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Ways around shaking hands

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  • Member since
    May 2020
Ways around shaking hands
Posted by BasT on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 9:11 AM

Hey ppl,

 

I've picked-up scale modelling again after being out of it for about 20 years. I'm currently building the Airfix E.II Eindecker 1/72. The build is going fairly well, but while building and painting I've run into an old issue I also had back in the day. I'm afflicted with a condition called Essential Tremor. It basically means that my hands tremble lightly constantly. However, the tremors increase in intensity when I'm stressed or need to do precision work. So glueing small pieces together like the undercarriage is very hard for me (I managed though). The problem lies in the fact that I need to hold the piece in one hand then glue the other piece with the other hand while keeping the pieces as steady as I can. That is often an issued for me, especially when I'm afraid to break something, making my tremors worse. Now some ppl would call me crazy for even trying to do this hobby in the first place, but I just love scale modelling so much.

Enough background...  I would like to know if you guys have any idea's and tips that could help me cleanly glue smaller things together. Maybe ways to not have to hold one piece so I can use both hands for the other piece (making my hands more stable).

 

Thanks in advance, any advice would be very welcome!

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Thursday, May 14, 2020 11:12 AM

BasT, welcome to the forum; and welcome to the unstable hands club. It may seem that there are not many people that read the Techniques section have a problem holding on to things. Personally I tend to struggle in that area with some loss of depth perception to go with it.

I use various clamps and apparatus to hold an object allowing me to use two hands (one to brace the other) to paint detail or attach a small part. Go on-line to Squadron/Supplies for all kinds of ideas.

When you get established on your choice forum, like "Autos", you may want to ask the same question. I am an aircraft guy myself; currently wundering why I am building a USS Constitution and a Gato Class sub! Good luck on your journey.

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, May 14, 2020 11:23 AM

Yes, I can't really hold the model in one hand and do much precise with the other.

These can be had cheap from places like Harbor Freight if you don't need the quality of a true machinists tool.

They weigh alot so they don't move around.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, May 14, 2020 12:40 PM

I don't know if this would help, but I'm reminded now of the hand rest that some figure painters use, to steady their hand while they paint.  Some use a piece of padding, like the wrist or hand rests to relieve pressure on your wrists while using a keyboard.  Others just use a wooden bar.  Whatever you might choose, it might help to immobilize your hand as much as possible, leaving your fingers free to move.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, May 14, 2020 12:56 PM

I've always had the same issue, and strangely enough, I found that increasing my ability to see those small parts helped with the shaking.  It definitely alleviates the stress and frustration of getting tiny parts aligned properly.  Not sure if it would have the same value for you, but I have a set of 3X and 6X magnifying glasses that I use when doing detailed painting/attachment work.  It helps tremendously with the shaky hands.

I've also found that for many applications, attaching one piece to a blunted toothpick or small skewer using hot glue and then putting the toothpick/skewer in a vice will keep one of the two items completely rock solid, and the vice gives you a place to rest your fingers which helps steady your hands.  I use the same method for painting those tiny parts, and with just a little effort when the part is ready, it separates easily from the glue (but not so easily that its constantly falling off while you're working on it).

 

I've been using both of the above during the difficult construction/detailing of the 6 F-5 seats I have combined with the kit seat rails in the Modelcollect B-52G kit to make fairly reasonable facsimilies of B-52 seats (as opposed to the completely incorrect ACES II seats that come in the kit).  Also attached all of the photo-etched seat belts while having the seats glued to skewers chucked up in a vice.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:29 PM

I find using blue tac works.  I put one part into the blue tac and then stick it to the top of a paint bottle or the base of my desk lamp.  I then have the second part in tweezers and cup my left hand under my right hand for stability (I’m right handed).  I find this method helpful for my shaky hand.

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, May 15, 2020 7:45 AM

Hi;

 Trembling Hands. Where have I run into them before? Oh, that's right, mine! Here's what I do. Besides what Bill mentioned. I use a piece of 2 inch foam to rest my hands on. It absorbs some of the tremors. Then I fasten the part or parts in my Third Hand tool. I have replaced the Alligator clips with some that have lightly roughened up flat jaws. The roughness keeps the part from zipping away into the next dimension over, or the carpet monster.

 Eaglecash867 also hit on something Very important.The clearer you can see the part, the steadier you can become, because you can see where to apply the glue. The other thing about the Third hand tool mod, is I can glue Little circles of punched out sandpaper to the Jaws for a better grip where needed. The paper comes off real easy with an X-Acto knife. each disc lasts about a month. I use 320 for the Sandpaper jaw grips.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, May 15, 2020 8:53 AM
Just to where we are in our world today with the COVID and not meaning any disrespect to any poster,my 1st thought when I saw the title that it was about the social practice of shaking hands,go figure

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, May 15, 2020 8:59 AM

the Baron

 Others just use a wooden bar. 

That works well. I'll do that when I'm freehand brush painting things like canopy frames or planks on a ships deck.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, May 15, 2020 9:00 AM

Tojo72
Just to where we are in our world today with the COVID and not meaning any disrespect to any poster,my 1st thought when I saw the title that it was about the social practice of shaking hands,go figure
 

LOL, me too. I was thinking, "why is this even an option?".

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, May 15, 2020 2:17 PM

I have the same problem.  Here are a couple of tricks I have learned.  I found the finger shake is magnified if your arms are not braced against something.

