So I’ve been lamenting that my use of some hand tools is limited due to strength and cramping issues when I hold things. I sold almost all my planes because I no longer have the arm strength to use them, but I’ve hung onto my nice chisels and dove tail saws. The tools just sit there staring at me begging to be used. So I’ve been thinking of some work arounds.
For my chisel handles I’ve been experimenting with the pipe insulation that comes as a tube with a slit in it. The workmen used this to insulate my pipes for the Sunroom and left some behind. So anyway I put some around one of my chisel handles and it actually works pretty well. It is not a great fit, but I’m going to experiment more with it. I think if I use some electrical or athletic tape and tighten it up a bit, I might be able to use my chisels again! There is a slippage issue, but I think if I do the taping right I can make that work.
As for my dove tails saws, the insulation just is not going to work. But I am going to dig out my anti vibration glove and see if that might work. I’m not sure it will do the trick because its not very thick. I am leary of using tape on the nice rose wood handles, but to use the saw I really need to build up the grasping area so that my hand is not curled up as much as it would be with the current size of the handle. Of course it can’t be built up too far because the handle opening is not all that big.
I really think if I can get these two issues worked out, I just may be back into the hand tool using arena. I know that I will have to limit how much time at each session I use the tools, especially the saw, but I figure if it takes several weeks to cut dovetails for a box, so what. I’ll be doing what I’ve always wanted to do and that is to make hand cut dovetails in my projects. Since this is a hobby and not a business, time is not an issue.
I’ll need to think of some way to do the sharpening that won’t hurt my hands, but that is down the road. Right now my chisels are all wicked sharp, so with the limited use it will be a while before I need to worry about sharpening.
Does anyone have any other ideas I might use to build up the girth of my hand saws?
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine