To Sit Or To Stand At the Lathe That Is The Question

May also be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo – but best right here.

Many viewers noticed that I was sitting on a tall stool while turning last week’s project. Some needed help due to disabilities.

In this video, let’s discuss this issue and explore alternatives.

Please add your experiences and suggestions.

Good turning.

10 Responses to “To Sit Or To Stand At the Lathe That Is The Question”

  1. Les Barrett says:

    Ernie Conniver does a nice short video on a bench one can build for sitting at the lathe: “Using a Bench WhileWoodturning”.

    I have developed some serious pain issues in my knees and left ankle over the last four years. I will be taking a closer look at Ernie’s seat. I don’t dwell on my challenge. Instead, I am very thankful that the rest of my body is working in the way that I have grown used to. I’d hate to think of what it would be like to have a bad back or a loss of upper body flexibility or strength. I will be getting injections to the knees soon. That will take car of much of the problem for a year or so. Two types of injections that I am aware of, and which I have had myself are steroids and hyaluronic acid. Both do wonders for me for months at a time. Anyone with knee problems might do well to ask their doctor about this treatment.

    I hesitate to get a partial knee replacement at my age (66). If that operation goes wrong, the only fix that i know of is a full knee replacement. I am waiting for the technology to improve before taking that risk.

    It’s good to see you back in the shop!

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Alan, how are you today? Well, what can I tell ya. I always use to stand for all my projects. I’ve been sitting on a stool for the past year and a half and find it very comfortable. The reason I sit on a stool is because I was in a terrible auto accident five and a half years ago and had to wait on my doctor to give me the okay to use my lathe again. I can’t stand for too long so I decided to sit on a stool. Being six feet tall really helps that I do not have to stand in any of my turning projects. I enjoy your videos and thanks.

  3. Bill says:

    Hi Alan, thanks for all the videos that you share. I always stand but I am noticing that my knees and back get very tired. I have had a knee replacement 5 years ago and I continue to use the lathe and do hobby projects in my shop. I am going to get a taller stool and try that out on small things. I find that taking a break every hr or so gives my a break and I am able to finish my projects. I think that common sense works the best. So I will continue to stand. I look forward to your videos Alan.
    Thanks, Bill B. from Edmonton Alberta

  4. John says:

    I enjoy your videos. Thanks for the discussion on sitting while turning. I occasionally sit while turning, too. I also have a friend who is a very skilled turner and who is wheelchair bound. He has taught me the importance of short tool handles – just the opposite of most turners who stand. Sitting prevents locking the tool to the body. Instead, sitting is best accomplished with frequent movements of the tool rest to keep it close to the work and a short tool handle that allows for a greater range of tool movement without running into some part of the body. Carbide or other scrapers or gouges and other cutting tools doesn’t matter. Use the tools you’re comfortable using.

  5. Norman says:

    I find this information great and I feel that it could solve how I can carry on turning for longer periods.
    I enjoyed your video on making birds a great video. I only started wood turning in March and I’m totally enjoying it.
    Do you have video’s on tool sharpening, I’ll investigate. Thanks for your videos.

    • Alan says:

      Welcome to the world of woodturning.
      There’s a lot to learn and to do.
      One very nice aspect for me is that I can finish a project quickly without a lot of interruptions that require me to re think where I’m at.
      Alan Stratton