Topics

Work bench/table height?


Jim Betz
 

Hi,


  I'm going to move/rebuild/redefine my workbench.  Is there some kind of 'standard'

for how high a workbench surface should be relative to either the height of the chair

you are sitting on or the height of your elbow?

  Although this topic is off topic - I do intend to use the new workspace to build 

steam era freight cars ... is that good enough for the moderator?  (Yes, that's a

real question and I will "take it somewhere else" if the moderator says "not

here, please".


  ===> Although some of you will be tempted to discuss "related topics" to

           my question such as lighting, size, tools, storage methods, etc.

           I am not really interested in answers of that type and politely request

           that you not reply to this post with those answers (start your own

           off topic, please).

                                                                                                      - Jim B.


"markstation01@yahoo.com <markstation01@...>
 


Jack Burgess
 

Jim…

 

I have my workbench at 30” above the floor which is fine for some work like weathering. But I lower my chair 4” when cutting and assembling models. Custom jewelry makers have their workbenches  at 39” or so for the same reason (rather than lowering their chairs).

 

Jack Burgess

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 9:17 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Work bench/table height?

 

Hi,

 

  I'm going to move/rebuild/redefine my workbench.  Is there some kind of 'standard'

for how high a workbench surface should be relative to either the height of the chair

you are sitting on or the height of your elbow?

  Although this topic is off topic - I do intend to use the new workspace to build 

steam era freight cars ... is that good enough for the moderator?  (Yes, that's a

real question and I will "take it somewhere else" if the moderator says "not

here, please".


Jim Betz
 

Jack,

  When you are sitting at your workbench what is the distance
between your elbow and the work surface for both positions?
(When you are just sitting, not necessarily when your arms are
in the actual work position.)
                                                                                - Jim B.


Jim Betz
 


        "VERTICAL distance" not just "distance"


Bruce Smith
 

Jim, Folks,

Google “desk ergonomics”.  Lots of information on how to set desk and chair heights for the best results,

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."



On Apr 28, 2017, at 11:53 AM, jimbetz@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:



Jack,

  When you are sitting at your workbench what is the distance
between your elbow and the work surface for both positions?
(When you are just sitting, not necessarily when your arms are
in the actual work position.)
                                                                                - Jim B.




Tim O'Connor
 


I have 4 different work table heights, plus adjustable height chairs. Just sayin'.

:-)

Tim O'Connor



Jim�
 
I have my workbench at 30" above the floor which is fine for some work like weathering. But I lower my chair 4" when cutting and assembling models. Custom jewelry makers have their workbenches at 39" or so for the same reason (rather than lowering their chairs).
 
Jack Burgess


Tony Thompson
 

      The 30-inch height has been conventional for desks for many years. Measuring two in our house, that is their height. Some computer tables have been lower, 26 to 28 inches, and if you have a pull-out for keyboard and mouse pad, it is likely 5 inches lower.
       Years ago, I built myself a small workbench for modeling. I remember clamping the 2 x 2 legs at different heights to see what I liked. I still have that bench, and it's 29 inches. Doubtless this depends somewhat on your height. But obviously everyone needs to find their OWN comfort height.


Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705         www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history






Charlie Vlk
 

Tony is correct that 30” is the “standard” desk / table height.  It works fine for a sit-down workbench but how you are going to use the work surface will dictate the height.

 

If you have power tools (drill press, mini table saw, etc.) you probably will want a stand-up work surface which can be used with a stool or high adjustable chair.  

Back in my corporate days I had cubicle setup in my office that had a stand-up/lean on a stool/high chair worksurface for my computer and a regular 30” high worksurface for normal reading, writing, etc.

IIRC the standup work surface was about 40 inches high, but the height will vary with how tall you are.

 

Having a variety of work surface heights is healthy as you tend to move around more when standing/leaning than when sitting at a standard height desk, at least that has been my experience.    But, of course, some of that may be linked to my early days on drafting boards which were always a stand up / lean on/sit on a stool proposition.

 

Charlie Vlk 

 


spsalso
 

I chose 32 1/2" for the height of my model building bench.  All the little thingies are thus a bit closer to my eyeballs and I scrunch down less.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Jack Burgess
 

The arm rests on my chair are about 1” below the level of the workbench when the chair is in the top position and 4” below the workbench when in the lowest position. I always work with my elbows on the chair arms.



Jack Burgess



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 9:54 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Work bench/table height?





Jack,



When you are sitting at your workbench what is the distance

between your elbow and the work surface for both positions?

(When you are just sitting, not necessarily when your arms are

in the actual work position.)

- Jim B.


