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Crusader68
10-20-2014, 12:35 AM
Does anybody else use a chair or stool while working at a machine for an extended period of time? Though I'm still fairly young, I find it extremely difficult to stand at my lathe or any other machine for an extended period of time as I'm very flat footed. Even with special shoe insoles it's almost torture to stand in one place for more than 30 mins or so and I'm looking for a simple solution. Does anyone have similar problems? What do you do?
I have one of those "anti-fatigue" mats, but they are a band-aid on a bullet hole. I've been thinking about adding a swing out stool attached to my lathe stand, like the ones that we had in our old schools here.
Any ideas?(other than suck it up or quit being a wuss haha)

flylo
10-20-2014, 12:46 AM
I can stand or walk about 40 minutes a day max so I use a shower chair with adjustable legs & a back. It's very lightweight to move around the shop & works well for me.

darryl
10-20-2014, 01:02 AM
Decades ago we bought a restaurant to run as a family business. Originally it had a long bar with milkshake machines, etc- sort of a common theme back in the '50s. Through renovations, we 'got rid' of the stools, but I kept a few. I still have one, and I fabricated a new seat for it that was comfortable to sit on. I use it if I'm going to be at the mill for any length of time. I wouldn't be able to use it in front of the lathe, and I'm not sure that I'd want to anyway.

I have placed rubber mats everywhere I'd be standing at a machine, and that helps a lot.

oldtiffie
10-20-2014, 02:54 AM
I'd be very surprised if there are not a lot more people here with similar problems.

elf
10-20-2014, 03:09 AM
Try something like this: http://www.focaluprightfurniture.com/focal-standing-seat/

darryl
10-20-2014, 04:06 AM
Yup. There was a similar 'chair' years ago where your knees rested on a padded board. It was kind of a cross between kneeling and sitting, so it put your back into a good shape. I don't know how well it worked, but I made up something similar that was good.

lwalker
10-20-2014, 08:06 AM
I have a laboratory seat that a company I worked for was throwing out. Perfectly fine $400 chair that only had a split in the upholstery, but whatever, duck tape works wonders... It's the perfect height for reaching my mill and I used it a lot a few years ago when I was having back problems. Even now that my back is fine, the chair is still handy for sitting and assembling stuff.

Try to find a local surplus office furniture place, they often carry industrial furniture also. I picked up a nice $800 Steelcase office chair for $65.

justanengineer
10-20-2014, 08:40 AM
I normally stand bc I'm usually multi-tasking between cleaning, setting up another part, etc, but Ive been known to use one of my shop stools to sit at either machine. I'm 6'4 so I do like to get down to their height a bit at times, the downside is I worry about falling over or not being able to move quickly in an "oh s$%^" moment.

browne92
10-20-2014, 08:58 AM
the downside is <snip> not being able to move quickly in an "oh s$%^" moment.

I worry about that too. I have a bar stool I keep in the shop, but I only use it when the task is repetitive and set up is proven stable. My little SB9 can only take off so much per pass, and I have many passes to take. Take one or two cuts, everything looks good, drag up the stool and relax a little. Same at the mill.

Bob Ford
10-20-2014, 09:50 AM
Standing hurts. Longer I stand more it hurts. My solution is a good office chair and computer. Work for a while then sit and do other things. This has helped stop silly mistakes and caught design errors.

Bob

tlfamm
10-20-2014, 10:00 AM
Since my lathe is elevated on 4 x 4's, I have sufficient vertical allowance for an "engineered" surface to stand on:

3/8" plywood on the bottom + 1/2" rubber pad + 1/8" plywood on top (to keep swarf out of the pad). The plywood/rubber 'sandwich' (2' x 4') rests on four 1" x 3" strips evenly spaced on the bottom.* The whole construction is 1-3/4" high.

*This is to allow airflow underneath: lack of a vapor barrier under the concrete slab prohibits unventilated floor covering.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



This provides for a 6 hour session or more at the lathe, though as the time period increases, my back may begin to complain.




