View Full Version : shop chair

11-05-2004, 08:09 PM
I find now that I need to get off my feet more than I use to in the shop. Back pain and so on. Some due to picking up those small and very heavy blocks of steel. If they were as big as there weight I wouldn't have been so foolish over the years. I was going to build a chair.Thought about it many times but this time it is going to happen. My idea is somthing with 4 wheels. Two small pivots on the front 2.5" and two larger 6" to 10" on the rear. Then a bar stool type seat set in the middle. Stable, yet able to move side to side (left or right of the cross slide) with ease. Anybody got something like this or maybe better.I want to be able to use it all day long not just every now and again. At one point I considered getting an old wheel chair but that is too extreem.

11-05-2004, 08:15 PM
My sitting "all" the way down a hundred times is almost as bad as not sitting down at all.

I am putting my old tattoo barber chair down there. It weighs about 300lbs, hydraulic pump up to height and a place to rest my feet. And quite a few memories..


charlie coghill
11-05-2004, 08:27 PM
I have a dentist chair in my shop for doing a little relaxing. It sure works good for a short nap. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

11-05-2004, 09:11 PM
I made one from pipe. flat bar and cut out circles.

It had 3 legs and could get close to a mill or lathe and had footrest braces for comfort.

3 peices of 3/4 water pipe 32"long
3 peices of 3/4 water pipe 6" long
2 circles of 1/8" about 9"(the buttplate and back rest)
1 16" of 3/16 flat bar bent about 75 to 80 degrees.
3 2" circles from 1/8" plate for foot skids.

I made it in about 45 minutes from junk laying around the shop and have used it 5 years.

And it is fire proof(for welding), take care of that back buddie. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

11-06-2004, 05:21 AM
I have two somewhat different stools I use in the shop, but what I would like is one with a somewhat triangular seat, vaguely like a bicycle seat. A chair makes your legs jut forwards, and a regular stool supports too far down my legs. I would prefer to have one where my legs and feet still are carrying a good part of my body weight, so I can rest on my a--, but still have instant mobility. Standing is tiring, sitting in my opinion is dangerous, but something halfway between gives you a break while leaving you alert and quickly mobile. Basically, you'd be sitting about halfway down.
I worked in a shop once where I was the only one allowed to sit while working. Apparently, if any of the other workers sat, they would automatically stop working. I got lots of dirty looks from then until the boss told them that I was able to work that way while they weren't. They seemed intrigued with that, and kept an eye on me for a while, then they accepted it. This was in Africa.

11-06-2004, 07:48 AM
This is what I use in the shop. It doesn't roll around and is a little awkward to move around but it does take some of the weight off your legs. Think this is what Darrly is using also.


Good luck with making something that will make it more comfortable to work in the shop.


11-06-2004, 08:12 AM
This is a touch embarrasing but heres my story.Much to the chagrin of my darling wife I find many neat things at our local dumpster.For a variety of reasons,I'm sure,there seems to be a never ending supply of tattered computer rolling swivel chairs at the dump.Most are too short for machine work,but work nicely for auto/MC's.But the last one I "rescued" was for some reason a taller one.It is used to roll between a work table and BP and lathe.Used for setup,then I stand to machine.It had a torn corner which was repaired with a wad of 200mph tape.Couldn't have done a better repair on seat myself!Guess it wasn't up to previous owners decorating levels?

Snagged a pristine 1970's lab stool from above emporium as well.Its beige painted metal stand with Maple plywood formed seat and back.It sits next to phone and surface plate.

Just yesterday snagged a 60's Electrolux vacuum complete with all attatchments including factory external cord winder.Only thing wrong with it is a badly worn original cord.I've talked with several machinist buddies and they recomend NOT using it to vacuum chips from the eguip.HaHa.It is a cute little rascal though.

Good luck with your quest.BW

Michael Az
11-06-2004, 09:35 AM
I make use of a bar stool for running the lathe and mill. The height is just right. I've got bad feet and hips so I also have a lower plusher chair for taking "breaks". It is a seat I pulled from my Freightliners. Very comfortable.

11-06-2004, 09:49 AM
For relaxing I find the old '50s style barber chairs to be the best. I have 3 of them and they are better than any other chair that I have ever owned.


11-06-2004, 09:53 AM
I have made several over the years. The best one was a old harley police saddle I welded to a three legged frame.

I left it at the place I worked, was rehired two years later. I almost got into a fight reclaiming my seat. The welders had been using it since I have left, it was perfect for welding up tanks from the inside out.

