Daily Wire Tip Apr. 16: Caring for Your Most Important Tools

By on April 15, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 16, 2011


Hi Dale, I’ve learned so much from your videos, and I truly love to both cage beads and wrap cabochons. Are there exercises that I can do to take the kinks and knots out of my thumbs? I realize I probably should take more frequent breaks than I do, but once I get working on a piece, time just flies! Thanks, Lynne

-Lynne in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania


Lynne, the exercises I do include using one of those soft, squishy stress balls while watching television, and I love my paraffin hand spa! In the winter when my fingers want to crack, I coat them with medicated cream and put on latex gloves before dipping and coating them in the wax. It really helps! Of course treating yourself to a professional hand massage with a manicure is nice, too.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    April 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

    A simple isometric exercise is stretching your hands in the opposite direction from your stresser. Try positioning your hands so the back of the hand is pulled back toward the forearm, then spread your fingers and thumbs as wide as possible and pull them back toward the back of your forearm as much as possible by their own power. Do NOT force it by pushing on something. Hold the position for about 15 seconds then relax everything. After 15 to 30 seconds, do it again. Do this several times. The key is holding the position and then fully relaxing.

  2. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    April 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    This is an easy hand exercise a chiropractor shared with me. Put all five fingers inside an extra heavy duty rubberband (like they use at the post office). Now stretch your hand open. Opening and closing for a few minutes on each hand every day will strengthen and stretch plus you have all you need right in your house right now.

    • avatar


      April 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Diane and Mary, for sharing your ‘hand’ tips with all of us!

  3. avatar


    April 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Diane is right. I just started playing guitar again and developed a ‘trigger finger’ from making jewelry and using the computer. I found this online outfit that sells a glove that works your fingers in the opposite direction and it works great! It was designed specifically for this purpose. Works with carpel tunnel, also.

  4. avatar


    April 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks to all of you for your great tips! I’ll try them all.
    Dale, I especially like your tip regarding the prevention of cracks during the winter.
    And, you’re so right about having a good hand massage.