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What's the best height for a workbench?


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Yesterday i found myself posting that I'd temporarily relocated workshop operations to the kitchen because I was bending over a bit too much. Today I did the same and found myself more comfortable.

 

Now I've always worked at desk height/dining table height. That's 75cm or so from ground level. I expect a lot of people do because that's what they have to use.

 

So after today's observation I thought about watchmakers and jewellers - they sit at workbenches and operate at work that is best desccribed as 'close', i.e. small. So i looked at commercial watchmakers and jewellers workbenches on the web and found they're in the range 87-90cm from the floor.

 

Now I'm fortunate in that the redundant printer table I use to put my workboard on is height adjustable, so tomorrow I'm going to see if it can be raised to the jewellers/watchmakers height to see if bending over is reduced.

 

But what's the height of your workbench? Is it just that I'm years behind the times in realising this? Any views welcome.

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Yes, the chair is adjustable. The workbench is directly behind my working desk. Jewellers and watchmakers use normal height chairs, so comparing close working positions the main variable is the bench height.

 

Watchmakers and jewellers benches have a cut out, usually, but that's not always practicable for ourselves. I'm finding myself looking more and more at places like Sutton Tools http://www.suttontools.co.uk for materials as they seem do do a good professional range of stuff. It doesn't hurt that they're in the Jewellery Quarter, close by work.

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Interesting question John,

 

I suppose it depends on your height, relative to your limb/torso length.

 

Also, whether or not you have a height adjustable chair!

 

Jeff

 

I always stand up at my benches which are around 48" high since I am 6' 1" tall. Constantly getting up and down from a chair or stool is not good on old limbs and, rest assured, what I want next is usually far from the bench !!   The layout is about 44" off the ground so that I can just sit underneath....to get solder in my eye  :jester:

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As already implied, a greater height for heavier standing work, somewhere 1100mm+  off the floor depending on personal dimensions, circa 900mm for fine work when seated on a chair. Or use the taller heavy work height bench with a stool when fine work is to be done, there's less effort getting on and off a stool as compared to sitting and standing too.

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I use an old bureau which gives me a working surface 76cm/30" off the ground which seems to be just so.

In theory everything should pack away into it after a session with the lid/worksurface folded up, in practice a huge amount of clutter prevents this! The only problem with using the bureau is its lack of rigidity, punching out rivets for example is done in the kitchen to take advantage of the solid worktops.

 

The lathe is used on the dining table, 74cm/29" high, which generally works well although a little more height would be usefull to save me bending.

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Since raising the workbench at the beginning of the week to a sittable-at-with-an-office-chair height (90cm) I'm finding that close tasks (which is what I'm concerned with) are much easier because of the non-bent-over sitting position.

 

Should have realised this years ago.

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My layout is currently 3' 6" - I think some of the professional builders like Elite Baseboards do them at 1015mm which is about 3' 3" (other suppliers are available)

 

On a related matter after mother in law passed away 4 years ago we inherited a perching stool (like the one in the link) which I've found extremely useful as I'm bobbing up and down all the time.  Better IMHO than a bar stool most of the time. (Other perching stools are available but get one that's adjustable)

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Homecraft-Sherwood-Adjustable-Height-Perching/dp/B002ECK7W8/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1396697241&sr=8-5&keywords=perching+chair

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