When assembling furniture or other larger projects, some pros don't use either the tops of their workbenches or the floor. Instead, they use two or more wooden boxes about 18 in. high, 24 in. wide and 32 in. long, set upside-down on the floor to span the project's length. The project boxes don't need to be fancy, just provide enough height to cut down on back strain. The boxes can also be stacked, or set on their sides or ends, to provide for varying heights.
When filing in a lathe, don’t hold the file rigid, but use a slight gliding motion. This will help the file clear itself and also prevent ridges. When filing metal, vary the speed according to metal. Generally use 150 surface feet per minute for cast iron; 175 for annealed tool steel; 350 for machinery steel, and 500 for soft yellow brass. Also, don’t run your hand over the work. Resulting oil and moisture will make it harder for the file to take hold.