Proper Lathe Height

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Joined
Jun 19, 2015
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Location
Jacksonville, Florida
New turner to the fourm, and new to turning in general...

I've completed my workbench this week, I'll post pictures later once I've got the finishing touches applied. I set the lathe on the work surface and it's maybe a scad bit high. I was wondering if there is a good standard for lathe height? I'm tall (6'4"), so I had to make my own bench. Is there a "rule of thumb" for body position as it relates to the lathe surface?

Thanks in advance,

Tom
 
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JimB

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Mar 18, 2008
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West Henrietta, NY, USA.
The basic rule is the lathe center height should be at your elbow. I'm 6' 1" and recently raised my Mini lathe to about elbow height. It was about 1.5 inches lower. It took a little getting used to the new height.

My large lathe was also lower. I just raised that one as well but haven't used it much since raising it.

Bottom line is to have it at a height that is comfortable for you and your turning style. For me the raising of the lathe hasn't changed my spindle turning but what it did do is I don't need to bend over as much when doing hollowing of bowls or just examining a work piece.
 

csr67

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Jan 27, 2015
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Eastvale CA
25 years here as a professional ergonomist, and I can tell you that there's no one height bench that will fit all. The prior tip about elbow height is spot on. If you can get the centerline of your lathe (mandrel) at elbow height, that should be a neutral and comfortable position for work. I'm 6' and have my Rikon on a tall workbench that luckily puts it just about where it should be.
 

Bear-31

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Jun 4, 2008
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Location
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
I started at elbow height but found it slightly uncomfortable on my neck. I have a tendency to want to look really close at my work and my neck would cramp after a while. I found that about an inch above elbow height relieved that problem and is much more comfortable to me. Downside is that I'm 6'3" and very few visitors are comfortable turning on my lathe without some sort of step.
 

nativewooder

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Feb 26, 2009
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Fort Pierce, Fl 34982
The proper height is determined by whether you stand up straight or slumped down. Do not cut the legs on your stand until you get a mat or two to stand on as suggested. Remember, you will possibly be doing woodturning for 20 or 30 years.
 
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