Page 8 of 9 FirstFirst ... 456789 LastLast
Results 106 to 120 of 122

Thread: Workbench height and width

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    8,531
    Maybe go ask a French Journeyman/Carpenter what he uses for a bench.....

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    190
    Probably not much left to add to the discussion at this time, but let me try anyway. I originally built my bench at 38in (96.5cm) based on Seller's advice. Later when I discovered this forum and read some of the valuable comments on bench height here, I sawed off 3in to lower the height to 35in (89cm).

    After using it that way for a while I found some operations difficult, like sawing dovetails and finer chisel work, so I raised the bench back up 3in by putting it on blocks. Had it that way for at least a year, until a few days ago when I started chopping multiple mortises for the first time ever. Then I found that the higher bench+work piece+mortise chisel was causing my shoulders to hurt by requiring the mallet to come from so high (oh by the way this would be a good point to mention my height, I'm 6ft 2in (188cm) so not really very short (although not as tall as some of you jesus what did they feed you?)

    Anyway point is I've been back and forth a couple times now with the height and am about to start building a real bench of my own (Moravian ftw! Saw one of the originals at Old Salem btw, it's pretty low, probably around 32"), so this questions is very relevant for me too. Based on the tasks I've engaged in so far, the best choice right now seems to be a lower bench height, because I don't want to have to stand on a stool when chopping mortises to avoid shoulder fatigue. I can figure out a way to raise up work for sawing dovetails etc. (the fabled moxon vice may be in my near future).

  3. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Mikes View Post
    Probably not much left to add to the discussion at this time, but let me try anyway. I originally built my bench at 38in (96.5cm) based on Seller's advice. Later when I discovered this forum and read some of the valuable comments on bench height here, I sawed off 3in to lower the height to 35in (89cm).

    After using it that way for a while I found some operations difficult, like sawing dovetails and finer chisel work, so I raised the bench back up 3in by putting it on blocks. Had it that way for at least a year, until a few days ago when I started chopping multiple mortises for the first time ever. Then I found that the higher bench+work piece+mortise chisel was causing my shoulders to hurt by requiring the mallet to come from so high (oh by the way this would be a good point to mention my height, I'm 6ft 2in (188cm) so not really very short (although not as tall as some of you jesus what did they feed you?)

    Anyway point is I've been back and forth a couple times now with the height and am about to start building a real bench of my own (Moravian ftw! Saw one of the originals at Old Salem btw, it's pretty low, probably around 32"), so this questions is very relevant for me too. Based on the tasks I've engaged in so far, the best choice right now seems to be a lower bench height, because I don't want to have to stand on a stool when chopping mortises to avoid shoulder fatigue. I can figure out a way to raise up work for sawing dovetails etc. (the fabled moxon vice may be in my near future).
    Steven,


    Good on you. I expect you will enjoy both the Moravian build and putting it to use. I think I posted earlier that a bench height about 250mm (~10") below the elbow is a good all around compromise with an added Moxon or bench appliances when you need a higher bench. As an example I'm 5'8" but with short legs and long body and arms. If I measure from the bottom of my arm at the elbow it is 44". My main bench is 34 1/2" from the floor to the top of the slab and it works well for most operations. Then again, as with all things wood, YMMV.

    ken

  4. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Mikes View Post
    After using it that way for a while I found some operations difficult, like sawing dovetails and finer chisel work, so I raised the bench back up 3in by putting it on blocks. Had it that way for at least a year, until a few days ago when I started chopping multiple mortises for the first time ever. Then I found that the higher bench+work piece+mortise chisel was causing my shoulders to hurt by requiring the mallet to come from so high (oh by the way this would be a good point to mention my height, I'm 6ft 2in (188cm) so not really very short (although not as tall as some of you jesus what did they feed you?)
    Have you considered trying sitting on top of the bench when mortising? When I lived in Thailand, I noticed that people like to do everything while sitting on the floor. With some practice I found that can be very convenient at times. Look at this Japanese woodworker (not mortising, but nevertheless can give an idea): https://youtu.be/W5pJxeT3rEo?list=RDQMfSwORfkAp8U&t=702

    I'm glad this topic has attracted such lively discussion, I just hope it doesn't devolve into flame war. Things were getting a bit heated...

  5. #110
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Au contraire, Steve. Of the 12 pictures of planes shown (in that post), 9 were BD planes. I combed videos, some from YouTube, some from magazines, and some from DVDs, for demonstrations of how planes were used .. how they were held, how they were pushed, and so on. I did not want just descriptions in writing because not this may vary from what one believes they do. All the woodworkers involved were planing boards. All the woodworkers involved were well-known and considered (except by Warren, but that is no surprise) to be very experienced in this regard.

    Why should it be relevant that Garrett Hack is planing a door - this is at bench height. The other photo is planing a panel, at that is on the bench top. The photo of Frank Klausz is taken from a video, and that he is coming off a board is irrelevant - this is just a photo, and I mentioned this point in the text.

    Steve, I really respect your skills in building woodies, and I would like to believe that I remain am open to critique, but these comments of yours are way off the mark.

