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Thread: Adjustable Height Workbench

  1. #1
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    Adjustable Height Workbench

    I am long way off from building a workbench but that has not deterred me from thinking about it.

    Sometime ago I went over someone's house and noticed an adjustable height workbench in his garage. It was built using the legs from this website:

    http://www.adjustabench.com/inaction.asp

    The bench appeared to be very solid and stable. The owner loved it too.

    Last night I scoured the net to look for other similar ideas and found a few interesting alternatives. Here is one that uses two scissor jacks:

    http://www.jack-bench.com/

    Here is another: http://videos.americanwoodworker.com...-Woodworking-B

    I have also seen one that uses an hydaulic lift like this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb...art-93116.html

    You may say that why would anyone need adjustable height on a workbench. Most people don't. However, I can see some benefits too, particularly if you have a small shop. It can be used as an outfeed table, assembly table, routing platform, carving table etc. I have read about some issues of minor play in the adjustable height mechanism, causing the top to move just a little. I think the hydraulic lift mecahnism on a workbench is probably the most unstable.

    Any member here who has one? Pros and cons?
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  2. #2
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    I have one on the HF scissors platform. The maple top is bolted to the mechanism. The play comes in the wheels, not the scissors mechanism, but you get used to it. It really is not much. I know the guy who invented the first bench you noted. It is quite stable, but if you put wheels under it, you would have the same issues. FWIW.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

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    Carol Reed

  3. #3
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    Mohammad i can see many merits in this idea, i have one major reservation that puts me off it.

    Consider that one of the merits is to save the back given regardless of our own desires as we age our body weakens with the back being one of the parts to become delicate.

    So having the bench at a height to meet the body and ideal work needs is a plus.

    However most of the articles or designs that are shown require one to use ones back to lift a workbench top twice at least for adjustment to the new height and twice more if going back down to leave it at say standard height.

    That requirement to me seems to be in conflict with the benefits given the majority age profile of hobby woodworkers.

    This is where i think Carols scissors idea is surperior since as i understand it those lifts work of some type of hydraulic ram.
    cheers

  4. #4
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    Thanks Carol and Rob.

    I see your point about lifting the table top to adjust the height. That does not apply to Jack-Bench though. It can be raised op lowered with a hand crank or acordless drill. Watch the second video down on this page:
    http://www.jack-bench.com/workbench%...h%20videos.htm
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  5. #5
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    Rob, as someone with chronic back issues, I can say the prospect of lifting a benchtop a few times is much more desirable than working at a bench that's too low. If and when I ever build myself a bench, it will have some type of height adjustment.
    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
    For more stability I've heard suggestions of 4 scissor jacks, linked with a chain drive.

  7. #7
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    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Interesting post. I also have plans to build a bench when I get some time. I like the jack-bench and just might look into building one. I like the jacks for moving the bench around and it doesn't look to hard to adjust the height. I also have chronic back problems and find my back gets tired after a little while in the shop so having the option of adjusting the height may be a real plus.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  8. #8
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    Paul, if you do build it, don't forget to post a lot of pics.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  9. #9
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    I've been somewhat intrigued by the "motorcycle lift table" that the bike repair shops use. Harbor Freight often has (obviously cheaper quality) ones on sale for around $299.00. I checked one out at my local HF, and it actually seemed pretty stable. I've been thinking that putting a heavy bench top on one of them might make a really stout adjustable bench.

    The smaller cart that Carol has mentioned (I have one) doesn't make a very good bench because of stability problems with the swiveling wheels. I have a 30" X 48" top on mine, and it does make a pretty nice assembly area or finishing platform, though.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
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    Cool

    I use the electric lift table of my stroke sander as a bench. I can lower it to 14" from the floor to max height of 43". Good for sanding large pieces too!
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    hobby woodworking since 1972

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