Ajax, a young black man, They'd lower a dye tank down over him, he'd take off all his clothes and tig weld the inside of the tank while someone or several people tig welded the outside. I'd go by and see his naked ankles down below the tank (tank about six inches off ground and his pants folded neatly outside. I would think. I'd peel like I had the mange. I didn't want the seat back after that. After he quit they made a motorized deal to roll the tank on it's side.

No clue what happened to the seat after that. The ulpolstery had fell off it anyways from all the welding.

Tractor seats are similar if you go to scrounging up a seat.

11-06-2004, 11:19 AM
How bout something like this, it is a little pricey but I assume most people on this board could probably build one there self.


11-06-2004, 04:26 PM
Joe, that's pretty much what I have in mind. A picture tells it better than words.

11-06-2004, 04:43 PM
Gunsmith, I found the shop chair you need and the web sit even gives drawings and instructions on it's construction. Check it out at http://www.kenlowe.com.au/barstool.htm
I've started construction of mine!
Good luck, Mel

[This message has been edited by lugnut (edited 11-06-2004).]

11-06-2004, 06:39 PM
My legs don`t work so good now so I use the wheel chair to make my way around the workshop, its much safer and less frustrating than crutches. I have a bar stool at the workbench and a step stool at the lathe.
BW, I also check the inorganic collections, much to my good wifes` despair http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif What I am looking out for at the moment is a hydraulic or pneumatic architect chair that has long travel for use at the lathe; my balance can`t be trusted and I have almost fallen onto the chuck a number of times http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
What you might try doing with that vacuum is place a drum between the vacuum and nozzle for the heavy materials to drop into, it sure saves the vacuum from premature death. Mechanics stools are another good idea but would need a bit of height adjustment for engineering use.
For relaxing in the w/shop I have an old chrome tilt/swivel office chair and a desk for my feet. And the w/shop stereo.

[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 11-06-2004).]

11-06-2004, 07:33 PM
WJ: Ya got it almost exact. Now picture that with wheels. Hay lug nut. Can you see a stuck throtle in a confined space? Gypsie, I'm working on a 53 Ford tractor right now and I can't believe I never thought of the tractor seat. They are the most comfortable seat ever made. Now attatch that to a good roll around frame. The frame from lugnuts death machine without the engine and a set of caster wheels?????

11-06-2004, 09:00 PM
I have two stools in the garage.

One is an old bankers stool with wheels and a small back rest along with a rail for my feet. It works well for me at the welding bench while TIG welding also (actually if it were a little lower that would be nice, I have to hang my butt off the front edge of the stool to reach the foot pedal, I'm a short legged kind).

Then I have a wooden bar stool, the cheapy kind. I use that at my wood work bench while pretending I know what I am doing messing around with electricity. Dunno, just figured if I grabbed a hot line the wood will help to keep me from getting grounded.

[This message has been edited by JRouche (edited 11-06-2004).]

11-06-2004, 09:18 PM
I think I need a new one...


11-07-2004, 12:52 AM
Evan, that looks kinda new to me, is that hole a design feature or do you just spend lots of time in the shed? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-07-2004, 10:46 AM
Evan, my being nearly 300 lbs I make them kind of chairs look like that when they are new..

I actually watched a guy stand in one of them to change a light bulb. I spoke up, he said he does it all the time. gee, he must've got a good one.

Stumbling, falling, or just mis stepping can destroy the cartilidge in your knee. I have been lucky so far.

Speedy Be careful,

My pup has started another Alpha trait, pushing by you. He forces his way though between your knees, pushes by at the most inopportune moment. I have nearly fell twice now. I beat the heck out of him and I think he understood what for.

I really love that dog. When he carries out expensive parts from my shop he sneaks. I have seen him look around to see what I am doing then grab it and quietly go out the door. I lost a whole set of screwdrivers. Two $45 bearings. and small items. It's like having a spoiled child who does not get enough attention.

A good barber chair will bring $300 from a tattoo artist. A good dentist chair will bring more. I noticed someone say they had half a dozen. That is a bridgeport from a auction.

11-07-2004, 03:36 PM

As you know, the only way to deal with an alpha male dog is to intmidate it. It must lie down and expose it's belly. If it won't then you have to thrash it until it does. Otherwise you will have to kill it. I have a very loyal bear dog. I had a very loyal white german shepard. He died of old age. We loved that dog. We love our bear dog. She will eat anything that comes within reach, unless it is human. Humans she will judge. If she doesn't like them she will stand back. If she does like them extremely then she will nibble thier fingers, ever so gently. Otherwise she will just stand back and watch them. With a two year old baby she will let it pull her eyes out of her sockets befor she would even open her mouth. It is her nature. The Bear Dogs have been bred for over a thousand years to hunt big game AND protect the fanily. She is remarkable.

