Sitting At The Lathe

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buzzardbait

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Hello all, I'm new here. This section really caught my eye. I'm a pretty much, retired machinist. I only work a couple of hours a week anymore, if that. I'd still like to do some hobby stuff, though. The trouble is, my legs are shot and I can't stand for more than a few minutes at a time.

I've tried a stool, at my old South Bend but, it's just too awkward - knees get in the way. I know that I could get close enough with a Taig or Sherline however, I don't know if I'd be happy with such small machines.

What I'd like to find out is, what have you guys have done to larger machines, to be able to run them from a seated position?

Thanks,
Buzzardbait
 

Mosey

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Welcome to the forum, buzzardbait!
I am older than dirt and under orders from the Orthopod Not to work standing. So, I am getting used to the discipline of working at the lathe and mill sitting on a high chair. Knees fit under the lathe chip pan, and it is possible to learn and get used to it. Keep making hot swirly chips that go down the front of your shirt. Feels great (much better than sitting in a rocker with some old women).
 

tattoomike68

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buzzardbait I have 2 stools one with a screw so it goes up or down and a 3 leg one with a back rest thats tall so my knees dont poke out too far.

I worked for years with a bad back and understand what you are dealing with. Just a few months back I found out I have diabetes, I could not read a book so now Im half blind. As far as that on the computer I hold down the CTRL key and move the mouse scroll wheel and it makes the computers letters big real quick.
 

Blogwitch

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Bb,

I have a fairly small shop with a central aisle, machines and benches on either side.

I actually have three receptionist chairs and one bar stool. I can just stand up from one and park my bum on the next one down the aisle, or skoot about on castors with a couple of them.

I had the same trouble as yourself with the lathe, but now I have the chair facing at an angle towards the headstock, but actually placed at the back end of the saddle. My knees are not touching the lathe, but at an angle to the front face of the drip tray.
That way, the floor brake can be operated with my right foot, and all other operations are as normal, except that the chips don't fly into my face as they normally would, but between me and the headstock.

I find that these high receptionist chairs can actually be set for perfect height for all my machinery. The bar stool is for use when I get to use my small manual surface grinder.


John
 
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Maryak

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Buzzardbait,

Welcome to our forum. wEc1

Best Regards
Bob
 

Captain Jerry

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WARNING!!! :eek: :eek:

If you value your eyesight do not follow the above link and scroll down to the 31st line of stools.

Jerry
 

j_e_f_f_williams

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Hello,

I am able bodied but do sometimes still sit at the machine for long repetitive work (I really need to add some power feeds to the mill). My wife is a dental hygienist and the chairs they use at the dental office I found to be rather handy.

http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/590/draft_lens9958881module89648291photo_1270694259camping__link_014.JPG

It goes up and down (quite a long range), nice foot rest at the bottom and they are meant to sit either facing parallel or perpendicular to the patient/lathe/mill. The back rest can be adjusted and swung around so it can be a backrest, arm rest or even in front of you to lean on when you are looking close to something.

Anyhow, thought I would add another chair option.
TTYL, Jeff
 

compspecial

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Welcome Buzzardbait! hope you soon find a comfortable solution to your seating problem.
Stew.
 

robcas631

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I find having enough room to be able to fit under the table and be able to bend over and pick stuff up helps. Those grabber things help tons! So table height is important. I also think that a good chair helps. Each person has their own situation regarding back support. Having bins in front of you that can be picked off their mounts helps. This way if you are looking for a thing you don't have to feel for them, all you have to do is sort by sight. BTW: I can provide pictures of those. Having an upper shelf helps if it's as big as your counter because you can mount chucks and other important tools on little bungees and the like. Having a dentists' mirror helps. Also a shop vac close by. For chips I use paper towels Having them mounted close by helps. If you have problems standing up get rid of your shoes. They cause a lot of problems. Have a great radio. Keep a positive attitude when working! If you don't then it shows. Well that's all I can say for now.

