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Proper Scroll saw height?

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  • Proper Scroll saw height?

    I have the DeWalt scroll saw and it is fine in height for me when I am standing - for a short time. However, I would like to bring it down a bit for me and sit on a shorter stool - that is little higher than a chair. Do any of you do this? I had the idea of making my own stand for the DeWalt to bring it down about 4 inches. Will I find that using a wide stool will limit my mobility much?

    I am very big on the ergonomics and most of my stationary tools reflect this. Most stationary tools in my shop are at different heights for optimal use by me and for back pain relief. I am re-organizing my shop and setting up some tools that have been in storage for the past 5 years. (I lived overseas for a long time and brought most of my tools back. Many have been in storage until recently and now I am getting a little more time and space to set my shop up right. Feels good.) I have an air conditioned / heated room about 18x18 in which my three daughters had all of their extras, college stuff, first apartment stuff and overseas keep sakes stored. Finally got them to take it this spring and summer. Now I am changing the AC/heated room into my pen turning lathe room along with being a scroll saw room - with its own DC system. I still have a few weeks to go.

    Every time I go to the scroll saw, it just seems the wrong height for long term (several hours a day) use.

    What do you do? How is yours set up in terms of height?
    Hank Lee
    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

  • #2
    Here is a picture of my setup. Notice the white foot stool. I have the foot switch mounted on it. The chair seat turns which makes it easy to use for me.
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    • #3
      Like Trackman, I use a barstool for the Hegner and DW788
      "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
      website: http://www.coincutting.com

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      • #4
        most ergonomics would recommend the table height of the saw an inch or two above your elbow either standing or setting. That is with your shoulders relaxed and your arms handing down. So you could calculate what your scroll saw height would need to be and make a stand for the saw or a tall chair.

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        • #5
          I have a custom built - rebuilt chair with wheels that was gotten from Harbor Freight. What is important to you is the your are comfortable when you are sawing if you are reaching and stretching to make your cuts or if you are hovering over the saw then your cutting will not be as comfortable as it could be. If you are seated in you chair and your forearms and hands are at a comfortable angle and distance from the works space that it where you should be working from. This differs from person to person. Some of us find that tilting the saw from back to front a little helps see the work better as well.


          DW
          Life is hard. It is even harder when you are being stupid.
          John Wayne

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          • #6
            On the advice of my physical therapist, I raised the height of my 788 in order to use it standing and/or sitting on a high wooden stool. This is due to spine & knee problems. As with Trackman, above, I also made a small foot stool for either side of the saw for comfort.
            Jack

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            • #7
              Thanks for the input and insights. Trackman's foot stool with foot pedal is the direction I need. I didn't mention bad knees, but that is also the reason I need to get off of my feet. I need to find the right stool. I used one overseas at the lathe when pen turning but not bowl turning.

              Three months ago, I changed my DW from being raised in the back to level. That also is taking a toll. I probably need to re-raise it to eliminate some of the bending over the blade.

              Thanks again and I welcome more insights.
              Last edited by leehljp; 09-10-2016, 07:06 AM.
              Hank Lee
              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

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              • #8
                I have a Craftsman shop stool with a back support and adjustable height. I use an upside down cat litter bucket for my feet. I do not use a foot switch as I find it pulls on my back.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Quartz43 View Post
                  I have a Craftsman shop stool with a back support and adjustable height. I use an upside down cat litter bucket for my feet. I do not use a foot switch as I find it pulls on my back.
                  If you have problems staying on a foot switch you should get one that is a step-on step-off type of switch. This way you don't have to keep your foot on the switch the entire time the saw is on. I have used one for years. It still allows you to keep your hands on your work on the table, but won't add the fatigue of having to keep pressure on your foot switch. From what I have read, I am in the minority using this type of switch as most people use a dead-man switch, but I can't conceive the idea of having to keep my foot on a switch all the time.

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    I suggest that rather than customize the saw to a fixed height, you get a stool that has adjustable height. I have a pneumatic, swivel, task chair, on wheels, that I scavenged from work. After adding some new padding and upholstery to the seat, it's ideal for my cramped shop. I can set it up to a comfortable height for scrolling, then adjust it for working at the bench. With an adjustable height chair, you can dial in to that sweet spot after some trial and error, rather than modifying your stand multiple times to get just the right height for you.
                    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                    • #11
                      I , like others hear, use a padded bar stool with foot rest and a back support that swivels.

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                      • #12
                        I also use an adjustable chair. My Hawk is a very tall saw.
                        Rolf
                        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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                        • #13
                          My bandsaw is of course high, so is my router table, and so is my spindle sander. But the difference between them and the scroll saw is that the scroll saw is usually more than a 5 to 30 minutes project. I don't mind the 5 to 30 minutes over the router, BS, and spindle sander. But the scroll saw work usually sees me there for much more time and my back (and knees) let me know. I didn't factor this in when I got it. I am re-arranging my shop and still haven't set it up for concentrated work on a single item. Hopefully soon.

                          I do lathe work and use a stool for it when doing pens. Except for pens, I stay prepared to move suddenly when using the lathe, and don't like a stool in my way when turning heavier objects.

                          Thanks for your help and insights.
                          Hank Lee
                          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

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                          • #14
                            I have a rolling office chair that I use in my workshop. I have adjusted the height of my scroll saw stands to put the scroll saw table at chest height as I sit in this chair. This keeps my back upright while cutting. I often cut for hours at a time like this. I do not have my scroll saws tilted down in front. Tried that and did not care for it. I use a step on- step off foot switch on all my saws and other equipment in my workshop.
                            Hegner Polymax- 3,Hegner Multimax-3,
                            "No PHD, just a DD 214"

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Jim. "Hours at a time" at the scroll saw - well two or three for me for now. I have the on/off foot pedal and use it. I need to get the right setup for me that I can live with. I can't maintain hours currently while standing and I "think" I need a seat back. Going to give it a try. Hopefully that will relieve some pressure.

                              I am going to the doctor for another nerve block in a couple of days. I have to get one about every 6 months or so. I love wood working of various kinds but I have to find a way to live WITH it!
                              Hank Lee
                              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.

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