What To Do When You're Hurt?

So, a couple of weeks ago I was out mountain biking and apparently I forgot that I'm getting a bit older and I don't bounce as well as I used to.  I tried to take on a tougher obstacle, went over the bars and badly sprained my right thumb in the process.  Iced it for a week (often using cold beers as the ice), then saw my doctor, got an x-ray and was told no break but I should wear a splint for a few weeks.

Here I am then, a right handed person without being able to use most of my right hand for several weeks.  What do I do?  How am I supposed to work in the shop.  Should I even be trying.

Luckily, there are other things that I can do so stay productive even if I'm not making dust.

  1. I can work on designs.  I can't write too well, but I can work with a ruler and pencil well enough.  I have ideas for several more puzzles and this is a perfect time to start working up some drawings and figuring out what will and will not work.
  2. Create technical  drawings in Sketchup.  This is a free 3D drawing tool that is fairly easy to use but there is a learning curve.  Lots of how-to's online and many paid courses are available.  It's a good way to model a project for real and you can print out drawings.
  3. New tool research!  Yes, we all want new tools but some require more background research than others.  I'm looking into CNC so this is a great time to hunt down reviews, watch videos, head to stores that carry them, etc.
  4. Talk to or visit other woodworkers.  I am certainly guilty of not getting out and socializing enough.  Maybe I can't go cross country to visit someone, but perhaps this is a perfect time to send a note to an old friend and finally e-mail that one person who's work you've admired about how much you like what they do.
  5. Reading.  I have several books to get into.  Like Puzzle Craft and Wooden Boxes which are two books currently sitting next to me.  Puzzle Craft helps me come up with new puzzle ideas while Wooden Boxes covers the creation of some amazing boxes.
  6. Nap.  I mean, really, who doesn't like a nap.

I'm sure there are many more ideas, but these are just a few to keep you busy in the event you ever find yourself nursing an injury that prevents you from woodworking.  Do you have any other ideas?

Posted on August 7, 2016 .