Douglas Harding
 

Jim my workbench top surface is at 31”. I have an adjustable office chair that lowers, which I lower when doing close up work. I also stand 6’2” so prefer my chair at max height. A portable box one can place on the workbench to bring your work surface closer when needed. Now that I use bifocals I have done that sometimes when doing extreme close up work with the opti-visors. A box about 4-6” high works well for me.

 

At the moment I am typing this in a standing position. Have the laptop on a box that is 48” next the work bench. It is working really well.

 

Just for reference, my layout is designed for track at 54”. While many find it high, I think it just right. Remember I stand 6’ 2”, so my eye level is 68”

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


mark_landgraf
 

For a stand up bench, you start with your bench vise. The top of the vise should be at elbow height. The reason being that when you use a hand file, it's easier to file a flat surface because of the swing action of your elbow keeps the level. When the vise is higher or lower you have a greater likelihood of filing up hill or down hill. 

The same logic should apply to a sit down bench, although an adjustable height chair helps resolve this problem. 

Mark Landgraf

From: 'Douglas Harding' doug.harding@... [STMFC]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 6:07 PM
To: STMFC@...
Reply To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Work bench/table height?

 

Jim my workbench top surface is at 31”. I have an adjustable office chair that lowers, which I lower when doing close up work. I also stand 6’2” so prefer my chair at max height. A portable box one can place on the workbench to bring your work surface closer when needed. Now that I use bifocals I have done that sometimes when doing extreme close up work with the opti-visors. A box about 4-6” high works well for me.

 

At the moment I am typing this in a standing position. Have the laptop on a box that is 48” next the work bench. It is working really well.

 

Just for reference, my layout is designed for track at 54”. While many find it high, I think it just right. Remember I stand 6’ 2”, so my eye level is 68”

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 



Jared Harper
 

54" eh?  I am 5' 4 1/2" and my layout is 57," about my eye height.

Jared Harper
Athens, GA



From: 'Douglas Harding' doug.harding@... [STMFC]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 6:07 PM
To: STMFC@...
Reply To: STMFC@...
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Work bench/table height?

 


 

Just for reference, my layout is designed for track at 54”. While many find it high, I think it just right. Remember I stand 6’ 2”, so my eye level is 68”

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 



Schuyler Larrabee
 

I have two benches. One is the usual 30” height, and is where I work on detail things, decaling, weathering, and it’s also where my computer screens are, with a pull-out slide for the keyboard. I began developing carpal tunnel issues and the pull-out slide ended that pretty quickly. Your forearms should be level from your elbow to the keyboard when typing.



The other bench is 38” high, and has a Panavise mounted on it. This is where I do more heavy work, sawing and carving and filing things. I also have a miniature drill press, and when I’m using that, I set it up on that bench. Dirty work, with dust or filings and so on I do there, because the plastic laminate top abets cleanup considerably.



You warded off issues of lighting, but I’m going to offer this anyway: I have Luxo lamps, the adjustable arm incandescent (changing to LED) lamps. I have three on the low desk, two on the tall desk, all with 100W (or equivalent) lamps in them. I move them all around all the time, to get a LOT of light on whatever I’m working on.



Oh, yeah, I also have another desk, normal 30” height, which is where I do oversize projects, like the 6’ long trolley track loop I built for my model railroad club. But that’s generally covered with “stuff.” Fancy term would be my staging area.



Schuyler



From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 12:17 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Work bench/table height?





Hi,



I'm going to move/rebuild/redefine my workbench. Is there some kind of 'standard'

for how high a workbench surface should be relative to either the height of the chair

you are sitting on or the height of your elbow?

Although this topic is off topic - I do intend to use the new workspace to build

steam era freight cars ... is that good enough for the moderator? (Yes, that's a

real question and I will "take it somewhere else" if the moderator says "not

here, please".



===> Although some of you will be tempted to discuss "related topics" to

my question such as lighting, size, tools, storage methods, etc.

I am not really interested in answers of that type and politely request

that you not reply to this post with those answers (start your own

off topic, please).

- Jim B.





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Eric Bergh
 

My bench top is 30" with a chair height of 19"... but I have a pullout tray at 27"h using a pair of keyboard suspensions that lock open at 14-1/2' extended. The tray is actually an inexpensive cork bulletin board that I use to lay down drawings/templates with wax paper, for glue ups, etc and for light cutting etc. While things are drying, they can slide back underneath the formica countertop. For close work I do have a small 4" raised stand that I set out on top of the countertop. Here is a poor iPhone pic w/ relative dimensions, I hope:  http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q70/ebergh/untitled%20image.jpg

  

BTW, my modules-in-progress are above the bench - bottom is 50"h, Railtop = 57". I am 6'-4", at least in the morning...

-eb