Personally I'm leery about sitting in front of a lathe, though my post middle-age reflexes might be insufficient to move out of harm's way even while standing.

wlpier
10-20-2014, 10:12 AM
As my Grandpop used to tell me when I was a young pup.."Don't make a job look harder than it is! If you can do it sitting down, take a seat!"

Of course, He lived through the Depression, where people were a lot more active and obesity was a lot less noticeable.

Toolguy
10-20-2014, 10:12 AM
I have a couple of chairs called SitStand. They have gas shocks so are infinitely adjustable for height within their range. They are kind of like a bar stool, only you are standing, with some weight on the stool and some on your feet. I don't use them for mill or lathe, but quite a bit when surface grinding.

A.K. Boomer
10-20-2014, 10:43 AM
Try something like this: http://www.focaluprightfurniture.com/focal-standing-seat/

Nice picture in the background too :p

ikdor
10-20-2014, 11:02 AM
Maybe you can hang yourself from a robot arm like this girl :rolleyes:
http://victoriacaruk.com/Vici-Integrex-robot.jpg

From this awesome thread on PM
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/gettin-crap-done-shop-infant-239710/

Igor

Old Hat
10-20-2014, 11:05 AM
The wide spead stance, (a little wider than the military version) helps ward off fatigue.
And lathe hands that did serious turning for 8 / 10 / 12 hours wore the edges bare on chip pans
putting one foot up (a leg up) every now and then.
BUT, when you're on a payrole, sitting doesn't send the right message.
And perception is reality to the viewer.
A good boss knows who is lazy, and who is fatigued, but that's a good boss.

Often I've seen a boss confront a man on a very long turn that is sitting down.
"So, you're all tooled up for the next opporation, Right?
And everything's put away on the bench? Realy?
Your coolant level is checked so your night~man doesn't run dry before you get home?
etc. etc. etc.

Even if it's your shop, is sitting the only option you've thought of?

Old Hat
10-20-2014, 11:15 AM
Maybe you can hang yourself from a robot arm like this girl :rolleyes:
http://victoriacaruk.com/Vici-Integrex-robot.jpg

From this awesome thread on PM
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/gettin-crap-done-shop-infant-239710/

Igor

Read the thread. Hard to believe guys dissuading keeping the kids around.
I'd rather see this,
http://victoriacaruk.com/Vici-Integrex-program.jpg
than kids gazing at the tube watch spungebob or worse.

A.K. Boomer
10-20-2014, 12:06 PM
It's true, I grew up with shows like the slapstick violence of the three stooges and action packed "johnny quest" and stuff like that,

now kids got spungebob queer pants and some kinda telitubby freaks --- hard to tell whats going to come out of all that kind of brain washing, well actually it's not I think we already know...

DR
10-20-2014, 01:10 PM
Two Hardinge machines I bought over the years had very noticeable wear on the headstock casting's paint from operators obviously leaning on the machine presumably to take a load off their feet.

For those who aren't familiar with Hardinge machines, they have high quality paint jobs approaching automobile quality. The wear spots were right where you would lean and I've done same. I find it almost as good as sitting. Emergency response time from a chair can be a problem, from a leaning position you have good visibility and ability to respond quickly.

PStechPaul
10-20-2014, 01:44 PM
I'm 65 and for more than 30 years have suffered back problems (congenital spinal stenosis) that sometimes causes painful sciatica and numbness/tingling/weakness in the legs. But I'm still usually able to stand at the milling machine or lathe for an hour or two without too much trouble. I don't think that I would be able to do much from a seated position, nor would I want to for safety reasons as mentioned. Sometimes I wear a back brace, which helps support the upper body on the hips, and takes pressure off the spine. I also sometimes use one hand to lean on the machine (it's lean machine, after all). Everyone has different conditions and thresholds of pain or dysfunction and I tend to be fairly stoic from dealing with my condition for so long, and until about 4 years ago I was playing volleyball and hiking regularly. What really set me back was degeneration of the right hip, probably caused by years of misalignment from favoring my left knee (which has no cartilage), and that also put uneven pressure on the back. Everything is connected, and when things get out of balance, problems occur.

krutch
10-20-2014, 02:52 PM
My left leg is about an inch & half short and no toes on my right foot. Left knee is giving hell due to torn meniscus and I some times need to get off it. The three machine shops I have worked for let me bring in a stool. One shop boss hated it but allowed it anyway. He stopped anyone else from using one. I guess he figured if any one was not on their feet they weren't giving their ALL for him. That guy also stated his workers should not have activity after work so they'd be rested for the next days work. I think he would be a natural for the slavery days.

