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What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: April 01, 2021 12:26PM

Okay, so I am going to build a work-bench for Engine Assembly.
I may be over thinking this, but I am wondering if there is a better height for that, than the standard 34" to 36" described for most counters, and work surfaces.
I want to avoid too much reaching up to do things on the top side, but I also do not want to be bending down at all either.
I am wondering what you guys who do this ALL the time use as an ideal work height?
.
It might also help if a person knew how tall you are, as I guess that could make a difference.
Like if you are 6'7", I would need to deduct several inches if I wanted to have something comparable for me. grinning smiley

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WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border, I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: April 01, 2021 01:00PM

Its about your height / body type / arm length.

Lots of Ergonomics Standards out there - but what feels right?

I prefer somewhere around 38" height, at 6'1", with "long" arms. You also want whatever you are doing on the bench to be in your 'power' zone - not a big reach (too deep of a table).


At work, most of our benches are height adjustable for the user.

Eric P.
DeWitt, IA

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: 63spyder ()
Date: April 01, 2021 02:04PM

I built my kitchen cabinet at forty inches, it makes it a lot easier to use the sink. I also put my shop outlets at forty eight inches so I don't have to bend over all the time,, it's all about what works for your height. I think an adjustable table is a great idea

Wayne in Glide Oregon
63 spyder conv.(wifes car finished ,owned 17 years)65 monza conv.unfinished 14 years and never driven,yet!!!.61 rampside (new toy and distraction)

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: April 01, 2021 02:21PM

If your build it from scratch for your self make it adjustable. Metal plates on the top are great for heavy stuff, sliding & twisting, not so good for electronic work

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: AlecCarlson ()
Date: April 01, 2021 02:52PM

If you’re going to be doing engine work on your new table, keep in mind that the engine itself will add a foot at least to the working height. Build your table so the top of the engine is within your working range so you can see what you’re doing when working on the top end.

Alec
Dahlonega, GA
1965 Corsa Convertible Turbo 4-Speed
Restoration "In Progress"

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: April 01, 2021 06:02PM

I like the adjustable idea. I have a half dozen benches at all different heights. My main benches with the vices are 36 1/2". They were government surplus that my Dad scrounged out of the scrap bins from JPL. I also use folding tables that are 29" tall for sorting parts. Currently I'm 5' 11" and a slimmed down 205.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 01, 2021 07:40PM

40+ inches for me at 6' 2" (OK, there has been some (1/2") loss over the years...)

I don't like to work bent over because of back issues. I added a foot and a half box under my parts washer to get it at a good height. And I added 4 x 4s under the sand blast cabinet. Even the shop sink is an antique (1949) double porcelain steel sink on cheap base cabinets also on 2 x 4 added base.

For a section of workbench in the home garage, I also used surplus laboratory cabinets and set them on 2 x 4 built up base to make them taller. Then I used two layers of 3/4" ply and topped with white coated hardboard. That looks good, but does scratch easy sliding stuff around. It too was free surplus, I would not have paid to install a scratch-able surface!winking smiley

At work I go for the tallest surface to work on when tearing stuff apart to repair.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: April 01, 2021 09:11PM

I'm also 6'1" and I built my 4X4 framed 16' long steel top work bench at "belt buckle high"--or 40 inches . My engine stand places the crankshaft center at about 38" from the floor, and then I have a HF hydraulic table jack for cases where I need something in between.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8 door Greenbrier, +.060, stroked 186 ci.140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: April 02, 2021 04:18AM

In my early youth I was an even six foot...don't get old!!!

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Dave Decker ()
Date: April 02, 2021 08:06AM

Hey Mel. I cut meat in a supermarket for 12 years and table height was pretty important. I found that about 3 or 4" below the hip bones was ideal.

