Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

I think I gave myself tendonitis...what now?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I think I gave myself tendonitis...what now?

    Relatively new to this, have carved five or six pieces. After the first few, my wrist and arm hurt a little (side of the wrist, not carpal tunnel, sometimes extending up my arm a little, and the base of my thumb.) After the last piece, it hurt more, and is taking longer to feel normal--it's been most of a week. Clearly I'm doing something wrong but if I do some hand exercises or something can I reasonably expect to get back to carving without further damaging my hands? I'm not sure, but it feels more related to clutching the piece of wood while I carve than to pushing the knife. (I do more push cuts than paring.)

    Thanks for any advice. I've googled a little but haven't turned up anything very specific, thought I'd ask for input from people who may have been in the same boat.

  • #2
    First thought. Quit holdIng your wood!

    Get a vise! Why?

    1. It will make you a better carver!
    With both hands on your tool instead of your wood, you have more control.
    One hand steers the other provides power.
    Resulting in more precise work and less fatigue.
    2. It’s Safer!
    With both hands behind the cutting edge it reduces the likelihood of cutting yourself.
    Note reduces does not eliminate.

    Second thought. How long do you carve at a time? Do you take breaks and do stretching?

    Third thought. Do you exercise specifically resistance training? Stronger muscles make lighter work.

    Final thought. If it’s been a week maybe you should seek a medical opinion.
    Ed
    Living in a pile of chips.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood
    https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

    Comment


    • #3
      First you may want to have your Dr. check your arm. If you are new to carving you will use wrist and forarm in new ways that will require getting use to. Make sure your tools are carving sharp. If they are and you are having to work that hard you may be trying to take off too much wood at one time. Try taking more shallow cuts. You will have more control and use less pressure. Also try to cut with the grain as much as you can. You may find it helpful to wear a wrist support. I have had to start doing that with my old wrist. I hope some of this is helpful. But also get your wrist checkout!

      You may find some thig here helpful. http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/bl...ory/shop-tips/
      Last edited by Randy; 09-05-2020, 11:43 AM.
      We live in the land of the free because of the brave!

      https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

      Comment


      • #4
        Knife cuts and joint problems are NOT normal consequences of woodcarving! They are indications that you are doing something wrong. You should reduce the repetitive motions. Switch to carving forms that use multiple tools.

        Comment


        • #5
          That pain could be any number of things, sounds more like a carpal tunnel as I have that in both hands...does affect the side of the wrist slight pain because it causes pressure on the nerve can cause a variety of issues, such as nerve pain in the lower arm and various fingers, numbness in a variety of areas. My whole hands can go numb at a later stage carpal tunnel. I have had doctors tell me no it is not that....until I show them that their test movement is not correct. One movement can be fine while another slightly different can pinch that nerve major.

          It could be arthritis. All of this can happen with age and usage. I have severe forms of all of it. Me, I do not use the wrist to carve, I use my arm muscles to push through the wood, making sure my wrist and fingers are stable and not moving. Wrist pain is often caused by any kind of bending of the wrist,... for example if you punch someone make sure those wrists are straight and not bent and stable for the blunt force to the joints. Same with woodcarving If this continues to use you may have to switch out to power carving at times, such as a Dremel with bits and burrs. As repetitive movement could be an issue if your starting to get arthritis in those areas.

          It could be just normal new usage of muscles and ligaments you have never used much. Could be repetitive motions caused by flexor tendons that run through the wrist. This symptom can also be caused by inflamed bursae. But note all this is caused by bending the wrist and repetitive movement to the wrist area.


          Now I do know people who have extra-strong wrist but I am not one of them. As for the hurt areas...I keep things lightly wrapped in tiger balm until it somewhat heals. Now I do note that some people are told by the doctor to stop doing the movement and they quit, this does not help, and is worst off than when they started. I will note that I stop and rest the bones in lots of breaks. If something starts hurting stop and do it differently for a little bit, prevent major pain issues. If you do massive research in these areas, exercise is the key to keep those fingers, wrist, arms, and shoulders from getting worst. Your fingers, wrist, and arms get stronger with time so hang in there. I make sure I lift items with weight, use a variety of tools, push and pull things by doing repairs to the house and gardens. But other exercises can be found on the net...in strength the fingers, arms, and shoulders...you go easy not hard in order for the body to adjust. Plus I agree with everyone else remarks.

          A little pain does not hurt anyone, in my book of rules...LOL PS I taught aerobics and Karate for 25 years in my younger years and can tell you when you really hurt yourself there will zero doubts as it will hurt beyond your wildest dreams. That is when I go to the doctor and say something is very wrong... I am pretty sure my hands are really messed up from breaking cement blocks, the crap we do when we are young. Carving is honestly the best thing I ever have done, give it time, and keep on asking questions....as someone one will have the answer that is fit for you.
          Last edited by Dileon; 09-05-2020, 12:47 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, everyone. A question about vises, then. I've seen what was called a sculptor's vise but I have some questions about that if that's what is being recommended.

            1. It looked like it would involve screws going into the blank. Is this the case? So is it just for carving things that have a bottom surface that won't be seen or do people repair at the end with putty or....?

            2. I am mostly carving little animal figurines out of basswood/butternut blocks that are I think like 5"x3"x3" or thereabouts. Will a sculptor's vise work with that?