Steve Stube
11-07-2004, 03:48 PM
I like to get off my feet when I can too. I have 4 stools in my shop 2 w/back rest, 2 w/o and they help spare me some leg and back pain when it is practical to use them at a task. The best set-up I have found for extended periods of setting is a 6 gallon pail with lid. I use one for doing most of my job planning at positioned at convenient height drawer pulled out with a homemade writing surface attached. I do a fair amount of honing and lapping sometimes a full days worth at one setting, the pail is the best for this. I'm short and this position allows me to have my feet flat on the floor with my knees only slightly higher than my hips. I set up the equipment to match my position and can easily turn to use each station. I'll give up looks for comfort any day.

After writing this it occurs to me that if I can attach a lazy susan to the bottom of that pail without screwing up the comfortable height aspect it could be an improvement.

[This message has been edited by Steve Stube (edited 11-07-2004).]

11-07-2004, 07:48 PM
Steve, what you describe doing with your paint pail is a mechanics stool design but with a softer seat ( I`ve used pails also and they are nice and comfy on the b/side )Another option might be to shorten a swivel office chair and mount on a plywood disc with swivel casters. The p/wood disc serves to carry tools,coffee etc. When working from my w/chair on floor level items it is a p.i.t.a but it exercises my body, leastways that is how I endure .
Dave , I had to give my good dog "Bruce" a good hiding when he was younger but that was the only time and I didn`t like doing it one bit,He wouldn`t listen and ran away from me at every oppertunity I think due to his previous owners behaviour. he got lots of love and respect from me after that lesson.I had to say goodbye to Bruce when he got cancer at age 13. He was an Alpha male and Evan, like your dog, was intelligent, affectionate and fiercely protective of his family.I believe that he would have laid down his life for us. He would not accept food from anyone but 'his' family and others could not befriend him. I`m dribbling on here a bit and feeling sad, just to say he was one of a kind http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif.
Evan, excuse my ignorance but what is a Bear Dog otherwise known as, would you post an image?.Maybe they are known as some other breed name down here?
Most humans are stupid when it comes to animals and dogs especially. They forget that dogs behave as dogs do and not as humans (thank goodness ) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
stay healthy , Ken

11-07-2004, 08:33 PM
you mentioned that it is hard lifitng materials, maybe you should make a crane to go with the chair http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

11-07-2004, 11:02 PM
So, there is some question as to the nature of my favorite resting spot. Chair, that is. I feel compelled to begin with a short history of my life.

It began with a traumatic event in which I was exposed to a very bright light. I was born in the town of Berkeley, other wise known as Bezerkley. This is in the state which had as it's slogan "The Land of Fruits and Nuts".

Fast forward.

As a child I missed many a day of school due to gastrointestinal distress. The cause was unknown to the medical community. This was not malingering on my part, it had a very real cause.
I could, at the time, clear the classroom, including the teacher. I was a master of the "one cheek sneak".

Faster forward...

I joined the military. In my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) training I was granted the singular privlege of a private room. This was normally reserved for corporals and above ranks.
The reason for the benificience from my masters was due to unspecified but very specific complaints of air quality in the barracks.

Thereafter I had several girl friends. The most successful relationships were with with those that unwittingly suffered themselves from "amnosia", not to be confused with amnesia. Amnosia is an inability to smell, although amnesia would also be a desirable trait on occasion.

Much faster forward...

My shop chair suffers from a defect that has been brought about by the presence of noxious corrosive gasses. It is situated near the garage door so as to facilitate the ventilation of the work space. This avoids certain damage to the machinery. Unfortunately, the synthetic fibers of the chair seat are not especially resistant to certain emissions. Fortunately, non synthetic fibers such as cotton (jeans) seem not to be affected other than a lingering aftertaste...

11-07-2004, 11:18 PM
Noxious and corrosive gasses… I am indeed glad that my multimedia experience via the internet is limited in certain capacities.

“Fortunately, non synthetic fibers such as cotton (jeans) seem not to be affected other than a lingering aftertaste...”

For gawd’s sake Evan, quit tasting your blue jeans. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Steve Stube
11-08-2004, 01:10 AM
Pasted note on monitor reads; WARNING!
Do not accept any scratch and sniff attachments from Evan.

