of inches of room for when wearing the jacket over bulky clothing.

Double Velcro Tool Fastener System

These fasteners can be found throughout the range, and even where you are using your own workpants, there are velcro fasteners to attach to your usual belt to be able to utilise the system.

Sydney Harbour Bridge - those bolts don't do themselves up

Changing again, this time it is the 5696 Workpants (I think!) with the 4603 Tool Vest.  A particularly comfortable combination, and although the vest already has a number of permanent pockets, it still has the velcro tool fasteners.  These also have the reinforced knees and pockets for the knee pads.

Finally, when it’s dark, you need your hands free, and more-so if you are going to be wearing a cap anyway to keep the cobwebs out of your hair, why not have a light source right where you need it – on the brim of the cap itself.  A switch is embedded to one side of the brim and the batteries tucked away in the headband.

So for gear that looks the part, and does the job…..Proskill is definitely worth a look.  They are also at the Melbourne Tradesman’s Expo, and don’t forget Stu’s Shed readers get 2 for 1 entry

Dark Busters

Stu's Shed and the Volcano

Episode 57 Surfacing, Sanding, Cyclones and Workgear

Episode 57 Surfacing, Sanding, Cyclones and Workgear

A pocket, a pocket – my kingdom for a pocket

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to photograph some of the gear from Skillers / Proskill, and I came to the conclusion that rather than how sorrowful my efforts would be, especially both trying to wear and photograph at the same time, that I’d just use some of the photos from their advert campaign, at least where there are models involved.

In saying that, the next video (next day or so) has me in some of the gear, and this will be a regular occurrence!  I’ll also take some specific photos for a more detailed article shortly.

Choosing workgear tends to be making a decision based on three variables: cost, comfort, toughness. Of course there is also one more – guys tend not to constantly change their purchasing practices  – once you choose a product, it is significantly unlikely that a guy would change for no good reason.

I’ve been using the gear in a few sessions now, and already it is ticking a couple of the boxes – comfort, toughness.  Throw in another variable: functionality.  Not something you’d normally associate with clothing, but this is not just a pair of work pants, tool belt and a jacket – it is an integrated system, and all the items work together, and complement each other with significant amounts of interchangeability that you can choose combinations of pockets, holders and pouches you can carry those tools that prove essential to have with you, not stuck back in the van, or in the workshop.

In sizing the workpants, you not only choose your waist size, but also a leg length so there is no need to run off to a tailor (or the stapler) to get that right.  With the combinations of the sizes, there are over 40 combinations available, and they will fit straight off the rack.  They claim a durability of 2-3 times the standard gear, but I’m not in a position to judge that yet.  There is no question they feel tough.

There is another aspect of the workpants of interest – there is a pocket at the front of each knee made of a much tougher material that is for knee pads.  You don’t have to strap them on – the pads slip straight in (and can be left in even when you throw the pants in the wash).  That makes a lot of difference to the comfort – the pads are just there whenever you kneel down, and are in the right place every time.  Even if you don’t need kneepads, you still benefit from the extra tough material used at the knees.

Depending on how you work, either a tool vest, or the tool belt system will have you carrying the tools you need and having the weight redistributed from the waist to the shoulders makes for a far more ergonomic solution than the classic leather tool belt.  One of the tool vest models even has a secondary zip position for those days that start out cold so you can wear it over bulky clothing.

Being a system, the same fastening method for the pouches is used throughout, so you can choose to hang a particular pouch on the jacket (a built-in waist belt helps support the load), the tool belt, the work pants, or your pants belt – the choice is yours depending on what is best for your particular working needs.  There are a whole range of different pouches for different purposes, so you choose those which fit the sort of work you do/the tools you want to carry.

The only problem you may experience is justifying to your partner why you are wearing such good clothes to the worksite (or out in the shed). (damhikt)

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