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A Good Chair

I’m really unhappy with my current bench chair. I want one that has
a rise and fall so that I can sit low (currently I’m using a standard
office swivel chair) or high - like a drapftsperson’e chair.

Any ideas people?


Hello Tony, This is going to sound crazy but here’s what I did…

I found a relatively new car seat with power lift, tilt, and
forward/reverse motion. I built the chair a solid base, and connected
the controls to a 120Vac to 12Vdc power supply (also home built). Now
I can adjust the seat (and it’s very comfortable to sit in) up and
down, forward and back, I can even tilt it back if I want to pause a
while to ponder a jewelry design, wait for the pickle, or listen to
music. It’s great, and cost next to nothing. (Incidentally, my family
and neighbours think I’m crazy, because I’m always trying to figure
out ways of making my own tools and machinery.)

If you do this, I recommend a driver’s side seat, they have a
greater range of motion. You should be able to pick one up for very
little at a scrap yard. The base I built was from plywood I had lying
around and the power supply can be an old car battery charger. If you
have any questions about how I built mine you can contact me

Dave Nitschke

Tony, For years I used a variety of uncomfortable chairs and then I
found a chair made by Herman Miller Inc. called the Aeron. Click on
this link;

. The Aeron is the chair pictured on the left side. It is expensive
but well worth every penny in my opinion. It is adjustable in many
ways and accommodates all my needs, whether at the bench, desk, or
computer. The usual disclaimers, no affiliation with Herman Miller,
etc.There are a number of places that sell it at a discount. Joel

Joel Schwalb

Boy this is my soap box. Check out your local office supply house.
Look for a chair that has pneumatic adjustment up and down and one
that absorbs the shock when you sit down. Next look for adjustment on
the angle you are sitting. It should tip forward or back. Last look
for height adjustment in the back and it should also adjust the
distance front to back on the seat. Also look for closed cell foam,
it seems to last longer and hold its shape better with more cushion.
Look to spend between $125 and $250. The correct chair can make all
the difference in the world in the number of hours you can spend at
the bench and the damage you do to your back. After 25 years at the
bench damage to your back is something I know about… I also replace
my chair every 3 to 5 years.

I'm really unhappy with my current bench chair. 

Boy, can I relate! I built my “new” studio over six years ago, and
carried over the tubular steel dinette chairs I had in a previous
apartment. A few months ago I finally did my first ergonomic
rearranging of the studio (keeping workflow in mind) and bought
myself a great chair.

After making the investment, I asked myself why I hadn’t done it a
lot sooner! Holy cow! First of all, I have casters so I can zing back
and forth across the studio without getting up, and swivel at will!
:slight_smile: Those efficiencies themselves are worth it. The height adjustment
has also been valuable because my bench and forging/forming stump
need different heights. I was doing some forging and felt my leg
cramping up. I lowered the chair from maximum height to minimum and
kept working… the pain completely dissipated!

I bought mine at Costco, which is a wholesale/warehouse kind of
place. I originally was looking at a $100 fabric covered model, but
decided to go with a much better leather model for only $50 more. I
think it will last me a career, and the gold dust the fabric would
have caught (and kept) will probably pay for the leather covered
chair. One of my best studio investments… long overdue.

My advice? Don’t skimp… this chair will be your most intimate
co-worker for many years!

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Hi Tony, Many,many years ago I visited a rockhound/jeweler
acquaintance, (may he rest in peace), who had several projects in the
fire and on the shelf. I couldn’t help but notice a dentist chair,
with all of its paraphernalia still attached, tucked in a corner of
his garage/workspace. Seeing the puzzled look on my face, He said,
"Now THAT is a special chair. It is very comfortable, and all that
teeth drilling stuff attached to it is perfect for gemstone carving."
I said, “You know, it probably would work, but my wife would leave
me if I brought home something like that.” Improvise. Will Estavillo,
Bisbee, Arizona.

Herman Miller has a great chair as well as Relax The Back. Go to

david Geller

What a FABULOUS idea! It may be overkill for many bench jewelers, but
I have 6-way power seats in my car, and I know I will never buy
another car that doesn’t have them! Thanks for sharing that idea.
David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings