I don’t usually post twice in one day to my blog, but I just had a conversation with a friend on facebook that nudged me about something I wanted to talk about-
Being safe when carving wood.
Why? Because I have caused myself considerable harm a couple of times when a moment of mindlessness let my knife slip, with almost fatal consequences.
I talk about it in this little video:
Here are some specific things that I use to keep my hands safe while I carve:
The square of wood with the enhanced corner is a carving support that my husband built for me.
See how the lip hangs over the edge of the desk?
It sits on anti-slip fabric to prevent it from skidding around.
Another square of the anti- slip fabric is on the carving support to keep the piece from skidding while I am carving it.
My lovely husband made it from various scraps of wood we had around.
Make it any size that works for you.
The piece of wood with bark on it is a great way of holding down a piece of carving with my left hand while I carve with my right hand.
The knife, chisel or file can easily slip and plunge into the hand that is holding the work in place and I would rather skid into a bit of wood than my hand.
(I’ve had more than my fair share of stitches over the years!)
Tottie Tomato is modelling rubber thumb and finger thingies that are usually used for filing papers, but they work great as finger and thumb tip protectors on my left hand.
Can you see how the nubbinses are almost all gone? That’s from interacting with knives, chisels, sandpaper and files.
Better to nip the finger protector than my finger.
The 2 leather things are thumb protectors that I made from leather by trial and error to get the fit and shaping right.
I cut an oval of thick leather that I had in a drawer in the studio and punched holes around the top to gather it and also 2 holes in the tabs to tie them into a comfortable fit.
You can see that the lighter color one is almost done… it’s really notched up – and none of those cuts made it to my precious thumbs! Yay!
It started out looking identical to the darker colored one (same leather), but the hard use and lots of slices have taken the finish completely off it.
I sometimes wear the second one on my left hand, but not often.
I NEVER carve without wearing the protector on my right hand thumb.
You can see why, as it’s so beaten up by just a few hundred hours of carving.
ALWAYS wear a face shield when working with electric tools, and a dust mask and ear protectors and anything else that is going to keep you safe, smart and out of the emergency room!
This is only friendly advice from a person who has done damage to herself when NOT wearing safety equipment and I really don’t want you to hurt yourself.
BUT I also have to make the usual disclaimer… I don’t know your situation and I mean well, but I am NOT an authority on safety issues, just a concerned and loving person.
So, my friend, USE YOUR THINKY BRAIN AND DON’T DO DUMB STUFF, okay?