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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 09-11-2022, 03:51 PM
M&J's Avatar
M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 919
Egronomics- Be nice to your body

For any of the newer makers and even the experienced, take some time to get your workspace set-up to make some of the tasks easier on your body.

When I started making knives in my later 20's, there wasn't as much thought to some of the ergonomics performing tasks. Hand sanding probably being one of the key parts in this. Some 30 years later, the hands hurt. This isn't just the knife making that contributes. I've wrenched and used the hands for other tasks that involves hand gripping strength. All this accumulates. Even the standing looking down at the grinding wheels, that's hard on the neck too.

I see videos of older Japanese craftsmen and enough of them have "adaptations" their body develops for their craft. Bent fingers, oddly swollen joints then adding the many tasks sitting on the floor hunched over. I still enjoy making various items including knives, having to deal with the physical discomforts means I cannot devote hour after hour like the early years.

Main take away, be nice to your body performing these tasks.

If you have any tips, please post them.

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Old 09-12-2022, 06:48 AM
Crex's Avatar
Crex Crex is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,591
Whole heartedly agree with Mike.
Listen to your body - it talks to you. If you develop an ache or pain after an hour or two doing something, stop and analyze the cause, make some "intelligent" changes before you start back. May be trial and error, but will benefit you in the long run.
I always tell my students to make their anvil stand adjustable. Knuckle high is a starting point, but they type of hammers, other tools, the way we hold them and the way we swing them all dictate what is best for our body. You can really wreck your shoulder, elbow and/or wrist as well as you back and neck being stubborn. We all stand and work differently. Your body will talk to you, but learn to listen before it starts shouting.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
Knifemakers Guild, voting member
Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

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