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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many woodworkers are in good health and physical condition but a surprising number are not. Some through injury and others through health issues require different methods of performing various tasks. A prime example of this is people who can not stand for long periods of time. By adjusting the height of their woodworking equipment so it can be used in a seated position allows them the freedom to pursue this hobby or profession. TemplateTom is a long time advocate of safety and has developed methods for blind students to create beautiful projects using their routers. I have to say that their work is absolutly stunning. Router lifts make it easy for people with limited use of their arms to change bits and adjust their routers. Any and all of these are a part of our special needs discussions. We want to know about work arounds developed by members that assist them in enjoying woodworking. By sharing these ideas we will certainly help others to reach their own maximum potential and enjoyment of woodworking.
 

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My understanding is that the term most often refers to people (often children) with learning disabilities e.g., with autism, hearing impairment, sight disabled or ADHD - and there several more. Because those folks cannot learn in the same way as the rest of us do - they have special needs.

Additionally, the term is the "politically correct" or "government speak" version of disabled or handicapped.

Here is one dictionary version "the special educational requirements of those with learning difficulties, emotional or behavioral problems, or physical disabilities."
 

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There are many different words or terminology that describe special needs, and some are politically correct and others not so.
They way I look at it is special needs covers almost all, this can be anything from having a work station lowered for chair access to having tools modified for use. A disability of any sort is only an extra challenge in life, and everybody has those. Everybody can do wood working or turning, if they so wish to but finding the information is hard. This is why I feel it is vital to share information and help anybody, who so wishes to do some creating.
Sorry it has taken so long to put my reply in, but I have messed up my only good arm now.
Cheers
Pete
 

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I had a phone call from someone that requires special assistance with the use of the router and I would appreciate anyone who may have some previous experience. Karl is in a wheel chair and does not have use of his left hand. It is some time since we first met at a wood show when I was demonstrating the use of the router and he was to give me a call to come and see me in my workshop. Time went buy and he had not made contact, I have run into him on other occassions and at the last meeting he promised to come and see me. His latest phone call was to say he was coming next week Thurs to be exact. I am not one hundred percent sure as to what he will be able to do. I will keep you informed as to what I can get him to do.

As you may be well aware I was teaching blind people with great success I must admit, they were routing clocks, wine racks, picture frames, small boxes, also a guitar, small tables, and I was able to introduce them to producing mitres with the router, as it was considered safer for them than using the drop saw (in my opinion).

I am convinced that Karl will not be able to handle the large router so he is bringing along his 1/4" version. I also suggested that he may like to invest in a dremmel as he showed some interest in inlay for small boxes. This could be a start to get him going.

Sorry I have not made any contribution to the forum for a while but I can assure you I do look in everyday to see if I can help on any of the postings. I see they are well covered with the regulars. If there is anything to do with the use of the template guides I will add my comments.

I keep wondering if others are using the guides and producing interesting projects but alas I do not see any postings. If only I could stress more fully the importance and the advantages of the guides but I think I have posted enough to get people started.

One of my woodworking friends presented me with a problem two weeks ago, he had a glass container which was square in the bottom but had a circular top. He wanted to make a lid for it. I suppose the answer was turn it on the lathe but what happens when you do not possess a lathe? just forget about it? What would members of the forum think? Can it be done with the router?. The opening was near enough to 6" in diameter. I must confess we did work out a method with the router to be completed next week as there were two lids to make. Give it a try.

And only this week one of my sons arrived home and he wanted to make a special box. He wanted to mitre the corners and again my mitre saw was not suitable for cutting such large section of material. What was the answer? Rout the mitres of course. Well it was so lucky for him that I had made a jig for the blind people to produce mitres and that is what he did. He is not a great user of the router and as he said "I'm amazed at the process" I presented for him to use. It was so easy he said. He also added a small cross on the top of the box. (Carving with the router)

Tom
 

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Gary
Thank you for that connection and I suggest that everyone visiting the forum has a look at the wonderful work that Mark has produced it is great inspiration.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gary, please ask Mark to contribute to this forum. He is one of the people who can best offer assistance to other blind members.
 

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Hi Tom

I am a blind woodworker, but I want to get better. I want to get more use out of my routers.
I would be vary interested in communicating with you. I am a computer engineer by trade but I must confess forums are a challenge for me. I am interested in the templates you are referring to. How do I find them on this site.
How can I rout around a template.
TKS Darrel, Washington, Missouri
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Darrel, The method Tom uses has a lidless box frame to hold the material in position and uses female templates, guide bushings and a plunge router. Tom does not offer the templates other than a drawing, somebody would have to make the templates for you. Oak Park, the home of the Router Workshop series that used to be on PBS does offer a frame and a wide variety of templates to fit it. This set up is designed to work in the Router Workshop table but can be easily adapted to work on a piece of 3/4" or thicker base material.

This thread was intended to convey the concept behind this section and not individual questions or postings. Please create a new thread with your questions and we will be happy to assist you.
 
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