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How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? #2391410
02/26/15 08:35 PM
02/26/15 08:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,913
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline OP
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For many people on this forum, playing the piano is either a high priority pastime or their profession. A hand or finger injury would be somewhere between a major inconvenience and a disaster. (The injury referred to here is not the type caused by bad technique, which is its own kind of misfortune.)

Are there certain things you won't do because they might lead to a hand injury?

Pounding nails? Chopping vegetables? Playing rugby? I assume the hand version of mumblety-peg performed by the android in the movie Alien is not popular with the crowd here. wink


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Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391415
02/26/15 08:47 PM
02/26/15 08:47 PM
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bennevis Offline
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I lost the tip of my right pinky to frostbite while climbing Everest a few years ago, but that hasn't stopped me playing the piano - or climbing more high, cold mountains.

Even though my RH span is not quite what it once was, which was a 10th plus half a key (with preparation). It's now only a 10th.......cry

And I still chop my veggies every evening for my dinner....... grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391422
02/26/15 09:07 PM
02/26/15 09:07 PM
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Rockford, IL
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The problem with accidents is that they happen so fast. Then, what's done is done.

I think about how much I value my fingers (and ears) (and eyes) a lot. I've never been a big fan of power tools, but have learned to use various power saws safely. Hand position is critical. Keeping track of the blade is critical. Being in control of the machine is critical.

In the kitchen, I keep my knives sharp. I keep my fingertips tucked in. And I do things slowly. I don't chop for show or for speed, and I think about what I'm doing.

And yet, last month, I went to fold up one of those blue, four wheeled rolly carts. I stepped on the release bar, and before you know it, my little finger was smashed between the handle and the platform. I had to play the following day, too. I felt lucky. I still have my little finger, but the experience was sobering. And whenever my little finger glanced against a black key, it hurt like crazy.

I don't live in fear, but I try to be careful in a calm and steady sort of way. If only I weren't such a bone-head. Think before you act is good advice, actually.

--Andy


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391426
02/26/15 09:23 PM
02/26/15 09:23 PM
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malkin Offline
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I wear my glasses when I use knives.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391433
02/26/15 09:42 PM
02/26/15 09:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,417
Rockford, IL
Cinnamonbear Offline
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This one is short and sweet:



I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391439
02/26/15 09:59 PM
02/26/15 09:59 PM
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jdw Offline
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I'm reminded of this current thread on the Piano Forum: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2391101/This_made_me_laugh....html#Post2391101

You can hurt yourself shucking clams (or is it opening oysters?). Anyway, I don't do that kind of stuff. I do chop vegetables, though, trying to keep fingers out of the way.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391575
02/27/15 08:59 AM
02/27/15 08:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
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hreichgott Offline
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I probably should avoid doing all of the following:

Driving more than 10 mins. at a time (it takes a long time to get my thumb muscles to release after gripping a steering wheel for that long)
Helping 6-year-olds get on their sleds
Shoveling snow
Chopping channels in the ice so that melting snow can get into the storm drain and not turn our street into a skating rink
Carrying large objects
Picking up heavy cooking pots one-handed
Using box cutters under any circumstances

Will I ever have a life where I can sit on a soft cushion and let other people do these things for me? probably not...


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: hreichgott] #2391580
02/27/15 09:16 AM
02/27/15 09:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,331
London
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chopin_r_us Offline
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Originally Posted by hreichgott


Driving more than 10 mins. at a time (it takes a long time to get my thumb muscles to release after gripping a steering wheel for that long)

You shouldn't wrap your thumb round the wheel - have it sitting on instead. Similarly when holding onto poles on trains, buses etc.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391593
02/27/15 09:55 AM
02/27/15 09:55 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,652
Seattle area, WA
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After I sliced off a good sized chunk of my index finger while cutting vegetables, my son gave me a cut-resistant glove for my left hand. I found out my piano teacher, who is a concert pianist, uses one too. Mine is an inexpensive one made with fiberglass or other cut-resistant fibers. You can also buy an expensive one made of woven steel. When I'm using it I cover it with a surgical glove to keep it clean.

