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For rotary tool users! Hand-arm vibration syndrome

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Author Topic: For rotary tool users! Hand-arm vibration syndrome  (Read 655 times)
Michellek1123
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« on: February 08, 2014, 01:26:19 pm »

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/hand-arm-vibration-syndrome-leaflet
 bricks rocks raining on my parade of getting a foredom soon... I'm still getting it!!



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bobby1
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 02:23:27 pm »

This would only occur with Foredom or other similar tools if the bit, wheel or such is out of balance. If the cable unit starts to wear or needs lubrication it might develop some vibration but a little maintenance or repair would solve that problem. I have been using these tools for many years without any such problems. In fact my oldest unit is about 35 years old and it still is running fine. The tools are small and light in weight so there would have to be a persistent severe problem with the tool or hand piece. The article talks about larger sized tools. The Dremel units where the motor is an integral part of the handpiece causes more hand fatigue because it is heavier and more difficult to manipulate and hold. This unit might become out of balance as it wears, though.
Bob
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Bentiron
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 02:25:08 pm »

It's just not rotary tools that can cause the symptoms that are described in that article, any job that requires the repetitive movements will give you some of those same symptoms. I was a draftsman for 25 years with a pencil in my hand making lines and letters for a minimum of 8 hours a day and often for 10, 12 and even 16 hours a day for weeks at a time as the state of economy and how many projects I had going at the same time and how much overtime was dictated by my overlords. I also did forged steel sculpture for 25 years and forging red hot steel is another one of those repetitive movements that is hard on your hand. Neither of these task had a lot of vibration in them but a lot of repetitive motion. In my  jewelry making there is a lot of repetitive motion too, filing, forging, sawing, swaging the bezel down around the stone, it all adds up over the years. It is not any one of these tasks that give it to you as a jeweler but an accumulation of a life time of work. After my auto accident in 1990 the neurologist did a nerve conductivity test on me because he was just positive that the numbness and tingling in my hand and fingers was due to carpal tunnel syndrome from drafting and forging, turns out I had very little problems from that, the problem was between my vertebra, C-7 & T-1, not my wrist. Last year I had another nerve conductivity test and now I have a problem with carpal tunnel syndrome, no not caused by any one thing but just the wear and tear of a life time of drafting, forging and jewelry making. I have never had a problem from my flex shaft tool. While I use it a lot it is not the cause of the problem, it is the harder tasks that are done by hand that are the culprit in this case. Don't worry about the flex shaft ruining your hand but think of it as the savior of your  hand, think of all the hard tasks it will save you from doing by hand.
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 02:38:42 pm »

 Here in the U.S. it is often called " white finger " because it cuts blood supply to your hands in advanced cases. It mimics a disease called Reyes syndrome  which is often found in people with high blood pressure exacerbated by age.
 I have had occupational white finger and carpal tunnel problems for 30 years. I agree with Bobby 1 that our tools in decent working order are very unlikely to cause white finger but carpal tunnel can be caused by many repetitive motions. Smaller handpieces can cause the worst problems . The normal handpieces should be only a moderate risk. I cannot hold narrow tools or write with pen or pencil because of the damage to my hands  but the foredom causes no problem . The height of your work bench relative to the height of your chair is crucial to keeping upper back and shoulder problems at bay .
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Debbie K
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2014, 08:09:52 am »

Michelle:

Your Dremel or Foredom units should not vibrate. If they do, something is wrong. I bought a new Dremel with flexshaft a few years ago and it vibrated right out of the box. I immediately took it back to the store and exchanged it, and the new unit was fine. But if I'd never had one before that functioned properly, I may not have known that the vibration was not right.

If improperly seated, the flexshaft can cause vibration. I've had this happen a few times when I clean the shaft and reinstall it; I just take it back apart and put it back together until it runs smoothly. I've also have handpieces that will give me problems; I get new ones once they start running badly.

I sometimes carve for 6 hours at a time, and I find that I have more trouble with hand cramps than "white finger". The only time I have that kind of problem is when I'm clutching the tool rather than holding it loosely. I've gotten in the habit of getting up every 45 minutes or so and walking around and stretching.

On a different note, and something I didn't know for years, is that the "chucked" handpieces (ones like a hand-drill have) need to be rotated whilst tightening. Only tightening one side can result in the bit running slightly out of balance, and give you vibration.

Debbie K
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Goldsmithy
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2014, 11:30:40 am »

If the inner cable of your flex-shaft has a slight kink, you will have vibration. That, and all the causes of vibration above. Foredom makes a rubber sleeve that fits on the the #30 hand piece. It really reduces the vibration. And like Bobby1 says...a little maintenance goes a loooong way.  My oldest foredom is a model 208 with a hand piece that must be hand lubricated, but, it still runs great.
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Bentiron
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2014, 01:45:00 pm »

About 5 or 6 years ago my used Foredom that I was given in 1969, it was well used then, gave up the ghost. I never had a vibration problem with in all the years I used it, never. I only had a slight problem once when the flex shaft broke but I silver soldered it back together and when the motor developed a dead short I passed the flex shaft  and sheath to an old friend and bought myself a new Chinese knock off for $50, it works OK. If you use sharp burs you will not be able to feel much at all in the way of vibration but will dull burs you will feel more as you will with lower RPMs.
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domdeslagons
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 04:45:24 pm »

That could be a good reason to buy a Foredom shaft-flex, instead of using a Dremel! I have only a 400 dremel very simple and after 2 hours of use, I can say my hand vibrates too! luckily I don't use it very often, if I had too I would buy another tool!
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Michellek1123
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 07:59:34 pm »

Wow. Thanks guys. I don't understand the mechanics, but Okay. Will get respirator and start playing soon. ura

I'm a health freak.... Other than the cake part, that is. hide
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