LumberJocks

WOODWORKING IN A WHEELCHAIR SHARING FORUM

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by cdaniels posted 07-02-2014 10:08 PM 589 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

686 posts in 187 days


07-02-2014 10:08 PM

Howdy folks,
I’m starting this thread because in asking around for advice about working in a wheelchair I’ve come across a few people that also have a lot of the same questions but have said they don’t know how to ask or such. So here is a Forum for those of us who are in a wheelchair that are just starting out or maybe those of you who have been doing it for a number of years that are just willing to help the rest of us out. Go ahead and post any questions you have, share your victories and defeats, gloats and rants or just drunken blunder. Much like the StumpyNubs forum I want this to be a wealth of information and taunting but more geared to those of us who are broken and forever, or maybe just temporarily parked on out keysters on a chair with wheels. Don’t be afraid to share your stories either, a lot of people can learn just by reading what others are going through.

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying


8 replies so far

View OldWrangler's profile

OldWrangler

634 posts in 281 days


#1 posted 07-02-2014 10:51 PM

When I had to go from a walker to a wheelchair about 2 years ago, I thought my time in the shop was over. I am 6’ 3” tall and when I built my shop I made benches higher to make it easier to work on them. I never gave a thought to them ever being too tall. The wheelchair was hard to work from but I tried for a while before just giving up. About that time my mother passed and I kinda inherited her scooter. Too small for me I made some modifications and it was a real improvement over the wheelchair. Since then I have up graded scooter I’ve bought online and now I have a real comfortable one with power and a swivel capt’s chair. I sit on 2 hard foam pillows and can just about reach everything. My health has continued to improve and now, holding onto machines I work standing most of the time. The shop has been therapy for me mentally and physically. I’m currently working on an 80 lb. coffee table that I am moving around as needed and I’m still here. A lot of day I overdo things but I am learning to pace myself. With the World Cup soccer matched coming on 2 a day My breaks are longer and that seems to have some answers in it for me. I would be heart-broken if I had to give up the shop forever so I plug along. That’s all any of us can do. So it can be done and it can be fun. Now get krackin’. And as my wife likes to remind me….God don’t give you a bite too big to chew,.

Good idea for a thread. I intend to follow with a lot of interest.

-- I've had trouble with both wives, the first one left me and the second one won't.

View William's profile

William

9149 posts in 1528 days


#2 posted 07-02-2014 11:02 PM

I sometimes get down in my wheel chair.
You see, I broke my back in six places back in ninety nine. The doctors said I’d never walk again. I fought back from that. I now walk, but have major pain issues, no feeling in one leg, and often get numbness with pins and needles in my other leg.
To make a long story short, most times I can walk with a brace on my worst leg to keep it from buckling out from under me, but I do get down sometimes in my wheel chair.
All this presents a few challenges to me. When I stand, if I have my tools at wheel chair height, I would have to stoop and get my back hurting. If I put everything up at standing height, then I cannot use it at all when I’m down in my wheel chair. Because of this, I have tools at varying heights. Some things, like my scroll saw for example, I keep at sitting height so that when I am down, I can still get in the shop because sitting at home gets me down into a mentally depressing state.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain why, even though you’ll see photos sometimes of me standing, that this thread is such an interesting concept to me.

I have had many ideas bouncing around in my head the last few years to make things easier on me. I have tried to implement none yet, but one day.
What I want to do eventually is to make all my tools easily adjustable. Several ideas I’d bounced around is, automotive air shocks, electric controlled automotive jack, hydraulic cylinders, among other things. Whatever concept though, it has to be something that easily raises and lowers, but still is stable enough to work on.

Anyway, I wanted to post and ad this to my watchlist. I look forward to seeing what others have to say on the subject.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

686 posts in 187 days


#3 posted 07-02-2014 11:12 PM

I’m currently Active Duty Air Force stationed in japan. I injured my back on the job back in 09 and it took them until dec of 12 to figure out what was wrong. Turns out my spine had shifted and cut off the flow of spinal fluid to my lower spine and I have 5 ruptured disks. I got spinal surgery in jan of 2013 where they took out the lumbar portion of my spine and drilled it out and fixed the ruptured disks. it took me 4 months to learn how to walk again with a cane but the pain only kept getting worse. slowly my legs would get numb and stop working and it took another 6 months for them to figure out that my spinal cord had been damaged in the surgery. eventually after falling and breaking 6 different bones and 2 concussions from my legs going out the doctor suggested that I consider using a chair. I delayed as much as possible and eventually the inevitable kicked in and now I can’t get around without my wheelchair. so I purchased my wheelchair and now i’m ridin dirty! I still go to work everyday and they assigned me a desk job so here I sit, waiting for my discharge. I’m still waiting on my disability rating and retirement date so the future is completely unknown. Dont know if i’m gonna be able to get a job on the outside and I want to open my own shop. My living room has 2 small workbenches and I work everyday there with only handtools because I can’t control power tools very much anymore. My autonomic nerves also got damaged so I can’t control my body temperature sometimes and I get extrememly hot randomly. But I refuse to be parted from woodworking as i’ve discovered that it’s my one true love. I have a degree in Cabinetry and Furniture making but I have to relearn everything that I learned. My PTSD kicks in sometimes and it messes up whatever i’m working on. I have to sleep by myself because I have nightmares every night and scream uncontrollably. I have a 5 year old boy that has his own workbench right next to mine and i’m teaching him everything I know. I also have a 4 month old baby boy that I plan on doing the same with as well as a wife who works her ass off taking care of us while I pay the bills. I appreciate you guys contributing to the thread and there’s a lot of support on this site for those of us that are trying to just keep on chugging.

