Issue: Issue 4.09
Posted Date: 5/20/2003
A boat builder's fingers and hands have gone numb from all the sanding. The anti-vibration gloves he's seen are fingerless, and he wonders if that means you have to avoid wrapping your fingers too tightly around the sander. Taking a different tactic, he wondered if sanders with handles would be easier on the hands.
A forum member who'd used the fingerless type thought they were intended to delay, rather than eliminate the tingling. For instance, he can use a random orbital sander for about 15 minutes longer, then he takes a five-minute break until the effect of the vibrations wears off. Also, he tends to guide his ROS with his palm rather than hold it with his fingers. Concurring, other posts listed hand grinding, woodturning, roto-tilling, lawn mowing, chain sawing, and using any handheld power tool as tasks all requiring the gloves. One poster even shared his carpal tunnel syndrome affliction from a lifetime of not using gloves to make the point.
Speaking of ROS, a couple of contributors declared that some vibrate significantly less than others, and a new purchase might be a good health investment. The Festool model was held up as one that hardly vibrates at all and offers excellent dust collection to boot! The Porter-Cable Speed-Block Low was also touted for its low vibrations.
Another carpal tunnel sufferer, now wiser after three operations, suggested using a timer to break up the work every 15 minutes and along with padded gloves. Taking a more Neanderthal approach, he also proposed using hand tools such as card scrapers, spokeshaves, and hand planes as much as possible. In fact, those vibrations are what got toolmaker, Steve Knight first involved with hand planes and according to his post.