14 February 2010

Workbench height

Christopher Schwarz  'raises' (96cm or 38inch) the question of workbench height when making dovetails, through his blog.

After reading his older proposals (palm height = 80 cm) I went out to check a few workbenches.  I found an old bench set at 86 cm,  measured the tables of a cnc cabinet shop as high as 100 cm.
In my chop I have a metalworkers vise fixed on a table.  The vise is hard for wood but is comfortable to saw,  so I was happy to find a proposal to set the height of a workbench to elbow minus 10 cm = 100 cm.

Looking for vises on the second hand list, I found a few examples of older metal vises. I guess that some wooden vises were also made, standing proud on the workbench, but it is less likely they survived
[edit] There is an example of such a vice in one of the blog entries of Christopher Schwarz, and in old movies. In later posts he looked for a solution by promoting the  Moxon Double-screw Vise,  offering the advantage of a removable seup.