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Thread: How high is your lathe stand?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Tennessee
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    11

    How high is your lathe stand?

    I have my new lathe set up on my workbench for right now, but I plan to build a stand specifically for the lathe with storage for accessories, tools and sharpening gear. I am just wondering if there is a good height that makes extended turning sessions more comfortable. My workbench is 34 1/2" which is good for hand tools, but feels a little low for the lathe.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    4,834
    Michael I set my lathe up by having my wife measure from the floor to my elbow. I drop my arms to the side and the bend my arms to 90 deg. I measured 45". I like my lathe slightly higher so I made the height at 47" which is comfy for me. Don't know if it is right or wrong but it is sure comfortable to turn for my tastes.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Inside the Beltway
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    2,666
    Build it lower than you think you need. Mine's too high.

    Someone said it should be elbow height. Not the bench itself, but the spindle. I don't know. My bench is 36, which means the spindle is in the low 40s. Way too high!

    Thanks,

    Bill

    (editing in, because I cross posted with Bernie, who knows way more than I do. Listen to him, not me! One problem I have with the height of mine is that the spinning blank is too close to my face! It scares me sometimes!
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 12-09-2010 at 05:35 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    That is what I have heard the proper height should be. Bend your arm at 90 degrees to your body and that should be center of the spindle height. Or at least that is what all the books I have read say it should be. Mine is close to that by 1 1/2 inches. Need to rasie it that much to get the perfect height but I can just slouch and get the same effect. Hope that is something of a help.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    The spindle height of my Powermatic (on casters) is 47", which is about 1" above my elbow bone with the arm at 90. It's comfortable to me (I'm 6' 2"), but for a shorter person it'd probably be too high. Even standing on a shipping pallet, Jim Bradley had to reach up to hold the tools on my lathe.

    Bill, a height in the low 40s would scare me more than one in the upper 40s. I'm wearing armor on my face, but not down in the softer parts below.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,099
    I have a bad back. Standing is okay sometimes, slouching/bending over, never okay. It is weird what will set my back to hurting. Anyway, I set my spindle height over my elbow, ended up the bottom of the lathe (JET mini) is at my elbow. I am going to split the difference and drop it a couple of inches and see if it is better.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Just punched this in and got this result.

    http://www.woodturningdesign.com/askdale/8/8.shtml
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  8. #8
    Rule of thumb is the center spure should be at about the same elevation as your Elbow. Adjust your stand to accomplish that height. Lots of reason to long to type right now.... That is Industry Standard.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
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    5,719
    I started off with mine right at elbow height, but I've raised it a bit to make it more comfortable. I don't think there is a right or wrong height, whatever makes you comfy and safe.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    My first lathe was a little low and hurt my back to slouch. I put 4" blocks under the legs to raise and that made standing for turning a pleasure. My current lathe is just right, the spindle is 44" above the floor.
    I never paid attention to the 90 degree elbow thing but, just now, checking it I found that, indeed, my elbows are about 90 degrees holding a tool.
    I am only 5'7". If you are much taller you might want a kinda high stand.
    Customize for comfort, suit yerself.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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