Work bench height?

SDVike Mar 16, 2021

  1. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I need some advice on work bench height. I’m going to be setting up a work bench out of this junk. It’s two laundry room cabinets I got for free and a piece of countertop I acquired at some point in the last 10 years. Right now the surface is at counter top height (roughly chest height when sitting in a chair). I was planning on taking the feet off the bases and dropping it to desk height (stomach height).

    I’ve never had a dedicated modeling workbench. Would it be better to have the work surface higher or more normal desk height?[​IMG]


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  2. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I prefer 28" or normal kitchen table/desk height to sit at because I often want to get up off the chair. Kitchen counter height work well if you wish to stand all the time. Like I did out in the garage/wood shop because I was always standing or using a taller stool.
    Rich VH
     
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  3. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I think I want to sit at it. I feel like I will get plenty of standing with the layout. I like sitting while concentrating on something like model assembly. Thanks for the input.


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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I like Shortround's estimate. My hobby "workbench" is an old desk at 30" and the height works perfectly for me. I too prefer to sit -- my back can no longer take standing for long periods.
     
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  5. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I finished my junk workbench hack. My remodeling self, cringes at the quality of this set up. It cost me nothing so I am happy. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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  6. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    I forget if it is phil or bigjake that I'm quoting,
    "Well there you go!"
    Free and happy sounds like a good deal to me!
     
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  7. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    Seems well done to me. You could paint the wood on the front white to match the cabinets and then it would be really finished looking.

    My wood working self likes what you have done here.
     
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  8. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Oh. I just remembered that I have some leftover melamine toe kick I could put over the 2x4. No painting involved. Add a couple of handles I have laying around and watch the hilarity ensue as my kids try opening the drawer.


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  9. Bumbazene

    Bumbazene New Member

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    I'd close up those holes in the back corners to avoid things scurrying onto the floor. Maybe install electrical outlets in them?
     
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  10. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I like the "fake drawer" idea. Also having higher space of both sides. My current one has it only on one side. It's better to see things I using as reference. (y)
     
  11. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    I love the electrical outlet idea. Thanks.


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  12. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    You can never have to many outlets. I've got 3 powers strips and a three-way extension cord.

    SD, have you given any thought to work bench lighting?
     
  13. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    At this point no. I plan on adding a spotlight on the track light but it won’t be enough. Maybe one of those lights on an arm. It will probably be a while before I start doing anything too hardcore at this work bench. I mainly need a place to start organizing everything. Some tools and modeling parts will go there. My goal is to have the storage/train room cleaned by the time spring hits and my unfinished porch project takes over.


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  14. Tom Crofton

    Tom Crofton TrainBoard Member

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    i found i needed the surface several inches higher than a normal desk height so i did not need to bend over for miniature work, like grab irons.
    some folks make a separate booster for the actual work area, or maybe your chair adjust lower. Getting a sore back working on small stuff seems like a bad idea
     
  15. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Keep in mind when you start painting, if your workbench lighting and layout lighting are different temperatures there will be a color shift between the workbench and layout.

    I'm 58 and my eyes need light. Lots of it.
    I have a clamp on magnifier lamp with a screw in LED bulb, a strip style LED desk lamp and an IKEA LED mini spot light on a flex arm.
    In my opinion, lights are like outlets you can never have too many.

    16165411686641367103771180126242.jpg

    I have two work main work levels.
    The bench top is 38" the pull out catch tray is 31½". I do most of my work on the tray and lay the tools I'm using on the upper surface. Sometimes I stand and work on the upper level.

    The little vise shown holding the tape measure is 39¾" at the jaws and the magnifier swings infront of it for small work.

    The magnifier is a cheap incandescent fixture with a 100w equivalent LED bulb. The spot light is an Ikea Nävlinge lamp.
    https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/naevlinge-led-work-lamp-light-blue-70477254/

    The desk lamp was a few bucks at a thrift shop. I cut up an old tool organizer to fit on the base.
    16165420982191692146436172187056.jpg

    The blue cardstock is just there temporarily. There is a benchtop organizer behind it.

    None of these items were expensive, and as Tom said you can make something to raise your work surface.

    My point is, a comfortable, inexpensive and flexible work area is the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
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  16. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I most certainly agree with that last sentence. (y)
     

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