Julian Cossmann Cooke

Preserving joints

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No, not THOSE joints (plates).  Or those (doobies)!  Or THOSE (juke). The ones in our bodies.

What are your top three tools/jigs/procedures that you use to preserve your health at the bench -- joints and otherwise -- and if you bought them, from whom?  For purposes of this discussion, let's assume dust control and masks are a given.

Pictures: post 'em if you got 'em.

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1 hour ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

No, not THOSE joints (plates).  Or those (doobies)!  Or THOSE (juke). The ones in our bodies.

What are your top three tools/jigs/procedures that you use to preserve your health at the bench -- joints and otherwise -- and if you bought them, from whom?  For purposes of this discussion, let's assume dust control and masks are a given.

Pictures: post 'em if you got 'em.

Wow, if you know  the terms "doobies" and "joints", you must be almost as ancient as I am. :lol:

I am from a family with a strong history of autoimmune disease, which could be roughly described as the immune system failing to adequately differentiate between attacking harmful invaders. and attacking ones own body. I was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 19.

There are triggers that put the immune system in overdrive, and some of them are related to diet. An experimental diet of certain kinds of food elimination is a very hard row to hoe,  but I think I've derived major benefits from that.

My mother was kind of health freak, for her day, and advocated a diet high in milk and grains. That was the best strategy available at the time. She died at an early age from lupus,  and that diet turned out to be exactly the wrong strategy for me.

At this point, I'm still trying to make my body work better, and focusing less on workarounds, and that has worked out OK. I will still be willing to take on a speed challenge with anyone who favors CNC type machines. But I will probably sweat a lot more than the machine does. :lol:

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David,  I will make a case for CNC.    I do not use mine to carve a full plate.  It was designed along with my own software to simply make cross-cuts of curtate cycloids.  I finish edges seperately and have to light-plane away toolmarks from the CNC cutter.

It gives a close roughing which I finish with my hands and other tools.   I had found that the purfling channel in maple was really taking a toll on my wrists.  I cut this minus the corner miters with a type of pattern-following system rather than a jig-held dremel or similar.  The edges and smoothing are done by hand.

In other words,  people that are unfamiliar with CNC think the idea is to "Do All the Work"  miss the point that the best application might be roughing out.  It is silly to think that the idea is to make a complete plate,  at least in my opinion.  And I did not need to make complicated Cad-Cam drawings.

For me,  the roughing (which could also be done by an apprentice) already can map out an arch and relieve one's joints from much stress.  (I am not a body-builder as you seem to be.)  I can also get a rough inside carving which I don't think is "cheating" in any way.  All final surfaces are done by hand tools.

Finally,  I have the ability to make the rough shapes stray away from actual curtate cycloids.  This gives flexibility to the method (in making a roughed-out plate.) 

The shape is in mathematical form.

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9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

John, I didn't intend to make a case against CNC. There is another thread for that. :)

Rather, my intent was to forward evidence on how to keep the body functioning well.

Yes,  I understood this well.   I just took it as an oportunity to add something to the CNC debate.  I know there is another thread with a debate.

But the main reason I made my CNC WAS to eliminate muscle work.  You are faster,  of course,  because my router cutter moves slowly and I cannot "hog" the wood.   But I CAN set up a cut (.1 inch max) and then read the news in another window or brouse the internet.  So,  eliminating joint stress in roughing DID seem relevant.

My attitude toward CNC is not the same as I have read in other threads.  I think it is closer to this thread perhaps.

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On the occasions that I have had to visit physical therapists they have always used the term "motion is lotion", another words just keep moving. To add to this change up what you are doing through out your day, i.e. don't spend a whole day carving plates. I to have had to deal with auto immune disease (polymialgia rhuematica) which fortunately for me subsided but the Docs all suggested to alter your diet and at least stay away from night shade family of vegetables also cut back on salt and sugars. Of course the Docs say that it may or may not help. When it comes to machines, I think it's okay to use them for the hard strenuous work if you want to. 

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21 minutes ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

You can't be much older than I am, David.  Though when it comes to making, you ARE one of the (modern) Ancients.

I'm not sure whether that is an insult or a compliment. I will ask my mental health therapist, and report back. ;)

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So far, nobody has actually answered the OP question.  My answers:

1) Purfling router... in my case I'm using a small table-top milling machine as an overarm pin router

2) Disc-shaped, padded thingy (made it myself) so I can push on the end of a gouge with my chest or shoulder, instead of stressing the wrists.

3) CNC router... not yet fully functioning, but obvious potential to hog out most of the wood with no physical stress whatsoever.

The machines are low-cost Chinese... not perfect, but very functional and good enough for violin work.

