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Old 06-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


After a day of running my table saw I find myself with a painful problem. I have a blood clotting disorder and phlebitis (this statement = WOW, I am ).

I'm locking my legs to stabilize my body and work while I run the saw and this really irritates my phlebitis; causing me alot of pain the night of and into the next day.

So, I'm looking for tricks or hints that would help me not to rely so much on my leg strength when I run my table saw.

Thoughts?

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Old 06-25-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


Leah--That's a tough question----I've spent a lot of time at the table saw and I can't think what position my legs are in--

I'll cut something tomorrow and watch my legs while I cut

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Old 06-26-2010, 06:35 AM   #3
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


Using a table saw generally requires movement unles you exclusively cut small pieces. I guess you could lower the table and use a motorized wheelchair.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:56 AM   #4
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


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So, I'm looking for tricks or hints that would help me not to rely so much on my leg strength when I run my table saw.

Thoughts?
As a Physical Therapist I would suggest strengthening your legs with exercises for a long term solution otherwise you are skirting the root problem which is the weakness in your legs.

For a short term solution braces for your knees may help somewhat. Also having the table saw higher would help so you don't have to lean as much therefore your COG (center of gravity) is over your legs and not forward of them and thus less torque exerted to your legs and thus less your legs/back have to work to hold you up.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


Not that this would be an affordable solution but: Have you ever noticed those saws used at HD, Lowe's, and others where they place the panels vertically and pull the saw down? I have a friend who build cabinets and invested in one with a 12" blade and he says it is the best thing he ever did for his back. I don't think putting a sheet of material on one of these is any more effort than putting one on a table saw. Certainly smaller pieces could be cut on them also. Leah--maybe in your case an addition to your table so you don't have to hold any weight of the piece and a better/safe way to push the wood through would help. David
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #6
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


Put an extension on the table saw and spry some lube on the table so the material will glide as easy as possible
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


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As a Physical Therapist I would suggest strengthening your legs with exercises for a long term solution otherwise you are skirting the root problem which is the weakness in your legs.

For a short term solution braces for your knees may help somewhat. Also having the table saw higher would help so you don't have to lean as much therefore your COG (center of gravity) is over your legs and not forward of them and thus less torque exerted to your legs and thus less your legs/back have to work to hold you up.
Creamaster - I'll take advantage of your professional expertise, if I may, and add some more info that might help you understand the problem. My problem is that while I am standing for extended periods of time, with my leg muscles activated, it compresses my leg veins and aggravates my phlebitis. So the problem, isn't lack of strength (I'm quite strong) it's the prolonged muscle activation that is the problem...

I have a blood-clotting disorder and a history of superficial blood clots, and I am on blood thinners so I have two problems:
1. Prolonged muscle use or strain can cause hemoraging inside my muscles = swelling and pain
2. Prolonged muscle use causes compression on my injured veins = like a toothache in my leg

Love to hear more of your thoughts.
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Last edited by Leah Frances; 06-26-2010 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


Marbledust is right on target. You should be able to set up your saw so you aren't using your muscles so much. That's the only solution. If you have a big big table and good auxilliary rollers then you won't need to be supporting the wood while cutting. If the table is well waxed then you won't have to push hard. A good guide will keep your wood straight which also means no pushing pressure. Check to make sure your guide is truly parralel to the blade. A sharp saw blade also means light pushing pressure as does not trying to feed it too fast.

So add a big takeoff table with a slick formica surface, wax the steel table, get some good rollers, put on a good sharp blade and true it to a good guide. And then remember to let the saw do the work and take frequent breaks to loosen up.

Also would a rubber mat help? I know I got one for my shop because standing on concrete is hard on my legs. It helps me.

Last edited by jogr; 06-26-2010 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
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Need better ergonomics for using table saw...


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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Creamaster - I'll take advantage of your professional expertise, if I may, and add some more info that might help you understand the problem. My problem is that while I am standing for extended periods of time, with my leg muscles activated, it compresses my leg veins and aggravates my phlebitis. So the problem, isn't lack of strength (I'm quite strong) it's the prolonged muscle activation that is the problem...

I have a blood-clotting disorder and a history of superficial blood clots, and I am on blood thinners so I have two problems:
1. Prolonged muscle use or strain can cause hemoraging inside my muscles = swelling and pain
2. Prolonged muscle use causes compression on my injured veins = like a toothache in my leg

Love to hear more of your thoughts.
Ill try not to get into a huge medical conversation here on a DIY forum but you are right that prolonged muscle activation can increae your symtpoms but mind you that pertains to muscles that are being used in your legs in an isometric fashion. This means your muscles are contracting yet without any movement, iso = same, metric = distance. So when you are using your saw or tools for prolonged periods of time without much moveemnt you are going to likely flare up your phlebitis because too much isometric contraction time actually diminshes venous return. Leg muscles act as pumps that assist venous return to the heart, when they are used to provide movement.

Think of it like this... take a string ballon used to make animals and cut both ends. Now attach one end to a hose that will flow a thick fluid substance and turn it on. Now with your hand about halfway from the hose squeeze and release repeadately each time about half of a squeeze. This squeezing and releasing will help to move the thick fluid out toward the open end of the baloon, this is mucsle conctraction with movement. Now simply squeeze half way and hold it there. The flow of fluid will be diminished compared to the squeeze and release method. This is an example of isomtric muscle contraction. Veins flow through our muscles like these string baloons. The stagnant flow of venous blood is what inflames the veins. There are other issues that can be at play here too mind you like high blood pressure, leaky valves in the veins, diminshed cardiac output, etc...

So there are several things you can try. Use compression stockings to assist in venous return, and or do not stand still for too long. Take frequent breaks to walk around to "move" your muscles and joints therefore aiding in venous return.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by creamaster; 06-27-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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