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Workbench width and height?

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Now I realize this is totally subjective but what, as a general rule, what is a good width and height for a hand tool, and power tool workbench. As it sits now its about 30'' wide and 36'' high. I'm about 5'10''. Bench is used for all assembly, planing, and anything else you'd use a bench for. I think it's too high now, just not sure how much to lower it. Is 24'' too narrow?

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I'm 6' my bench is 38" high according to the rule of thumb it's too tall. The rule of thumb is with your arms out in front of you palms down your bench should be from the floor to your palms. I have long arms so that would have been uncomfortable to me as I would have to stoop to much which is hard on my old carpenters back. Sometimes I wish it was higher I've never wished it was lower.

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I'm 5'11" and the bench I'm building will be 34" tall, 6' long, and 2' wide. If I went by rule of thumb then the bench should be 32" tall but since I'm a hybrid woodworker I decided that I wanted it a little taller. If you do a lot of hand planing then the lower bench is better. It allows you to get over top of a board and put more downward pressure on a plane. 

 

My old bench is 38" tall and I found that to be a little high when planing and when dealing with larger pieces.

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I think the traditional Roubo style bench is 24" wide so no it is not to narrow. For me, I wish my bench could be 30" deep but then that would be cutting it very close for when I need to get a car in the garage.

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Good advice from Ace. If you feel your bench is a bit high take of 1/2" and try it for a week. Keep sawing off until you hit your sweet spot. We are all individuals and tailoring your bench to your needs should be your aim. 

On width I am used to working on a 48" wide bench as we work on large items. However when I make my own bench I expect I will go for 24" as my bench will be used more for cabinet work than big joinery work. Like the height issue let your work guide you. If you feel you need some extra width add some. Did you make your own bench?

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I have a power tool oriented woodbench that was already built into my shop when I bought my house. It was almost 40" high 36" deep and that was way to tall for hand planing, but I liked it for dovetailing. I ended up cutting it down to 36" high and it helped with planing but I still find it somewhat too high. I think that is because I am 6'1" with shorter legs (31" inseam) and a long torso so I am still fairly close to the ground for a taller"ish" guy.

 

I am currently in the middle of building a new bench and I think I am going to go down to 32"/33" tall with it too try and make handplanning more comfortable and use a bench on bench type system for dovetailing. I am building only 24" of depth. That should be plenty for most pieces, and I still have the 36" deep bench for assembly if I ever find myself making something big enough to require the extra size...

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I think I am going to trim the width doen to 24 or 26'', as my shop is very tight width wise, and I am going to chop it down an inch or two and see how that is. Thanks for the replies

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I think somewhere in the 22-24" range works well for most furniture construction. That size lets you get clams just about anywhere you need to. I built the split top Roubo ( thanks Marc) and find a great deal of my work takes place on just one half the top. When I assembled a cabinet this week, the 24" worked just fine, and I could reach all the way across to clamp when I needed to. I think if you have to walk around the bench to adjust a clamp, it's too wide.

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My advice - use the rule of thumb for planning, as far as purchasing your stock. Then build the top of the bench on some sawhorses that are sized to simulate the height based on the rule of thumb. Do some work (including flattening the top by hand, if that's your choice) and see how that feels - then adjust the legs as necessary.

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My advice - use the rule of thumb for planning, as far as purchasing your stock. Then build the top of the bench on some sawhorses that are sized to simulate the height based on the rule of thumb. Do some work (including flattening the top by hand, if that's your choice) and see how that feels - then adjust the legs as necessary.

 

That's exactly what I did: make the top and set it up on sawhorses to see how it worked for me. Great advice.

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Agree with Torch and Wilbur...use the rule of thumb to get you close, but do some work with all kinds of tools before committing.  People get too caught up in "rules"...the only rule should be go with whatever feels right.  I did what Schwarz recommends without testing it out much...and I regret it.  Wish mine was a couple inches taller.

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Just to update, I have completed my workbench build, and I settled on 25'' wide and 34'' high, which seems like a pretty good height for me. I used all pocket screws for stretcher to leg connections, and it's way more solid than my last bench. Thanks.

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I am about 6' and my current bench is 32", I am in the process of building my Roubo now and am sticking with the same height. The only time I ever feel the bench is to low is when I'm cutting dovetails and such, for that the next thing I am doing is a Moxon vise. My current bench is more of a assembly bench and it worked great as a workbench when i was more into powertools, but for working on it with handtools at over 32" deep there is a lot of wasted space at the back. My new bench is 25" deep by 8'.

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