Otherwise, I do whatever I have to do to maintain my house and earn a living.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Cinnamonbear] #2391597
02/27/15 10:05 AM
02/27/15 10:05 AM
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Bowling Green, KY
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
This one is short and sweet:



Thanks Andy, I learned something there (the "GRIP")

I earned my first black belt in martial arts at age 24, and at age 46, nursing a dislocated finger and broken ribs after an extended, intense sparring session with the "senior" students (although I was the real senior in that group of twenty somethings), I asked myself the question "when I'm 70, would I rather be playing Bach or doing spinning back kicks?"

Bach...and I wasn't even playing the piano at the time.

Now I get my martial arts fix by practicing taiji (martial arts for old farts).

Forrest


PTG Associate Member
Haydn Hob. XVI: 23 in F major
Debussy Arabesque #1, Reverie
Bach BWV 874, 883
My beliefs are only that unless I can prove them.
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: gooddog] #2391603
02/27/15 10:16 AM
02/27/15 10:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,618
Minneapolis, MN
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Thanks Deborah! I'm ordering the glove today.

Last edited by griffin2417; 02/27/15 10:19 AM.

Carl

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391608
02/27/15 10:20 AM
02/27/15 10:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,913
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hreichgott
Carrying large objects
Picking up heavy cooking pots one-handed

I'd add opening jars--in the past, I've done damage trying to get lids to budge.

I used to be in 'take no prisoners' mode when I picked things up, but now I'm a lot more mindful of how I pick up and carry heavy and unwieldy objects.


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Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391683
02/27/15 01:53 PM
02/27/15 01:53 PM
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As I mentioned in other thread: I was mugged and assaulted last year walking at daylight. During the fight my left pinkie was distorted. Of course this happened about a week before I had to play in a recital. I had to cut the program short and left out Beethoven Sonata Op.26 Scherzo (that movement has very extensive fast left hand runs). It took about 6 weeks for tendon to grow back and fortunately I did not have to do surgery. Now almost a year later, the pinkie is mostly fine but it's still not 100% the same.

S..t happens I guess.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391746
02/27/15 04:07 PM
02/27/15 04:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,652
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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Originally Posted by Stubbie

I'd add opening jars--in the past, I've done damage trying to get lids to budge.
Easy solution for opening jars: I keep a small flathead screwdriver in my kitchen. Slip the end of it under the edge of the lid and twist to break the airlock. The jar will open easily.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391774
02/27/15 05:32 PM
02/27/15 05:32 PM
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Seattle, WA
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I'm somewhat into rock climbing, but I have given myself permission not even to bother with routes that are especially crimpy or have only one- or two-finger pockets. I also try to be very conscientious about my hand position and tension whenever I'm doing manual labor like hand-sanding. When I'm pounding nails or cutting in the kitchen, etc, I am always just very certain that I'm being careful.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: MarkH] #2391779
02/27/15 05:44 PM
02/27/15 05:44 PM
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Posts: 344
Europe
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I love climbing too. The hardest route I leaded was 5.11a and I don't think I'll do 5.11b in nearest future, I don't want to push myself too hard, because of my fingers. I don't like two-finger pockets, but I can use them. I don't use one-finger pockets, but I've small hands and fingers, so usually I can put two fingers in pockets, which are considered for one finger only wink.
Climbing helped me greatly with overcoming my fears and mental things during playing piano. Piano and climbing are just the same - you need to make decisions, and stick with them, go for them, without fear. I guess I don't protect my hands at all - I'm not sure if avoiding one finger pockets, counts as protecting...

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: gooddog] #2391783
02/27/15 06:03 PM
02/27/15 06:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,352
Stockholm, Sweden
Michael Sayers Offline
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by Stubbie

I'd add opening jars--in the past, I've done damage trying to get lids to budge.
Easy solution for opening jars: I keep a small flathead screwdriver in my kitchen. Slip the end of it under the edge of the lid and twist to break the airlock. The jar will open easily.

Or before opening just tap assertively downward around the rim with a good sized hammer - just don't do it hard enough to fracture the glass!

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Midlife_Piano] #2391793
02/27/15 06:40 PM
02/27/15 06:40 PM
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Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
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Originally Posted by Midlife_Piano
As I mentioned in other thread: I was mugged and assaulted last year walking at daylight. During the fight my left pinkie was distorted. Of course this happened about a week before I had to play in a recital. I had to cut the program short and left out Beethoven Sonata Op.26 Scherzo (that movement has very extensive fast left hand runs). It took about 6 weeks for tendon to grow back and fortunately I did not have to do surgery. Now almost a year later, the pinkie is mostly fine but it's still not 100% the same.