    Edit to add: with regard the 4-fingered grip, I was also taken aback. However, it is a grip on a LN BU plane in each case, one which uses a Bailey handle. That is a commonality, but I donít think that it is necessarily the factor. The fact is that, with all BU planes, the handle is further back than on Bailey designs, and their is no place for a forefinger. It has me thinking that both Hack and Charlesworth have found their way to accommodate. Hack has an atypical grip on his #604 as well. This does not interfere with their ability to wield a plane.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Steve will perhaps comment on this, but I certainly use downward pressure when planing. My arms are not horizontal to the workbench, the wrist is straight.

    I have David Weavers planes and LN planes (in the western category) and neither has a vertical handle.

    Im not bearing my weight on the planes but Iím not using zero downward force either. Just enough force required.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    8,531
    DSCF0008.JPG
    Hmmmm, since half of my user planes are by...
    DSCF0007.JPG
    And most were made long before LV or L&N existed....wonder where they got this style of handle from? ( this one is a Type 4, made about 1949)

    As for downward pressure.....anyone use the dreaded "Death Grip" on the front knob?

    USE your legs, people, that is where the power to shove a plane comes from.....otherwise, you will get a sore back.

  7. #112
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    I hesitated to comment because it is nuanced. There is a range between standing on the plane and from pulling it with a string. Some pressure, just enough pressure, not too much pressure. Often enough I don’t comment in this regard becuase I find it near impossible to do so without providing an example, much easier to do in person.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I hesitated to comment because it is nuanced. There is a range between standing on the plane and from pulling it with a string. Some pressure, just enough pressure, not too much pressure. Often enough I don’t comment in this regard becuase I find it near impossible to do so without providing an example, much easier to do in person.
    Brian,

    Ain't that the truth.

    ken

  9. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Steve will perhaps comment on this, but I certainly use downward pressure when planing. My arms are not horizontal to the workbench, the wrist is straight.

    I have David Weavers planes and LN planes (in the western category) and neither has a vertical handle.

    Im not bearing my weight on the planes but I’m not using zero downward force either. Just enough force required.

    Brian,
    Very well explained; I have nothing to add. You have a gift for brevity that I obviously lack.
    "For me, chairs and chairmaking are a means to an end. My real goal is to spend my days in a quiet, dustless shop doing hand work on an object that is beautiful, useful and fun to make." --Peter Galbert

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,383
    Blog Entries
    7
    Thanks, gents!
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  11. #116
    First off there is no perfect woodworking bench, there is only the perfect woodworking bench for me.


    There is no perfect material to build a bench from, only what I chose to use. There are some choices for the top that are better than others but that is a different subject.


    There is no one perfect style, or perfect sizes, not to mention number of vises or lack there of that can be included..


    The following is a record of my present but 4th build. I know that for most people especially for the hand tool crowd, the Roubo bench is the only one to have. But about 25-30 years ago I saw a video on Wood Finishing by Frank Klausz and latter on Dovetailing a Drawer by again Frank Klausz. I watched him use his bench and heard him expound on it and I was hooked on the European style because it mirrored my style of woodworking. I did somewhat use the Roubo style, as best as I could, for the left handed side of my bench. And in jest, for the Roubo lovers out there I considered the back side of my bench


    Anyway I thought I would take you through the steps I took to make my present bench.


    I. I visualize very well but a lot of people don't, But visualizing and working through details
    are two different animals.
    A. First of all the space should define the size not built to a measured drawing and
    then try to fit it in the space.
    B. A mock up of bench size helps the bench fit the size.
    1. Using cheap material saves money if design changed need to be made.
    2. By using cheap material it can be reused else wear.
    3. It maybe a mock up but you have a makeshift bench to use in the process..
    4. Exact width is impossible to hit exactly because it is a glue up and wood
    dimensions it.


    II. The height of the bench is probably the most important dimension of the whole
    project.


    A. The thickness and type of material can affect height.
    B. Type of work mostly performed at the bench determines height.
    1. planning will require a certain height.
    2. Assembly may require a different height.
    3. spending a little time doing even mock up of different operation may eliminate
    a sore back at a latter time.
    C. If using a floor mat of some kind it can add over a half inch to height.
    1. I use an interlocking floor mat because the required size is not available
    2. glued to a 1/4 piece of plywood so it would stop being coming apart in use.
    3. .In my case screwed to floor to keep it from sliding around.


    III. Vises effect benchtop design.


    A. A leg vise effects not only top design but length of leg also.
    B. Shoulder vise effects the height of legs as well as design of the front leg design.
    C. Tail vise and wagon vises effects length and placement of the stretchers.
    Tom

  12. #117
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Amhrrst Jct
    Posts
    42
    I've recently finished a roubo style bench, 240cm long and52.5cm wide and 90cm in height. So far, no complaints. I'm 182cm tall.

  13. #118
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,529
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    "not all that much skill in four squaring rough lumber"??? I cannot imagine a skilled person saying that.
    Amen, Reverend.

    I suspect the rise of plywood construction mirrored the decline of apprentices - it filled a skill deficit (among other attributes).

  14. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by David Ryle View Post
    I've recently finished a roubo style bench, 240cm long and52.5cm wide and 90cm in height. So far, no complaints. I'm 182cm tall.
    David what kinds of work do you do at your bench?

  15. #120
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    8,531
    I seem to use the leg vise for a "third hand" when doing a glue up...
    Leftover Ash Table, top glue up.JPG
    As when such a panel is too wide to clamp up laying flat...
    Paul Sellers plans, inside view.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •