Reloading/Workbench Question


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AlabamaDan
December 7, 2012, 11:37 AM
I have a quick question I'm hoping y'all can answer. I have a lead on some old tabletops that I could easily turn into nice workbenches just by adding legs. The dimensions are 20" deep, 56" long. Is 20" too shallow? My initial thought is that it would work and anything deeper would just collect junk anyway.

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MtnCreek
December 7, 2012, 11:41 AM
Mine are 24". 20" should be plenty.

kerreckt
December 7, 2012, 11:46 AM
20" should be plenty. You are right about a wider table collecting junk. One look at mine would prove you are right.

AlabamaDan
December 7, 2012, 11:50 AM
Awesome. Thanks guys.

AlabamaDan
December 7, 2012, 12:04 PM
Follow up question...how high is your bench height? I was looking at the NRMA bench plans and it has the height as 42". That seems a little high.

beatledog7
December 7, 2012, 12:05 PM
How high the working surface is driven by how you work: office style chair, bar stool, standing?

bds
December 7, 2012, 12:17 PM
I reload both standing and sitting. The height of my portable bench for sit down reloading is 35" but that's for me to be comfortable. I also use an office chair with height adjustment to fine-tune a comfortable height for my reloading sessions. The C-H single stage press mounted on the same bench also allows comfortable resizing of rifle cases while standing for me.

Whether you reload standing/sitting, you should determine the motion range of your press's ram lever and see what mounted height of the press will allow you to reload most comfortably.

Teachu2
December 7, 2012, 12:33 PM
I reload both standing and sitting. The height of my portable bench for sit down reloading is 35" but that's for me to be comfortable. I also use an office chair with height adjustment to fine-tune a comfortable height for my reloading sessions. The C-H single stage press mounted on the same bench also allows comfortable resizing of rifle cases while standing for me.

Whether you reload standing/sitting, you should determine the motion range of your press's ram lever and see what mounted height of the press will allow you to reload most comfortably.
Same here but at 38", I'm 6'3.

rondog
December 7, 2012, 01:45 PM
I'd say it depends on the individual, his tastes, his needs, and the available space. I use an old folding banquet table which is 24" deep for a bench, but then I cut an old bookshelf in half and put it on the back of the table for shelving. (I'm not a cheap bastage, I'm a "repurposer":D).

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/gun%20and%20reloading%20benches/DSCN2191.jpg

howlnmad
December 7, 2012, 02:01 PM
I think outside of a store, yours is the first press that I've seen locked up.

GLOOB
December 7, 2012, 02:21 PM
Mine's 23" deep and at 35" high. I reload in an office chair. It's just about right.

GT1
December 7, 2012, 03:17 PM
My bench is "42x"20 and it holds my 650(casefeeder and GSI bullet feeder) and Classic turret easily enough. I have room for loading trays and component containers, etc...

Rogue35
December 7, 2012, 03:42 PM
Mine sits at about 30" high and is just perfect. I think it's about 22" wide so 20" should be just fine.

BigJimP
December 7, 2012, 03:45 PM
My bench is at standard counter height....so 36" ....and I sit on a wooden bar stool to load...

gamestalker
December 7, 2012, 03:48 PM
Mine is too big, and does collect a lot of junk as a result.

GS

cfullgraf
December 7, 2012, 04:35 PM
I use an old laundry table made with an angle iron frame and a wood top. It is approximately 4 ft by 18-20 inches deep. The table is standard table height.

But, my presses are mounted to free standing floor stands and not to the table. They are heighten than the table, approximately kitchen counter height, plus/minus. Apologies that my reloading room is not handy to my current location.

Frequently, I have to clear the table off to keep working room. That is good, keeps the junk from piling up. I have shelves and storage drawers to catch the equipment and tools that are not in use.

For the press height, make your mount so that it can be changed, height wise. Then, if you pick a height that is not comfortable, you can change it without too much difficulty. It is one bridge you do not want to burn until you figured out what you like. If you are not comfortable while reloading, reloading will be a chore.

i sit in a chair while reloading. many folks sit on a stool or stand while reloading.

Finally, build your leg system sturdy with no flex. I suggest good bracing, bolted or screwed connections with adhesive in the joints. The bench does not have to be heavy if you have accounted for the various forces applied to it by the press, but weight can make up for poor geometry and bracing. In either case, flex is not your friend.

Hope this helps. Have fun building your bench.

BYJO4
December 7, 2012, 10:29 PM
I prefer to sit while reloading. My bench is 34" high, 28" deep, and 60" long. I have 3 presses on it along with a case trimmer, powder measure, and priming tool mounted on it. I have metal drawers across the back and just enough room between things for loading blocks.

James2
December 8, 2012, 12:07 AM
Mine is 30 inches high and I sit on a standard chair to reload. 20 inches deep will be OK. Mine is 24, but like others have said, the other space collects "things".