            Still need to review a lot of the advice above.
            Last edited by Poskar; 09-05-2020, 01:08 PM. Reason: typo

            Comment


            • #7
              Poskar: You are "wounded." You have to back off to heal. Go easy for quite a while or the pain will return more easily, every time. My left shoulder is stopping me, these days. Hurts from my ear down to my thumb. Comes on very suddenly. Torn rotor cuff? I don't know yet.

              I always find a way to clamp or screw the wood down, never to hold it unless absolutely secure.
              Some big carvings, gravity is my friend and the piece doesn't move.

              Trick: I assume(?) that you will not be carving the bottom surface. Right?
              Glue a sacrificial wood block to the base of your carving with a sheet of brown paper bag in between. All clamps and screws go into that. At the end, the paper layer makes it easy to split off.
              Brian T

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Poskar View Post
                Thanks, everyone. A question about vises, then. I've seen what was called a sculptor's vise but I have some questions about that if that's what is being recommended.

                1. It looked like it would involve screws going into the blank. Is this the case? So is it just for carving things that have a bottom surface that won't be seen or do people repair at the end with putty or....?

                2. I am mostly carving little animal figurines out of basswood/butternut blocks that are I think like 5"x3"x3" or thereabouts. Will a sculptor's vise work with that?

                Still need to review a lot of the advice above.
                I glue a piece of one by pine to the base of my carvings and the screws only go into the pine.
                Some carvings like fish as you add detail to the tail fins it just separates. Other piece when the carving is done I use a saw to separate. When doing busts the screws go the pine and into the piece it self. You need to think about where the screws are when carving as the are he’ll on your tools if you carve into one.

                I started out with an Eli Vise and have transitioned to Wilton pow-r-arms when to opportunity to get them at a great price presented itself. So I cannot speak to other models. I’m thinking if you use the forum search option (top right) you can probably find information on most brands out there.

                If you’re handy there are several do it yourself plans on line and YouTube.

                Ed
                Living in a pile of chips.
                https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood
                https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are lots and lots of ways to hold a carving piece, some people use vise, carver screw, and etc. I use a bench brace for smaller items, which will support it and there are all kinds you can make most can be found on Youtube.... here is a link to show it. I have a few kinds of bench braces and lap braces. I have all the sculpture holder and some of them were expensive holding devices, only to find it was not for me, ....but the bracing method is best for me. Although almost all carver uses other methods ....I found the brace the best for me. https://thewoodworkgeek.wordpress.co...rs-bench-hook/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                    Poskar: You are "wounded." You have to back off to heal. Go easy for quite a while or the pain will return more easily, every time. My left shoulder is stopping me, these days. Hurts from my ear down to my thumb. Comes on very suddenly. Torn rotor cuff? I don't know yet.

                    I always find a way to clamp or screw the wood down, never to hold it unless absolutely secure.
                    Some big carvings, gravity is my friend and the piece doesn't move.

                    Trick: I assume(?) that you will not be carving the bottom surface. Right?
                    Glue a sacrificial wood block to the base of your carving with a sheet of brown paper bag in between. All clamps and screws go into that. At the end, the paper layer makes it easy to split off.
                    I spend tons and tons of money trying to find out why it hurts, and then tons more on physical therapy....plus surgery which in now is a no way, no more. This is a video that I wish I had years ago...but it is what helps the shoulders major and the method continues to every ouch part of my body...by two physical therapists. It major helped me sleep and let things heal faster, as that is when the pain is the worst, I was doing lots of wrong things. Perhaps it will help your shoulder? check it out.


                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mar22I6fVBo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did we not have a thread, some years back, where everybody showed their hold-down devices?
                      My shoulder pain has not healed far longer than I thought it would.
                      Brian T

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll agree with Ed - get a carving vise. I have an Eli vise; heavy duty! I fasten a piece of 1 x 6 about 6 inches long to the bottom of the carving with a couple of 2" dry-wall screws in pre-drilled holes. I then screw the 1 x 6 to my vise's adaptor plate. The purpose of the 1 x 6 is to protect my tools when carving near the base of the carving. A little slip will go into the 1 x 6 instead of into the adaptor plate. When the carving is finished, there are a couple of screw holes in the bottom of it, but I just leave them alone - no need to fill them.

                        Where did you get the wood you are carving?

                        Claude
                        My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                        My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                        My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's a photo showing another way for smaller carvings. This cutout is about 7 inches long, 1.5 inches thick. I've clamped it to the edge of my workbench with an F clamp. The piece of shelf liner under it is rubberized, so it helps prevent the wood from moving when my gouge is not in line with the F clamp. Both hands are on the tool, not in front of it. If I need more effort, I hold the tool in my left hand and use my mallet in my right hand.

                          If you always draw your patterns so that there is a small base as part of the carving, you can clamp down on the base while you carve.

                          Claude
                          My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                          My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                          My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My present carving process is very much like Claude's. I clamp the work piece to the edge of my bench with an F-clamp. In some cases where the carved piece will to attached to a larger work with screws, I attach the work piece to a temporary work board which can be clamped even more securely. It has the advantage that it reduces the chances of nicking the larger work, and if I make a major error on the piece I can start over on just the small attachment.

                            DN12b.jpg

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X