Thanks for creating this forum. ~ Rob
 

Troutsqueezer

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buzzardbait said:
I know that I could get close enough with a Taig or Sherline however, I don't know if I'd be happy with such small machines.
Thanks,
Buzzardbait
It is very possible that you will like them more for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is they are geared to model engine making. They are small, but not cheap.
 

Max_Power

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A bit different idea that might help some. I'm still pretty young, But I have one foot/ankle(right) that has some serious issues and has been hacked up and a large part of which is grafts. It can kinda get to bothering me. I'm addicted to my new machining hobby, And for part-time work I am a transmission rebuilder which is largely standing bench work. Both at home and work I use a short foot stool, about knee height that has a padded top. I just rest my bad leg's knee on the top of it while I stand with the other...keeps the weight off foot/ankle. You can adjust the height of the stool and at some point actually "unload" the leg you are still standing on considerably. I feel almost as mobile as I do standing, and don't get that tipping feeling I get leaning side to side on a high chair. One with pain in both legs might be able to alternate to develop a "Duty-Cycle" Todd
 

pete

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If your South Bend is one of the smaller bench type ones then there's no requirement to have a lathe bolted down in the normal flat position. A heavy duty benchtop with a angled top surface say between 10-25 degrees would give you a far better view of what exactly your trying to see and operate. Add a leg well under that with a decent highth adjustable SWIVELING chair seat, And WITH CASTORS for the maybe "I gotta move right now away from this part that's moving but shouldn't be emmergency" and your mostly back to a somewhat normal standing position. Added bonus, Swarf ends up at the front to be easily cleaned up. Flood coolant would not be recommended without a custom built level chip pan. It might take awhile to get used to the controls being angled down so everything is back to automaticly grabbing the right control without thinking about it, But a short muscle retraining curve and your back to auto mode. I'd be real interested if you try this to see if it works as well as I think it would. There's at least CNC slant bed lathes built like this so I certainly haven't invented anything new.

Pete
 

02sheslop

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I get problems with my knees sometimes too.

It might be a riddiculous idea but would there be any problems with suspending yourself from the cieling from a climbing harness to take most the weight? Kinda like those things you can get for your toddler...
 

pelallito

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If you aren't careful when you put the harness on, you might find yourself walking funny and in a great deal of pain...
Just a thought. :big:
Seriously, perhaps something like a bosuns chair.
Fred
 

Todd...

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with my 10l and the full size sheet metal cabinet under it there is not much room for the legs to fit. but something i just did revently thta has really helped with sitting under it, as well as using it standing up was putting some 6x6" timber under the legs to raise up the whole lathe. i am fairly tall so i have always thought the lathe to bee too short and was tired of bending over all the time killing my back. another benefit of raising it up some was me being able to sit at it better with a higher stool meant for sitting at a kitchen counter
 

stovepipe

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I bought a fixed height bar stool from one of our multiples, and with a couple of cushions, it is just the right height for sitting at my workbench. Also the back is higher than a normal bar stool, and gives me enough support. One of those adjustable office chairs with gas cylinder adjustment would be useful, but probably not high enough for my bench.

Dennis Franklin
 

GailInNM

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Drafting chairs are available that are just like the office chairs only taller.
I have had one for about 10 years and it works well. When looking at them you see that they come in several different height ranges and adjustment range. This is the equivalent to the one I have . The seat on it adjusts from 21 to 31 inches high.

http://www.staples.com/Global-Deluxe-Fabric-Drafting-Chair-Black/product_864753

And this link it to the general page on drafting chairs at Staples.

http://www.staples.com/Drafting-Chairs-Stools/cat_CL166264

Gail in NM
 

kevin45

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When I was working at the shop before going on disability, I ordered one of these type of stools from I believe either Penn Tool or MSC. The height is fully adjustable and although you can't actually sit with your feet off of the ground, you can park a butt cheek or two on it and it takes the load off of your feet. I ordered one because I have a bad back from getting kicked by a horse when I was young, then later on in life I had a diving accident where I hit my head on the bottom of a concrete pool. Someone tripped and pushed me. THe chair really does help for ones that can't stand on there feet for long periods of time.
 
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