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making wooden pitchforks

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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Alexis Richard wrote:Wow! I'm glad S is recovering from surgery alright! This is such an amazing thread to follow, and I would adore getting into green woodworking, but as someone who already has back problems at 25.... Maybe I shouldn't.
I wonder, is there a way to prevent this sort of damage or mitigate it?

If that's a painful debate for you guys, feel free to tell me to hush! I know how hard shoulda/wouldas can be.

Hi Alexis and thanks!
Hans suggestion is great  

Laying on your back with your legs over a large ball and rocking it from side to side will mitigate the back problems, prevent continued damage and set up the proper environment for tissue repair.

I think this might assume that one quits doing the work that causes the pain and damage though.
In Steve's case he would have been laying on that ball every few hours every day.
He is/was quite strong and able to work Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! at hard physical labor all day...over forty years it adds up and then there were  the 'extreme' more immediate back injuries that added up also.
He was careful and lifted properly...good ergonomics. Almost all of the time.  
The injuries came when he wasn't being mindful of the task at hand and tried to rush or from lifting and carrying a load that was too heavy...an example would be a 100 lb firewood log on his shoulder from a long distance out in the woods to the house, repeatedly.

In hind site it would have been so wise of us to have a way to make at least part of our income in a less physical way as homesteading itself is labor intensive when done without power tools and machines.
Even my weaving set up future physical problems from years spent at it.

Bits of advice with salt
...rarely is anything an 'emergency' and has to get done that minute
...there are many ways to move those big rocks other than bruit force (and he knew and used them all, except for this ONE time)
...eat well and don't smoke...we both smoked in our twenties and spent some periods of time in the woods quite hungry, both likely setting up future physical issues.
...working through back pain is NOT a good idea
...try to have the proper tool for the task

We are lucky to have lived the life we wanted for all of those years while raising a family...other than his back there are few regrets.  

We are taking four mile hikes now and looking forward to longer ones if it ever stops raining here.  
His back is amazingly pain free and he's building up his 'core' with some physical therapy exercises.
I'm not as nervous about the fusion now as it's been about eight months...he is back to feeling his old self though (have I mentioned ADHD?) so still bears watching ...and this has allowed him to pick up all of the writing he's done for years and publish a couple chap books and participate in some local readings....life is good!

Posts: 49
Location: Southeastern Louisiana
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Hans- I'm actually doing that exact exercise and a few more (Dead Bugs... so many Dead Bugs....) given to me by my physical therapist! So maybe I can lessen the danger by keeping up with those exercises. That, and a good dose of caution.

Judith- I'm glad you and S are doing well! And I'll take all of your bits of advice, thank you!
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Location: Taos, New Mexico
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Very impressive!  Thanks for sharing.
Posts: 1172
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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This was beautiful work! After seeing a wooden fork first on the farm hands companion show (iirc) it was fascinating to see how one was built
Stop it! You're embarassing me! And you are embarrassing this tiny ad!
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