Author Topic: Ideal bench height  (Read 11660 times)

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Offline v8dave

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Ideal bench height
« on: November 29, 2015, 02:46:32 am »
Hi all,

I want to build myself a bench to do mainly standing work at and trying to find a recommendation for the ideal height for this. I may optionally want to sit at this so I will need to find a suitable seat to do so. My computer chair would be far too low but I need to get the work height sorted first.

I am 1.7M in height and I have a worktop in my kitchen that is 1.9M and this would seem to be about right so what heights have you set your benches at for comfortable use?
 

Offline DanielS

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 03:14:35 am »
A worktop at 1.9m? That's above your head!

I'm guessing you meant 0.9m, which is about 36", a standard height for kitchen and bathroom counters.

I built myself a workbench (3x8' area) a few weeks ago and I made it 36" high ( 35" high frame + 5/8" thick MDF top) and that feels just about right for me too.
 

Offline v8dave

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 03:18:55 am »
Oops. Yes, 0.9M. I should post after I have my morning coffee.

Thanks for the 36" height as this is close enough to the 0.9M so I will get my handyman to make one at that height. I would do it myself but near on impossible to find wood supplies around this place. Sometimes I really do miss proper DIY stores. They have an Ace Hardware here but it's not really a DIY shop that they claim. You can't even buy materials in it.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 09:10:27 am »
Find a friend and a tape measure. Stand with your arms slightly forward and your palms down as if you are working on something and then get your friend to measure the height of your palms above the floor then add 2,5cm/1 inch.

Everybody has different needs. Most of my work is done sitting down rather than standing as I have a back injury so my work benches are at desk height, this also makes things the right height for my ham radio station especially when using the Morse key. Your needs will be different and so will your ideal desk height.
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Offline IanJ

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 09:52:57 am »
Hi,

96cm here........Ideal height for standing at, and also to sit at (63cm stool) for electronics work.

Ian.
Ian Johnston
www.ianjohnston.com
Manufacturer of the PDVS2 & PDVS2mini
 

Offline kaz911

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 10:04:00 am »
Oops. Yes, 0.9M. I should post after I have my morning coffee.

Thanks for the 36" height as this is close enough to the 0.9M so I will get my handyman to make one at that height. I would do it myself but near on impossible to find wood supplies around this place. Sometimes I really do miss proper DIY stores. They have an Ace Hardware here but it's not really a DIY shop that they claim. You can't even buy materials in it.

Hi Dave - where in the world are you?

I looked around for good work solutions - and I have settled for a Conset 501-11 frame - that is an electric height adjustable frame - and then you can put your own top on it. The 501-11 can lift 150 kg and is very stable.  Then for shelves for instruments etc - I'm buying some extruded alu frames like you see on CNC Machines. But with electric adjustable - it is very versatile.
 

Online Shock

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 10:08:16 am »
I'd buy the stool first and make sure it's nice and comfy. I don't know where you are but it seems hard these days to get reasonably priced solid furniture. So don't go for something cheap and nasty that could give you an injury.

The solution I went for is fully stand alone adjustable shelving and then a stand alone solid desk that fits recessed inside that. You can have your desk free running on castors and hammer on it and won't have to worry about killing your test equipment or gear falling off the shelf.
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Offline Berni

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2015, 11:28:36 am »
My workbench is 90cm but i mostly use it when sitting down. This is mostly to reduce back/neck pain when working on tiny fiddly stuff (And most of it is since everything is SMD now). It works pretty well when standing too. I determined the height by propping up a board at different heights until i found something that worked for me.

You wont really be able to find a table for that height at Ikea or something. You might be able to find a workshop bench about that high since those are meant to be used while standing, but likely wont be cheap since they are a bit more niche and they tend to have a thick metal frame to make them as stable as possible(Perhaps you want that)

Making your own bench is not hard, you can surely find materials locally if you google it a bit. Look it up on youtube how its done(Dave did a video on it too). Its basically just making a rectangle and then screwing the legs and tabletop to that. Sometimes you want to give it some special features like a raised equipment shelf, built in power outlets, keyboard trays etc
 

Offline Deathwish

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 11:41:04 am »
I had the idea of putting my instruments in a cupboard comprised of two doors, but three internal compartments behind them, the depth of the cupboard being the width of the widest kit I have, and of them being mounted on shelves on the door, the shelves being moveable for up and down movement to see the face of the instruments. when the doors are open you have then got two "side" shelves of such as DMM etc and in the middle facing you on shelves would be my rigol osc and any other such kit I wanted in front of me.

