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Thread: Equipment Table Height

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Equipment Table Height

    When we finally move into our new house in a few weeks, one of the first things I want to do is build tables for my equipment: drill press, belt sander, jig saw, and band saw.

    To simplify the job, I plan to make the tables the same height (and probably mount them on wheels to ease moving them around the work room). The height I'm considering is 30 inches.

    Does this seem like a good choice?

    Thank you,
    Richard

  2. #2
    30 inches seems low to me. I ran into this same issue a while back. Have you ever noticed a bathroom counter is lower than a kitchen counter??? I think a bathroom sink counter is 32 inches and a kitchen is 36 inches or more. I'm 6'1 and I have to either bend over to a bathroom sink or stoop (bend my knees a bit). This is fine for a few minutes while I wash my hands, but not a good idea if you are going to be in a workroom bench for hours. I fixed this by putting a 2x4 under the bathroom counter to raise the height. It depends of your height. Grab a measure and check the kitchen and bathroom height. just my thoughts...

  3. #3
    The bench should be built to accomadate you in the chair you are going to use in that room.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Standing flat footed, with your arms at your side, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, what is the distance from your hand to the floor?
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Yanda View Post
    Standing flat footed, with your arms at your side, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, what is the distance from your hand to the floor?
    How tall are you?
    Will you be standing or sitting

  6. #6
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    SSGOldfart's Avatar
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    Will you be the only one using this table?
    If not 32" gets my vote.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Since your building these benches, build them to accomadate whats comfortable for you and your height a taller person may want a taller set up while a short person will be stretching. When kids were helping me and learning wood turning I had a box roughly 6" thick 3 ft wide and 6ft long for them to stand on to get them up high enough to the lathe. Also the drill press you may want a little lower stand for than the others. See what it takes to make the tables of the equipment comfortable. Start with a low table or even A TV tray stand or a little camp table for sitting and block up to comfortable height and measure.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Keep in mind the use intended for the bench. For woodworking, a bench that is used for a lot of heavy landplaning is just over waist high so you can use your body weight to help with the work. A bench intended for small precision work would be taller in order to prevent back, neck and eye strain. One size does not fit all.

  9. #9
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    Standing I would go 36" (I am tall 5'11"), sitting my desk height is 32 with a keyboard drawer under it. I work on small electronics on top of it and it makes it easier to see what I am working on with less neck hunch.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Good things to think about.

    I'm 5'11" (used to be 6'1" before age and back surgery).

    From the floor to the bent arm comes to about 41". That might be where I'd want the work surface of the equipment. So table height would be just about 36".

    I will be the only user and would be standing for all operations, none of which require any heavy downward pressure. Mainly precision drilling, and cutting around patterns for my radio-control flying hobby.

    Many thanks,
    Richard

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Facing the same issue as you as I have moved in to a condo. Putting a bench in the garage for reloading/leatherwork/gun building (muzzle loaders). I ordered a bench from Home Depot - a heavy duty 8' that was adjustable up to 42 inches. I plan to put a small drill press on the end of it. Long story short - it never came and nobody can find it after it was supposedly shipped. I gave up and cancelled the order.

    Today, we went to Menards as I was just going to build a bench (I've built many over the years but wanted to avoid it if I could). They had metal legs that were adjustable for the length of the bench but the height was only 32". I'm 6' and usually prefer a bench that is 36" to the top. Tonight as I was assembling the metal legs and frame, I sat in an old rolling secretary's office chair that I have always used when I reload - I like to sit. I also like to sit when I'm doing leatherwork and making holseers, etc. I have decided that I am going to try the bench just as it is - it will be about 33 1/2' to the top when I get the top on. On the end of the bench where I will put the bench top drill press, I will probably build a hollow platform - 2 X 4 frame with a3/4" top which will raise it up to 37 3/4" and put things where they should be when standing up. It will stabilize the drill press when bolted to it and then I can easily pick it up and remove it if I need the extra bench top space.

    A normal kitchen counter top is 36". You might try setting you tools on one and see how they "fit" you and your height - then go from there. Build then to fit you - there is nothing worse than having to bend down or put strain on your back, etc. when using a drill press, band saw, etc. If you can use a kitchen counter top or even a table and use short pieces of 2 X 4 or 2 X 6 as spacers to raise up your tool, you'll be able to try them at different heights and then determine what will work best.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    I am 6 1/2 feet tall. I use a round top stool that is 29" high. I built benches for reloading that were 38" high giving me leg space under the bench if needed. It is a good height for me if I want to stand.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Yanda View Post
    Standing flat footed, with your arms at your side, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, what is the distance from your hand to the floor?
    Perfect "ergonomic engineering" answer!

    Also depends on the tools! A drillpress (with't it's table) will be lower than, say a horizontal belt sander or a metal lathe.

    You must 1st figure out the optimum height - as above - and then compensate for the tools. I have at least 6 different heights of tables and benches in my 3 shops.

    One size does NOT fit all people, so do what fits your body, tools, and needs.

    Banger

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Elbow height for hand tool bench work.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Working In the Printing and Graphic arts Industry all my Like . . I built My tables Shop Height @ 40 inches.. This will let You load without bending and standing Up Totally.
    All my scales are Visual height @ 60"
    That is only My view
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  16. #16
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    With my bad back I sit a lot to do things so I adjusted bench heights to match. I use a drafters chairs with 12" of cylinder height adjustment in it to help get just the right height for whatever the task is.

  17. #17
    Vendor Sponsor Handloader109's Avatar
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    I've never tried to make all my benches the same height nor my machines as I never had the time nor money to redo all the same. So mine are all hodgepodge. But most end up close enough to proper height. On thing that has helped me as I've gotten older is using an adjustable chair. I've got a couple of seats that are high lift and will go up to about 34" seat height. Great for adjusting to your perfect work height.

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