Workbench height

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Forum topic by mporter posted 08-21-2013 01:24 AM 1600 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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253 posts in 1616 days

08-21-2013 01:24 AM

I am making a workbench for my shop. I have always used my table saw out feed table as a workbench. The out feed table has a height of 36 1/2 inches. I am a 6’5” guy and after working on the outfeed table for 4-5 hours, my back starts to hurt. I thought about making the workbench 40 inches tall. Do you think that is too tall for a workbench?

16 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 931 days

#1 posted 08-21-2013 01:32 AM

Your back might be just generally hurting as a result of working 4-5 hours. You’re getting close to bar height with 40”. Then you could install a ‘speed rail’ on your workbench to hold vodka, tequila, rum, gin, whiskey, etc. to further ease your back pain.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View jusfine's profile


2342 posts in 1964 days

#2 posted 08-21-2013 01:44 AM

I don’t think it is too tall.

I am 5’9” and have two benches, one is 34” tall, the other 37 1/2”. I use the taller one for hand tool work, and the other for general construction.

All the Best with your choice!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View mporter's profile


253 posts in 1616 days

#3 posted 08-21-2013 01:49 AM

Redsled, that is the greatest idea I have heard yet. I wan’t going to add a storage area under the workbench but now I might have to just to hold the booze!

Seriously though I think my back hurts from the constant bending over. Upper back and neck hurts. I just didn’t know if 40 inches was too high.

View Gary's profile


8317 posts in 2471 days

#4 posted 08-21-2013 02:21 AM

If you are comfortable working at the bench, it isn’t too high.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2347 days

#5 posted 08-21-2013 02:48 AM

There is no one size fits all height.
I say make it 40” and if it ends up being a comfortable working height for you then you could also build a platform to raise your table saw to the same height and maintain it as an out feed table. That is what I did …raised my saw and worktable to 37”

View Sylvain's profile


614 posts in 1538 days

#6 posted 08-21-2013 09:54 AM


Paul Sellers recommend 38” for people between 5’9” and 5’11”

You are much taller.

He made a bench with 42” height for his 6’4” assistant.

You can shorten the legs afterwards if you think it is too much.

You may raise your outfeed table to experiment first

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View MrRon's profile


3446 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 08-21-2013 05:21 PM

All my benches are 40” high and I am 5’11” tall.

View higtron's profile


206 posts in 1715 days

#8 posted 08-21-2013 06:03 PM

I’m 6’ my bench is close to 40” high, screw hunching over to do a task. If you make your bench to tall you can cut some off, set some scrap on your out feed table to get you close to 40” work off that for awhile see if that’s what you want.
sorry didn’t read all the posts now I see others have said the same so +1

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

View Jason White's profile

Jason White

112 posts in 2409 days

#9 posted 08-22-2013 02:27 AM

I’m 6’5” tall, too.

I made my workbench, cabinet counters, and tablesaw top all 40” in height and it’s been perfect for me. That said, my workbench top sits on a Noden “Adjust-A-Bench” kit, so I can change the height any time I want.

- Jason

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 788 days

#10 posted 08-22-2013 11:34 AM

I’ll have to measure the height at the bar this afternoon. I can sit there and “work” comfortably for hours on end !

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1506 posts in 1008 days

#11 posted 08-22-2013 12:17 PM

Im 6 foot and I use 40 it works for me

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View cutworm's profile


1074 posts in 1832 days

#12 posted 08-23-2013 01:04 AM

We have a bench at work that has adjustable height. Coolest thing I’ve seen. I want it so bad I can taste it. We have another work table with a motor driven height adjust. Programmable height settings. It was 1200 bucks though. Wish it was about 1000 less…......

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View 8iowa's profile


1508 posts in 2799 days

#13 posted 08-23-2013 02:12 AM

I think it was Chris Schwarz who stated the workbench height should be at your outstretched palm while standing. He was probably considering hand tool work in this configuration.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Jackietreehorn's profile


136 posts in 977 days

#14 posted 09-05-2013 05:18 PM

6’2” tall here with 40” high counters. Works for me…


View TerryDowning's profile


1043 posts in 1156 days

#15 posted 09-05-2013 06:10 PM

Working height is also a function of the type of work being done.

Detail work is done in the upper chest range.

Power work (Requiring large muscle groups) is done at a lower height.

Some wood workers have different height benches for different work.

Experiment and find what works best for you and forget about what other people say about bench height.

2 Factors to consider as I see it.
1. Your comfort especially if working for long periods of time
2. The quality of the completed work.

As stated make it higher at first so the height can be adjusted.

-- - Terry

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