NEW! Faster Search Option
Woodworker with Permanently Injured Right Hand
My husband, a cabinet-maker and woodworker both for career and hobby, suffered a traumatic hand injury (right and dominate hand) on a joiner at work in October. He will never again have full, typical use of that hand. He lost the middle knuckles of the middle and ring fingers and the bone will be fused at those knuckles at a slightly bent angle. Not only does he have the fusion to contend with, but he has permanent impairment of muscles and tendons will will likely impair his entire hand to some degree.
This is his dominate hand and, as I stated above, he is a cabinet-maker for a living. It's been seven weeks since the accident, he still has pins in his fingers for at least two more weeks, and it will be a good 3+ months before he has any use of that hand at all.
His boss asked him the other day what if he can no longer do his job. This really isn't an option for a few reasons: (1) he is the family's source of income and neither of us could replace his current pay rate outside this job. (2) not being able to build and create would crush his spirit.
I am posting here to ask you for names and sources for custom tools (hand tools with custom-made gribs for the way his hand would be able to hold it), accessories to help with grip of sheet-goods when feeding through machinery or to compensate for likely loss of strength in that hand, left-handed tools, and anything else those with great knowledge of woodworking tools and cabinet-making can think of that will allow him to continue to work in the field he loves. While money is very tight and always an issue when purchasing tools, this was a partially disabling work injury and we expect a final worker's comp payout once his permanent % of disability can be determined, which will allow us to purchase tools specifically to enable him to continue as a woodworker.
He is not yet ready to accept that he may have to work in a different way, although the fear of not returning to woodworking is everpresent on his mind -- that is why I am seeking this information on his behalf at this time. I am a planner and want to know what we will do and how we will do it when he is able to return to work so he can reclaim his position as woodworker and cabinet maker.
Thanks in advance for your advice, expertise, and creative ideas! I appreciate each and every one of you.