Once the doors were closed you would see none of it.  My tables are mere office tables with metal frames but I have had a bad neck and shoulders for some weeks now so obviously they are not of much use.
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Offline Berni

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2015, 12:07:19 pm »
I had the idea of putting my instruments in a cupboard comprised of two doors, but three internal compartments behind them, the depth of the cupboard being the width of the widest kit I have, and of them being mounted on shelves on the door, the shelves being moveable for up and down movement to see the face of the instruments. when the doors are open you have then got two "side" shelves of such as DMM etc and in the middle facing you on shelves would be my rigol osc and any other such kit I wanted in front of me.

Once the doors were closed you would see none of it.  My tables are mere office tables with metal frames but I have had a bad neck and shoulders for some weeks now so obviously they are not of much use.

That would be a pretty stealthy electronics workbench. Need to keep it in mind if the clock bomb kid thing gets even worse. :-DD But it would never really work for me since my workbench always has a pile of electronics crap all over it. I am again about to reach the "damit there is no room to work on this bench" trip point where i tidy it up for a new season of accumulating crap. That's why i like having a big bench so it takes a while for that to come around.
 

Offline v8dave

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2015, 12:23:24 pm »
I am again about to reach the "damit there is no room to work on this bench" trip point where i tidy it up for a new season of accumulating crap. That's why i like having a big bench so it takes a while for that to come around.

Yeah, and that clean state lasts about a week if you are lucky. I have the same issue with the one where my PC is located and is often covered in stuff I am working on. Never just one project at a time, but 3 or 4 :)

The attached image is my desk right now. You can see 3 projects just in this shot and the 4th is just out of view on the left :)

This new bench is actually to setup the spectrum analyser and the scope so I can do testing away from this mess.

 

Offline German_EE

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2015, 01:05:49 pm »
Yes, messy benches, we had a discussion about this on another thread where someone asked how many projects you had on the go at any one time. In my case it's two with the other projects in boxes awaiting parts or the laws of physics to change before I start construction.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline technix

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 01:12:55 pm »
My bench is 80.5cm tall. 80 centimeters of bench and 5 millimeters of tempered glass benchtop. I am 1.85m tall by the way. Also I put my computer keyboard on top of the bench not in a drawer.
 

Offline v8dave

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 01:23:02 pm »
Thanks all. I've done a design based on 900mm which is a hair off 36" so will see if I can get this made up this week.
 

Offline Pjotr

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2015, 01:34:25 pm »
Hi all,

I want to build myself a bench to do mainly standing work at and trying to find a recommendation for the ideal height for this. I may optionally want to sit at this so I will need to find a suitable seat to do so. My computer chair would be far too low but I need to get the work height sorted first.

I am 1.7M in height and I have a worktop in my kitchen that is 1.9M and this would seem to be about right so what heights have you set your benches at for comfortable use?

Depends on the work you intend. As a general rule: The lower part of your arm (wrist to elbow) should be in a horizontal position for normal table/bench related work. So if you are mostly do the work standing, that is your starting point. If you need an additional seat, select one that can be adjusted according the general rule.
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2015, 03:42:38 pm »
I went round and round about this myself when building work/lab benches long ago.

I'm 6'-1"

Standing workbench = 39"
Lab sitting bench = 29.5"

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2015, 04:52:45 pm »
Generally you want it to be a little below elbow hight, with variations for personal preference.  There are other factors to consider.  Will you be making it a deep bench so there is lots of room for instruments and tools?   Deeper benches may need to be a little lower to make reaching the back easy.  Are you going to be working on or changing vintage instruments a lot.  Those tend to be heavy, so lower helps the lifting work.  Pets or children may push you a little higher.  Do you want a row of instruments in a shelf along the back?  Are you at an age where bifocals are needed?  Things like that may push the best hight down.  Will you be doing a lot of data or code entry on a keyboard?  Might push you up closer to elbow hight.

All of that said, it isn't that hard to make the legs adjustable.  Probably worth doing so you can change if you don't find that the first, theoretically best, hight works for you.  10-15 centimeters up/down from the hight you first choose should cover anything that turns up, so that is the adjustment range I would aim for.
 

Offline Refrigerator

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2015, 06:12:25 pm »
Mine's 75.5cm, made it out of scrap wood that i had and an old table top, works quite well, the wood was cheap and soft so i had to screw some 12cm long woodscrews in it to make it more sturdy.
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Offline georges80

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2015, 07:10:10 pm »
My electronics work bench is 28-29" tall (depending on carpet and plastic protector for the chair). Standard and cheap 6' long folding table 30" deep. Antistatic/solder proof mat on top. Equipment on wire racks at the back area gives me a 14 - 15" of depth (clear workspace area).

My chair is height adjustable (and seat/backrest too) so I can get to comfort level.

