Ideal height for reloading bench?


January 20, 2011, 12:54 PM
Well my existing "man cave" table isn't going to be sturdy enough for my new LCT press. So I'm considering putting a reloading "bench" (basically just bolting a sturdy plywood or 2x4 shelf to the studs, so the bench will be across the opening of an unused closet. Any reason I shouldn't? It's not the widest opening but I could theoretically make the shelf deep so I'd have useable bench space behind the press, but not too much to either side. The garage is out; it's too stuffed as is and freezes in the winter.

Is "belly button height" too high or too low?


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January 20, 2011, 01:04 PM
Do you reload standing up or sitting down?

Do you use a single stage or progressive?

I like to sit down while reloading on my Dillon progressive. So I built my bench low, so I could use a strong mount, and keep my eyes at the level of where "the action" is going on.

Depending on how you reload, your bench height will vary.

January 20, 2011, 01:46 PM
Dunno, I've never tried it. All the videos I've seen are guys standing up. Seems to me you'd get more leverage standing up, and can more comfortably see down into the cases to double-check powder, etc. Do you sit on a regular chair or a bar-type stool?

January 20, 2011, 02:21 PM
My bench is about 36" as in what the half-height of my "Gorilla Rack" is, so I use a bar stool to sit on while I reload.

If your press has good linkage, you won't need a lot of leverage

January 20, 2011, 02:27 PM
My LNL is 32" from the floor, I sit when I reload. It is just low enough that I can peek in the case if I need to but still comfortable to operate.

January 20, 2011, 02:29 PM
the top of the bench is 32" from the floor, or press is? Just want to be sure.

January 20, 2011, 02:32 PM
Yep, sorry should have said that. The top of the bench is 32" from floor

January 20, 2011, 04:08 PM
My bench is 38" high. I wanted it that high because at 12 ft long, I use it for other things than just the reloading presses. I've got a grinder, vise, and drill press on one end. A work area in the middle, and the presses on the other end. At 38" I can sit on a barstool and load in comfort.

January 20, 2011, 04:13 PM
Thanks guys. CPE, how tall are you if you don't mind me asking?

January 20, 2011, 04:13 PM
Actually, mine is 37.5" off the floor as I put a 1-1/2" plywood top on it (3/4" doubled up)

With the 24" bar stool, it is comfortable for me - I placed the 2 sections side by side, making the bench 8' long - metallic on one end, shotgun on the other, work space in between

January 20, 2011, 04:25 PM
I use a office chair that is adjustable in height.

January 20, 2011, 04:29 PM
I'm 5'9" tall and I like to stand when I load. I built my bench 42" high, it's perfect for me. If I want to sit I use a bar stool.

January 20, 2011, 07:57 PM
1K I like your idea of using closet space, as your plywood top will be very secure due to ledgers & wall studs on all sides. A front leading edge of 2x4 will take the flex out of the 3/4" ply. If you bring the bench front to where the door(s) will still close, then you can keep the kids out of your mancave.

You might also want to think about an overhead storage shelf or shelves for components, tools, dies. Overhead or side lighting is very important so long as it is shadow free and the bulbs present no fire hazard.

For height, suggest you try mocking up before making things permanent. Consider also at what height you want your scale and powder dispensing system to be. At what height is your scale best read? Maybe you'll end up with the scale set near eye level.

January 20, 2011, 09:22 PM
My reloading bench started out as a wood working bench. After using lower tables, I decided that what would work best for me while standing was this: stand up straight, bend arms at 90 degree angle, measure from floor to bottom of elbows. I built a table to this height and I never had any regrets about the height. Now as a reloading table, it is about 4 inches higher due to location on a raised floor ledge. This may be just a little too high but works well for seeing the balance scale and looking at the cartridges in the press from the side.

January 20, 2011, 10:27 PM
I think it depends on how tall you are and how long your arms are. I stand when I reload, and I want the lever at its lowest point to be at a point where I don't have to bend over or flex my knees to keep my hand on the ball. For me that turned out to be 43" for a LNL AP with a larger than standard ball on the handle. I'm 5'-9" tall and wear a 33" sleeve length.

January 20, 2011, 10:31 PM
My bench is 30 inches, the same height as a dining room table. I use a regular chair and sit while loading. I am using a single stage press.

January 21, 2011, 03:44 AM
bench: 35 1/2"
press: Lee Breechlock
me: 6'
office chair: ~19", perfect height.

January 21, 2011, 04:32 AM

January 21, 2011, 11:44 AM
I built my bench to be comfortable to use when standing, if i sit, i'll use a taller chair! It's easier to change the chair than the bench...


January 21, 2011, 12:02 PM
Thanks for more great ideas, guys. I'm 6'3" with a long torso and gorilla arms. I'll have to do some figurin'. Hmmmm....

twofifty I'd intended to leave enough clearance to close the closet door with the press mounted, and have storage shelves above/behind, but I hadn't thought to have a shelf for the scale nearer to eye level. I like that idea... Also need to consider lighting. Hmmm....

January 21, 2011, 12:07 PM
Mine is 30 1/2 to top of bench. Bottom of press is 31 1/2 as have it on board and that board bolted to bench. I am older and sit when reloading. trikerider

WNC Seabee
January 21, 2011, 12:16 PM
I'm 6'4" and load standing up.

I just built a bench that is 43" to the top of the table. Dillon 550 mounted to the bench without their strong mount feels perfect to me.

January 21, 2011, 04:37 PM
My table is right at 38". The presses are above the table. One is Dillon 550 with a strong mount & plate that allows it to be moveable. The single stages up raised & moveable as well.

Elbow height was a good suggestion from that ole boy in Texas.
I am guessing my 550 is about the same height as WNC Seabee's press.

I'm about 5'10"

I never did like to sit to reload. I think being on my feet lets me move as needed.

January 21, 2011, 05:11 PM
I am 6'2" & I built mine @ 43" from the floor. To me it is "Bar" height & I can sit on a shop stool or stand with no issues.

January 21, 2011, 05:44 PM

January 21, 2011, 06:41 PM
Thanks again guys.

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