Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Workbench Height
Does your back start to ache after you've been working at your workbench for a while? Have you ever tried to hand plane a board and decided it was just too much work?

The height of the work surface of your workbench can make a difference. It should be the right height to fit you and the way you work. If you already have a workbench, you can use these guidelines to modify your bench height to make it more comfortable. If you're building a new bench, use these guidelines to determine how high to make it.

On most benches, the working surface is somewhere between 33" and 36" high. If you're average height (between 5'9" and 6'0"), that's usually a comfortable height. But even a change of 1" up or down can make a big difference in how easy it is to work at the bench.

We've used a lot of methods to determine the best height for a bench. But one simple method seems to give the best results. Just measure the distance from the floor to the crease on the inside of your wrist. When I did this, the measurement was 34". So that's the height I used on my bench.

Increase or decrease the length of the legs on your workbench to adjust the height of the work surface to match your wrist crease measurement. If you're 5'10" or taller, you may find a wrist crease measurement of 35" to 37". This may seem too high for a bench -- especially considering the old standards. But those standards were developed and valid when the general population was shorter than it is today.

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