If the larger part/assembly is sitting on the bench, I try to rest the heal of the hand holding the tweezers against the workbench surface. If my hand is held in the air, the strain of trying to hold the arm in exactly the right position adds to my finger shake.  Resting the tweezer hand on the same surface as the model or assembly you are attaching something to does help.

If you are using two hands- say your left hand is holding the model or a major assembly with your left hand, and your right hand is holding a part with tweezers, the arm problem is magnified.  I touch the little fingers of both hands together while I work.  This connection reduces the problem only to the positioning of the fingers and greatly reduces the shake.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, May 15, 2020 2:29 PM

Tojo72
Just to where we are in our world today with the COVID and not meaning any disrespect to any poster,my 1st thought when I saw the title that it was about the social practice of shaking hands,go figure
 

LOL!  I thought the same thing.  I was all set to come in here and suggest touching elbows.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    October 2019
Posted by phil172 on Friday, May 15, 2020 6:01 PM

Lots of good ideas.  I've been shaking so long the idea of holding what I am glueing in each hand just, well, I don't remember ever being able to do that.  I guess once I have something glued if I need to hold it together while the glue sets I can use both hands.

I generally work on a bare table but if the build gets to a point where I'm worried about something resting on that bare table, I put a piece of packing foam down.  If it's a part that is prone to slide around while I'm attaching something to it (this is usually when attaching PE to something for some reason), I'll stick it down with a small piece of tape.  And when I'm attaching one extremely tiny thing to another extremely tiny thing, one of them will be taped down.

Regards,

Phil

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, May 15, 2020 7:22 PM

Don Stauffer

I have the same problem.  Here are a couple of tricks I have learned.  I found the finger shake is magnified if your arms are not braced against something.

If the larger part/assembly is sitting on the bench, I try to rest the heal of the hand holding the tweezers against the workbench surface. If my hand is held in the air, the strain of trying to hold the arm in exactly the right position adds to my finger shake.  Resting the tweezer hand on the same surface as the model or assembly you are attaching something to does help.

If you are using two hands- say your left hand is holding the model or a major assembly with your left hand, and your right hand is holding a part with tweezers, the arm problem is magnified.  I touch the little fingers of both hands together while I work.  This connection reduces the problem only to the positioning of the fingers and greatly reduces the shake.

 

 

I do these things too. Also, I keep a couple of risers handy to rest my hand-heels on at near chest and also chin level. A couple ideas, cardboard packing boxes, big tupperware containers. Saves me lots of back strain from sitting all hunched over with my hands supported on the benchtop.

-Greg

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, May 16, 2020 8:24 AM

Hi Greg!

     You hit on something my Physician suggested for me. I damaged my Neck in the Accident I had three and a half years ago. because they found an Aneurism on the back of the left Ventricle when they C.T scanned me for injuries, the Heart of course took precedence over the neck. I never got treated . My computer is raised the heighth of a can of soup . This way no neck strain.

  This is the reason I tell you this. This has worked fabulous for my model bench too. I lifted up the Mat on a piece of ceramic type floor tile (Large) and I have a solid surface at the right heighth now! I can't stand and work because of my Sciatic Nerve fallout!

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, May 16, 2020 11:09 AM

Interesting we are both pretty much doing the same thing, TB.

I probably got the resting hands on something idea from somebody here. That idea is too clever for me to have come up with on my own.

Pretty sure the riser idea came from too many hours sitting hunched over, though.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1:39 PM

Tanker-Builder

Hi Greg!

     You hit on something my Physician suggested for me. I damaged my Neck in the Accident I had three and a half years ago. because they found an Aneurism on the back of the left Ventricle when they C.T scanned me for injuries, the Heart of course took precedence over the neck. I never got treated . My computer is raised the heighth of a can of soup . This way no neck strain.

  This is the reason I tell you this. This has worked fabulous for my model bench too. I lifted up the Mat on a piece of ceramic type floor tile (Large) and I have a solid surface at the right heighth now! I can't stand and work because of my Sciatic Nerve fallout!

 

I had to do that too.  I started with a little box about three inches high.  Not enough, better but still got pain in neck.  Now it is raised six inches and everything fine.  I made a bigger box with drawers to store things like stapler, thumb drives and other things I use a lot at computer.  No need to go over to desk for stuff now.

Also, the therapist said to raise car seat back as vertical as it would go- I used to get pains in shoulder and arm after driving for awhile.  No more.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1:54 PM

YUP !!

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by rob44 on Thursday, May 21, 2020 9:28 PM

A set of h"helping hands" like these may be of use.

https://www.sciplus.com/s/?q=helping+hand

 

I also find an optivisor to help magnify things helps.

 

I do not have essential tremors, but I so shake on occasion. I notice if I avoid caffine for a bit it does thend to help. You may want to try that. I have also seen that taking a magnesium supplement is helpful. The stuff is in the viatamin section and cheap. Take 500mg a day for a week or so and see if things improve. It has also reduced my muscle spasms to zero.

  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Ted4321 on Thursday, May 21, 2020 10:05 PM

I thought this was about greetings as well. 

Like don said, I must anchor my arms and or elbows to the bench. Also keeping your hands touching each other helps. If they shake, at least they shake together. 

Oh and it seems beer helps too. Embarrassed

T e d

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