Thumb guards

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Thumb guards

Postby Davie Crockett » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:53 pm

Does anyone use these to protect their thumbs?
thimblette.JPG
Stationers thimblette
thimblette.JPG (12.35 KiB) Viewed 17015 times


I discovered them after googling thumb protection and they seem to fit the bill although a heavy cut will still penetrate them.

I've found these more robust splints
Thumb splint.JPG
Thumb splint.JPG (10.47 KiB) Viewed 17015 times
from a medical supplier and will report back on their efficacy. They prevent your end thumb joint moving, but most cuts toward the thumb are done with the thumb outstretched.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby magnet » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:09 pm

Hi, google, inuit thimble i've been using these for years cheap and dead easy to make ...........Magnet
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby Davie Crockett » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:07 pm

Wow! Thanks Magnet! They're simplicity itself.
inuit thimble 1.JPG
inuit thimble 1.JPG (27.31 KiB) Viewed 16981 times


And with the end drawn in with strong thread.
inuit thimble.JPG
inuit thimble.JPG (18.28 KiB) Viewed 16981 times
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby ToneWood » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:17 pm

Inuit thimbles - nice :)

For what purpose - sewing leather/carving wood? For sewing leather, cobblers/sailors & such sometimes use a palm/palm cup:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-LEATH ... 1c177dacfd
ImageImage http://www.amazon.com/Tandy-Leather-Han ... B0036M6SAK

For wood carving, I think American carvers sometimes use carving guards that look a bit like specially shaped plasters (AmE. bandages) . I've seen them on Amazon.com before but could not find any today] - fairly cheap, not sure if they are multi-use or just good for one use. I've heard of kevlar gloves & filleting gloves (typically kevlar or fine "chain-mail") being used.

I don't think I have cut my thumb, I tend to pull it well back out of the way when cutting, chopping & sawing. More often I cut my fingers near the tip - usually when handling tools rather than actively cutting with them - or, with the HK spoon knife, the fleshy part of my palm under the thumb (make me shiver just to think about it). I thought I was really wary of the latter now but somehow managed to cut myself again last time I used the HK spoon knife :( - room for improvement (I prefer bowls to spoons :)).
Last edited by ToneWood on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby SeanHellman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:26 pm

My reaction to thumb guards and even kevler gloves, is why do you need them?

When using tools we should always make sure, that with every cut we make, that the cutting tool can not cut into our flesh. Learning the proper technique is essential. How many experienced tool users use hand and finger protection?

I would also say that if you rely on protection you are less likely to learn the safe techniques because it does not matter if you slip. I can not wear steel toe caped boots as my feet are differently sized to all such commercially available boots. Having no foot protection makes me very aware of how vulnerable my feet are in certain potentially dodgy situations. So I am far more aware of what I am doing and tend to be lighter on my feet.

If you are cutting into your thumb then you are doing something wrong. Don't do that cut until you can make it safe. Move your thumb or use a stop or limiting cut to restrict how far the tool can move.

Saying this I have been known to use hand protection, especially if I know I am not really on the ball. It is about accessing risk. It can take time to learn technique and blood being spilt can spoil the carving. It is better to protect than not, but do not rely on it long term, use it as a stepping stone to learn proper technique.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby Darrell » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:47 am

I have a leather thumb guard, like this one:

Image

It's not to protect my fingers from being cut, it's to keep my soft desk-jockey fingers from getting sore pushing on the back of the blade whilst carving fine details. If I carved every day I would not need the guard. Alas, my day job is not greenwood, it's computer stuff.

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Re: Thumb guards

Postby gavin » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:42 am

Darrell wrote:getting ready for the Xmas BBQ tomorrow
5 shop guests, we'll be riving oak, shaving spindles, drinking cider, and eating Kathy's awesome Xmas cookies.

That's good - shed therapy in Canada! :D
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby Davie Crockett » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:24 pm

Thank you all for your replies, all very helpful as usual!

Like Darrell, my day job (Ambulance Paramedic) does not give you hardened manual workers hands, in fact quite the reverse, sanitising, washing and moisturising after every job makes sure no hard skin builds up.

I wholeheartedly agree with Sean in that the best form of protection is not to use the cuts that are likely to damage yourself. But, as a novice with fine carving techniques using tools which are sharp to a level I wouldn't have thought possible before playing with strops and Polishing compound, I'm struggling with efficient grips whist carving spoon bowls etc.

It's the interim period between first picking up the tool and learning the correct hand placement that accidents occur which is essentially where I'm at. I can't risk open wounds in my job, so protection is necessary for me. (I dearly wish I could afford to change tracks in my career but I couldn't afford the gamble).
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby SeanHellman » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:09 pm

Darrell wrote:It's not to protect my fingers from being cut, it's to keep my soft desk-jockey fingers from getting sore pushing on the back of the blade whilst carving fine details.


I am fishing in the dark here but how rounded is the back of your knife? Most knives are rather square pin the back and needs to be rounded over, it makes a big difference. I do take the point about manual versus desk jobs and we all have put an apprentice period in. It is important to also take breaks both for experienced carvers, intermediates and beginners. I have found it is so easy to overdo it because I forget about my body and I am into the project.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:02 pm

SeanHellman wrote: I have found it is so easy to overdo it because I forget about my body and I am into the project.


carrying that log constantly cannot help :P
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby bulldawg_65 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:35 am

I use tape for my thumb. Allows me freedom of movement with some touch. Plenty of protection too.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby Gary Joynt » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:59 pm

I like to use finger tape. It doesn't stick to your skin and is fairly cheap.

I have found this stuff OK but beware it will not stop a heavy cut.
http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-To ... de-998-071

Similar tape can be bought from outdoor pursuit centres used by climbers to protect finger tips from abrasion and it can also be obtained through vets.
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Re: Thumb guards

Postby ToneWood » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:56 pm

Here are those carvers guards that I couldn't find previously: http://www.woodcarvers.com/th001.htm
Image
Also came across this stuff: http://miniatures.about.com/od/glossary ... rdtape.htm
And this: http://www.woodcarvers.com/th002.htm
Image
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