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My least favorite tunnel (carpal)

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  • My least favorite tunnel (carpal)

    I've dealt with carpal tunnel on and off for quite a few years. It really flared up bad when I decided to start whittling, so I have to limit my time on the knife.

    Braces help, as well as physical therapy exercises and hot/cold compresses, but I decided to built a couple of things that might help mitigate the problem

    1st picture is a lap board. The half dowel serves as a wrist rest

    2nd is the poor man's vise (photo taken in my less-than-clean garage/shop). It's a little hard to get used to for carving, but I've found it's great as a painting station. I can clamp it to a counter, to the lap board, etc.

    I tend to drill a 5/16 hole in the bottom on my carvings, and insert a dowel for easier handling. Hence, the dowel permanently mounted on the vise. I can just slip a carving on and off (for painting)

    My Musical Instrument Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

  • #2
    Another thing that helps me is to be aware of my grip on my tools, making sure I don’t have a death grip on them

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    • #3
      Hi Ron , Congratulations on finding a Solution for your Carpal Tunnel . We got to do what we got to do . Keep Carving . Merle

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      • #4
        Nice ideas there, Rotana. Where there is a will, there is a way. Luckily I don't have any problems other than a wrist that can act up and just use a brace. I do like the lap board and a good idea. I have something similar that I use on the table but do like the idea of something for the lap. Thanks.
        Bill
        Living among knives and fire.

        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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        • #5
          Thanks all . . .

          I've also found that covering the half-dowel with some soft foam is sometimes helpful. A pool noodle sliced down the middle, or even foam weather stripping, will work.
          My Musical Instrument Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

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          • #6
            We do what we have to, so we can do what we want. Good job finding solutions to your problems.

            I built one of those vises a few years ago. Like you said, learning to use it requires some adjustments. Or in my case will require some adjustment. I haven't got the hang of it yet.

            Jim

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            • #7
              Thanks for sharing the good info, so far I'm lucky, just carve from the top of my bench
              . . .JoeB

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              • #8
                Thanks to some mid-day pizza, I just discovered the lap board also makes an excellent TV tray. I may have to integrate a cup holder.
                My Musical Instrument Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

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                • #9
                  Thanks for sharing some solutions to the puzzle.
                  Are you certain that the handle diameters of your carving tools really fit your hands??????
                  Palm up, fist grip, the second and third fingers of that hand should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb.

                  First Nations on the Pac NW coast plan for that with all the crooked knives.
                  It stops you from "pinching" a skinny handle or having a "death-grip" on a fat handle.

                  As a case in point, I need all handles to be rounded off from 7/8" to be comfortable.
                  3/4" is a bit skinny and 1" is too fat. May look fussy but a day in the carving shed tells the truth.

                  Brian T

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                  • #10
                    Glad to see you found a way to help your arms and wrists. The dowel in the vise is a great idea.

                    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

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                    • #11
                      Thanks . . . I still have to take it very easy, and always wear the braces. On the plus side, I have no pain using a draw knife and am thus getting more and more into sticks with carved tops.

                      Just came in from cutting some cedar and mulberry that were hanging right in the way of my mower (or more apropos . . . my head when I'm on the mower). Love the smell of fresh-cut cedar
                      My Musical Instrument Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

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                      • #12
                        Contemplating a comment here,, my wife and I both get pain in our hands. And I can empathise with anyone that has any pain in the hands. I had a fusion in my neck, that removed all the pain in my arms and hands. My wife has had electro nerve surgery in her neck, due to the pain in her hands and restriction of movement in the fingers.. After reading some of the information here, I somewhat wonder if, just if some of the pain is caused by the neck? I do arm stretches, head rotations and get up from the bench almost hourly. My wife does twinning/ carpet weaving and has to move quite a bit to stretch the neck too. .. And it is all a pain in the ...<<<<>>>>

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                        • #13
                          who said, necessity is the mother of invention??? and thanks for the closeup of your poormans vice. I Need one !
                          Denny

                          photos at........ http://wiscoden.jimdo.com/

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                          • #14
                            Hey Denny . . . glad I bookmarked these plans/parts list for the Poor Man's Vise; they were hidden away in the depths of the Internet. Around $20 was my cost

                            http://woodarchivist.com/4004-wood-carving-vise-plans/
                            My Musical Instrument Website: http://www.ronmarr.com

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                            • #15
                              thank you for that link it is an impressive site for free plans and such.
                              i wrote down my shopping list for the vice... do i need to cutout a portion of the loop for it to grab the 3/8 pipe nipple?
                              Denny

                              photos at........ http://wiscoden.jimdo.com/

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