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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've ordered the INCRA LS Super System and now need to make a table to fit it.

I'm thinking of combing the traditional table routing with hand held routing. I've discovered that using a router hand held on a normal work bench is not ideal as I'm never at the correct height to see what's happening.

So I want to make the router table high enough to be able to clamp pieces on it to rout hand held.

So.......

What's the ideal height relatively speaking? (twelve inches above my belly button etc?)

For what it's worth, my current table, a Triton effort is 90cm and my back aches after a half hour of routing.

Thanks.
 

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Hilton, I find it good when mine is at the same height as my table saw - but do what you feel comfortable and safe with. If you need it higher than its current position, consider sitting it atop of some lumber that will elevate it to a more desirable elevation.
Good luck,
 

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Interesting question. I do most of my woodwork outdoors on folding workbenches only about 32" in height, and my back suffers. Some good food for thought here:
ErgoMatters
They say 4-6" below elbow height for work involving downward force. Though that seems a bit high to me for a router table.
I like Otis' suggestion, if you lift up your current table you can see what height's comfortable for you.
 

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Andy, 4-6" below your elbow gives you the most comfort and control.
 

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when you say, it is not "at the correct height to see", i assume you mean it is too low?

i think it is a personal preference thing ... too low for you might be too high for someone else. you will be happier when the height is right for you (based on your personal observations) as opposed to the "optimal height", however that is defined.

that said, i made all my tables the same height ... 34.5". that was the off-the-shelf height of both my table saw (skil) and the rolling craftsman took chests i have, so i standardised on that height for the other tables i made (router and workbench).

your 90cm is 35.43", so that is just a tad higher than mine are.
 

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I have some height adjustable feed stands for use with table saws that I use to do mock ups when trying to figure out how high something should be.

I just did a spot check on where the top of my 'planing bench in the works' is at now. 5" below my elbow. It was 2 1/4" lower, and was ok at that height, especially for hand tool work where I need to lean into it more sometimes. After I put a bench dog surface across the top of it I soon discovered that the minor adjustment in height was better over all.!

5" below my elbow is what works best for me.
 

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You might be better off with 2 tables. I have one benchtop one that puts it at about breast height and it works great for small pieces. I have a freestanding one that is about waist high and it is better for bigger/longer work.
 

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My brother has suggested to me that what I really need is a warehouse with like 50K sq feet. I'm quite sure that I could make do with 10k though.....:) That would provide me with enough room for all the stationary toys to stay set up, even with fancy feed tables on both ends of them. Toss in a workbench or four, and we are talking paradise....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, I like the idea of testing the height with the drill press. Having my forearms parallel to the ground seems to be what I'm most comfortable with. Looks like the table surface would need to be about 110cm / 43". If I need to get lower for a bigger piece then I can always just use my bench.
 

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Theo
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Got to agree with going with what's most comfortable for you. I am not tall, 5'7" now, and read the 'proper' height for my table saw at my height. That height is several inches lower than is comfortable for me. However, at my first try with my shop built stand it was a bit (a lot) too tall for me, so lopped six inches out of it. Just right now.
My router stand tho is much lower. Because I sit on a chair to use it - bad back, and can't stand in one place too long - don't use the saw for more than a few minutes at a time usually. Just figure out what's most comfortable for you and go with it.
My cane is several inches taller than it 'should' be for my height also.
It's not what you're told, it's what you know. - Granny Weatherwax
 

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Thanks everyone for the input. I'm in the middle of building my own table and this is terrific grit for the mill. I can see why being below elbow level is important for strength and comfort.
Thanks boys.....
 

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I can see why being below elbow level is important for strength and comfort.
Thanks boys.....
Well, that's interesting. I just checked, and mine (saw, scrollsaw, router table) are at, or a bit above, elbow height, and that's proved to be just right for me. But like as has been said, whatever 'you' feel safe and comfortable with, is what counts.
 

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theo, elbow height for me is about 4 feet. i am about 5'10", so i am pretty average height. my table saw is at 34 1/2", or over a foot lower than your table saw is. it seems to me that is a very big difference for a table saw height.

of course, this is just me, but i would not want my table saw to be that high.

do you have a custom table saw table, or is it just extremely adjustable, or did yours come that height from the vendor?
 

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I've recently built a standalone Incra-based RT - it's 42" working-height; while my Unisaw is a stock 34" - the new RT is great for my 6'6" frame. Tablesaws and other equipment built for mass-consumption are set at an 'average' height of the adult male (no offense intended for our female members) population. I've struggled most of my life with things being too low (think EXIT signs, for one).
Set your RT height according to Mike's guidance, above - he's quite knowledgeable.
MJCD
 

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Theo
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theo, elbow height for me is about 4 feet. i am about 5'10", so i am pretty average height. my table saw is at 34 1/2", or over a foot lower than your table saw is. it seems to me that is a very big difference for a table saw height.

of course, this is just me, but i would not want my table saw to be that high.

do you have a custom table saw table, or is it just extremely adjustable, or did yours come that height from the vendor?
I just checked. My elbow height is about 43. Which would mean my saw top is probably 44-45", about a foot taller than yours. Does seem like a lot of difference, doesn't it.

Most of my cutting is with a saw sled, and I find I control the cutting easily at that height. I very seldom cut without a sled, and only occasionally four foot long stock. However, I have found that at that height, and cutting without using a saw sled, only the fence, I am much less inclined to unconsciously stand behind the blade. Don't ask me why that is, but it is; and standing behind the blade while cutting is something I totally dread.

Nope, my saw is a HF bench saw I got new in about '97 I believe, and still going strong since. I made the stand out of 1/2" plywood, and revised that same stand, also with 1/2" plywood. It's totally stable, and light enough to shift the saw around as needed.

If I were to make a new stand for the saw, would it be the same height, taller, or lower? Honestly, I can't answer that until and if I make a new stand. I will say that I am working on a new cane design, and my next one is going to be at least 1" taller than my present one. Actually I'll be making them way overlong, so can be cut to length preferred by each individual user - I'll be making some 'trial' canes at various lengths, so marked, and have a very nice old Craftsman Armstrong miter saw I'll use to cut to length, on site.

I had to make do so many times in the Army, I probably got used to working with things not properly suited. Ah well, works for me.
 
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