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Dealing with Limitations (Read 2,525 times)
David Moeller
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Dealing with Limitations
Feb 25th, 2016 at 10:11pm
 
I write this in response to Chuck Beland's issues with Essential Tremor.  Like him I have physical limitations affecting how I approach woodworking/woodturning. I have Ideopathic (non-diabetic) Neuropathy affecting balance and fine motor control in my hands.  I hope to offer some workarounds and mods of how I deal with this and would hope others would contribute to this mostly ignored area.  Five or six yrs ago I made an overhead tram from roller door hardware and a HF winch to move/lift heavy or awkward pieces in the shop.  Next I made a "bar" stool using 10" mower tires and a caster in back.  Height low enough to let me kick it around but comfortable working at my bench. I can't balance or walk without 2 canes.  More later
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Don Stephan
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #1 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 9:09am
 
Perhaps this is an overdue topic for national gatherings and magazines?
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Ed Weber
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #2 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 9:30am
 
Don Stephan wrote on Feb 26th, 2016 at 9:09am:
Perhaps this is an overdue topic for national gatherings and magazines?


An over due topic all around.
Unfortunately there are many different kinds of mobility issues and other types of disabilities that affect people  Being able to continue with the hobby they enjoy is important.
While I've seen the few "sit-down" lathes on the market, most every other type of aide is either home-made or at least adapted in some way. It would be helpful to be discussed more often and at venues as Don suggests.
Just my two cents
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Tim Hyatt
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #3 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 10:32am
 
mobility issues popup frequently when talking with my veteran friends...and the degree of impairment varies almost to the individual.    Part of the "rehab" many recieve is to find some sort of engaging hobby (particularly emphasized for those with severe PTSD issues) that you can focus your complete attention on, to help with the recursive thinking of the syndrome.   

Some definate creativity gets called into play in finding solutions to coping with and getting around various disabilities.    one friend had gotten into pen turning and enjoyed, but was frustrated that his lack of being able to stand had him thinking he wouldn't be able to do bowl work.    We talked for a bit, and discussed things like how to hold tools and stance and such.   I reccomended he find a lathe that has either a rotating head stock, or one that can be slid to the end of the ways, so he could sit more in line with the spindle axis, instead of perpendicular with it  (I got the idea from one of your bowl video's Robo!!  The one talking about staying out of the line of the workpiece)   

the point comes down to not letting your disability stop you; find a way to work around it, but still do so safely...
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #4 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 10:56am
 
I think this might be a good sticky for easy future reference for all.
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lynn cranmer
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #5 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 12:21pm
 
I will be interested in your future posts etc since I have a similar disability. Thanks,Lynn
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David Moeller
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #6 - Feb 26th, 2016 at 10:00pm
 
As standing became more difficult I switched to a Nova  midi lathe w/14" tween centers, factory stand, and sat on my stool making small items. I only used my Conover lathe for long items, i.e canes, stool legs & seats.  I'm 6'5" so the lathe centers were 48" from the floor, too high for sitdown.  Fortunately the lathe frame is wood so the next step lowered the lathe to 40" to accommodate using my stool.   I was back!  Turning became fun again but adjusting the tailstock, banjo & toolpost was quite painful.  I made a plywood wrench to adjust the star handle. Put a handle on the the tailstock lower handwheel and a crank on the tailstock center wheel.    More later.
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lloyd harner
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #7 - Feb 27th, 2016 at 12:16am
 
this is a fantastic thread improvise adapt and overcome.  make the art
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David Moeller
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #8 - Feb 27th, 2016 at 8:03pm
 
Sall changes can reduce frustrations.  Wooden ends on the chuck key.  Pencils w/turned ends so I can get a grip to pick up.  Long bent needle-nose pliers are used so much they never leave my bench. Light weight "trucker's" gloves protect sensitive nerves - never worn while turning. I cringe whenever I see that.  Also burn-in wires w/handles waiting to catch. Instead I've used this simple hacksaw shaped holder for years.  Moe later
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Larry Matchett
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #9 - Feb 27th, 2016 at 10:11pm
 