11-08-2004, 04:27 AM
Evan, I got off my 'easy' chair http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif and checked out the Bear Dog site and others, they are handsome animals with good,strong characteristics; your photography is top notch as well.
Viewing the Aurora must be such an awesome experience, what a beautiful sight.

[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 11-08-2004).]

11-08-2004, 12:40 PM

Thank you. The Bear Dogs are unlike any other dog. We, over the years have had a number of dogs. The singular failing of dogs is that they don't live long enough. We had a female Border Collie that lived 19 years. It broke our heart when she died. The Karellian Bear Dog is an extremely strong animal. She is muscled like an olympic athlete. She has reflexes that are faster than a cat. I have measured her reflex time to be less than one tenth of a second. The average human is 1/4 of a second. She is very independent and will only come when called if it suits her. At home and inside (in our "den") she is at total ease. She knows exactly where she belongs in the pecking order. My wife is number one, I am number two and our children and grand children are of equal rank to her. She is highly intelligent and has the most highly developed instincts. She also has the ability to reason and understands a great deal of spoken language. She will watch televison and is able to discern what is being shown when it interests her, such as prey or another dog.

Outside the beardog never closes her eyes. She is always on guard. Her actions sometimes defy belief. I have seen her catch birds from the air when they fly too close. We also have a 150 pound plus Giant Alaskan Malamute. He is the gentle ben of the dog world. He is friends with the deer that wander through our yard on a daily basis. He will sniff noses with them. He loves to play and wouldn't harm a fly. He and the beardog play together. He is the only other animal she will suffer to live. She fell in love with him the moment they met. It was silly, she acted like a teenage girl in love which astounded us. When they play she will sometimes take a run at him and chest butt him to the ground. I have never seen another dog use that tactic.

Her view of other animals is straight forward. They fall in two catagories. Either they are food which means they must be killed immediately to eat or they are enemies which means they must be killed immediately. She does not posture or sniff or greet. She launches like a ballistic missle with no warning whatsoever. She will never show fear of anything except manmade objects like vehicles which are not included in nature's Bear Dog Handbook. She does sort animals according to a size ranking. There are three catagories. Too big to take down, such as cattle which she ignores. Too small to bother with such as chickadees which she ignores. Anything in between is fair game.

They are known as Bear Dogs because of thier fearlessness in hunting big game. Her favorite sound is a gunshot. They use Karellian Bear Dogs to chase bears out of the parks up here. Two can be socialized to work together although it is a slow process. Once they are socialized they work as a team. The have been known to kill a bear working together. The main tactic is to run undeneath from behind and between the legs, then rip out the throat of the prey. With their incredible reflexes they avoid any attempt at defense.

Needless to say, she is never allowed to be completely loose when outside. She is always restrained, either on her long running line or when we are out with her she is hooked by a long cable to an old tire. She can run about 10 mph dragging that tire which is slow enough that we can catch her. If left loose she will find something to kill. They are popular here with people that work in the "bush" as protection from bears. When loose in the bush they will patrol in a wide circle around the master, both in front and behind. If they encounter a bear they will drive it away instead of running back to the master for help. They have a distinctive bark that varies according to what they have spotted. Our Bear Dog is quite easy to understand. You can tell if it is someone coming up the driveway or she has spotted a deer.

I should also add that she is highly trainable even with her independent nature. She has a full repretoire of what my wife calls "parlour tricks". She will dance, spin in a circle, and crawls on the floor upon command. If you make a gun with your finger and say "BANG" she lies down and puts her feet in the air. She will hop over your legs or other obstacle on command. She will "whisper" in a very low growl when told. If told to talk she will speak more loudly with a quiet bark. If told to "SPEAK" she will deafen you. She begs food very politely and when I am eating in the living room knows not to look me in the eye. She will stare at the food on my plate when she thinks I am not noticing but if I glance at her she instantly averts her gaze. She is able to count and will bark twice instead of once when told. She never begs from the table as that is not permitted. She rides with us in the back of our PT Cruiser and prefers to sit on the upper back shelf. She comments on my driving and gives quiet approval with a low grumble when I do the right thing like taking the correct turns to go home. She very much dislikes anyone who tailgates us and says so. She has a steel trap memory and remembers where she has put something days ago.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-08-2004).]

11-08-2004, 06:05 PM
Thanks for that Evan, your dogs are very fortunate to have a 'pack'that cares and understands them so well. I agree, losing a good dog is heartrending; it is the passing of a family member.
PS just to stay on topic, the inorganic is on in Manukau http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif and I am on the lookout for a sturdy comfortable chair for an old neighbour/friend of mine.

[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 11-08-2004).]