Reply To: Bench height

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Rob Young

Oh what the heck, here are a few semi-random thoughts
I have settled on a bench at home that is around wrist bone height, not at the pistiform, not under, not 3/16″ over, just around. Don’t know what that is in inches, don’t care what it is in inches. Wouldn’t be the same for you anyway. I tend to NOT stoop over at this height bench (I’m 6′ 4″) for two reasons. First, I wear glasses and this pair is set up for best vision correction from about 10″ to arms length — without them I may as well be blind. Mostly this is for work reasons, but it also means I can see fine details without needing to stoop over at the bench. And second, for those times I do need to lower my body (typically to get the right angle or motion for sawing) I will widen my stance or move my leg back a bit as this can drop you 4″ or more without discomfort . If I need more change in height than that, then I’ll consider stooping, crouching or just modifying my work area to suit.
Having either a wood floor (no longer for me) or a good anti-fatigue mat (horse stall mat) works wonders. That and good lighting, both overall diffuse to minimize shadows (layout and joinery work) and some directional task lighting so you can work with a glancing light as needed (finishing and surface inspections) will make for a much more pleasant experience at your custom height bench.
PS tosses around the very descriptive phrase “my creative space” of which the bench, its height, construction and accouterments, are only part of the equation. So don’t get too hung up on measuring benches. If it feels right for you, it is right for you.
(By the way, “pistiform” is that little bone on the lateral side of your wrist that juts out just a little bit as you transition from the wrist to forearm. Now go use that word in three conversations the rest of the day.)