Same disease neuropathy.  I use a grabber a lot when I drop things.  I also have a pad in front to the lathe to catch the tools I drop.  I find fatter tool handles are a help.  Football wide receivers gloves help a lot and yes they will tear off if they get caught on something.  Guess how I know that.  I consider them pretty safe.  I see the glove coming apart before my hand does.  I find I have to lean against the lathe for balance.  Looking forward to more ideas that work.  Getting old is not for the faint of heart but then it is something not everyone is afforded.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #10 - Feb 28th, 2016 at 12:03pm
 
Hopefully some thought is being given for a general magazine article on the issue to raise awareness of woodturning groups around the world, which could then stimulate woodworking and other arts and crafts organizations.  A brief descriptions of some sample adaptations could be an effective sidebar.
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David Moeller
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #11 - Feb 28th, 2016 at 1:25pm
 
I'm a large man, 6'5", always 250lbs+.  Ex Capt. Military Police, Viet vet, retired Corrections officer.  Independent, self reliant.  I retired and suddenly was old and could no longer physically do many things but I learned to adapt. Now I understood what others are going thru. Don't want sympathy. The reaction to this subject has so exceeded my expectations that I'm almost stunned.  When I retired at 62 I built my dream woodshop and said if I got 5 yrs to use it I would be content.  I've been blessed with 12.  I'm not inclined to write an article but can only hope others will follow with ideas and maybe it will be written.  Thank you.  Moe to come.
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David Moeller
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Linden, Michigan, USA
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Delta 1440 (converted to VSR)
Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #12 - Feb 28th, 2016 at 5:12pm
 
One more entry and then back to lurking for a while.  If you or someone you know has difficulties here are a couple easy turning projects that work for me.  A quickly made light switch knob.  Acrylic extension handles for my razor & brush and eating utensils. The one on the right is laminated corian.  MOE Smiley
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Don Bunce
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #13 - Feb 29th, 2016 at 1:28am
 
Another item that could be of use is a cross slide mounted on a wood lathe. Delta made one for their 12" lathes, but can be adapted to use on larger lathes. I have one that I use on my PM3520b.

They show up on ebay occasionally, and there are numerous X Y tables that can be adapted, also.

Makes pen turning a breeze, turning curved shapes is a bit trickier, having to turn two knobs simultaneously , etch a sketch style.

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Chuck Beland
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Re: Dealing with Limitations
Reply #14 - Mar 6th, 2016 at 5:42am
 
David,
And our other friends. This is a excellent thread about turning with a disability. Also how friends here come to our help with suggestions & in my case where I had no idea how to overcome it Ed made me something that works perfectly for my problem. Smiley

David that's not my only problem my tremors have moved into my head so now that also shakes too. I also just came down with the accompanying Neuro problem Distonia.

David I also have Diabetic Neuropathy in both hands & feet. so Especially working outside in the frigid cold is especially painful, hopefully I can retire in 6 to 8 years that will give me 33 or 34 years in. if my body can take it that long.

What I love most about being in this family (WR) you get more help than you ever ask for & knowing your limitations it doesn't hurt to ASK FOR HELP!!.    Since I never did any type of wood working until I got my lathe I didn't have a lifetime of figuring out work arounds a friend took the initiative & designed & built something that I could use & works perfectly. Ed can even market this tool & even put it in the TPT section. in case some other has a similar problem.

I did talk to someone else on here that has the same Neuro problem. & I gave him some suggestions on how to turn safer & more comfortable. He taped a 5 LB metal object on his wrists. I told & gave him links to a place that the VA Hosp gave me velcro wrist weights. so i USE 5 lb wrist weights on both hands to slow down the tremors in my hands.

Most of all I want to say if you have a question or problem just ASK about it. there are so many different people here with so many different skills & experiences & I have no doubt someone here can & will offer help to make turning more comfortable & safe & a lot more enjoyable. DO NOT let pride get in the way of asking for a little help we all need some help every now & then.

David I love your work arounds very imaginative I never would have thought of that stool I love it.


Ron you are correct boss man this deserves to be a sticky for others with some type of disability that they can find this thread & get some ideas.
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