I use stools in my own shop. In fact I have a stool for every machine, except the surface grinder, so I don't have to drag one around when I am using several machines in a day. I mostly don't hang around on a stool only using it when my lower end gets tired. At the lathes, it serves me when a long cut is done. At the mills, I can't always stand nor sit. The stool for them is a roll around with a bicycle style seat. It is light and easy to move out of the way if needed.

seveerz
10-20-2014, 03:21 PM
Have a old green government secretary style chair in front of lathe but do most work standing. Have a stool in front of mill, was using it today.

OT my mill is the red harbor freight type on a stand I built. On average how high should it be, table is currently about breast high in upper area of knee. I'm thinking of cutting about 6" off legs to get better ease of operation and I wouldn't need a stand to remove draw bar.

Paul Alciatore
10-20-2014, 03:33 PM
I work seated all the time. Well, almost all. I have two of these folding chairs from Wal-Mart. They can be folded to make more space, but I rarely do that. Their height seems to be good for most bench and machine work. Of course, when needed I stand up. They are fairly comfortable and I like the foot rail. I can work for hours at a time in them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/Photos%20for%20Tips/P1110033_zps354d89ca.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/EPAIII/media/Photos%20for%20Tips/P1110033_zps354d89ca.jpg.html)

As you can see, I had a problem with the front feet - yes, on both of them. A design fault: the angle of the leg and the intended angle of use of the plastic foot do not match. The rear legs are at a different angle and do not have this problem. Good engineering reins and bad engineering sucks.

I did this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v55/EPAIII/Photos%20for%20Tips/P04x38_zps6292ae83.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/EPAIII/media/Photos%20for%20Tips/P04x38_zps6292ae83.jpg.html)

I titled the second photo, "Baby Has New Shoes".

flylo
10-20-2014, 03:59 PM
The wide spead stance, (a little wider than the military version) helps ward off fatigue.
And lathe hands that did serious turning for 8 / 10 / 12 hours wore the edges bare on chip pans
putting one foot up (a leg up) every now and then.
BUT, when you're on a payrole, sitting doesn't send the right message.
And perception is reality to the viewer.
A good boss knows who is lazy, and who is fatigued, but that's a good boss.

Often I've seen a boss confront a man on a very long turn that is sitting down.
"So, you're all tooled up for the next opporation, Right?
And everything's put away on the bench? Realy?
Your coolant level is checked so your night~man doesn't run dry before you get home?
etc. etc. etc.

Even if it's your shop, is sitting the only option you've thought of?

It's my only option unless you've learned how to float. Oh yea hot air does float so you've got it made!:p

boslab
10-20-2014, 05:05 PM
Old draughtsman's stools or chairs are great, tidy backrest adjustable and a foot rest.
I have one, see no reason not to sit if it's a slow job, don't think I could ever sit for screw cutting though!
Mark

Forestgnome
10-20-2014, 06:13 PM
I use a doctor's stool, like this: http://www.amazon.com/Boss-Caressoft-Medical-Stool-black/dp/B0019QITHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413843156&sr=8-1&keywords=rolling+adjustable+stool

brian Rupnow
10-20-2014, 08:13 PM
I bought an anti-fatigue mat for in front of the mill and the lathe, and it helps a lot. I also have two different height stools, one that suits the height of the lathe, and one that suits the height of the mill. I don't always use the stools---it depends on how much Hell my arthritis is giving me on any particular day. Bobslad---draughtsmans stools-I- sat on one of them suckers for 32 years, and I loved it. That was back in the days when I smoked. The best cigarettes I ever had were the ones where after working furiously on a big drawing for 2 or 3 hours I would set back on the stool, dig out my pack of Export A's, and fire one up while I was thinking how to make the next part of the drawing. Lonnngg time ago now!!!---Brian

sasquatch
10-20-2014, 09:24 PM
I also have back and hip problems so cannot stand for any length of time, so yes i use a stool when i can.

