After reading many threads on this and other forums, regarding the correct workbench height, I have concluded that one size does not fit all. Bench height is dependent on the height of the person and the type of work being performed. Additionally there have been concerns from people with bad backs. It is therefore my opinion that everyone can profit from a bench with an adjustable height feature.
This is not an easy one day to come up with an adjustable bench project. A bench that is fixed in height can be a very simple project that can be completed in a day with a small outlay of cash and materials, but a bench with height adjustment features will require a lot more thought. The simplest height adjustment is to make each leg adjustable in length, pinned with bolts and nuts. Although this may be the simplest way, it requires much physical effort to accomplish; fine if the adjustment is of a semi-permanent nature, but impractical if height adjustment is required frequently.
An adjustable height bench will require some mechanical means to elevate and securely lock the top at the required position. There have been hydraulic and pneumatic means of doing this, but are beyond the ability of the average woodworker and his wallet. I have come up with my own design, which I feel will satisfy the needs of most woodworkers and won’t break the bank.
This will be an on-going project as I am in the process of finalizing the design, building a prototype and testing it. In the finalizing stage, I’m investigating various materials and components in an effort to keep the overall cost as low as possible without compromising it’s features. Below is a preliminary sketch of the proposed
The features of my bench are:
• Height adjustment from 30-3/4” to 43”
• All height and locking controls are located at one side and easily operated without kneeling or squatting which is good for people with bad backs.
• The legs are securely locked in position for a sturdy bench.
• The elevating mechanism uses two scissor jacks operating in tandem and driven by a cordless drill. A hand crank could be fitted if desired.
• The bench can be rolled around on built-in casters which retract automatically once the top is elevated.
• A torsion box or solid surface top can be used (not shown in the sketch).
• This particular bench measures 42” x 96”, but dimensions can be changed to suit your personal requirements.