One armed projects

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Forum topic by YouthfullMind posted 03-19-2018 02:52 PM 802 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View YouthfullMind's profile


70 posts in 919 days

03-19-2018 02:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: project one arm ideas

Good morning,

I’m having surgery next week and my left arm is going to be out of commission for a couple of months. I’m not worried about the surgery, but I’m sure worried about being unable to keep busy with my usual projects. Fortunately I am right handed. I’ll still be able to use my left hand, but it is going to be in a sling against my abdomen.

Any ideas for a woodworking project that can easily be done with one hand? I was considering getting a veritas dovetail saw and learning to handcut dovetails possibly.


13 replies so far

View ajshobby's profile


103 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 03-19-2018 03:02 PM

I had shoulder surgery 2 years ago now. I shut down the shop for 3 months just to make sure i didn’t do something that would cause a problem with my recovery. Ended up being out of my shop for just shy of a year before i started another true project as the Dr. didn’t want me to chance it.
Maybe not the answer you were looking for but i didnt want to chance screwing up the recovery.
AJ in Mpls.

View hairy's profile


3065 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 03-19-2018 03:24 PM

This could be a good time to get the shop in order. You will find out what you can and can’t do.I have a long list of things I’ll get to someday.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Ripper70's profile


1377 posts in 1676 days

#3 posted 03-19-2018 03:25 PM

I’ve never met a one-armed woodworker. If it were me, I’d spend the next week making a nice comfy lounge chair and use it until I recovered and could get back into the shop with both arms ready to work.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View rustynails's profile


890 posts in 3296 days

#4 posted 03-19-2018 04:41 PM

Try some wood burning easy fun and one handed…. :)

View CaptainSkully's profile


1613 posts in 4326 days

#5 posted 03-19-2018 04:44 PM

I would take the time to do things like learn SketchUp and draw up the next several projects. Part of the reason it took me so long to learn SU was that it took away the limited time I had to actually make something.

On a separate note, when I cut my finger off and had similar down time, I got my captain’s license and now teach sailing.

Good luck with your surgery and a quick recovery so you don’t have to worry about getting sawdust in the sutures…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View bilyo's profile


1109 posts in 1870 days

#6 posted 03-19-2018 10:54 PM

I concur with all the above. As you are used to working with both hands, I worry that you would be risking some other injury.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2835 posts in 3689 days

#7 posted 03-20-2018 01:16 PM

If I were to try doing something with wood using only one hand I would go back to bas relief carving. I have a “mastercarver” tool with a carving attachment that can be operated with just one hand if the wood is secured to the bench. My “Mastercarver” is a flexible extension device and operates like a dremel tool. I have their carving attachment for it that operates like a mini jack hammer and carves quite nicely and easily. Foredom is another brand .

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Steve's profile


2074 posts in 1350 days

#8 posted 03-20-2018 01:27 PM

You could make some of those peg games

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3834 days

#9 posted 03-20-2018 02:25 PM

I’d take the opportunity to learn some cad skills like sketchup. If you a pro, you could learn a new skill. Good luck. I did a similar research when I was facing a potential operation that could remove use of an arm. Decided not to risk it, and just take some asperin.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Redoak49's profile


4716 posts in 2756 days

#10 posted 03-20-2018 03:51 PM

I had wrist rebuild surgery and hand and forearm in a cast for 8 weeks. I found other things to do for that time. I also needed several weeks of therapy to get my hand and arm going again.

Good Luck

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4011 days

#11 posted 03-20-2018 06:49 PM

I concur with the idea of learning CAD. I would avoid working with any power tools with only one hand; too easy for an accident to happen.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6947 posts in 3961 days

#12 posted 03-20-2018 08:07 PM

I had rotator cuff surgery almost a year ago (March 28th), and I didn’t hit a lick at a snake during all that time….I wanted plenty of time to heal up…Went to theropy for 10 weeks….I hated not being in my shop, but that’s life….I’m just now getting back in it and working on a project….It still hurts, and I hope I didn’t make it worse by handling wood….I had 4 screws put in, and the muscle was torn loose from the bone….and it still hurts….Take it easy and don’t overdo…!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View YouthfullMind's profile


70 posts in 919 days

#13 posted 03-21-2018 01:57 AM

Thanks for all of the replies. I think the winning answer is to learn sketchup. I have messed around with it a few times and it was enjoyable. It would definitely be an advantage to have cad drawings of my projects. My go to method has been a cup of coffee, a piece of paper, and a pencil. It has been working (most of the time), but cad would be a huge improvement. I’m definitely going to have to look into the carving as well.

I have an old CZ 82 pistol I got used from the czech police. I’ve been planning on bluing it and buying some wood grips. This might also be a good opportunity to make some wood grips and learn how to checker. I have the perfect piece of russian olive just begging to be used.

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