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JoshD

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Hi, I'd like to have a height-adjustable workbench, thinking of building one round a scissor lift, but it's no good if the height-adjustment feature comes at the expense of no longer being rock steady. At what sort of price point for a scissor-lift do you get something rock-steady? You see quite a few scissor tables on wheels, typical price point ~£500; then you see quite a few static tables ~£1500 (I think these are electric); and then there's the Felder FAT300 ....
 

Stigmorgan

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Hi, I'd like to have a height-adjustable workbench, thinking of building one round a scissor lift, but it's no good if the height-adjustment feature comes at the expense of no longer being rock steady. At what sort of price point for a scissor-lift do you get something rock-steady? You see quite a few scissor tables on wheels, typical price point ~£500; then you see quite a few static tables ~£1500 (I think these are electric); and then there's the Felder FAT300 ....
Have a look at hydraulic motorcycle work benches they might be a good starting point for you.
 

Fitzroy

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I know it's not answering your question but why do you need one? The answer may help people think of solutions. For example I've seen some people use specific vices that clamp in their regular vice to bring pieces up to a higher level for dovetails or other specific tasks.
 
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JoshD

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Recovering from third major back operation, now fused all the way from L2 downwards. Really need to bring the work to my height not vice versa.
 

Inspector

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If you look at industrial benches (search height adjustable benches) They generally use screw jacks (hand or motorized) to raise and lower the tops although there are some that use hydraulic jacks. Scissor lifts unless heavily constructed have too much play and are not as steady. If you made a bench with screw jacks and when in position a clamp arrangement made to lock everything together there shouldn't be any unwanted motion. If you have to buy all the parts and then fabricate everything it might prove cheaper to buy an off the shelf unit.





There is off the shelf hardware for the Noden Adjust-a-bench but shipping might be a killer. It is a solid arrangement.

Pete
 

Rorschach

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This will of course depend on your space but what about building a few different workbenches at different heights for different jobs?
 

JoshD

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If you look at industrial benches (search height adjustable benches) They generally use screw jacks (hand or motorized) to raise and lower the tops although there are some that use hydraulic jacks. Scissor lifts unless heavily constructed have too much play and are not as steady. If you made a bench with screw jacks and when in position a clamp arrangement made to lock everything together there shouldn't be any unwanted motion. If you have to buy all the parts and then fabricate everything it might prove cheaper to buy an off the shelf unit.





There is off the shelf hardware for the Noden Adjust-a-bench but shipping might be a killer. It is a solid arrangement.

Pete
Pete, as usual you're a fount of knowledge----thanks!
 

Stigmorgan

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Thanks-----are they rock solid in terms of steadiness?
Relatively, unfortunately anything that moves is going to have a little lateral movement, especially after it's been used several times. Other than that I can only bow to Inspectors superb explanation and search skills
 

AES

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@JoshD. 1st off my commiserations re your back. I had my 3rd back op in Dec 2015 and am "working" hard (special exercises, etc) not to have op No. 4.

I don't have an adjustable height bench (but several "lash ups" with different vices fitting one to another so I can - with a bit of a fiddle - get most of the work that I do in my shop up/down to a height that suits me.

BUT I do have an adjustable height "table" in my office. That uses screw jacks (one at each corner) that are "synchronised" by means of a bike-type chain and a sprocket on each jack. In my case, the bike chain is hand-wound with a handle, but electric versions are available (more expensive of course). The hand-driven one I have was expensive enough, and that was WITH a special deal I was able to get through the (Dutch in my case) manufacturer because at the time my wife was working on the fitting out of new offices for a company that was expanding rapidly. I seriously doubt that it would be economic to buy such a thing on "the open market" though.

I agree with Inspector that an "ordinary industrial scissor lift", hydraulic or otherwise, is likely to be somewhat less than 100% stable/rigid.

BUT (I presume you're doing regular physio at the hospital or a rehab centre?) Have a look at the "massage beds" the Physios use. I haven't looked closely but from glances, it seems they consist of an electrically-powered horizontal screw jack "scissor lift" mounted on a very stiff steel frame and working the bed frame up and down through a separate very substantial steel frame sliding on special "runners". Being in my hospital these frames etc are all heavily chromed, and as said, electric (to save the Physio having to use brute force to adjust for every different patient). But having been on one "a few times", and weighing in at 95 Kgs, I can say that these "massage tables" are very stable indeed, even when I'm required to make some considerable body movements for the various exercises.

I'm not suggesting you buy such a thing, they're big and heavy and like all medical stuff, they must cost a fortune. And I doubt you'd find such a thing second hand either. But I do wonder if a manufacturer of such beds would be prepared to supply just the horizontal screw jack parts, with you getting a local jobbing metal fabricator/welder shop to knock up the frames?

As said, I've never looked really closely at the massage bed I use, but I THINK only the horizontal screw jack (possibly a ball screw? and perhaps the 2 slide ways - linear bearings?) would be the difficult bits, with the rest being pretty straight forward, especially as we're talking bench here, and not something that needs to go into the clean hospital environment.

There is a firm called "Wixroyd International" who are manufacturers of various bearings, linear bearings, ball screw jacks, etc. I don't have a contact for them but they are in UK and MAY be of some help. I suggest a search for an on -line catalogue would be a good first point to start off.

Good luck (and with your back of course). BTW, I know every back is different, but at age 76 I've just started a new free-lance "job" at a local aviation museum (that's my professional background). Much to my surprise (and joy!) I've found that I can lead a group on a 90 minute on-foot tour around the museum WITHOUT back pain (but I do use a walking stick, mainly for balance - I have little feeling left in my feet so can easily fall - AND it's very useful for playing the sympathy card with the ladies too - but I digress). It all comes down (in my case anyway) to regularly doing all those +"*ç%&??!! exercises! STILL (twice a week). Horrible, but they work!