KiddZimaHater
10-20-2014, 09:46 PM
Sitting down is absolutely NOT ALLOWED where I work.
No chairs or stools in the shop.
I'm on my feet for a 10 hour shift running a CNC VMC, then to the home shop for another couple of hours on my feet in front of the lathe.
You get used to it.

outlawspeeder
10-20-2014, 10:18 PM
Take a lesson from the bars and pubs. Put a foot rest that will allow you to put one foot 6 to 8 inches off the floor. It will help with the back. I have a bar stool but I find it being used by visitors to the shop more than me.

Mister ED
10-20-2014, 10:26 PM
You get used to it.
You, will also get older.:p

big job
10-21-2014, 05:16 AM
I'd be very surprised if there are not a lot more people here with similar problems.

count me in too. 20-30 minutes then I gotta sit down.

Peter S
10-21-2014, 05:32 AM
No one hassles the Moore Guy about the stool or his dust coat....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/PeterS/Moore195721col640x480_zps7fb5a569.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/PeterS/media/Moore195721col640x480_zps7fb5a569.jpg.html)

Tony Ennis
10-21-2014, 07:34 AM
I use a wooden stool sometimes.

rowbare
10-21-2014, 08:15 AM
Nothing wrong with sitting at a machine for long periods. However remember that your eyes are now closer to the spinny bits. Get a good pair of safety glasses and a good quality face shield like the Uvex Bionic: http://www.uvex.us/products.aspx#/folder=106&product=742. I have one and it is probably the most comfortable face shield I have ever used.

bob

JRouche
10-21-2014, 01:28 PM
My back, knees and ankles are toast. I can and do stand for short periods. If Im moving on my feet (setting up, cleaning up) Im ok. But once the power feeds kick on and the cut has started Im on my inexpensive wooden stool. Helps with the stationary standing pain.

At my steel work table I have an old small bankers chair that is on wheels. I can wheel it in to use or give it a shove outta my way. I use it for TIG welding also.

Oh?? If I am at the machine sitting I DO make sure to be outta harms way and still close enough to STOP the action for them all to frequent WHOA moments I have :) JR

A.K. Boomer
10-21-2014, 01:39 PM
I only sit when im inebriated - not too often at all but does come in handy and better than falling over and grabbing the wrong handle on the way down (ask me how I know).

Errol Groff
10-21-2014, 04:31 PM
For years at shows while taking photos for the NEMES website I would walk around stooped over to avoid taking the shots at a downward angle. I finally could not do that anymore and looked around for a "mechanics stool" to use. Found one at Sears that was only about $25.00 and gave it a try. You may have seen me scooting about at Cabin Fever or NAMES on it taking photos with much more comfort compared to stooping over. At Cabin Fever 2013 I was using it and we left there to go to NAMES, along the way I was looking for something in back of the van and realized that the scooter was missing. Must have left it in York so we kept a look our for a Sears along the way and bought another stool. Now I double and triple check that it makes it into the van after a show!

I was kind of disappointed that no one contacted me about the lost one since my contact info was in two places on the stool. Oh well.

I am a big believer in using a stool while machining. Hurt my back while an apprentice in the late sixties and it has tormented me ever since.

Errol

http://neme-s.org/

Billy Hill
10-21-2014, 08:09 PM
I only sit when im inebriated - not too often at all but does come in handy and better than falling over and grabbing the wrong handle on the way down (ask me how I know).

I LOLed. :D

jdincau
10-21-2014, 09:24 PM
Take a lesson from the bars and pubs. Put a foot rest that will allow you to put one foot 6 to 8 inches off the floor. It will help with the back. I have a bar stool but I find it being used by visitors to the shop more than me.

I will second that, it works really well for me

digiex_chris
10-22-2014, 12:50 PM
No one hassles the Moore Guy about the stool or his dust coat....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/PeterS/Moore195721col640x480_zps7fb5a569.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/PeterS/media/Moore195721col640x480_zps7fb5a569.jpg.html)

there are times I wish I had his coat. Not his safety glasses though.