S..t happens I guess.

Oh my, that must have been heartbreaking.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Cabaret (whole show)
12+ variations from classical ballets
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2391797
02/27/15 06:51 PM
02/27/15 06:51 PM
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TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
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I lost part of the tip of my right hand pinkie as a child when someone slammed a door and my finger was just under the hinge. It caused me a lot of problems because it repeatedly formed a callus which cracked and bled before it peeled off. I would pray that the callus wouldn't slough off before a performance and always carried a tissue in my pocket in case it did and I bloodied the keys. My hands are also abnormally small ... I look like the MacDonald's ad for its small burgers! laugh

So I gradually shifted my concentration away from the romantic to the baroque eras where dexterity and a certain cerebral input are crucial.

Today I don't take special care of my hands. But I wouldn't even dream of wielding one of those huge kitchen knives ... EVER. I cringe when I see someone chopping an onion with that blade so close to their fingers. No large knives. Not necessary. I can carve a turkey with a 8 inch knife. Easily. I don't need to flourish my utensil above the bird.

I also don't shake hands. Not to protect my digits as much as to keep from getting colds and flu. Filthy custom.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2391801
02/27/15 07:07 PM
02/27/15 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse

I also don't shake hands. Not to protect my digits as much as to keep from getting colds and flu. Filthy custom.

OT: It's not shaking hands that's the problem (you can't avoid getting people's germs on your hands, unless you never touch anything that someone else has touched - like door handles and piano keyboards....).

It's touching your face - specifically your eyes, nose and mouth - with contaminated hands that allows viruses to get in. Kissing (and hugging) does something very similar.

A common, and sometimes debilitating viral illness that young people get - glandular fever - is also known, with good reason, as the 'kissing disease'. Never kiss anyone, if you don't want to catch their germs...... wink


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: bennevis] #2392094
02/28/15 03:40 PM
02/28/15 03:40 PM
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TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse

I also don't shake hands. Not to protect my digits as much as to keep from getting colds and flu. Filthy custom.

OT: It's not shaking hands that's the problem (you can't avoid getting people's germs on your hands, unless you never touch anything that someone else has touched - like door handles and piano keyboards....).

It's touching your face - specifically your eyes, nose and mouth - with contaminated hands that allows viruses to get in. Kissing (and hugging) does something very similar.


Of course you can't avoid touching dirty surfaces. And most people do indeed touch their faces. But the germs on people's hands are much more likely to be "live" ones freshly picked up from swiping a nose or using the bathroom and not washing hands afterwards ... males particularly. And above all this is a "custom" and it is hard to avoid. I resent it terribly because I lived for twenty years in India where we do NOT shake hands. True we are at risk for terrible water borne ailments ... cholera and typhus etc. But we have relatively few colds and flu.

But I realize here that I now have another great excuse .... "Sorry, I'm a pianist and have to be careful with my hands ..." laugh

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2392113
02/28/15 05:14 PM
02/28/15 05:14 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
But the germs on people's hands are much more likely to be "live" ones freshly picked up from swiping a nose or using the bathroom and not washing hands afterwards ... males particularly. And above all this is a "custom" and it is hard to avoid. I resent it terribly because I lived for twenty years in India where we do NOT shake hands. True we are at risk for terrible water borne ailments ... cholera and typhus etc. But we have relatively few colds and flu.

But I realize here that I now have another great excuse .... "Sorry, I'm a pianist and have to be careful with my hands ..." laugh

Actually, my message is that if you want to avoid catching common viral URTIs, the best way is to keep your hands away from your face at all times, rather than avoid shaking hands with people. You'll pick up just as many live viruses touching the same keys on your piano that your student has just played (especially if he's just picked his nose wink ), as by shaking hands with him.

BTW, I was born in the tropics in a country far, far away grin, and the main reason colds and coughs etc are much less common there is that the climate is warm (colds, coughs and flus are much more prevalent in the winter in temperate zones, hence the need for annual seasonal flu vaccination for those at risk), homes are well-ventilated because windows are left open, and people don't live & work in stuffy heated rooms - not because it's not the custom to shake hands (we shake hands when we greet people too).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Stubbie] #2392214
02/28/15 10:50 PM
02/28/15 10:50 PM
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jdw Offline
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You can also wash your hands. (Most effective way of dealing with germs in studies, I believe.)


