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Large grip tools

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Ed Romson, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Ed Romson

    Ed Romson

    Jun 15, 2016
    I'm just back for the Doctor and she informed me that I have developing arthritis in my thumbs. I have several sets of Easy Wood tools, both the minis and the large handle sets. Has anyone come across large grip tools that have 2" (plus) diameter handles? They might be unwieldy to control, but it's worth asking.

    (After a certain age, it's all "patch, patch, patch)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

    Sep 12, 2017
    Location (City & State):
    Marietta, Georgia
    After all, you are a woodturner. You have the capability to create any tool handle you want. Buy a handless tool and try out a few variations to evaluate. Once determined making new handles for your current tools should be within your reach.
    A small experiment to try first though is to slip a pool noodle over a tool handle you have and see how it affects use.
    odie, hockenbery and Gerald Lawrence like this.
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Jul 26, 2016
    Location (City & State):
    You could wrap a handle with various materials to increase the diameter to see if it helps. A little cushion on the handles may reduce the impact on your thumbs.
    Tom Albrecht likes this.
  4. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Jun 6, 2018
    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    Easy Wood does make handleless versions of their full size tools, but these can only be ordered directly from the company.

    I like the swim noodle suggestion. Pipe insulation might also work.
  5. John Torchick

    John Torchick

    Jan 24, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Have the doctor write a prescription for Meloxicam. I take it. Got up one morning and my right thumb wouldn't bend! I take it twice a day; wife takes the same level dosage but only once a day. Wife has it much worse than me.
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    I turn a lot of the handles for my tools.
    As @Gary Beasley said - easy to turn a handle to suit.

    using slightly different diameter handles can be less tiring.

    also they way I turn I hold the tools loosely and let the tools do the work which reduces stress related to gripping tools tightly.
    Easier to hold gouges loosely than scrapers where I have to muscle the them to keep them level.
    Dennis Weiner likes this.
  7. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    May 4, 2010
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    As mentioned, pipe insulation tubing, OR
    EVA fishing grip tubing or wrapping material,
    vinyl tubing from the hardware store slid over a standard size grip,
    foam or cork tape from the bike store
    tennis grip wrap from the sporting goods store, which comes in various materials. ​
    The swim noodles and most of the pipe insulation I've seen are shiny and potentially slippery on the surface which would make the problem worse.
    The wrapping materials, plus Coban or Vet Wrap, could be wrapped over some sort of light weight padding to give a large but reasonably solid grip. The padding/underwrap could be as cheap and simple as strips of rag.

    BTW the Arthritis Foundations or your local Occupational Therapist should have info on increasing the size of grips on various implements, including buying ready made specialty items. Hard to imagine big grip turning tools are available, though.
  8. Ken Burns

    Ken Burns

    Mar 25, 2013
    Location (City & State):
    There are things called fatgripz, which might be used for your purpose. Sold via fatgripz.com or Amazon.


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