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#4488317 - 08/14/17 11:31 AM Workbench Ergonomics
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
I'm going to build a work table-bench.
It will be a table that I will work off of standing only.
Not for a lathe or machine but just to do general things like sanding off of and assembly etc.

I started thinking the ideal height would be at the workers belt line. Higher than that you are reaching and lower you are bending over too much. Does this sound like a good place to start or would that we a bit too high? I understand you tweak as you go but just to get a good starting point to mock it up with.

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#4488333 - 08/14/17 11:52 AM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3396
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
I built my workbench thirty five years ago and used thirty six and one half inches finished height. Works for me.

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#4488347 - 08/14/17 12:07 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
Stevie Offline


Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 181
Loc: Port Aransas, TX
Consider a used executive desk for a workbench. Got mine for $25. Perfectly flat Formica top. Drawers of all sizes to keep tools and stuff in. One drawer has built in file cabinet which I used for all the different grades of sandpaper separated. Bolt on your vice and have at it. I never sit at it and height seems good for working.

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#4488370 - 08/14/17 12:46 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: HosteenJorje
I built my workbench thirty five years ago and used thirty six and one half inches finished height. Works for me.

Dang- I was going to say 36-37" as 37 is my belt line-nice!

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#4488371 - 08/14/17 12:46 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: Stevie]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: Stevie
Consider a used executive desk for a workbench. Got mine for $25. Perfectly flat Formica top. Drawers of all sizes to keep tools and stuff in. One drawer has built in file cabinet which I used for all the different grades of sandpaper separated. Bolt on your vice and have at it. I never sit at it and height seems good for working.


I'd love to but they are hard to come by here. The older the better!

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#4488408 - 08/14/17 01:37 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
ecotourist Offline


Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
My home made workbench height is 91 cm above the floor.
The center of my belt is 91 cm above the floor.
My belly button is 98 cm above the floor. Darn low riding jeans.

My ergonomics text says the ideal height for "both strength and skill in the hands is to have them 25 - 30 cm from the eyes, with the elbows lowered and bent at right angles." E Grandjean, Fitting the task to the man, p 30

And 30 cm below my eyes would be 127 cm above the floor.
My elbows bent at right angles would sit on a workbench about 100 cm above the floor.

For heavy work you generally use a lower work height.

So lots of options. I like my work bench height. Belt height seems like a reasonable starting point.
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#4488424 - 08/14/17 02:12 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5354
Loc: Iowa
I've got my benches at 42.5". This falls about 2" below my elbows with my arms at 90*.

I'm 6'0" and have been working all stooped over 36-38 inch benches for way too long! Never again!
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#4488426 - 08/14/17 02:14 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: ecotourist]
The_Eric Offline


Registered: 03/31/10
Posts: 5354
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: ecotourist
Belt height seems like a reasonable starting point.


I agree- this is pretty close to where my benches are at.
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2001 Hyundai Elantra 2.0
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#4488445 - 08/14/17 02:45 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: The_Eric]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18848
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
I've got my benches at 42.5". This falls about 2" below my elbows with my arms at 90*.

I'm 6'0" and have been working all stooped over 36-38 inch benches for way too long! Never again!


Mine are 38" but a couple of more inches would be nice. 36" is a little too short for comfort.
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#4488467 - 08/14/17 03:17 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
I like mine about 39 inches.

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#4488512 - 08/14/17 04:22 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
stroked93 Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 249
Loc: midwest
I prefer a bar height work bench, and bar stools. I do use 36 inches on my welding table though.

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#4488563 - 08/14/17 05:27 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Thanks gents. We all seem to be close.

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#4488648 - 08/14/17 07:02 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
funflyer Offline


Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 692
Loc: Northern Arizona
I built my stationary benches at 37" and bought a roll-around bench from an estate sale which is at 38", both work good for me at 5'9".



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#4488692 - 08/14/17 07:53 PM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: AirgunSavant]
Wheel Online   content


Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 570
Loc: Upstate NY
For woodworking with hand tools, it is suggested to use the height of your wrist. If working with powertools, you would add the width of your hand to that.
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#4488934 - 08/15/17 05:14 AM Re: Workbench Ergonomics [Re: funflyer]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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