Walkalong
December 8, 2012, 09:40 AM
My bench is 37" high. I use a bar stool height chair. That height works for me when standing as well. It is 20" deep, but the surface is rounded front and back, so the working space is around 19". It is plenty for me, but larger can't hurt if you have the space. I have a little shelf on the wall above it as well as a cabinet hung on the wall above it for goodies.

corky52
December 8, 2012, 10:23 AM
My bench is 96" wide x 38" deep. :what: It was built in place. I put shelves along the back and the effective depth is now 32" It does seem to collect a lot of stuff. It's just too big and heavy to take it apart and cut it down. :o

http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx269/tucasfacious/Reloading/DSC_0658.jpg

Charlie

LUCKYDAWG13
December 8, 2012, 11:07 AM
make you reloading bench as long as you can mine are 34"x11 34"x9 26"x7
and all are 37" tall

rondog
December 8, 2012, 11:08 AM
I think outside of a store, yours is the first press that I've seen locked up.

The reason my press has a bike lock on it is my grandson. When he was younger and I'd just started reloading, I showed him how I was doing it. When I was done, I turned the powder measure off, for some inane reason. So, he being a young boy that has to put his fingers on everything, he decided to "help me out" and made a few .45 rounds for me, when I wasn't around. With no powder in them.

The results - two ruined 1911 barrels. Hence, the bike lock on the press.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/gun%20damages%20and%20destruction/DSCN1784.jpg

9mmjld
December 8, 2012, 01:24 PM
Mine is 24"x48". The depth is good but I wish it made it longer.

Charlie1022
December 8, 2012, 02:56 PM
Mine is 30" deep and is L shaped, 12 feet 6 inches wide by 8 foot. It stands 40 inches tall and works great for me. I am 6 foot 4 inches tall with long arms and this heght works well from my bar stool or standing. I have my two Dillon RL 550B presses on the 8 foot section and have my Lyman Orange Crusher on the long section.

Steel185
December 8, 2012, 10:45 PM
My bench is 46" height. Everyone that comes over and sees it says "wow that's tall". After they work on it a few minutes they says "this is perfect". I'm 5'11" I have a bar height chair I use if I want to sit so it works both ways.

Jaxondog
December 8, 2012, 11:14 PM
20" is fine and the height is really up to you and you alone. Some people like to sit in an armed secratary type chair, someon a bar stool and the rest like to stand so it's up to the individual. :)

AlabamaDan
December 11, 2012, 02:41 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I was going to buy/scrounge materials to build a bench. Then I came across the Harbor Freight workbench on sale for $160 and with a 20% coupon it's only $128. Anyone ever used one of those?

http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch-workbench-93454.html

NeuseRvrRat
December 11, 2012, 02:45 PM
that looks ok. you'll probably want to anchor it to the floor or wall somehow

rondog
December 11, 2012, 03:44 PM
That HF workbench will probably be fine to start with. A reloading bench is totally a personal thing, it's up to the individual to determine what's "perfect" for him. As was mentioned, some like to stand, some like bar stools, some like chairs. I prefer an office chair with wheels and adjustments, and so does my back.

IMHO, to me, storage is just as important as the bench itself, so I put 2x12's across the legs of my reloading table and made one hell-for-stout shelf to store boxes of bullets and whatever else I can put there. Also made a little shelf unit from 2x12's just for boxes with thousands of lead bullets, and my toolboxes sit on top of it. Plus the old bookcase I sawed in half and put on the back of my reloading table for whatever I can cram on it.

But besides the table I pictured as my reloading bench, I also have another table just like it about 4 feet away as a workbench. I have a sheet of plywood on the floor between the tables, and I can just spin around in my chair and wheel between the two tables, for reloading, gunsmithing/tinkering, stock refinishing, or whatever I want/need to do. That's my "gun corner". Dang near everything gun related I own is crammed in there, and it's currently a mess, and overflowing. Then there's all the stuff in the garage.....

This is my gun corner (old photo), IMO it's totally up to the individual how you want to build and arrange your setup, depending upon the space and location you have to work with. I'm just redneck enough to "repurpose" other peoples' discards and will use things for years. That old filing cabinet has two drawers filled with primers and powders, but the lock still works. Hey, nobody sees it but me and the wife anyway......

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/gun%20and%20reloading%20benches/DSCN3349.jpg

Build some simple shelving with 2x12's, and a piece of plywood across the back to stabilize it, and that'll hold more weight than you can imagine. This thing isn't very big, but with all the bullets and the toolboxes you can't see on top, it probably has as much weight as a Chevy V8 engine sitting on it.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/ammo%20and%20reloading/DSCN2179.jpg

fguffey
December 11, 2012, 05:28 PM
I do not have a bench, I have stands, I was thinking reloading was not fair, I keep seeing this 'thing' at the back of all the pictures, A WALL!?, Reloaders have walls? My walls are 3 feet away.



