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Height adjustable workbench

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tulogngham

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Folks,

What’s everyone’s view on height adjustable workbenches?

I’m thinking of making my first workbench which would incorporate my table saw and router table but not sure what height. Basically, I’d like the workbench to be an outfeed table but am a little worried for use with hand tools like planers etc

Here’s some pics..
image.jpg

image.jpg
 

Bale

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Adjustable height could give you stability problems and (I think) is a bit gimmicky. I would plan a solid workbench at a height to suit you, then match the height of the machines to that.
Pete
 

sunnybob

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Theres no point in making an adjustable height bench. Once you have your preferred height you will never move it again.

Work out your own best working height, and build it solid.
 

Cabinetman

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Theres no point in making an adjustable height bench. Once you have your preferred height you will never move it again.

Work out your own best working height, and build it solid.
Yes, and no two people on here will agree as to what height it should be. Personally mine is a little bit higher than most, I took my plane in my hand and pretended/envisaged what height I would prefer to plane at and that’s the height of my bench. I have two gluing up/laying out tables on wheels which I made the same height as my bench, it’s surprising how often that feature is useful. Ian
 
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sunnybob

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I'm 6 ft 2" (1.8 in new money) and reasonably slim. My working height would be useless for any one less than 5 ft 10" or even some one of the same height with a wide waistline. My son is 2 metres tall. My bench is too low for him.

I made my bench to my height 10 years ago. I've never had to move it up or down by a 1/16"
Dont waste time and money when you could be making something good. :cool:
 

Inspector

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An adjustable height bench has merit. They can be raised for comfortable work when standing, sitting on a stool or lowered to put a knee on a board to saw it if that's how you like to work. At the lowest position they serve as an assembly bench for bigger pieces. How you accomplish it is up to your banker or ingenuity. This one is available in the States. Noden Adjust-A-Bench - About Adjust-A-Bench and lots of industrial suppliers sell height adjustable benches with either a hand crank or motorized height adjustment. Do a search and you'll find lots of DYI versions using screw jacks, car jacks, chain driven, probably even hydraulic. You name it someone has made one. Done properly it will stand up to the most rigorous planing and beating. Up to you if you want to do it or not. Lots of us are set in our ways and have a fixed height without it ever occurring to us that something else will serve better. So have at it. If it doesn't work you learn something and can have a nice bonfire.

Pete
 

Doug71

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I make all my benches etc 900mm tall because I have a bit of Festool stuff and that is the height they use.

There is no right height unless you do the same thing all the time, sometimes you need it higher, sometimes you need it lower.

I don't do much hand tool work so my main bench is mainly used for power tool work and assembly. I would love it to be height adjustable, people often use old hospital beds as a base for an adjustable height bench but as said once they are adjustable you loose stability.

Mike Farringtons bench would be perfect for me

 

Just4Fun

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I made a bench a bit taller than I thought I needed it. My thinking was it is easier to take a bit off the legs than to add some on. In practise the bench is probably too high for me but I have never bothered to lower it.

I have another bench that is a commercially-made Scandinavian bench that I bought used. I never thought too much about the height when I bought it and have since concluded it was originally made for use in a primary school for midgets. I am not tall but it is too low even for me. I ended up removing the top and adding extra height to the frame.

My conclusion is that if you get it somewhere near right you won't worry, but get it a long way off and you will have to fix it. So don't over-think it, just get it in the right ball park.
 

AJB Temple

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Rob Cosmann's last ultra fancy bench (built for a customer) was height adjustable and the mechanism was rock solid.
 

Ttrees

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Retracting castors with a single foot lever, so you can lower it on blocks.
Something like Carl Holmgren's design principal, but metal.

Tom
 

Rich C

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I deliberately built mine on the high side, then took about 3/4“ off each leg after using it a bit. It's perfect now.
 

MikeG.

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Never mind the height adjustment, which will turn out to be a gimmick. Have a good think about incorporating machines into a bench. It's not a great idea, unless your bench is the size of Texas. You'll find that every time you want to use one of the machines you have to clear the bench, and that can be a right pain in the neck. And when you are working on something on the bench but not using the machines, their fences will be in the way. All in all, what always seems like a good idea turns out not to be in real life.
 

sunnybob

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Hey, one out of three aint bad.

Oh, wait, you added tom sellick to mediterranean.... so thats a zero out of three.

C'mon, we're wandering off piste here. :cry:
 

TheTiddles

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I made all my rolling bases set the machines at the same height so you could set workpieces over one/all of them of so desired.... I don’t remember ever doing so in the last decade

it does depend what you are going to make obviously

Aidan
 

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