I really like my Schmid Hand Rest, but one thing I noticed when I first got it was that it had a tendency to dig into the softest part of my hand, the area between the thumb and first finger. I tried several different ways to make the rest more comfortable, including felt pads (which came unstuck) and tennis racket grip tape (no luck there). The solution I ended up using works quite well, and is very cheap to make. I purchased a small piece of clear plastic tubing from a local hardware store, and simply cut a small length and slipped it over the end of the hand rest.
The tubing creates a nice, cushioned surface, and won’t slip off. It is also seems to hold up well to perspiration and oil from my skin. I think I used 3/8″ inner diameter, but you could experiment with different diameters to customize the fit and amount of cushion you want. Just bring your hand rest with you to the hardware store and you can make sure everything will work before buying any tubing. Over time the plastic does harden and lose its cushioning, but since the tubing comes in 8-10 foot coils, you’ll have plenty of extra to replace the original piece. In addition to making a Hosaphone, this is another nice application for clear plastic tubing.
One other use is to make yourself a very inexpensive B.E.R.P. for mouthpiece buzzing. I got this idea from Gail Williams, and it really does work quite well. Simply cut another small section of tubing – around two inches or so in length and 1/4″ inner diameter, I’d say – and you can insert the shank of your mouthpiece into it to create a resistance piece.
Try different lengths of tubing if you like, or drill small holes into the tube to vary the amount of resistance. Is it as good as the real thing – probably not – but it is great to throw into your case or music bag in case you need a B.E.R.P.-like device in a pinch. They are also so cheap to make that you can afford to give them out to students to encourage mouthpiece buzzing.