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Comfortable Working Height for a ML7

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Guy Lamb09/10/2018 22:37:44
52 forum posts

In L H Spareys's book 'The Amateurs Lathe' he suggests a convenient working height of a lathe to be the height from the floor to cross slide to equal that of the operators bent elbow to the floor. Now I've got arthritis of the lower back and I think at this height I will have to stoop a little to operate my machine meaning discomfort for any length of time, does anyone else have a thought on comfortable working heights?



Mike Poole09/10/2018 22:57:25
1924 forum posts
46 photos

A bar stool may let you sit and operate the lathe especially if you are just watching a long traverse. If you have it on a Myford stand it can be blocked up to raise the whole stand to prevent stooping. If you are making a stand you could start with it a bit high and cut it down or use a duckboard to work off.


Mark Rand09/10/2018 23:57:02
691 forum posts

I haven't yet got arthritis, although it runs in the family. But I've found with everything in the shed that having the main operations at about elbow height is the most comfortable. For those of us that are no longer in the first flush of youth, it can be worth getting spectacles that are optimised for a 'straight back' working distance at this height.

not done it yet10/10/2018 09:05:37
2910 forum posts
11 photos

I think measuring is the most important bit for stooping and making a bad back worse. But power feeds certainly help, especially if there is a trip-out system that works.

Mike’s ideas of raising either the lathe stand or the operator are good. Shortening legs is more difficult unless they are easily adjusted/levelled. Leaning against a stool is more apprpriate than actually sitting - one cannot move as quickly from a sitting position if something goes awry.

One should never allow students to sit in front of chemistry experiments, for instance - well, I never did, for one. Clear access - or escape - required at all times, and no trip hazards!

Andrew Tinsley10/10/2018 11:20:26
881 forum posts

I have an ML7 on a Myford stand and never thought about height. I have just finished refurbishing a 9x20 lathe for a disabled friend, It is approx. one foot higher than the Myford and it is a joy to use, no bending or straining. It is much higher than most lathes and I am 5 foot ten inches high. Made me think!


P.S. I now have to reduce its height considerably for use by my friend.

Mike Crossfield10/10/2018 13:21:24
186 forum posts
10 photos

I’m 6’1” tall, and raised my Super 7 cabinet by 4 inches to stop backache. A bit more would have been even better, but I happened to have a length of 4 inch square hardwood to hand.


SteveW10/10/2018 16:39:48
110 forum posts
10 photos

Make it too high rather than too low. You can always stand on a box or a pallet duckboard to see right over the top if you want or need to.

ega10/10/2018 17:08:11
1154 forum posts
95 photos

Another way of gaining extra height is to wear clogs with thick soles and heels; they are said to be good for standing on hard floors too.

Guy Lamb11/10/2018 05:40:38
52 forum posts

Thanks Model Engineers, bench top height of >36" seems to feel right minus a 1" rubber type mat. Also a bum perch will take the ache out of prolonged standing (which seems to be far worse than moving about). As for clogs, I used to ware them, ideal for hot work as they wont burn through the sole if hot work stood on, definitely a knack in getting used to walking in them. They soles were shod with steel 'caulkins' and your approach could be heard before your appearance by a couple of minutes, but very comfortable though.



duncan webster11/10/2018 09:22:01
2069 forum posts
30 photos

If you want some clogs there is a chap in Stockport still making them. Most comfortable footwear you'll ever find partly because they are made to fit you exactly, not some compromise. I find most shop bought shoes too narrow, onlt Clarke's do width fittings nowadays.

Edited By duncan webster on 11/10/2018 09:22:12

ega11/10/2018 11:16:15
1154 forum posts
95 photos

Duncan Webster:

Could you share the Stockport clog maker's details?

I used to drive in mine but I would not do so today; then again, some like to drive in bare feet.

duncan webster11/10/2018 14:23:40
2069 forum posts
30 photos

Clog maker link


He mainly makes them for Morris/Clog dancers, needs to be kept in business so that I can get mine fettled. No problem driving in mine, but I tend not to.

Edited By duncan webster on 11/10/2018 14:23:50

ega11/10/2018 14:28:47
1154 forum posts
95 photos

duncan webster:

Thank you. I love those co-respondent clogs!

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