Why a forum on disabilities?

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Nov 18, 2019
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I am suffering from degenerative osteo arthritis and have been for the last six years. This means I operate machinery when on morphine. My ability to stand for more than 10 minutes is low that my workshop has 2 chairs and a stool.

All the planning for work is safety first because it has to be as my concentration levels are low especially after 3 or 4 hours. I get up around 0600 and am in bed around 1300 to 1400. As a chronic pain sufferer my lifestyle until recently (last 18 months) was extremely depressing.

There are those that will say that I shouldn't operate machinery, especially on my medication, but I say that my sanity is only kept in check BECAUSE I have my workshop!

If I stopped then the alternative is to crawl up into a ball and do nothing and did that for 4 1/2 years (4.5000 in imperial) so since its my life, my decision and my workshop, that's what I will do. The importance of this forum and those who contact me via my website and blog is that it gives me the social intercourse (no smut here please) that most human beings, including me, need.

So I am happy with my lot and am enjoying model making. ANYTHING can be overcome if the payback is good enough. Anything.

The usefullness of doing even small jobs for others is immense to the mental well being. So if I can do it (whatever it is?) then so can anyone.

Just read this for spelling and hey, life's better that the read! Oh happy days........ :big:
Apparently we have a lot of the same issues. After many surgeries, being able to go to my shop IS my physical and mental therapy, even if it's only for a little while. We do what we can to maintain Some form of sanity. As for the dangers of machinery and meds - it's my only choice and I work there alone. My choice, my responsibility.


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Oct 15, 2015
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Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Thank you guys soooo much for posting all this. I injured my spine quite badly about 10 years ago and as a result I'm on long term disability (a.k.a. retired at 33). I've been struggling to find a hobby I can do with my injury and chronic pain, and you guys have given me a lot of confidence that this is something I can do and enjoy for years to come!
Mr Jones, I too fractured L1/2 in 2000 at age 56 after an improperly secured ladder slipped on the ice and I fell 15'. I was operated on for 12 hours and after 4 months in hospital for recovery and rehab I went back to work as a broadcast engineering tech. I returned to my old job and continued for another ten years when they retired me. I sat out less than a few hours before I started my own service company and now cover 13 stations in South Western Ontario, transmitter and studio sites. This COVID has caused me to back off but now starting to get back into it. I'm now 76. Fortunately I had worker's compensation so all was paid for and all my numerous meds and needs are covered. It can be done if you're willing to try. It's up to each individual. Oh yes, I've also been the cancer route with prostrate in 2005 and colon in 2013. Still clean so hopefully a few more years in the shop when I'm not on the road. Keep healthy and stay upright.


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Jun 18, 2020
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First off what is a disability? One of the definitions of disability is "the inability to perform an activity in a normal way as a result of an impairment."
That is the definition that I think should be the focus of this forum. Not that we can not perform an activity, but that we may have to do it in ways that are different. These disabilities can be temporary like a broken bone, permanent, or progressive such as age related problems.

Now, the why of the forum. The last numbers that I have showed that 43 million United States residents are considered to have a disability under the US Government standards. With a population of about 300 million, that is about 1 in 7 people. If this web site is typical of the US population then about 250 of it's 1800 (as of this date) registered users would be considered to have a disability. Thats a lot of us.

The purpose of this forum is to provide a place to exchange solutions to problems and ask questions about how to solve problems that affect us in our goal of building model engines. I expect that many ideas may be useful to other members who would not consider themselves to have a disability. The reverse is also true. For example, there are sections of threads about how high should a mill table should be for working comfort. Some thing like this applies not only to those who have a back problem, to prevent back problems from forming. When items like this are found, put a link to them in this section, but please include a brief message about why you are linking to them.

Let's keep it light and everyone help each other. Then we all have more fun.

Gail in NM,USA
Glad this disability is recognized. On a welding forum one of the members created a electrode feeder for tig welding for another member. He used Rc model parts and some Rc car parts. I wish I could find this to show how compassionate fellow participants are. I have a double vision issue that makes typing and reading very difficult it’s not curable nor correctable with glasses. I’ve already found that precision tig welding is about impossible. I can work with machine dials and measuring equipment but it is very difficult. I’m not supposed to even be in the shop but that’s been my whole life so I have to make careful adjustments.
My son wants to get a knee mill with 5 place readouts. Yeah it would help me but it would be easy to miss the extra decimal so , why? I’ve worked with this precision for a long time and I just don’t think it’s necessary. He has no experience in the shop at all and simply ignores advice. I tried to show him basic cutting tool sharpening but he has a good friend who runs a CBC shop. The comment is “ dad just replace the tool or insert. My other son was trying to show him the ins and outs of the Bridgeport and he says what’s the spindle?” So the younger son and I get frustrated trying to teach.
anyway I have developed some means to get along in the shop. Primary is saftey. With limited control on one hand/arm I have to be extremely careful so when handicaps are present others need to step in and help. I don’t mind” her let me help you” some take issue but I guess we all have to work with what we have.
anyway that’s it for today guys.