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One-armed, once again

What’s the opposite of ambidextrous? Spoiler alert: It’s me.

I took a spill last week in a parking lot and, exactly like you’re not supposed to do, attempted to block my fall with my hands. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I was facedown on the pavement before I even knew what happened. The result was that my left wrist came within a whisper of breaking, and left me with bruised bones and a serious sprain.

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This isn’t the first time arm-related medical issues have gotten in the way of woodshop activities. I had similar problems not once, but two times back in 2009. Both of those times, however, involved my right arm, and being right-handed I was pretty much an invalid until healed.

This time, though, with the problem being my left arm I thought things would be easier. To a point, they are – all my right-handed activities are unaffected. Except when they also require a left hand to take part in the fun, because I simply can’t lift or push anything with my left hand.

That simple crosscut I tried to make above was next to impossible. I ended up making the cut by clamping the stock to my miter saw, so no left hand needed, but other tasks requiring lifting or feeding anything with two hands will just have to wait.

As with the previous times I emulated a one-armed bandit, I addressed my woodworking needs by doing one-handed things, like sanding or brushing on a finish. But to be honest, I just don’t have that many tasks like that needing done, except one – cleaning my shop.

That always needs to be addressed, but never seems to get nearly the proper attention it should. But being that it’s pretty much the extent of what I can do at the moment, I’m pouring myself into it. On the plus side my shop is never cleaner, more organized and more efficient than when I manage to get an arm injury.

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