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: jdw] #2392275
03/01/15 04:42 AM
03/01/15 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jdw
You can also wash your hands. (Most effective way of dealing with germs in studies, I believe.)

Hand-washing is helpful if thorough, and reduces the number of germs, but doesn't eradicate them. Not even the way surgeons 'scrub up', with chlorhexidine or iodine rather than just soap, and using nail brushes for beneath the fingernails etc.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: gooddog] #2392432
03/01/15 01:03 PM
03/01/15 01:03 PM
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not somewhere over the rainbow
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Originally Posted by gooddog
After I sliced off a good sized chunk of my index finger while cutting vegetables, my son gave me a cut-resistant glove for my left hand. I found out my piano teacher, who is a concert pianist, uses one too. Mine is an inexpensive one made with fiberglass or other cut-resistant fibers. You can also buy an expensive one made of woven steel. When I'm using it I cover it with a surgical glove to keep it clean.

Otherwise, I do whatever I have to do to maintain my house and earn a living.


Yikes..

This is such a good idea though! Maybe I will get something like that too. Is it easy to find?

I love cooking too much to consider not cutting stuff, haha!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: bennevis] #2392481
03/01/15 01:56 PM
03/01/15 01:56 PM
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jdw Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by jdw
You can also wash your hands. (Most effective way of dealing with germs in studies, I believe.)

Hand-washing is helpful if thorough, and reduces the number of germs, but doesn't eradicate them. Not even the way surgeons 'scrub up', with chlorhexidine or iodine rather than just soap, and using nail brushes for beneath the fingernails etc.....


Well, nothing is perfect. Resolving to keep hands away from face is actually less reliable, since humans are so error-prone. Probably best to do both!


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: Pogorelich.] #2392533
03/01/15 03:09 PM
03/01/15 03:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,618
Minneapolis, MN
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Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by gooddog
After I sliced off a good sized chunk of my index finger while cutting vegetables, my son gave me a cut-resistant glove for my left hand. I found out my piano teacher, who is a concert pianist, uses one too. Mine is an inexpensive one made with fiberglass or other cut-resistant fibers. You can also buy an expensive one made of woven steel. When I'm using it I cover it with a surgical glove to keep it clean.

Otherwise, I do whatever I have to do to maintain my house and earn a living.


Yikes..

This is such a good idea though! Maybe I will get something like that too. Is it easy to find?

I love cooking too much to consider not cutting stuff, haha!


I found some easily on Amazon. Here's a link
http://www.amazon.com/NoCry-Cut-Res...mp;ie=UTF8&qid=1425049798&sr=1-1


Carl

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: griffin2417] #2392607
03/01/15 06:06 PM
03/01/15 06:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,652
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member
gooddog  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,652
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by griffin2417
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by gooddog
After I sliced off a good sized chunk of my index finger while cutting vegetables, my son gave me a cut-resistant glove for my left hand. I found out my piano teacher, who is a concert pianist, uses one too. Mine is an inexpensive one made with fiberglass or other cut-resistant fibers. You can also buy an expensive one made of woven steel. When I'm using it I cover it with a surgical glove to keep it clean.

Otherwise, I do whatever I have to do to maintain my house and earn a living.


Yikes..

This is such a good idea though! Maybe I will get something like that too. Is it easy to find?

I love cooking too much to consider not cutting stuff, haha!


I found some easily on Amazon. Here's a link
http://www.amazon.com/NoCry-Cut-Res...mp;ie=UTF8&qid=1425049798&sr=1-1
Yes, that's pretty close to the one I have. You only need one, since the hand holding the knife is safe.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: gooddog] #2392692
03/01/15 10:37 PM
03/01/15 10:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,838
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,838
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by gooddog
...You only need one, since the hand holding the knife is safe.


Unless you are extremely klutzy!


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: How do you protect your fingers/hands (or not)? [Re: malkin] #2392871
03/02/15 10:48 AM
03/02/15 10:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,618
Minneapolis, MN
griffin2417 Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012
griffin2417  Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,618
Minneapolis, MN
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by gooddog
...You only need one, since the hand holding the knife is safe.


Unless you are extremely klutzy!


Yes, there are days like that for me. I don't think a second glove will correct that, however! laugh



Carl


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