Question Of The Week... (2023 week 3)

ripjack13

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I know the "Answer" is "Whatever height is comfortable to you", But what is your experience with your bench height vs. your actual height with traditional work?

So, the QotW is, What is your "Happy Medium" bench height?




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Someday you will look back at my work, laugh nervously and change the subject.
 

woodtickgreg

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This is something I have continuously changed over the years. I seem to have always made my benches to high. In a garage working on mechanical things that's ok, but not in a wood shop work bench. I have been lowering my benches over the years because I have learned that it is more practical and easier on my body. When chiseling, planeing, and even sanding it just more comfortable to have your work a little lower so you have more leverage. Now what is the best height? Well that will vary by the user. But for me it's about waist high, ish. So I cant give an actual measurement and it would vary buy user anyway. I'm 5'9" and what fits me wouldnt be a good fit for someone over 6 foot or someone shorter like Tony. So that's why I go with the waist high thing. I also go with the height of the flat of your palms when standing, that's usually about waist high, so somewhere in between those 2 measurements.
 

JonathanH

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Having experimented more than a few times with this topic I've found that 30"-34" works best for me. Too low and my back lets me know at the end of the day that I've leaned over too much. Too high and I'm constantly moving the work piece around just to see the other sides. I'm 5'9" and think that the optimum work height varies considerably by both task & user height.
 

2feathers Creative Making

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About counter height. Depending on my work, larger pieces need a shorter bench and very small items can be easier on something above counter height. I have restaurant bits and pieces here and there around the place, so the short bench is the table used for the fryers and griddles. Somewhere in the 24 inch range. The standard bench is the counter height table around 32 inches tall. And the tall bench is pub table height, around 40 inches tall.
In normal practice, the nearest clear surface is likely the one I will use since I won't be but a few minutes before I whisk off to something else, leaving another half finished project cluttering a once pristine surface...
 

Nature Man

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My current homemade workbench, that I received from an elderly friend, is 34". It may be a bit too tall for me, but I will certainly make do. The whole time I've had it, because it is a flat surface, it has accumulated tools, wood, hardware, etc., and not fully used as a workbench. That is about to change when I move it into my new workshop. It will have its own place with lots of light and plugs, and be used as a genuine workbench. The way it's going, it will be in place before the end of the month. Chuck
 

Sprung

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My workbench (which doubles as outfeed for my table saw) is 37" tall. My side bench is about 40" tall, which is a nice height for me to stand at to do small work. Occasionally I will do some work on really small stuff on the table to my radial arm saw, which is probably about 45" or 46" in height. I'm 6' 4" tall. These bench heights work well for me with the work I do.
 

duncsuss

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Makes no difference to me - all my benchtops are cluttered with so much stuff I never get to use them as work surfaces.
 

DLJeffs

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Tough one because it sort of depends on what I'm doing. Sometimes I need plenty of downward pressure like sanding or planing. Other times I want to work standing like painting. I'm thinking best would be two work stations, one taller and one shorter, both with extended edges and removable bench dogs to allow clamping from multiple directions. And in my case at least one of them has to be on lockable wheels.
 

Nubsnstubs

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I have 4 work benches that are all the same height as my Unisaw. Size is 24 x 72" and 33 3/4" high. They are steel, with removable MDF tops because I'm at the mercy of our weather as I work outdoors with no appreciable roof for protection from the elements. I use them as infeed, outfeed and side tables when cutting wood. When done cutting the wood for the project, I then use the tables as assembly benches.

One of the three is a glue table with slots at 12" apart for the Pony clamps. The fourth table is only 16" tall as this table is used for assembling cabinets and furniture. The taller benches are a pain for building the larger stuff. When the rains are predicted, I don't get as much work done like today. It's sprinkling right now, and wood, tools, and water don't get along. .......... Jerry (in Tucson)
 
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Mike Hill

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Ok, I have three. The jawhorse with 2 layers of 2x mounted to make a work surface of sorts. The two layers of 2x are to get the surface above the clamping jaw height. I'm at office, so don't have measurement. Looked online for the last few minutes, even in the manual. But no dimensions of working height - folded up size and footprint yes and lots of purdy pictures. Common problem with modern times - the people who do the marketing materials for things like these have no idea of how to use them or what to use them for - so lots of purdy pictures, but lacking bunches of important info. The second is the open tailgate of an F150 - 2000 model. There is a big Lincoln gas powered welder in the bed now, so the height is a little lower than normal. Don't know the actual height, but I do like to stand on the downhill slope so the height is essentially a little higher. It is somewhat adjustable - all you have to do is adjust the tire pressure. LOL. Often the height of my next work surface is 0". Its when I sit on my butt and use the driveway as my worksurface.
 
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DLJeffs

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Had to chuckle at using the tailgate of your truck. I do the same thing when I'm working in the driveway and need another place to put stuff.
 

JonLanier

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Never gave it much thought. Although, I put my lathe center where my elbow bends... that way I'm not squatting or bending over much, nor am I having to lift my shoulders.
 
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