Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wet Sanding Clay and Carpal Tunnel

As much as I want to deny it, I have carpal tunnel. It does not always bother me, but sometimes my entire hand goes numb and I cannot hold onto things. This is a bit painful, but more frustrating than anything else.

This also means that a long time ago I had to stop handsanding my polymer clay beads, which led me to have beads that I was okay with but wanted something much better.

My mother, a long-time professional artist, suggested I try sanding mitts. I had no idea what they were or if they would work for me. She and I did some internet searches and she found these mitts and sent me a link to them. The first time I saw them, I thought, not only are they ugly, but they are HUGE.

She found bowling ball mitts. These are used by pro shops to smooth down the ball after the holes are drilled. They really are huge and they were expensive and they did not come with the sandpaper.

These mitts have velcro attached to the tops and you place different grits on the velcro. You get a set of five and when you find someone selling the wet sandpaper, you get a matching set of five grits. I have 180, 320, 500, 1000 and 2000 – bowling balls need to be VERY smooth to roll right.

They were not cheap; mom sent me $100 to purchase these mitts and sandpaper – it was a gift for Christmas and I got my mitts.

They took some getting used to, since they are so big and I had been handsanding with smaller pieces of wet sandpaper. This cramped my hands and made it impossible to hold onto the beads and became painful very quickly.

These mitts are so much easier. I just stick my hand in one and with my bad hand, I can easily roll the beads against the other hand. If that hand starts to ache, I can put the mitt on it and use my other hand to hold the beads. This has gone a long way to making my beads smoother and my jewelry cleaner without the pain of trying to hold a small piece of paper.

The backs of the sandpaper have a sponge like foam on them, so wet sanding is no problem and the mitt is a vinyl that cleans up easily. Even though mine are dirty. I just finished sanding a bracelet when I thought I would take photos and share them with you.

Ugly, yes, functional, absolutely. Thanks mom! Oh, and they are color coded.  :)

handsand4 handsand1 handsand2 handsand3

Look at my little hands, you can see how big they are!

Julie and Blu

To purchase your mitts:

I had to purchase my paper separately.

You may be able to get them cheaper than I did; I bought them several years ago and the pads ended up coming from a seller on eBay. But, I did spend a total of about $100 with shipping on both purchases.

1 comment:

CreatedWithFire Studios said...

I shattered my right elbow in Jan 2013 and had to have a partial replacement, I think something like this may just be what I am looking for... thanks for sharing !