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Ergonomic broom handle? How to make one?

 
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I always have fatigue in my thenar muscles when I use a broom to sweep the floor. Even worse if I use it with one hand and the other hand carrying a dust bin. I am wondering how to make the straight pole more ergonomic by bending a hazel rod in a certain way.

One thing that gives me the inspiration is the professional ski pole, like the ones in the alpine ski competition. I have only used straight ones before. Does any one used those professional ski poles? How do the small curves affect the performance?
Screenshot_20231125_174644_YouTube.jpg
Winter olympic
Winter olympic
 
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From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski_pole#:~:text=Racing%20poles%20have%20their%20own,and%20increased%20reliance%20on%20poles.

Why are racing poles curved?
Racing poles have their own unique distinctions. Super giant slalom, downhill, and speed skiing poles are designed to bend around the skier's body while in a tuck position to minimize drag.
In slalom skiing, straight poles are used due to the reduced speeds and increased reliance on poles.

From. https://www.healthline.com/health/thenar-eminence-pain#:~:text=Thenar%20eminence%20pain%20is%20usually,that%20require%20repetitive%20thumb%20movement." target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Thjenar muscle issues
What is the problem with the thenar muscle?
Thenar eminence pain is usually due to overuse syndrome brought on by repetitive thumb movements.
It typically improves with a combination of medical treatments and home remedies.
You can sometimes prevent thenar eminence pain by avoiding activities that require repetitive thumb movement.
Maybe you need to stop flying brooms for a while and rest you body!
 
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If you are using a straight broom (not a push broom) It might be worth trying a handle that bends so the broom head is  (That isn't making sense)  

I'd definitely test with different shapes before I made a nice wood one.

Something like this:
broom-sketch.jpg
[Thumbnail for broom-sketch.jpg]
 
May Lotito
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I only sweep for one minute before my right hand hurts. Like Pearl's design, I am think about a kink to bring the broom head close to the center of the body vwould help.

I can see how an ergonomic design in pizza cutter affects the direction of the pressure and the user's gesture . But sweeping is more complicated: left to right, right to left, towards the body, away from the body...
20231125_152122.jpg
Regular vs ergonomic pizza cutters
Regular vs ergonomic pizza cutters
 
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I wonder if a scythe snath style handle might help?
 
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Are you "sweeping" or using a "push broom"? There are a bunch of different options, but so much depends on your size and exactly what movement you're doing, that I suspect you will need to experiment and let trial and error guide you and hopefully achieve trial and success!


source

This one totally changes how you're holding the broom handle. One of Hubby's drills has a handle that can be screwed into the side and with it in place, I can use the drill 2-handed. Without it, I can't control the rotation without my thumb screaming for mercy.


source

These sorts of options are like the ski-pole and are changing some of the angles, but I suspect they're more an effort to support back ergonomics than hand ergonomics.


source

This is a variation on the first picture. I suspect the first picture will fit a variety of handle sizes, where as this last picture, may need a precise size.

Have you considered or tried the approach of using some sort of splint on your thumb? The downside to those is if they're a slippery material, your grip may feel less secure.

 
John C Daley
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Can you use a hose instead and wash everything out?
 
May Lotito
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I can vacuum instead. I just thought it would be faster to grab a broom and sweep. I don't understand why the simple movements are putting so much strains on my hand muscles.
 
Carla Burke
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May Lotito wrote:I can vacuum instead. I just thought it would be faster to grab a broom and sweep. I don't understand why the simple movements are putting so much strains on my hand muscles.



Is it possible that you've just been working your hand so much that the muscles, ligaments, & tendons are tired and achy?
 
John C Daley
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Maybe you are gripping the broom too tight. Slowly work over your hands, you may have a problem that needs a massage or a manipulation
 
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Do you have a spare 4’ of flexible 3/4 inch copper pipe?   Use that to experiment with different shapes. Then transfer that shape to wood or steel to make a final product.
 
May Lotito
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That's a good idea John, thanks!
I am feeling the broom is too long and heavy for me. When I sweep trash into a dustpan, I have to hold the lower 1/3 of the handle with my hand pointing down, tucking the upper part under my armpit and try to swirl the whole thing around. Hand muscles feel very firm in this akward position.
 
