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Building Reloading Bench - Have 52" x 32" to work with

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Triumph, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    I have ordered my reloading supplies and have some time until they come in. Time to build my workbench.

    I have a space in the home office for the clean stuff. I was thinking about doing the case prep, trim, tumble, etc... on my workbench in the garage.

    The space in the house is 52" wide and 32" deep and is in a corner. I can either build the bench just 52" wide and 32" deep or go 24" deep and have an L shape.

    Ceiling is 8 feet.

    Do any of you have a reloading bench this size?

    I can do all the cleaning & case prep work in the garage if needed.

    Ill have a 550b and a Single Stage press.

    Thanks Much
     
  2. clocker

    clocker Member

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    The L isn't going to have much benefit in that scenario, so you might as well go for max depth. With that small of a space plan on great organization and a decent amount of shelving if you plan to reload more than a few cartridges.
     
  3. wally247

    wally247 Member

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    Just to give you an idea this is my bench. It is just 2x4s with plywood drawers and the cheapest 6' counter top the home improvement store had. Your space would allow about the width of the two drawers. For me I outgrew it quickly but the shotgun stuff takes a lot of the space, without I think I would have plenty of room. Put a shelf or cabinet above it and you are in business!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Layout and workflow

    Thanks for asking our advice.

    Are you left-handed, right-handed or a mix? Will you work standing or sitting?

    There is no one "best" layout for a loading bench. Not even one best for the two presses you specified.

    However, there are a couple of general rules, which I think is the best help I can give you.

    Set your scale (if a balance beam) in good light on a surface isolated from any bench vibration. My Lee Safety scale goes on an eye-level shelf. My RCBS 10-10 goes on a separate, small table. If an electronic scale, away from any electronic interference (like flourescent lights, electric motors or cell phones).

    I recommend mounting your presses and any other tools on boards so they can be inserted in "receivers" on the workbench, especially if your space is limited. That way, you have only the tools you are using mounted and can rearrange things if you like.

    Design your bench the way you would if you were a production engineer designing a factory floor. (In effect, you are building a production factory, aren't you?) Analyze your work flow. Do efficiency studies on your hand movements. How often to you bend or reach? But never lose sight of quality control (safety of the ammo you produce).

    As you gain experience and practice loading, your ideal bench setup will probably change over time. Several times maybe. So, don't lock yourself into one arrangement at first.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep

    some pictures here
    http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=121350
    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2511043/m/994103278
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  5. bds

    bds Member

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    I use a 2'x3' castered portable reloading bench that slides into the walk-in closet of the reloading room that's less than 5'x6'. Casters are from Harbor Freight furniture moving dolly and won't mar the floor and move easily on carpet even with several hundred pounds of bullets on the bottom shelf.

    I have C-H single stage and Pro 1000 progressive mounted on each end so the bench can be rolled through all the doorways of the house and reload anywhere in the house or out in the patio. I do all the case prep (.223/.308) on the bench and have the Zip Trim mounted next to the C-H single stage (I prefer to hand prime while watching TV). Even with an empty bench, I can resize thicker walled military LC .308 cases without moving the bench on the hardwood floor of the reloading room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    Great Feedback - I am right handed. Will have a Dillon 550B and a single stage (Lee Classic Cast or CoAx).

    I have the entire wall (all the way to ceiling) if I need it. It is an office so I will probably do the dirties (case prep, cleaning, trimming) in the garage.

    I will probable end up with a bunch of vertical shelves like this (pic #1 in "Show us your reloading bench" thread).

    [​IMG]
     

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  7. gfanikf

    gfanikf Member

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    Work bench sitting in a shower in an unused bathroom. Yes you can do it and yes I can post pics. Its really nice for getting rid of the occasional powder flakes on the ground. Keep in mind I'm in an apartment.
     
  8. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    I Bet So!!:)
     
  9. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    bds - Very Nice Cart
     
  10. gfanikf

    gfanikf Member

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    Yeah, it makes me a hell of lot less neurotic about the cat or baby getting hold of it (granted the shower door is shut and the bathroom door is), and the bathroom can still be used in the middle of the night (its in the bedroom) by my wife or me and not look like you stumbled upon an Armory.
     
  11. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    If you're handy with carpentry work, I suggest taking a look at the NRMA Bench Plans. You can alter the size to fit your space. I built one pretty close to the specs and have been very happy with it.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    Can you share a link, or the plans - not familiar with them.