Iron Sides

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View William's profile

William

9149 posts in 1528 days


#4 posted 07-03-2014 12:18 AM

C, I insist I keep doing woodwork as well.
During the time I was confined completely to a wheelchair, my overall health (besides the back issues) went down quick. In the two and a half years I spent in a wheelchair I had problems with high blood pressure, fluid buildup, diabetes, and I had two heart attacks.
There came a time when I went in to the doctor due to bad cramps I was having. I figured it was my potassium levels, which I had had issues with ever since starting on the fluid pill. He told me I was dying slowly and the cramping was due to muscle deterioration.
So I went back home and crawled up into bed and decided that I was going to die and there was nothing I could do about it.
That lasted a couple of hours until, after wrestling with my own thoughts, I decided that there was no way in hell I was going out like that.
I started fighting with everything I had to get back. I am walking now, although limited at times. I ignore about ninety percent of what doctors tell me.

Fast forward to now.
I have a total of six messed up disks. Three in my back are herniated and one is, according to the doctors, on the verge of rupturing. Then there are two herniated disks in my neck.
According to my doctors, I am supposed to stay in my wheel chair because “one bad fall can paralyze me”. My opinion is that if I stay in the chair I may as well already be paralyzed. So I push on.
The doctors say I’m supposed to lift nothing heavier than a coffee cup. I tried their route though. It almost killed me. I learned that even though I am hurting myself doing what I do, if I don’t, my mind will kill me instead. I just can’t handle sitting idle.
So I have already informed family that if I ever do become permanently confined to the chair again, that they’ll be helping lower all my wood working tools and stations so that I can keep on keeping on.

Last time I had an MRI done, they decided they wanted to operate. I gave it a few weeks careful consideration before telling them to kiss off. During two and a half years in a chair they didn’t want to operate. Now that I’m active again they want to cut me open. Now the thing is, with so much scar tissue in my back from the wreck that started all this, they tell me there is a 50/50 chance I won’t walk again after the operation, but according to them they can “help with the pain”.
It has become a quality of life issue for me. I hurt to some degree each and every day. I’d rather hurt and keep on going though than to not hurt and be put back into a chair. One day I may fall and put myself back in a wheelchair. If that happens, then they are welcome to try their back cutting then.

Anyway, believe it or not, that is the short version of the story.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View levan's profile

levan

410 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 07-03-2014 02:32 AM

Here’s the man to contact and watch. He has figured out lots of the answers. Check out his post.
http://lumberjocks.com/lilredweldingrod

-- Lynn "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View cdaniels's profile

cdaniels

686 posts in 187 days


#6 posted 07-03-2014 02:48 AM

he’s a friend of mine, he doesn’t use the site anymore though

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

668 posts in 756 days


#7 posted 07-03-2014 10:04 AM

I am not in a wheelchair but it certainly could happen. I have had 6 herniated disks and my surgeon was surprised I’m still walking. Another herniated will likely mean a new hot rod for me. Reinjury is my greatest fear and I live my life dedicated to preventing it. I hope to be a regular on this thread.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View mbs's profile

mbs

1458 posts in 1626 days


#8 posted 07-03-2014 07:24 PM

I’m not in a wheelchair but I have a friend who does woodworking and machining from his chair. He uses a Felder sliding table saw and never uses the traditional fence. He always uses the outrigger and has made parallel guides for his outrigger when when he wants to rip boards. Pneumatic clamps, which he made, are used to secure the wood.

To move plywood he has a mobile cart that raises and lowers. He can horse a sheet a plywood from the cart to the saw’s outrigger. He hits one switch to activate the clamps and then he can push the wood through.

He has a power feeder setup on his jointer.

Since he has a machining background he can program his small machining center to do special cuts.

And he has a wonderful wife that helps him when necessary.

I don’t consider my friend disabled. I’d be proud to make the things he makes. It just takes him a bit longer to do some operations.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase