Monday, August 12, 2013

Bench and Back Issues - a resolution

  If you have been following along with the Blog for the last few months you know that I have had a spring and summer filled with frustration and back pain, and frustration caused by back pain too.

   The situation has resolved to where my back hurts most of the time but not too much, unless I spent an extended period of time sitting (riding in the car) or bent over at the waist.(gardening, leaning on my desk, working at my bench  etc.) My computer desk in my office was made into a standing desk over a year ago and now the  lap top that I use away from my desk looks like this:

   Yes, that is a Chromebook on top of a stool, on top of the kitchen island.  That puts the keyboard 47 inches off the floor and means that I stand very erect to type on the computer.  Standing is tiring, but not painful, so this is how it is now.

    In the shop I have a heavy duty rolling work table that I have been using for years. It is a good height for sawing and planing and when I need to do smaller work or carve I would sit on a stool at the work table.

   Sitting is not a good idea any longer and bent over and working is just a recipe for disaster.  The solution was a higher bench top upon which to work.  I have turned my mind to all sorts of solutions, raising this bench on blocks, or building a new top for the bench that is raised.  I even thought of retiring this bench/work table completely. (not a good idea 'cause it has good storage)

   The solution was of course staring me in the face, but I couldn't see the forests for the clutter in the workshop.  I have a KREG Klamping Table:

Kreg KKS2000 Klamp Table w/ Steel Stand Combo

on wheels no less.  Which I have used for several years, and think the world of, but it was too low too.  In a moment of inspired "obviousness" I checked the table and noticed that it was set at its lowest height.  I set in there to have it close to the height of the work table.

   It was just a couple of inches taller than the work table, not enough to make a big difference in the strain on my back......but.....a few minutes with a socket and nut driver and voilà:

   it is now 7 inches taller than my old work table, a total of 41 inches off the ground and now usable for smaller work and I am planning a Moxon style vise, 

Moxon style bench with high end hardware

   to clamp onto the Kreg Klamp Table to enable me to cut dovetails and other small joints.  That will add an inch or two and now the back stain issues should be "but a happy memory, of a far off time and place" or a least less so than now.

     The solution was at hand all the time and required spending exactly no extra money.

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