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Forum topic by Eagle1 posted 12-23-2011 11:37 PM 1907 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2066 posts in 3183 days

12-23-2011 11:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

I am planing on building a new bench. It seems that the ones that I’m looking is only about 34” to 35” tall. I’m 6’3”. I’m kinda wondering what your bench heights are? Especially if you are a tall person.

Thanks for your imput..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

16 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 12-24-2011 12:25 AM

What type of bench are you building? The height depends a lot on the type of work you do in addition to how tall you are. Will you be working with hand planes and chisels or power tools mostly? The former are lower the latter tend to be a little taller.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View poppatom's profile


116 posts in 3046 days

#2 posted 12-24-2011 01:24 AM

A good rule of thumb is belt buckle high. That’s the way I build everything in my shop, that way you’re not half stooped over causing your back to hurt.

-- Tom L. Williams ~ The difference between a man and a boy is the price of his toys.

View jmos's profile


859 posts in 2488 days

#3 posted 12-24-2011 01:37 AM

From what I’e read, it’s largely a matter of what you’re doing; if you use hand planes a lot, you want it low to allow your legs to do most of the work. Say, top as high as the middle of your hand. If you don’t do a lot of hand planing, as high as 36” works.

-- John

View wolflrv's profile


85 posts in 2490 days

#4 posted 12-24-2011 02:11 AM

I know I have my bench at 36” and it’s a great height for me to set up and use power tools, but it’s a bit too tall to get good torque when using a screwdriver by hand, or even for hand planing and sanding. I plan to probably drop the height about 3”..bringing it to 33”, but then again, I’m a short guy(granddaddy was a frenchman)...LOL! I did hear of one guy on another forum that ended up with a 42” bench, because he was 6’6”, so it just depends on back comfort and strain on the arms doing various functions. I’ve also heard bend arm at elbow and hold arm parallel over table and height should be 2-3” below elbow. I would definitely think if you’re 6’3”, then 34-35” would be a bit short for you.

-- Handcrafted toys, models & gifts at --

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15519 posts in 2737 days

#5 posted 12-24-2011 02:20 AM

Build what you think, on the tall side, with the plan to take some off if you need to. How tall is your table saw?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3087 days

#6 posted 12-24-2011 02:44 AM

What height are you comfortable working at? Hold some tools and get a friend to mark the height of an average height for holding a plane, handsaw, cordless drill etc, then take an inch off for material thickness, vice holding and work to that.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21110 posts in 3224 days

#7 posted 12-24-2011 05:11 AM

HI Tim. I’m 6 ft and my workbench with my tool boxes and my chair is 38” high. I built my router station at 38” too. My assembly bench is 34”. Make it comfortable for the work you will be doing at it.Taller person, taller workbench!
Merry Christmas, Tim….....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View NJWiliam's profile


32 posts in 2686 days

#8 posted 12-24-2011 06:31 AM

Better to start high with a design that allows you to shorten the legs if you’re not sure. I use a lot of wooden planes, so it’s even lower than is comfortable for metal planes . . .

View JoeMcGlynn's profile


219 posts in 2472 days

#9 posted 12-24-2011 12:22 PM

The Schwarz workbench books are a great investment, they cover dimensions. Your height will depend on your body size and the type of work you do.

-- Blog:

View helluvawreck's profile


32061 posts in 2985 days

#10 posted 12-24-2011 01:31 PM

Mine is about waste high but it also depends on what you are going to do with your workbench. Before building it I would invest in one or two of the good workbench books. They’ll give you some good ideas on what king of bench to build and all of the dimensions that you’ll need to consider.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2804 posts in 3556 days

#11 posted 12-24-2011 01:50 PM

I used this rule of thumb, gotten from someplace online at a bench build site. For hand tool work stand up straight and put your arm to your side. Flatten your palm on the table. That’s the height that will be the most comfortable.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3032 days

#12 posted 12-25-2011 05:26 AM

Less than 1/4in below my TS, in order to serve as an outfeed table, an important consideration.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3583 days

#13 posted 12-25-2011 05:44 AM

I set my table to outfeed height. As others have said, beltbuckle high is a good middle ground. Seriously, if your shop is cramped for space, having all benches and most stationary tools at the same height is a God send. Larger stock is much easier to work on and move. Just my two cents. Good luck, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View MrRon's profile


4991 posts in 3362 days

#14 posted 12-27-2011 06:26 PM

I find that a workbench height that matches the outfeed height doesn’t work for me. The workbench top will always be cluttered with tools, wood, etc to use it for an outfeed. Besides, I have a 1200 sq ft shop. I have been working on a design for an adjustable height workbench, using hydraulic jacks, but can’t get it sturdy enough or cheap enough to build.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3193 days

#15 posted 12-27-2011 06:38 PM

My workbench sets about 2’ from my 18” bandsaw on the in feed side. The height of the workbench, 37.5”, is the same as the height as the table on my bandsaw. That is not a coincidence. FYI – I try to keep this end of the workbench clutter free.

Despite only being 5’ 10”, I find this to be a comfortable working height.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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