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Cowboy up and do just it
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been using a table saw for over 34 years with the top hitting me at my mid chest and I figured with my own table saw which I bought 2 years ago, it was about time to make it fit me. I’ve used my table saw without any serious problems; however, even though I’m accustomed to living in a big world, it is a little awkward. I’ve been thinking that if the table saw hit me around the belly button it would be best. I was watching Tommy Mac on Rough Cut the other day and realized that his table saw hit him right at his belt. I then thought that if my upper body bends at the waist it might be best to lower it even more.
If you can, please respond to both of my questions.
1) What is the best ergonomic TS height?
2) If I lower it down to my waist, there will only be around 14” under the TS to the floor. Would this be enough for saw dust without a DC system?
 

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Old School
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A majority of my work now is consulting with shops, and early this year ran into that exact problem. The shop owner had been working for another shop and went out on his own with one helper.

The saw he bought was an old Delta contractor saw. The shop he left used a Unisaw which was very uncomfortable for him as he is short. In using a saw, and sometimes all day long, other than it being too high for leverage, it presented other problems. The floor in the other shop was smooth concrete, and in leaning over the saw in operation, or in reaching over the back when the saw was off, his footing was unsteady and on a few occasions had to really catch himself from falling onto the table.

Operators of table saws usually use the stands that are available for benchtop type saws and contractors saws. Those put the saw about the same height as the Unisaw. So, what I suggested was to remove the saw from the frame, and and make a base. In addition, he wanted outfeed tables.

So, here's what he did. He bought two sets of the folding legs for banquet type tables, and two hollow core doors. He added a ¾" plywood plate to the underside of the doors to brace for the leg brackets. Once together it finished about 31". He then built a box, (3 sides, and a bottom) and framed the top edge to mount the saw. He made a slide out full height drawer for the opening to catch sawdust. The box just slid on the floor of the box...worked good.

He also added casters to the box so it could be moved. The overall height finished the height of the tables. The actual box was about 15", so to answer your question, that will work OK. The working height was more comfortable, which was close to the table height of his jointer.






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My TS stands about 38" on the mobile base, which matches the height of my workbench that doubles as an outfeed table. Both are just above waist height....whatever is most comfortable is probably best. Have you considerd building a platform to raise you as opposed to lowering the TS?
 

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knotscott said:
My TS stands about 38" on the mobile base, which matches the height of my workbench that doubles as an outfeed table. Both are just above waist height....whatever is most comfortable is probably best. Have you considerd building a platform to raise you as opposed to lowering the TS?
This would be ok IF, AND ONLY IF, your shop is big enough that your saw isn't in the path of walking to/from your other tools....
Make the platform as large as possible....
 

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where's my table saw?
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I designed an ergonomic bandsaw....?

The saw assembly was mounted on a hydraulic cylinder to allow the operator to change the table height:


Another time I used my Craftsman 10" bench tablesaw "off the bench" and put it on the ground out side making the table surface about 16" high. I working alone ripping a lot of 2X construction lumber and only had low in and outfeed supports, so I just took it off the bench.

My point is make it what ever height works best for you..tall short or average. Ergonomics is "personal" and that's why adjustable steering columns and seats were designed into autos and trucks.
The interior designers at GM, where I worked went to great ends to allow all sizes of operators to fit the vehicles. We measured all our employees and anyone who came along, in terms of their gross body dimensions. We had a "human factors" engineer and staff and entered all the data into a computer program to develop a range of dimensions to become the standards for design. One of the most striking examples was "seated eye height". We had 2 employees who were the same height when standing, sit on a solid surface and measured to the top of their heads. There was about a 1 ft difference.:eek: People's torsos, necks, and heads are all different sizes. Shaquille O'Neil and the little blue haired lady who can't see over the hill paint the picture.


What ever works best for you!
Cowboy up, or down as the case may be. :laughing:
 
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Cowboy up and do just it
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
woodnthings said:
The interior designers at GM, where I worked went to great ends to allow all sizes of operators to fit the vehicles. We measured all our employees and anyone who came along, in terms of their gross body dimensions. We had a "human factors" . . .

Cowboy up, or down as the case may be. :laughing:
LOL. The human factor does not work for me. There has not been a single automobile I have been able to climb in and drive without making modifications (i.e. peddle extensions, seat lifters, and something to push me closer to the steering wheel). Going to buy a new car consists of me bringing a friend to so the test drive or have the sales person do the test drive for me as I sit in the passenger seat. This is also the case with all the GM cars I've driven.

BTW, this is WY and I always cowboy up. If you have ever been kicked in the privates by horse that's 14 hands and still have to work while in pain and only able to go to the ER 3 hour later, you will know what it means to cowboy up. LOL. Real story that happened to me about 9 years ago.

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where's my table saw?
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OK, but....

Your gross body dimensions are "off the chart" so to speak and car designers can't fit the range extremes like Shaq or yourself,. This where the aftermarket comes in with modifications to seat height, or removing the front seat entirely in Shaq's case and driving from the rear seat..... I think that was in VW Bug ...I donno?

As far as table saw height it's a much easier fix,unless it a cabinet saw, but I would not let that stop me either if I were you. A die grinder with a cutoff wheel or a recip saw with a metal blade can take off the bottom 12" and you'l be none the worse for wear..... if that would help. Welding the original base back on is no big deal to a competent welder. This is your livelihood, so do whatever it takes. :yes: Most power tool cabinets can be shortened with no loss of efficiency.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Cowboy up and do just it
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
woodnthings said:
Instead of shortening a cabinet saw just get a hybrid saw and remove the legs. A bench saw can be used without the legs also.
Here's some examples:
http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2009/01/top-10-hybrid-table-saws-craftsman-vs-grizzly-vs-steel-city-vs-jet-and-more

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1-2-hp-10inch-table-saw-or35505/p-00922114000P?prdNo=3&blockNo=3&blockType=G3

I have this one, the older model Bosch 4000:
The problem is that I already have a table saw that I spent $650 for only 2 years ago and as a public school teacher, I don't make a ton of money to replace expensive tools at a whim. I need to work with the Bosh TS I have now. It will work well on a stand. My waist is 29" from the floor and my belly button is 32" from the floor. I think I'm going to split the difference on the side of my belly and make the top 31" from the floor. When you take in account the height of the TS body, there will not be much room under it for sawdust. I think I can work with that though.

I'm right in the middle of building a workbench. I do have some design questions about that for another thread; however, I planned on building it at 29", which is what it is at right now. Although, it would not be hard to add another 2" by slightly changing the design. That way it can be the same height as my TS, just an inch under my belly button.

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Paul
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Step up

Why don't you make a platform so you can be safe. I would think that it would be a simple solution and could be taken out of the way if needed and used for other tools as well.
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Paulespo said:
Why don't you make a platform so you can be safe. I would think that it would be a simple solution and could be taken out of the way if needed and used for other tools as well.
I would feel safer standing on solid ground.

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