John F Dean
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Plan B:  georgesbroomcloset.com

This gentleman makes custom brooms.  His products are more expensive than Walmart, but I do find them to be in the sane range considering it is custom work.
 
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John F Dean wrote:Plan B:  georgesbroomcloset.com

This gentleman makes custom brooms.  His products are more expensive than Walmart, but I do find them to be in the sane range considering it is custom work.

Getting a tool that fits the size of your body is definitely worth the money in my books. Well made tools can last the rest of your life, and then go to someone your size and shape.

Hubby and I have had this discussion. For me for sure, "bigger" is *NOT* "better! So we now own 2 wonderful Lee Valley garden forks - a "his" size and a "hers" size. I also have sequiturs he's supposed to not use - or at least not relocate from their normal storage spot. My hands are too small to use the "one size fits all" version.

If May's comment was just about handle length, I'd suggest that's what hack-saws are for. However, if the broom part itself is too big, I'd go for a smaller, lighter option. Both Hubby and #2 Son often just use a bench broom and a dustbin to clean up little messes, but my knees aren't happy with that as much anymore.

Then again, maybe we need to develop the skill and make them ourselves?  
https://permies.com/t/57869/brooms
https://permies.com/t/191565/Broom-making-isn-hard-thought
https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/how-to-make-a-broom-zm0z18fmzcwil/
 
Carla Burke
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Orrrr... switch to one of these, for scooping up what you've swept, with the big broom: https://www.amazon.com/Woodworking-Brush-Brushes-Gardening-Furniture-Fireplace/dp/B08Q4G8WXN/ref=asc_df_B08Q4G8WXN&mcid=46a9e3cc48623137a889f1e7179269fb

 
Jay Angler
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Carla Burke wrote:Orrrr... switch to one of these, for scooping up what you've swept, with the big broom: https://www.amazon.com/Woodworking-Brush-Brushes-Gardening-Furniture-Fireplace/dp/B08Q4G8WXN/ref=asc_df_B08Q4G8WXN&mcid=46a9e3cc48623137a889f1e7179269fb

Yes - that's the brush Hubby has always called a "bench broom".  If I give them a hair-cut, they use that to collect the hair off the floor, then throw it outside for the birds to build nests with.
 
May Lotito
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I am one step closer now I see why sweeping is so hurtful with this broom.

It's a 14.5 inches broom with detachable 4 ft angled handle. It's fine when I sweep with both hands, rounding up the trash into a pile then get it in a dustpan. The product page suggests removing the handle while doing that.

Sometimes I have sporadic litters over a large area I prefer holding a handled dustpan with my left hand and sweeping the trash in it as I walk around. Due to the length and weight of the broom, I am not able to do it with my right hand the regular way. I have to grab the handle with thumb pointing down, using the forearm and elbow for leverage. Then due to even length of the whisks, I would get my shoes dirty that way. In order to sweep from right to left, I have to push down to bend the whisks and that's very tiresome.

One broom that works well is a cheap little one with a broken handle down to 2 ft long. Weight and length really matter to me.
Screenshot_20231129_212618_Chrome.jpg
Moxie broom
Moxie broom
20231130_184615.jpg
Sweeping with one hand
Sweeping with one hand
 
Jay Angler
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So part of your problem is that you're using the same broom two different ways. It sounds like it's OK for one use, but not for the other.

If it were me, I'd be very tempted to cut the bristles so they match the angle you want them for your "type two" sweeping (one handed). I suspect that even if you did 2 handed with it after it was cut, you'd find a way to position the broom so that it would work. That said, if it's expensive and you can't afford to replace it, it's a little harder to be willing to experiment.

I also need to admit that I'm biased and prefer in general, brooms with shorter bristles. They seem easier to keep under control for me.
 
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You might try some 3/4" foam pipe insulation. You won't have to hold a skinny handle so tightly

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTcCOT6DwnE-eWlBdyy7_UUMWvvjG-clHNPNLGv5zfjPQngSNI3AgoyG6RF-X1DIKkVY2pUg1FSeKfOafkm_DIFzFwjkxaxlA
 
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