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For those of us with a touch of arthritis
For those of us who just need a comfortable grip
Ergonomic Tool Handles
© Frank Ford, 3/6/98; Photos by FF, 12/5/95

Here's a great technique I learned from my old friend, Steven Beckley, the violin bow maker. Bow makers spend an inordinate amount of time scrubbing a tiny hand plane along a skinny stick of hardwood. They start to lose their grip after a while. (Not just metaphorically!)

I'll demonstrate the procedure using my little
fret slot pick as a subject. It's a tool I have to grip very hard, and I'd like to try a better handle.

First I'll mix up a nice smelly batch of
Quick Carve. It's a pattern maker's compound that carves easily with a knife or chisel and is used for filling and filleting in wooden patterns. It's really a lot like Bondo auto dent filler:

It's a two-part mix that hardens in about 5 minutes.

Next, I'll don the tradition latex glove, and rub on a little lemon oil to keep the stuff from sticking:

Gotta work fast now, so I'll glop on a big wad of this goo right all over the handle in the area I want a good grip:

I'm really moving! See the blur.

Now I'll grab hold of the glop and grip the handle in the position I use.

This stuff cures in an exothermic reaction. (It gives off heat, and the hotter it gets the faster it cures, and the more heat it gives off.) Yow! It's starting to hurt now! I think I can hang on until it gets hard but I'm not sure. Better hit the
More button right away so I can take my hand off!



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