Seeking ideas for a seated workbench

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Forum topic by Texchappy posted 11-20-2012 12:37 AM 1171 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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252 posts in 2245 days

11-20-2012 12:37 AM

In talking through bench plans on another forum (which some of you are also on) I realized that with my limited ability to stand that a seated bench might be good. The only thing that I can’t see really doing seated is planing. I figure I can cut joinery, do most chisel work, and other assorted woodworking I can do as well seated as standing – some of it better given my condition.

So what would a seated bench look like? Form? Change in appliances? Height? etc


-- Wood is not velveeta

6 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4033 posts in 2258 days

#1 posted 11-20-2012 01:14 AM

Now this is a challenging question! I’d consider using a tilted narrow top that leans toward you. It could be made adjustable for height and angle if needed. The usual accoutrements like vises and dog holes would be more reachable and would hold things so you could see the tops of stuff better. If the face vise were also adjustable, you could swing it up to hold things truly vertical for sawing tenons as an example. The end vise would hold things against a dog so you could line yourself up parallel to it and take light planing cuts. The down side is that you could not lay anything down on the tilted bench…not all bad because it forces you to be organized about where you put your tools. A workbench is nothing more than a tool for holding stuff.

Another tack would be to go Japanese style and do all your work from the floor. They use low benches, maybe 6 in high at the most. It is a very different work style, but it is also very efficient. This may not be appropriate for your particular situation, however.

I’m sure more ideas will surface shortly. I’d be happy to expand on these if you have questions. Good Luck.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#2 posted 11-20-2012 01:23 AM

I picture a deeper than normal bench with and opening in the middle perhaps built with two levels one for standing and one for being seated. Maybe a seat that swivels for easier access.
an opening like this

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Texchappy's profile


252 posts in 2245 days

#3 posted 11-20-2012 01:24 AM

That’s an interesting idea about the canted top. I’m pondering it now. I have about decided to forgo traditional face and tail vises. I do plan to do a Moxon for myself soon. Lee Valley also has a lot of interesting options for work holding.

I started out thinking that the Japanese style of doing things would be easier. However, in practice it wasn’t. I found myself bending more or struggling to get up. Only thing I did like was the planes, but the wooden western style worked just as well for me.

One thing I had planned to do even before this concept dawned on me (with help from Wiley Horne) was to have a wheeled cart for the tools I’m using on the project at hand.

-- Wood is not velveeta

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2409 days

#4 posted 11-20-2012 08:26 PM

You should check out these links:

I have been considering building one of these myself. I think if you were planning to use it for planing, you might make it a bit longer than Ron’s…

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Texchappy's profile


252 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 11-20-2012 10:38 PM

12Strings, that is cool. Thanks for the link.

-- Wood is not velveeta

View jasmine's profile


8 posts in 2174 days

#6 posted 11-22-2012 10:14 PM

To deal with my sciatica, which is aggravated by standing, I laid down the big bucks ($6.00) at the local Goodwill for a swivel seat bar stool with back- added cushion to seat and anchored it to a plywood base with outrigger casters. I also cobbled together a tool platform on casters from an old microwave cart with a lip around the top to hold the errant tool/fastener and a drawer to hold miscellaneous needed for the current project. This has worked well after a little tinkering for height.
My next project is a torsion box (for light weight) with a tilted top that can be clamped on the benchtop. Smaller than the benchtop, of course, but very portable.
Those are my solutions.

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