Lathe height

I posted this on RWT then noticed that group is not very active.
I have a cheap lathe I'm learning to use. I have several books from the library which are a big help but none mention the correct height for the spindle. From the pictures it appears that somewhere around elbow height is right? Mine is about 6" below my elbow. Am I worrying about nothing or should I raise the lathe? Thanks. Art
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The general guideline is about elbow height. The usual way I have seen this stated is to stand beside the lathe, hold your forearm at 90 degrees to your upper arm and the spindle centerline should line up with the middle of your forearm.
Being exact is not critical but 6 inches may be a bit much. Many cuts call for you to hold the cutting tool 45 degrees down and 45 degrees off perpendicular to the spindle. This may place your body in a clumsy position resulting in poor tool control.
Russ

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If it is a cheap enough lathe that it is light (lighter?) weight, try moving it up and down on 4x4s, cinder blocks, whatever you have on hand.
Elbow height is too low for me, and my neck hurts after too much time of being bent over the spindle for smaller stuff. I found that about 4" or so above the height of my elbow seems to be about right as it makes the spindle work easier when holding the tools at a more acute angle.
I found that raising my lathe higher than elbow height also reduced fatigue quite a bit.
Try your lathe out with something small on it at a lower speed so you can raise up the lathe a bit at a time and try out the different positions. As you have probably found out by now, one size does not fit all in turning, and everyone does things differently in woodturning. It may look the same, but it usually isn't.
Robert
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In

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wrote:

I tend to like mine a bit higher, at least for small objects. BTW, as pointed out on the turning, get in touch with your local wood turning club
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see about any local turning clubs. Art
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Comfort is the important factor. Are you comfortable with the present height of your spindle and can you control your tools with ease and comfort - and without fatigue or strain?
I would suggest that you might try raising or lowering ("lowering" may prove to be a bit of a problem, but I do not know your circumstances) your lathe and seeing if there is any improvement (or deterioration) in your comfort level.
This is an area where theory can be a useful guide but where it can only be a guide.
Richard
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