Standard Height of Stationary Machines

Here are the standard heights for woodworking machines from "Humanscale 1/2/3"
46 inch = bandsaw table 42 inch = lathe centers 39 inch = radial arm saw table 36 inch = circular saw table (hand feed) 36 inch = workbench 36 inch = sander table 36 inch = shaper table 33 inch = jointer 32 inch = circular saw table (power feed) 24 inch = stool or chair for 36 inch work surface
No mention of a thinkness planer. I have mine at 30 inch but find myself bending over. I would try 33 inch, like the jointer, if building another stand.
These standard heights were developed over time to match the Average american male who was 68.8 inches tall in 1973 when Humanscale was published. My apologies to all female woodworkers who have been ignored in the development of so many workplace standards - but read on. I notice that almost every woodworking machine is lower than the above standards, and even seem to be lower than they were 20 years ago. For example my old Rockwell table saw is 35 inches but a new Delta table saw is only 32 inches. This gives great flexibility for those who are shorter than 68.8 inch (male or female) but most folks will want to raise their machines for optimum ergonomics. I have raised my equipment to the standard heights published in "Humanscale" by adding casters. That is still a little low because I am about 70 inches tall, but I am shrinking with age so it should be about perfect just before I expire.
Suggestion for calculating your ideal equipment height"
Ideal Height = Standard Height x your height / 68.8
This method is based on the assumption that our bodies are proportioned to our height - ie short people have shorter arms and legs, tall people have long ones. This is usually true.
Link to "Humanscale" on Amazon (Amazon.com product link shortened)62463407/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-6224311-8837461?v=glance&s=books
Hope this helps someone
Steven-Woodward
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Thanks ... I've seen the questions asked numerous times, and always answered with nebulous, non-answers. When I was first putting together my current shop, I could not find this particular information anywhere. I, rightly as it turns out, figured someone had quantified the information somewhere.
Probably just hadn't been under JOAT's influence long enough. :)
While it is just a guide, the information, and particularly the ratio, could come in handy.
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Try a Google search for "human factors" AND handbook:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22human+engineering%22+handbook
Those are among the engineering buzzwords that will flush out this kind of information.
David Merrill

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That would be for a bandsaw where scrollwork is being done, presumably. I don't think you'd want to re-saw at that height.

These sound right to me, plus you can use the workbench for outfeed. My Ryobi BT3100 table is almost 39 inches, which feel awkward to me. When I build a new stand for it, I'll lower it to 36-1/2 inches (allowing for some sag between the TS and the table).

Here's my idea: the bigger and thicker the stock, the lower the tool. The finer the detail, the closer to your face you want it. It's unfortunate that big re-saw bandsaws have too-high tables, necessitating a pit. Hmmm, how about a horizontal bandsaw for that?
Kevin
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Grizzly has them. I love the gigantic door that opens, with a blade that spans something like 6 feet. And they call it an easy change blade.
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Steven wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)62463407/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-6224311-8837461?v=glance&s=books
Too bad there isn't more information like that floating around for free. When I ratio those values to reflect my 3 inches of extra height, most of them are right about where I have ended up putting tools. The one exception is workbench. I have settled on a 41 inch height. I mainly use hand held power tools and do finishing and assembly on my workbench. If I were doing a lot of heavy hand tool work, the 37.6 from the list and formula would be better.
I have seen some rather humorous analysis of existing tools where human factors engineers analyze a tool and determine what size and shape the ideal operator would be. A common one that is easy to find on the web is the metal working lathe.
From: http://www.ergonomics4schools.com/faq/ergonomics.htm
Inch conversions are mine, article was metric.
Some years ago, researchers compared the relative positions of the controls on a metal working lathe with the size of an average male worker. It was found that the lathe operator would have to stoop and move from side to side to operate the lathe controls. An ideal sized person to fit the lathe would be just 4 ft 3 in tall, 24 in across the shoulders and have an arm span of 94 inches!
Now that I re-read that, it reminds me of a couple of machinists I have known :)
Rico
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