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Thread: What height to prevent crouching over

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Hoodsport
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    155

    What height to prevent crouching over

    Like most older folk; I get a lot of back pain if I hunch over to see inside of a bowl while turning. How high is it safe to raise up a lathe so your not hunching over?
    Where did I put those band aids?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    9,473
    Quote Originally Posted by Dueane Hicks View Post
    Like most older folk; I get a lot of back pain if I hunch over to see inside of a bowl while turning. How high is it safe to raise up a lathe so your not hunching over?
    Good question. Most advice for general use is to have the centerline of the headstock spindle a the height of your elbow, with the arm bent. This may be too high or too low for a specific person, what they turn (spindles, lidded boxes, bowls, hollow forms, platters?), and the way they like to work. You can test different heights by putting the lathe legs up on wooden blocks. (I used to cut blocks and use a forstner bit to make a recess to hold the pad on the adjuster. (I used to be 6'1" but with age I'm now 5'11" so a slightly lower lathe is fine now.

    Another thing I often do to see the inside of a bowl is turn with the lathe in reverse. This keeps me from bending over the lathe to peer at the tool in action.

    Another thing some people do for bowls and hollow forms is to turn outboard, on most lathes now that means sliding the headstock down to the end of the bed and standing directly at the end. This also puts you out of the line of fire in case of a mess up.

    JKJ

  3. I heard a professional turner in Hawaii say he has his center line about nipple line on his chest. That keeps him from bending over too much. For me, elbow height or maybe 2 inches above is a great place to be at.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
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    1,335
    I located my lathe so that I could access both sides. So when I'm going a bowl and can't easily see the inside edge (for example), I just walk around the lathe and cut from the other side.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Morrisonville, NY
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by Brice Rogers View Post
    I located my lathe so that I could access both sides. So when I'm going a bowl and can't easily see the inside edge (for example), I just walk around the lathe and cut from the other side.
    Who needs a lathe with reverse.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    9,473
    Quote Originally Posted by bob pfohler View Post
    Who needs a lathe with reverse.
    I certainly appreciate reverse. For one thing, I put my lathes close to walls for some very good reasons, at least good reasons for me, how I like to work, and the things I lilke to make.

    lathe_PM_cu_IMG_20160331_18.jpg

    I use reverse for sanding spindles by hand and some scraping with hand scrapers too. With reverse, the sanding dust is directed directly to the dust collector pickup.

    lathe_dust_pickup.jpg

    JKJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Chandler View Post
    I heard a professional turner in Hawaii say he has his center line about nipple line on his chest. That keeps him from bending over too much. For me, elbow height or maybe 2 inches above is a great place to be at.
    Was that Kelly Dunn? He has back problems and has to have his lathe that high. He has to turn pretty much standing straight up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Hoodsport
    Posts
    155
    My wife says "crouching turner, hidden back pain!"
    Where did I put those band aids?

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