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Hi Julian,  Mike Spencer has some good advice.  At my furniture shop we say “stay fluid, move through it”. ( woodworkers are not poets). It’s also helpful to stand on a padded surface while working. When sitting for hours working on a fiddle, I use a good drafting chair, adjusting frequently. Good lighting can reduce physical stresses too. Take a walk, go for an easy bike ride, marry a massage therapist.

to your health,

Pete

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Some things that have helped me are a stool that’s a good height for my bench, a jig for planing cello bridges (I started out just hand-holding), and the use of my large Bailey plane for the undersides of fingerboards rather than my block plane.

I’ve made a point of being more mindful of the time I spend holding my knives in the same position. The handles I made are comfortable for me, but even these can cause fatigue after hours of use, so I make an effort to    avoid cramped positions for long durations.

It’s a rather simple idea, but I’ve been keeping water and tea at my bench for several years, in an effort to improve my hydration. Just stopping to take a sip here and there seems to help keep my hands fresh. 

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17 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Wow, if you know  the terms "doobies" and "joints", you must be almost as ancient as I am. :lol:

I am from a family with a strong history of autoimmune disease, which could be roughly described as the immune system failing to adequately differentiate between attacking harmful invaders. and attacking ones own body. I was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 19.

There are triggers that put the immune system in overdrive, and some of them are related to diet. An experimental diet of certain kinds of food elimination is a very hard row to hoe,  but I think I've derived major benefits from that.

My mother was kind of health freak, for her day, and advocated a diet high in milk and grains. That was the best strategy available at the time. She died at an early age from lupus,  and that diet turned out to be exactly the wrong strategy for me.

At this point, I'm still trying to make my body work better, and focusing less on workarounds, and that has worked out OK. I will still be willing to take on a speed challenge with anyone who favors CNC type machines. But I will probably sweat a lot more than the machine does. :lol:

I, too, deal with life-long immune system issues.  What are some foods that are culprits in your experience?  I am currently dealing with issues in my dominant hand and am looking for solutions.

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6 hours ago, jfield said:

I, too, deal with life-long immune system issues.  What are some foods that are culprits in your experience?  I am currently dealing with issues in my dominant hand and am looking for solutions.

Mostly milk products and grains, in my case. I eat sort of a "paleolithic" diet. Throughout most of human evolutionary history, milk products and grains were not available in abundance, so we may not have evolved to tolerate them well in the quantities we use them today.

There was quite a change in diet, between the time humans were mostly hunter-gatherers, and the time of agriculture and domestic livestock.

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This a principle I learned from playing.

When you stand, you carry your full weight.  But your muscles don't work all that hard. You don't in any way use your muscles to press down on the floor.  If you did, you would feel unwarranted strain in your muscles.  Instead, the weight is carried through the bones of your leg.  You muscle's job is only to hold things in place and in balance so your bones can do the work.

Same in delivering 'weight' through your arm and bow to the hair/string contact.  Your muscles should not stress and torque to deliver strength strength to the string. Your muscle's job is merely to  change the arrangement and balance of the bones to connect the bow contact more deeply into the body for a powerful bow stroke, and more shallowly for a light stroke.

Same in using hand tools.  You can consciously cultivate using muscles only to balance and connect.   Any sense of gripping hard indicates an error in this technique.   Any sense of stressing power in indicates an error.  Grips are light an balancing.  Your hands only jobs are to guide, balance, direct, connect the tool to your arm and shoulder and body.

It helps me a lot.  I suppose some will think it pure nonsense.  But since I choose not to use power tools, I thought I should take this issue seriously.

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

This a principle I learned from playing.

When you stand, you carry your full weight.  But your muscles don't work all that hard. You don't in any way use your muscles to press down on the floor.  If you did, you would feel unwarranted strain in your muscles.  Instead, the weight is carried through the bones of your leg.  You muscle's job is only to hold things in place and in balance so your bones can do the work.

Same in delivering 'weight' through your arm and bow to the hair/string contact.  Your muscles should not stress and torque to deliver strength strength to the string. Your muscle's job is merely to  change the arrangement and balance of the bones to connect the bow contact more deeply into the body for a powerful bow stroke, and more shallowly for a light stroke.

Same in using hand tools.  You can consciously cultivate using muscles only to balance and connect.   Any sense of gripping hard indicates an error in this technique.   Any sense of stressing power in indicates an error.  Grips are light an balancing.  Your hands only jobs are to guide, balance, direct, connect the tool to your arm and shoulder and body.

It helps me a lot.  I suppose some will think it pure nonsense.  But since I choose not to use power tools, I thought I should take this issue seriously.

In the shop we have a thing about using a heavy tool with a light touch, death gripping things seldom works out well. One thing I have found useful is to practice multiples flatten several sets of plates and while doing so certain things become apparent, if adjustments and improvements are made to the working methods a best practice may be discovered. Doing several rib sets I discovered my wrist was sore from the constant twisting  of the clamp that held the rib, for removal to facilitate measurements.after building a quick cam clamp I can now thin ribs pretty much all day with no pain. Also use a cam clamp on my rotary carving cradle. Set it and forget it. Last thing I use is the stewmack purfling router with a 1/4 in flat bottom bit to cut a level edge around the plate edge, doesn’t,t save much gouge time but gives a place to work off , a good platform to dive off . 

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Oh, another thing that helped me a lot was fish oil. This can come from eating oily fish like salmon, or in capsules. A pharmacist who'd had major arthritic problems turned me on to it. He had improved to the point of being almost asymptomatic.  It's well studied, and has many health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory and a psychological health booster.

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

This a principle I learned from playing.

When you stand, you carry your full weight.  But your muscles don't work all that hard. You don't in any way use your muscles to press down on the floor.  If you did, you would feel unwarranted strain in your muscles.  Instead, the weight is carried through the bones of your leg.  You muscle's job is only to hold things in place and in balance so your bones can do the work.

Same in delivering 'weight' through your arm and bow to the hair/string contact.  Your muscles should not stress and torque to deliver strength strength to the string. Your muscle's job is merely to  change the arrangement and balance of the bones to connect the bow contact more deeply into the body for a powerful bow stroke, and more shallowly for a light stroke.

Same in using hand tools.  You can consciously cultivate using muscles only to balance and connect.   Any sense of gripping hard indicates an error in this technique.   Any sense of stressing power in indicates an error.  Grips are light an balancing.  Your hands only jobs are to guide, balance, direct, connect the tool to your arm and shoulder and body.

It helps me a lot.  I suppose some will think it pure nonsense.  But since I choose not to use power tools, I thought I should take this issue seriously.

This makes a lot of sense.

I think it is something that develops unconsciously with learning and repetition in using tools manually,  but thinking about it consciously, if someone tells you what to pay attention to, I think it speeds up learning the correct gestures

Helps a lot also and above all in the precision of cutting and control of the tools.

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Oh, another thing that helped me a lot was fish oil. This can come from eating oily fish like salmon, or in capsules. A pharmacist who'd had major arthritic problems turned me on to it. He had improved to the point of being almost asymptomatic.  It's well studied, and has many health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory and a psychological health booster.

I worked for Nordic Naturals for a while, one of the only benefits being unlimited product. It's not possible to overdo it (an overdose would at most amount to a slightly uncomfortable trip to the toilet) Actually, the more you take, the more terrible health problems that can be treated. https://www-m.cnn.com/2012/10/19/health/fish-oil-brain-injuries/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F 

I was taking up to 8 grams a day, just because I could and so many physical issues improved. After I stopped getting the free product, I struggle to take it regularly, let alone at high doses. 

Another product, which I personally notice a good difference with, is a combination Nature's Plus joint formula. It's MSM and glucosamine/chondroitin with added proprietary stuff and cherry. It took under two weeks to notice a difference, and I definitely did. I had a three month supply and it was awesome. Enzymatic Therapy has the cherry alone, which I am currently trying a bottle of just to compare (it's much cheaper). It seems legit so far, but I also just switched to sleeping on the floor and I think that's some of the improvement.

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The glucosamine/chondroitin thingy is snake oil from what I know.

It shouldn't hurt you however, and if you think it helps, by all means keep taking it...

Just a heads up FWIW...

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I heard the same, but I have issues with my neck and elbows and pretty much any joint or part of my spine can pop at any time. I know when that stuff isn't happening. Upshot is that (for me) it was so expensive. So I wondered if taking only cfe would make a difference.  I think it does. 

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57 minutes ago, not telling said:
43 minutes ago, Rue said:

The glucosamine/chondroitin thingy is snake oil from what I know..

Another product, which I personally notice a good difference with, is a combination Nature's Plus joint formula. It's MSM and glucosamine/chondroitin with added proprietary stuff and cherry. 

I do feel improvement in the knee areas when using something similar to glucosamine/chondroitin.  What I have are capsules for people who need help with blood sugar spikes.  I'm not one of those people with the sugar problem but I decided to try a few since the word gluco was in the name of the product.  I don't recall noticing anything different after the first capsule but did notice some smoother movement after a few more.  I didn't use more than one a day then and it's been a few months I think since I had one.  

It didn't make sense to throw them all out, may as well try a few.  Something else I use is Target's housebrand "all day allergy relief" when the wood dust starts flying.  Makes a difference some days.  

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