Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Numb thumb

Home Forums Introduce yourself! Numb thumb

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #100016373
    Jason Matisheck

    Hello from the Denver area. I’ve just started to try chip carving but have run into a problem. After a 15-30 minute session my thumb is partially numb and stays that way for a couple days. I am using the Flexcut knife and I tried filing a flat on the handle for my thumb to register like Marty’s knives have, but no luck. I’m pretty sure the knife is sharp. I’m cutting basswood. I’m trying to be sure I’m pushing with my hand and not my thumb. This is the first time I’ve had an issue like this using hand tools. Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution? I think I may have to switch to the eastern European style using a stab knife, like Tatiana Baldina does. Are there any good sources of instruction in that style, other than Tatiana’s book?

    Thanks for any info.


    Marty Leenhouts

    This from David Bass…

    Just adding my two cents. When I first started I used to have an iron grip on mine and would up with sore fingers and forearm. You may want to loosen your grip a little bit. Also I have found that some basswood is harder to cut than others. So, if it seems  like you are trying to carve a brick use Marty’s method of spraying it with a water/alcohol mix, which could soften it a bit.


    I hope that helps.




    What is the measurement of this mix that you are talking about??

    William D. Womack

    Use water and alcohol about 50/50 Water will soak in and alcohol will evaporate the surface. If real hard use a little more water and let it sit a bit.

    James Smith

    I used to have an iron hold on mine when I first started, which left my fingers and forearm uncomfortable.

    magento 2 install security patches

    Marty Leenhouts

    “I used to have an iron hold on mine when I first started, which left my fingers and forearm uncomfortable.”

    I’m glad you discovered this James. All of the pressure on the knife should be on your index finger pushing down on the blade. If you get a callous it should be there!

    James Pitner

    Hello from Oklahoma

    New to this chip carving forum and find good questions and answers.

    I have experienced the thumb numbness or soreness after prolonged use and use  vet wrap around the thumb that cushions the pressure point which relieves the problem for me.

    Good chipping


    Marty Leenhouts

    HI Cliff,

    Welcome to the Community. Glad to know you’ve found some help with vet wrap.

    Consider also concentrating the force on the knife so that it comes near the knuckle of your index finger. That’s the spot that should get a callous.

    A numb thumb indicates too much pressure on your thumb and possibly too much of a death grip 🙂

    Keep on!


Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.