I sit to work at the bench. Height needs to be appropriate for your leg length in a sitting position so they aren't dangling off the ground or up my your neck and you want your arms bent at a reasonable work position. I'm 1.8m and the numbers above work for me and my leg/torso height ratio. As another poster mentioned further up this thread, you need to measure your own body and determine what is comfortable to you.

cheers,
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2015, 07:33:51 pm »
Depending on your leg:torso ratio, you may have more or less luck being able to comfortably work both standing and sitting at the same bench. Soldering, in particular, can be hard to do when you're far away from the action.

For soldering while standing, I would go maybe all the way up to the elbow. Depends what kind of magnification you will use, if any. And if you're working on bare pcb's or the innards of something bigger. That will be quite tall.



« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 08:06:31 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2015, 08:04:45 pm »
I went round and round about this myself when building work/lab benches long ago.

I'm 6'-1"

Standing workbench = 39"
Lab sitting bench = 29.5"

Same here. I'm about 5' 11' and my homemade workbench is at 38" and my work desks are all at 28". The workbench height is a compromise for standing and sitting.

At work the desks are the same but the standard workbench height is fixed at only about 33-34" across the company.
Some (taller) people at work made threaded stands for the benches and desks to boost them up a few inches.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2015, 08:15:35 pm »
Quote
I'm 6'-1"

Standing workbench = 39"

I guess it depends on what kind of work OP expects to do while standing. I don't think most people solder while standing at their bench.

I'm 6'0, and I would not like to do any soldering at my 42" bench while standing. It would be rather low. I would have to lean over on my elbows to see anything. OTOH, it's a little high for using a plane. So it just depends.

My main bench comes to my wrist when standing, to 36". It's slightly high when sitting, maybe two inches, because I like to stand to do other things. But I use a microscope or magnifying lamp while sitting in a regular office chair to solder, no problem. If my standing bench were that tall, respectively, it would be over 50" high. Sub 2", and 48" would be fairly ideal for soldering to me.

I think ideally, you will probably want to be sitting when soldering, because you don't want your bench to be that tall where you can't even use the back of it or reach across it to your test equipment.


 
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 08:31:35 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 03:36:55 pm »
Hi all,

I want to build myself a bench to do mainly standing work at and trying to find a recommendation for the ideal height for this. I may optionally want to sit at this so I will need to find a suitable seat to do so. My computer chair would be far too low but I need to get the work height sorted first.

I am 1.7M in height and I have a worktop in my kitchen that is 1.9M and this would seem to be about right so what heights have you set your benches at for comfortable use?
I'm also 170cm tall and find that many desks are too high for me when seated. I've now got an adjustable desk, and it's awesome. I usually use it at 65cm when seated to type, 100cm when standing to type (2cm thick wrist rest), and then for electronics work, I move it up and down as needed for the work at hand.

I posted about it here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/new-lab-new-desk/msg791509/#msg791509
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 05:25:49 pm by tooki »
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 07:32:52 pm »
I'm also 170cm tall and find that many desks are too high for me when seated. I've now got an adjustable desk, and it's awesome. I usually use it at 65cm when seated to type, 100cm when standing to type (2cm thick wrist rest), and then for electronics work, I move it up and down as needed for the work at hand.

I posted about it here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/new-lab-new-desk/msg791509/#msg791509

I quite like that mini drawer shelf thing. I need to get something similar for the heap of various probes and similar accessories i keep around close by.
 

Offline bson

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Re: Ideal bench height
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 08:22:30 pm »
Here's what I use:

http://www.amazon.com/BenchPro-RE3672-Roosevelt-Laminate-Capacity/dp/B0041HF9EA/ref=sr_1_2?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1448914095&sr=1-2&keywords=benchpro+workbench

Steel frame and conductive foil on the underside - both grounded.  An ESD mat on top plus a steel riser for instruments, also grounded.  Mounted to the underside is a long power strip that's plugged into an AC conditioner, a Trimble Thunderbolt, and a wrist strap socket.  Anything that needs clean AC goes into that strip, wall warts and filthy AC noise sources or things that don't care (like soldering tools) go into a strip on the floor on the other side of the line choke.

I'm not sure height is important when seated since I have an adjustable chair.  But I think I built it to 34".  Computer stuff is on a separate desk (some Ikea cheap thing) and I run ethernet to an ICS8065 GPIB controller.  On the wall behind the desk I've mounted a headless Intel NUC whose job is to do data collection and run Lady Heather (under Wine on Linux).  All it has is a virtual frame buffer for vnc (purely for LH) and most of what I do is with python remotely over ssh to it.  Since the GPIB controller is networked I can test things out on a different computer (I normally use a MacBook Pro), check it into git when it works, then git pull it on the NUC and run it there under screen.

What can I say.  Works great.  In particular the depth (34") is nice since it permits stacking instruments while retaining plenty of work space.  A steel riser keeps the stacking under control.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 08:26:02 pm by bson »
 


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