Vise Height / Tying posture?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Thom Collins, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Thom Collins Active Member

    Posts: 199
    Kirkland, WA
    Ratings: +59 / 0
    My middle aged back is asking me to find a better tying posture but the middled aged eyes want to be closer even while using magnifiers. Been trying different heights but can't seem to find anything that lets me enjoy long evenings at the desk. Standing worked great until I tried to walk after a few hours of tying. Suggestions?
  2. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,494
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,112 / 0
    I have the same problem. Have yet to find a solution.
  3. Blake Harmon Active Member

    Posts: 1,003
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +122 / 0
  4. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,405
    .
    Ratings: +356 / 0
    A.K. Best says that the best height for the vise is one where the arms can hang comfortably down from the shoulders, making it only necessary to raise the forearms. I've noticed at fly tying events where I will often tie for many hours at a stretch that this relationship is usually critical. At most tying events the typical chair seat to table top distance is guaranteed to quickly lead to the old pain-between-the-shoulder blades syndrome. At such events, I try to (and usually do) remember to bring along enough pillows/pads to raise my seating position to something approximating this ideal. At home, I usually tie at a rather high workbench and have found that either standing, or sitting on a rather tall barstool, works best for me.
    Thom Collins likes this.
  5. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,527
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    I use the magnifier visor and just switched lenses to a 3 magnification. (4x before that)

    The new lense, with lower magnification, changed thefocal point, (further away) allowing me to sit up and maintain the desired head posture, all without raising the vise.

    -Avoid a head posture where you bend or drop your neck forward. Attempt to maintain a head position with your ears centered over your shoulders.

    - position the vise vertically to a position that allows you to tie with elbows down and no shrugging shoulders to reach the vise. If you find you must shrug your shoulders to reach your tying position, this will lead to pain between your shoulder blades and/or neck pain.

    I sit in an old wood chair that came with my rolltop desk. I like it but I have added a seat pad and occasionally a small pillow for lumbar support.

    Hope some these tips help improve your tying comfort!

    Jeff
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  6. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 509
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +94 / 0
    Good thread, especially with my back. My spouse bought me a giraffe system 4 or 5 years ago. Love it. Can sit comfortably with out straining to see the fly. The light is also nice. Can't say I would have dropped the $$ to buy one, but if mine broke now I would replace it immediately. I even take the magnifier and base with me in my trailer when I camp out in N ID for the summer.
    Thom Collins likes this.
  7. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,527
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    Rereading your post, 1. You have a good sense of humor!
    2. You might try a flexible ARM magnifier mounted to the desk. This might give you the higher magnification you require, yet still allow you to hold your head in a comfortable neutral position.

    Would be nice if you could borrow one to try before commuting to buy!
    Thom Collins likes this.
  8. Dr Bob Member

    Posts: 185
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I use a padded office chair that you can adjust, height, seat back, etc. I add to this one of those sofa pillows for a little softer seat. I adjust my height to the vise so my arms follow the AK Best guidelines. The other thing I do is remind myself to move close to the vise and sit back against the chair. I found the tendency to lean forward when tying flies was one major cause of my back, shoulder and neck pain. I can now tye flies for several hours without much discomfort. Nothing is perfect.

    Dr Bob
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  9. Thom Collins Active Member

    Posts: 199
    Kirkland, WA
    Ratings: +59 / 0
    Thanks for the great ideas! Think you guys nailed it as I do lean forward now that my eyes are weaker and now I think I have some remedies. I'll use that single malt whiskey to celebrate instead of medicate.
    Krusty and Jeff Dodd like this.
  10. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 849
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +506 / 0
    Liberal quantities of alcohol will help ease your tying aches and pains, my son.
    Jack Devlin and Thom Collins like this.
  11. RustE drifting about

    Posts: 94
    Great Lakes
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    If the vise isn't high enough, try a few pieces of wood underneath. I typically have to make computer monitors taller with this method.

    Anyone know where to find the AK Best guidelines mentioned above?