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Too much rotary cutting, or the dreaded A

Too much rotary cutting, or the dreaded A

Old 03-11-2018, 01:39 PM
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Default Too much rotary cutting, or the dreaded A

I cut strips for the plaid quilt for a few hours last night, and this morning I felt like I'd gotten hit by a car in my sleep. My hand is stiff, especially the ring and little finger. Is this simple overuse, bad body mechanics, bad rotary form, old age or the onset of arthritis? Hmmm, finger poking this on my phone (it's definitely not typing, lol) let me know my elbow is not happy with me, either.I was using my straight KAI cutter, because it has the nicer blade. I'm thinking maybe I should switch to the Fiskars one with the loop type handle. What do you think? I'll get thr ibuprofen going while you answer, lol. Oh, and I cut standing up because my shoulders are the weakest link, and I'm leery of anything that gets me at the wrong angle for them.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:52 PM
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If I cut for a few hours with a rotary cutter, my fingers, hand and arm would be sore. Just sayin...
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:09 PM
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I know that I cannot stand at my cutting table and cut for a few hours. First of all, my back would hurt from standing and leaning over for a period of time. It works best for me if I change my activity frequently. Works ok for quilting I think. I rotate ironing, cutting sewing. Repetitive motion is a known problem for us, regardless of age.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:23 PM
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I use an Accuquilt for this reason plus it's faster and more accurate than I am!
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:25 PM
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TheMadPatter ... all of what you suggested are possibilities!

Add in ... a not sharp blade can make the cutting harder, and thus, harder on our bodies.

Also, the height of your cutting table, and your stance in doing the cutting, can all take a toll,
if the ergonomics are not right.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:45 PM
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I am 71 and would never cut strips for longer than an hour. If I had done what you did, I would have paid the same price. My advice is to lay off cutting for a couple of days to give your body time to heal. I always have a variety of things to do, and usually do not stick with any one activity longer than an hour at a time.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:24 PM
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I pace myself with cutting. I have the 45 mm. Olfa cutter but find I reach for my smaller cutter often. The handle is smaller and shorter and the end fits in the palm of my hand for a better grip. It also helps if you put a couple of squares of rubberized shelf liner under your cutting ruler on top of the fabric. The shelf liner prevents the ruler from slipping and you can use less pressure to keep it in place. Take some Tylenol and let the hot shower loosen up your arm and shoulder muscles.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:29 PM
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I swear by the Martelli cutter and my Accuquilt Big Go machine.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:32 PM
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You cut for A FEW HOURS !? No wonder you're sore. Doing a different activity with any muscle group that you don't do frequently or for long periods normally will do that. Please, next time, cut for half an hour, take a long walk, then do another half hour, do some laundry, another half hour...you get what l mean ?
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:27 PM
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Ok, I'm getting the idea that a few hours is bad. I'm 62 and I have been a server (waitress) for 40+ years and I am still working with, and if not keeping up with, passing 20 and 30 year olds. I forget that, while nothing else around me has changed, stuff *inside* me has. You'll all be glad to know that instead of quilting, I went out and worked in the garden for uh, 7 hours. At least I used different muscles!! Honestly, though, I'm getting ready for them to sell the urban farm in a year, so I have to turn it back into a plain old duplex again. So, there's a lot of "we might need this some day" to get rid of.
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