Carpel tunnel syndrom

Hello all,

Carpel - tunnel is a pain for sure. I have problems with both hands.
I have found non surgical relief. Get to a good masseuse! Deep tissue
massage will help. I went yesterday and was shown 3 new stretches to
help as well. Wishing all a happy painfree holiday,


I have a buddy, Carol Romano, who is a nurse. She specializes in
trouble shooting and training in the workplace to reduce injuries.
She spent some time with me in the studio, watching the way I work
and made some suggestions that greatly improved my work and my

She explained that jewelers do most of our carpel tunnel damage in
our holding hand. We hold things that are too small in diameter, try
to hang on to them with a vise-like grip, and then we push, twist
and hammer against the holding hand.

Having both hands anchored onto the bench pin really helps (those of
you who insist on working in the air are flirting with problems).
The GRS Benchmate System is a phenomenal help- in reducing this
stress to the holding hand- but also giving you an extra hand to work
with. Increasing the diameter of your tools can help. (The first wax
carving tools that I made for myself had wicked skinny handles, that
was a mistake. Increasing the diameter greatly reduced hand fatigue
and cramping.) Using foam grips when possible helps.

Doing warm up and stretching exercises is really good to do, as
well. More info in the archives here:

I hope this helps!

-Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.

I second this point of view that small tool handles are literally a
pain. I made some very small wax carving tools and put thick handles
on them with silicone tube as the final layer. This has the right
amount of ‘dry’ tackiness and doesn’t go shiny like natural rubber
with age. It turns a dental scraper into a tool you can hold with
just a light grip. If you think of the handles that are put on
kitchen tools for people with a weak grip this is what you want to
aim for, it gives you a lot more twisting moment.

regards Tim.

I have had a total of 5 carpal tunnel surgeries, two elbow releases,
and shoulder surgery… All of them worked fine. I am a firm believer
in correcting mechanical problems by removing the obstruction. And
yes, I tried all of the exercises, chiropractors, and patent medicine
“cures” before resorting to the surgeries. I only got measurable
results with the surgeries.

I have no real excuse for doing that much damage to myself - other
than being young and male when most of it occurred…

Finally learned to work differently, and acquired (or made myself)
tools that reduce the stresses on my shoulders, elbows and hands.
Haven’t had those problems since… but now, along come the first
signs of arthritis… and I have to learn to adapt to that. Oh

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA

I use dental scraping in most of my wax work. I built up the shaft
of the tools with Rio Grande’s Jet Set. Works very well. The jet set
can be formed around the tool to what ever shape and size fits the
artist. The thicker handle sure makes holding the tool a lot easier.

Lee Epperson