    Thanks Much
     
  13. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I would use the whole 52x32 for your build and it will handle your equipment needs. Put shelves on the wall behind the bench for dies and various other pieces of equipment. Put one or 2 shelves under the bench top for componets. Besure bench is sturdy with no flex in the top.
     
  14. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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  15. taraquian

    taraquian Member

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    My bench is 50 x 13, works pretty good and can't get too cluttered. I personally stay away from anything deeper than 2 feet...too much crap on there at once
     
  16. soonertoby

    soonertoby Member

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    Yeah I would use the 52" x 32" easier than trying to build an L shape.....for my bench top I found a solid core door at the local Habitat store for $10 and built around it (mine is only 24" deep)......might be something to look at and you could cut it back to 52" if you found a 32" wide
     
  17. Triumph

    Triumph Member

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    This pic (from another thread) is interesting since I will have a 550B and a Single Stage. They use the Dillon Strong Mount for the SS to put both presses at same level.

    This looks more like a standing set up. I would assume using the Dillon Strong Mount & chair that you would want a lower desktop.[​IMG]
     

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  18. towerdog

    towerdog Member

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    This is mine limited space but it works really well. It does make it easy to keep only on the bench what I need for that round, and that load. I did reinforce under the counter top with a plate of steel so there is no flex in the bench, steel only because I had it on hand.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. FallAirFever

    FallAirFever Member

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    Here is my bench, it is 48" wide x 22" deep. The shelf / cupboard at the back is 8" deep and 13" high, I would have liked to have built it higher but was restricted because it is in the bonus room of my house. Im not complaining way better then trying to be in the unheated garage during a Canadian winter. I used the NRMA bench plans and modified them for my space.
    The wall I put it on is 64" wide so I have future plans for a cabinet on the right hand side of my bench.

    Before with my Lee press

    [​IMG]

    Now with some RCBS gear that I was lucky enough to be given by some very generous friends. My wife is not too fond of the moose antlers but they make me smile every time I look at them!
    [​IMG]

    A couple of thoughts on your bench. Figure out if you want to sit or stand I like to have the option of either so an open bottom was the way for me to go. There is a 12" deep shelf under my bench which is great for storage.
    Even for small amounts of reloading you need lots of space and storage, shelves and cupboards etc...

    If you can clamp your press and other tools to the bench to start and load a couple of batches then you will get a better idea of how you want your tools set up and then mount them more permanently.

    Good luck!
     
  20. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Wall space - utilize it! Shelving is great, some pegboard would be good too.
     
  21. david_r

    david_r Member

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    Funny that. Being left handed, I think that the first reloading press was made by a lefty. I enjoy sitting left of the press and using my proper hand for manipulating and my right hand for the grunt work on the press handle. I can't imagine doing all of that as a right handed person.
    How would a left handed person set up his bench differently anyway? Truly curious as maybe I can move some things around.
     
  22. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Sorry, can't really tell you myself. I am a mix. I used to fence with a saber right-handed and a foil left-handed. I shoot a rifle left-handed, but a bow and handgun right-handed. Fine motor skills are in my left hand. Strength is in my right arm.

    My mother (who does not reload) is totally left-handed. Sewing, scissors, bowling, everything. I've no doubt she would set up a loading bench differently than I.

    But whatever works best for you in a well-thought out flow of hand and materials motion, whether left or right handed.

    My point was to make the O.P. think about what will matter to his setup.

    Lost Sheep

    edit: P.S. Frankly, I have been trying to figure out a convenient way to operate the press handle with a pair of counterbalancing foot levers.
     
  23. david_r

    david_r Member

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    LOL. You could use a windshield wiper motor. Momentary on switch to step on and it would stop after one cycle.
     
  24. USMCGRUNT_0341

    USMCGRUNT_0341 Member

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    I didn't have much room either. This bench is 52W by 30L. I built it myself for around $100 I think. Give or take a few bucks. It has been working for me this far, but will definitely go larger if I ever get a basement or garage.
     

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  25. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I thought about motorized solutions, but since I seat primers on the press, I could not use that. I a not sure how much "feel" I could have using my feet (probably barefoot for more sensitivity) but if it works, it works. If it doesn't, at least I will have tried.

    Besides, on principal, I want muscle power.

    Lost Sheep
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
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