Knees: How safe are yours?

Standing Firm

If you’re going to stand on your feet all day you’d better make sure you look after your knees. Happy knees mean a happy back. Happy back mean more furniture being made. Happy knees, happy back, happy life. That’s (nearly) how the saying goes!

There are three things that will go a long way to keeping your knees happy in the workshop. In increasing order of commitment:

  1. Stop pretending your knees like being in contact with the floor. Kneeling on the floor for extended periods is a sure way to knee agony. Knee bursitis (inflamed knee fluids) can be caused by kneeling for extended periods. Often called housemaid’s knee or roofer’s knee, it could also be called “not thinking cabinet maker’s” knee, if it were a little catchier sounding. So stay off ‘em!
  1. Buy some proper footwear. It’s hard to beat a good pair of walking shoes or boots. They’ll last a year or so, are strong and light, have fantastic shock absorbing ability and help keep a spring in your step, quite literally. Cheap trainers or Converse, while deeply snazzy, do not a happy knee make. Similarly, the heavily armoured working boots that are de rigeur on a building site are often inflexible, heavy, kill your feet and compromise those knees. Don’t go there !
  1. We reckon as important as a flat floor, undoubtably, is a cushioned floor. It will probably save you a whole load more money in the long run. Many workshops have a perfectly decent flat, concrete floor. By which I mean a perfectly decent flat, cold, hard, tool damaging, furniture crunching, knee bashing concrete floor. Others have an easier to get on with chipboard floor. Better than both is a concrete, polystyrene, chipboard sandwich. With inch thick polystyrene, plus similar thickness chipboard, you have a stable, solid, insulated, base that is not only very knee friendly, but will keep you warm, deaden noise, and save pretty much anything that drops on the floor. It’s a heck of a commitment, but is pretty cheap and pays back time and time again. 

Look after your knees. Like wearing sun screen and eating more vegetables, it’s just a good thing to do.

Until next time,



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