Dave, Kamloops, B.C. '65Crown V8, 2009 Tacoma

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: April 02, 2021 11:54AM

To switch the perspective here, all I ever do on the bench is put the crankcase halves together and check cam timing. I have a little "table that I put the engine in sideways for that.
Once that's done I install a bell housing and put it on an engine stand. I like to swivel it.
The "table" has holes for the studs so it sits up higher except when laid down for torquing the crankcase bolts.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2021 11:56AM by JimBrandberg.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: April 02, 2021 12:26PM

Interesting, I'm 5-11-3/4" and my son is pushing 6'3". I built our bench at 40" as many others have. That said others have advised to take account for items used on the bench and I agree. I say that because at times the bench seems bit too tall (for me).

Another thing I did was build in a shelf below the counter top to house a desktop computer. The monitor sits on an "eye height while standing" shelf. The computer is an old Core 2 Duo but I've upgraded it with a quad core CPU and 8 GB RAM and run Linux Mint. It does the job. It is a timer saver when I need to look stuff up and the wife is happy that her grim covered husband isn't walking to the computer in the bedroom. smiling smiley The computer on the left runs the modified "Little Machine Shop" mill.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2021 12:30PM by wittsend.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: April 02, 2021 12:45PM

To expand on Jim's comment:

The only part I do on a workbench is when I'm checking rod bearing clearance.
For the build, I place one half of the crankcase on my engine stand and build from there.

Once the long block is together (including bell housing), I remove and reinstall the assembly with the bell housing to the engine stand.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: April 02, 2021 02:34PM

The sideways orientation of the crankcase on the engine stand is blowing my mind.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: April 02, 2021 02:51PM

Currently fabricating stands for three new machines.

I have short legs...37" puts the work above my hips.

Bead Roller, Throatless Shear, and a Tubing Roller.

All three horizontal platform brackets are at 37".

Base is core Big Rig ten lug trailer brake drums.

Local Peterbuilt dealer has free stacks of them.

Waiting on welder buddy...I cant see anymore.

Original brake drum Idea came from my Dad.

I acquired both grinders from his estate.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: April 02, 2021 03:55PM

JimBrandberg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The sideways orientation of the crankcase on the engine stand is blowing my mind.

Craig replies:

Sorry about that!smileys with beer

Once the two crankcase halves are mated, I also connect the engine stand's second set of legs to the other half of the crankcase. Building on an engine stand makes plastigage, mating, and torquing of the crankcase halves super-stable.


Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 02, 2021 07:48PM

For bench grinders I bough the HF stands, and added about a foot and a half of 2 1/2" PVC conduit on the post to get the grinder high enough for me. I like to see what I am working on without back pain.

I still build my Corvair engines on the workbench. I use a hydraulic table to get them off when finished. Of course I used to build cast iron V-8s on the floor, before I got an engine stand.grinning smiley I'm too old for that now.....thumbs up

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: April 03, 2021 08:40AM

I have a larger lift table that I can put at any height. I do some of my work on it and then put on build stand. If I have to move to run stand, I can easily move it to the adjustable table and then to the other stand.

I also use it for other things. The top I made of hardboard with a frame around it. Under is an all aluminum table for oily greasy jobs. I also added the parking feet that lock it in place. Picked it up on craigslist, probably one of the most useful purchases I made.

I also love my medical lift makes moving lifting engines easy along with other items.

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: April 03, 2021 08:56AM

Tom: Wow I like that lift table!

That solves all kinds of lifting to height problems. I can envision having a car on my hoist and lowering the car to deposit the engine or powerpack on the table and then easily rolling it to the work area or engine stand.

One question: Why is the lift table on plywood shims rather than rolling directly on the floor?

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2021 09:02AM by cnicol.

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Re: What is the ideal working height of a work-bench?
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: April 03, 2021 09:34AM

Craig,
Yes I do use it to lower out engines and transmissions. I did my whole Audi powertrain on it no problem. It works for corvairs too smiling smiley .

The shims are under it, because my run stand is a 1/4 to tall to slide under to bolt up the engine, however, my other build stand fits no issues, go figure!

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2021 09:35AM by toms73novass.

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