One final point, my wife got me a special "stool" so that I can stand/sit in/on for lots of jobs (not all of them) in my workshop. I posted about it at the time, I think about a couple of years ago now.

I'll close this post temporarily now, go look for my post about that stool, and come back with a link to add as a P.S. to this as soon as I find it. As said, good luck mate. Hope at least some of the above blather helps/encourages you.

Cheers
 
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AES

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Here you go Josh, my post on the "Sit/Stand stool". Hope it helps:

 

JoshD

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@JoshD. 1st off my commiserations re your back. I had my 3rd back op in Dec 2015 and am "working" hard (special exercises, etc) not to have op No. 4.

I don't have an adjustable height bench (but several "lash ups" with different vices fitting one to another so I can - with a bit of a fiddle - get most of the work that I do in my shop up/down to a height that suits me.

BUT I do have an adjustable height "table" in my office. That uses screw jacks (one at each corner) that are "synchronised" by means of a bike-type chain and a sprocket on each jack. In my case, the bike chain is hand-wound with a handle, but electric versions are available (more expensive of course). The hand-driven one I have was expensive enough, and that was WITH a special deal I was able to get through the (Dutch in my case) manufacturer because at the time my wife was working on the fitting out of new offices for a company that was expanding rapidly. I seriously doubt that it would be economic to buy such a thing on "the open market" though.

I agree with Inspector that an "ordinary industrial scissor lift", hydraulic or otherwise, is likely to be somewhat less than 100% stable/rigid.

BUT (I presume you're doing regular physio at the hospital or a rehab centre?) Have a look at the "massage beds" the Physios use. I haven't looked closely but from glances, it seems they consist of an electrically-powered horizontal screw jack "scissor lift" mounted on a very stiff steel frame and working the bed frame up and down through a separate very substantial steel frame sliding on special "runners". Being in my hospital these frames etc are all heavily chromed, and as said, electric (to save the Physio having to use brute force to adjust for every different patient). But having been on one "a few times", and weighing in at 95 Kgs, I can say that these "massage tables" are very stable indeed, even when I'm required to make some considerable body movements for the various exercises.

I'm not suggesting you buy such a thing, they're big and heavy and like all medical stuff, they must cost a fortune. And I doubt you'd find such a thing second hand either. But I do wonder if a manufacturer of such beds would be prepared to supply just the horizontal screw jack parts, with you getting a local jobbing metal fabricator/welder shop to knock up the frames?

As said, I've never looked really closely at the massage bed I use, but I THINK only the horizontal screw jack (possibly a ball screw? and perhaps the 2 slide ways - linear bearings?) would be the difficult bits, with the rest being pretty straight forward, especially as we're talking bench here, and not something that needs to go into the clean hospital environment.

There is a firm called "Wixroyd International" who are manufacturers of various bearings, linear bearings, ball screw jacks, etc. I don't have a contact for them but they are in UK and MAY be of some help. I suggest a search for an on -line catalogue would be a good first point to start off.

Good luck (and with your back of course). BTW, I know every back is different, but at age 76 I've just started a new free-lance "job" at a local aviation museum (that's my professional background). Much to my surprise (and joy!) I've found that I can lead a group on a 90 minute on-foot tour around the museum WITHOUT back pain (but I do use a walking stick, mainly for balance - I have little feeling left in my feet so can easily fall - AND it's very useful for playing the sympathy card with the ladies too - but I digress). It all comes down (in my case anyway) to regularly doing all those +"*ç%&??!! exercises! STILL (twice a week). Horrible, but they work!

One final point, my wife got me a special "stool" so that I can stand/sit in/on for lots of jobs (not all of them) in my workshop. I posted about it at the time, I think about a couple of years ago now.

I'll close this post temporarily now, go look for my post about that stool, and come back with a link to add as a P.S. to this as soon as I find it. As said, good luck mate. Hope at least some of the above blather helps/encourages you.

Cheers
Thanks @AES , definitely food for thought. I was thinking about synchronised lead/ball screws after Pete's post ....
 

Cabinetman

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Doesn’t have to be rocket science or expensive.
How about four sturdy corner posts which slide up and down in tubes – could be wood in square wooden tubes and raise or lower it using an air bag or screw jack , then pins/ bolts through holes to secure it at that height. Ian
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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I have an old hydraulic hospital bed which I bought after injuring my back some ten years ago. I wished I had bought it years before, it makes working so much more comfortable, no matter what I am working on it only takes seconds to get the bench to the right height. It is of course a little wobbly for some tasks but I have never found this to be an issue. Another restorer I know has an old dentists chair base with a table attached, not only was it a lot more stable than mine, with the press of a foot lever the table top could be spun round. The two disadvantages of the dentist chair was it was fixed in one place on the floor and the table would not go lower than about one meter. The hospital bed can be wheeled around the workshop and can be lowered to about 400mm which is very useful for lifting very heavy or large pieces onto it.
 

johnny

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There might be an alternative way to tackle this ..
.oh commiserations on the back issues by the way.

What about keeping your rigid workbench and constructing an adjustable platform to stand on ....plus using a hydraulic chair or stool ?
 

Sandyn

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People often use old hospital beds for adjustable height benches.
The problem I see with that is getting the patient out of the bed first!!

These look expensive, but specifically adjustable height work benches, hopefully steady. As others have suggested. I would make one, but the scissors mechanism would just be for raising and lowering with other locking to steady the bench. Something along these lines. perhaps getting a used scissors lift and using that.

bench.JPG
 

Hornbeam

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Have you looked at the old style barbers/dentist chairs as the basis. Im sure there was someone in the Welsh marshes who was wheelchair bound had this sort of set up so they could adjust the height for different jobs
 

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