A local hospital was doing some remolding, things to go were fire-proof doors (solid core). known to someone at the hospital. I was asked if I was interested in all of the doors, they explained to me how heavy they were and handling doors was difficult, so they offered the doors free plus handling expense. I turned them down and they made me a better deal, they said I could have the doors but I had to get them down from upstairs.



I was in and out before they knew I was there, work bench tops, solid core. Still, I do not have a work bench. I do have a lathe base from the 1880s that ran off of a line shaft and a Work Mate, then there are saw horses.



F. Guffey

AlabamaDan
December 13, 2012, 04:15 PM
Going to by the HF bench tonight and assemble tomorrow. After assembly if it needs modifications I'll go with that. Thanks for all the advice guys and I'll post a pic sometime.

mcdonl
December 13, 2012, 04:38 PM
Rondog... is that a basement? I really like the wall coverings. I am going to be buying a bunch of t&g pine for a ceiling on my back porch this spring I may start doing my basement in it. Starting with my man cave of course...

Flt Simulation
December 13, 2012, 05:19 PM
I posted this in the "Show us a picture of your reloading bench" thread, but here it is again:

This Sears workbench has been great .. $165 when ordered on the internet, and no shipping charges if it's delivered to your local Sears store. They will charge you the required state tax though.

It's 6' long and weighs about 100 lb. (not flimsy at all)

The height is a standard 41", so it's the correct height for a stool (like the adjustable height Northern Tool stool shown in the photo)

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00910138000P?sid=IDx01192011x000001&kispla=00910138000P&srccode=cii_17588969&cpncode=31-60811287-2

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p158/Turbo6ta/Bench2.jpg

J_McLeod
December 14, 2012, 09:05 PM
I think about 12" deep is all I really need. Anything more is a bonus.

aerod1
December 15, 2012, 10:28 PM
Mine is 30" high, 34 " deep and 96" long. I sit in an office chair to reload ammo and clean guns. Just right for me. :D

rondog
December 16, 2012, 01:18 AM
Rondog... is that a basement? I really like the wall coverings. I am going to be buying a bunch of t&g pine for a ceiling on my back porch this spring I may start doing my basement in it. Starting with my man cave of course...


Yeah, it's our basement, but I LOL'd at your comment because the basement was "finished" by a previous owner who was apparently "challenged" when it comes to construction! That's the cheapest, crappiest paneling I've ever seen, and the shoddiest workmanship of all time. It's really embarrassing.

1SOW
December 16, 2012, 01:41 AM
My bench is 38" high and 30" deep. The press is elevated about 4" above the table. This steel and plywood in layers press mount was added later for comfort and vision.
I can comfortably reload and can clearly see the powder in the case standing or sitting on a home made stool with a back support pad. I prefer sitting for longer sessions.

It's in a small alcove made for a freezer in the garage. I made cabinets above and below the bench, with a level shelf at eye height for the powder scale that never moves.
It cost about $20 for the stain and hardware plus on-hand scrap wood and steel.

I'm 5' 8" tall.

Rodfac
December 16, 2012, 11:23 AM
Three of my benches are 24", one is 18" in depth. The 24's are about perfect...narrow enough to force you to put stuff away and not clutter up the bench, but deep enough to allow good access to your scale, die set, calipers, primers, fired cases, finished rounds, load data sheet etc.

I've ended up using the 18" one as a cleaning bench, made it on lockable casters to ease movement away from the wall for cleaning rifles but it's just too narrow for rifle or handgun use with my presses. It does do double duty as a shotgun bench on the rare occasions when I'm loading for the scatter guns. But even then it's really too narrow.

Here's a cpl of pics...I do like the drawers I've installed below the work surface...keeps the clutter to a minimum and allows easy access to dies, scales etc.

The top pic is of the three loading benches...24"x54"...made from my wife's old counter tops. On the left is the handgun bench with two Dillon 550Bs..one for small primers, the other for large. The bench in the middle is for case prep, powder workup etc. The bench on the right next to the safe, is for rifle work only. Two presses: a 50 yr old Herters' #3 (paid $13 for it from their eclectic old catalogue when I was 16!) and a Harrell Turret. Oddly enuf, the Herters is every bit as accurate as to runout as the expensive Harrell, tho not as elegant.

The 2nd one is of my "Cleaning Bench"...also for shotgun use...on casters, with a cpl drawers for cleaning stuff.

If you're building a new one...measure your stool, and get a good bench height that'll allow you to work sitting down if that's your style...it's worth the trouble to get it just right!

Best Regards, HTH's Rod

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii64/Rodfac/Loading%20Bench%20Pics/9-25-12.jpg

http://i261.photobucket.com/albums/ii64/Rodfac/Loading%20Bench%20Pics/P1020400.jpg

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