workbench height

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Klubowy, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Klubowy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 30, 2016
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    Hi I'm getting a new workbench to do my electronics projects and I would like too find out if its better to have a higher workbench. Is it better to solder standing up or sitting down. Its 75cm vs 89cm.I know this sounds lame but this workbench is gonna serve me for a very long time so I have to know. Hopefully I will create many electronic projects.
     
  2. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Industrial electronic workbenches are generally about 90cm high.
    That height allows you to easily sit or stand, as desired, when working at the bench

    A adjustable height work stool is usually used to sit at the bench.

    I would recommend sitting for most work as standing for any length of time can be tiring.
     
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  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I built one bench at 72 CM because I wanted to use an office chair with wheels and do drawings, paperwork, and computer stuff at that bench. It worked.
    I built one at 87 CM because I wanted to sit on a bar stool and solder electronics things closer to my face.
    It worked.

    Define your job. Define your chair. Define your posture.
    Then build the bench.
     
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  4. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
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    Since components are getting smaller and you may find yourself dealing with SMD components, it might be worth taking a look at watchmakers' benches for inspiration.
     
  5. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    I built one as a kid that's still alive and well. Jig saw. The circular saw I wasn't able to use. Dad made those cuts. I need to go measure it.
    Dad's bench was pretty much stand only and mine could be either.

    Mine was built with a standard 4'x8' sheet of plywood with the bench being 3'x8' and 1' shelf. One side was supposed to have drawers. The other side basically contained tool chest of drawers.

    An electronics bench at work was considerably taller. The chemistry lab had a taller bench where it's rare to sit. The machine shop had sit/stand type of benches too.

    The key, though is a stool was used at the taller benches.

    ==

    What I did differently was where I placed power, In my particular bench, I had 4 duplex outlets along the front edge controlled by two dual gang switches. There was an outlet strip in the rear under a short shelf that was always on, There was a fused isolation xformer/variac where stuff to be worked on was plugged in.

    Wires on my father's bench would get scorched by the "soldering guns" at that time. Mine, I would step on the wires and dump stuff on the floor.
    the electronics bench at word had a bank of switched outlets on either side of the bench which probably was better.

    Although never implemented, I had thought about over head (ceiling mounted) power stubs. We did have one retractable power cord in the machine shop which proved very useful for portable tools like the jig saw, hand drill etc.

    Now, there might me the possibility of using a microscope or USB camera for doing SMD work and you may need a computer nearby too.
     
  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I find the outlet strip very good for the computer bench, but the electronics bench needs a switched outlet in the rear, with the switch in the front, in addition to the always on recepticals and the switchable recepticals for the test instruments.
     
  7. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    That's exactly what the Variac supplies. My Variac is weird since it was built 40 year ago and all I got free was a 3A Variac. it's supplied by a 1500 VA isolation transformer. The Variac has a Bypass mode and Variac mode, but I still get isolation. There's both a voltage and current meter, the normal AC outlet and binding posts for AC.

    It was nice to be able to turn off 4 switches and be reasonably assured everything was off. At that point, I did not have temperature controlled soldering station.
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    My choice would be 100cm height. You can always sit on a higher stool but you can never lower the bench once it's built.

    It is a good idea to plan the power bar. You can always use another outlet. I would run a power strip the whole length of the bench along the instrument shelf. If you do not install a shelf then along the front of the bench would be the next choice. Install a GFI while you're at it and a power switch for the whole strip.

    I also have a separate switched power bar for equipment repair.
     
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  9. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Isn't it easier and cheaper to cut the legs off an existing stool than to buy one that is an odd bit higher? ;)

    The usual working height in the US for a sit-down laboratory bench is 30" (76 cm). That assumes one is sitting on a typical commercial chair. Stand-up height is about a foot higher.

    John
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    My bench is 86.36 cm. (34") high.
     
  11. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    Aargh! Made a mistake in my wording but you get what I mean.
     
  12. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Also it pays to plan with the least clutter, I ensured that the Mag light I use was able to be fixed to the side of the bench, instead of on top.
    I have my mini bench vice mounted on a a 10lb lead disc this way it stays steady (and portable) when needed and can be placed under the bench when not in use.
    Max.
     
  13. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    I generally adjust the seat to a height here I can place a my arm on the edge of the bench to steady for precision soldering with very small arm movements. My workshop bench is a little shorter than normal so I can pick up a part that gets dropped without falling out of the chair.
     
  14. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Hola Max,

    I am rebuilding my bench and bought an articulated lamp with LED light ring and magnification .

    My plan was to secure the base some 40 cm above the bench, on the wall's edge, in front of me so to speak, thus the whole things is able to cover a good area and also get out of the way, if needed by just bringing it well up and swinging it as well.

    Could you please comment?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  15. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I just get angry with myself for working so near the edge that things fall on the floor.:mad: Besides, dropping a surface mount resistor on the floor is like dropping a potato chip in front of the dog. It will never be seen again.:D
     
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  16. tom_s

    Member

    Jun 27, 2014
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    put a lip on the working edge (rear edge and sides is also helpful)

    i think we've all been to the scenario of something small falling off the workbench, on the way down little invisible motors get attached
    to them and they drive themselves behind an inaccessible piece of furniture or you never thought it could fall through that crack in the floor.
    also never falls in the the direction you heard when it bounced on the floor.

    what pisses me off, its always the last component of the type you have or the only screw that size.

    my dog turns his nose up at potato chips :)
     
  17. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    Smart dog or really bad potato chips?:D
     
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  18. MaxHeadRoom

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    Jul 18, 2013
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    Sounds like a similar arrangement, mine has around a 1 metre reach so covers enough area, my main concern was to keep the top of the bench as clear as possible.;)
    Max.
     
  19. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Don't forget the 240 VAC 30 - 100 amp line. It's not a real electronics workbench unless it has one of those.!

    (All of mine have to have one of them. ;))
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  20. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Its running that 3 core #1 AWG cable that gets tricky.
    That's next door in the Electrical Shop section.:p
    Max.
     
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