What's the perfect height for your bench surface?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by strostro, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. strostro

    strostro Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I have a Dillon Square Deal B on the Dillon mount, mounted on my reloading bench. I think I may have my bench too high.

    I'm curious what height bench surface you have found to be most comfortable when pulling that lever over and over again. FYI: I prefer to stand up while reloading.

  2. jfh

    jfh Member.

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maiden Rock, WI
    too much of this issue depends on one's individual size.

    Look for an online link to Architectural "graphic standards." And, here's a tip to get started--for standard kitchen work, a countertop height about 4"-6" below one's elbow (when bent to nominally 90 degrees) is a good place to start. I'm 6'1"--typically proportioned, I think: I have a 32-33" inseam, and a 33" sleeve length. I find counter / bench tops at 38" or so to be a good working height--if the work is on the bench top. When I first started reloading, I preferred standing, and then later sitting on a tall stool.

    I suspect that another important variable would also be one's shoulder mobility, and what one can do to optimize that. I have a sore shoulder, and for the last bench I've set up, I now sit (sore back when standing still), and sit on a lower adjustable stool to operate my presses that are mounted on a 42" high bench. This eccentric position affords me the advantages of 1) being able to eyeball my work easier, and 2) the 'upward' motion with my shoulder is less likely to aggravate it.

    The point is--study the standards a bit, then modify them for your own needs.

    Jim H.
  3. Wedge

    Wedge Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I have my bench set at 36" and I sit while reloading. I built my bench from scratch and decided on this height after using an old desk that was a little lower than that before. I perfer to sit though...other's like to stand and might like a higher bench...42" would be a pretty good starting point for standing for me.
  4. caz223

    caz223 Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    SW Michigan
    Not sure about the SDB, but the rule of thumb with the 550 was to get the ball on the handle level with your right shoulder when standing or seated comfortably.
    It also depends if you have a strong mount or not.....
    I also stand up to load, I have a 550 with strong mount, and my bench is kinda tall at 44".
    That's a good thing, as you don't need to crouch down to be 'eye level' with the powder charged case to check for the appropriate powder charge.
  5. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Kitchen counter tops are made to fit the "average woman", not individual men. Most loading benches are too low for comfortable work!

    Put the bench top just under your elbows, just about waist high. Block up the press until you can fully depress the lever without bending over. Get a bar stool high enough to put you at the right height when working sitting.
  6. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Heart of Texas
    The type of chair or stool you'll use is worth considering. I like the bench surface about a foot higher than what I'm seated on.;)
  7. JohnMcD348

    JohnMcD348 Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I just built a reloading bench using the plans found on HammerZone.com and I increased the hieght a bit but don't remember how much exactly. It high enough that I can stand at it and use it as a work bench to work on my firearms and can also sit and be at eye level of my press when reloading and can watch the entire operation.

    I'm 6'2" and I think I built it at about 37"
  8. hawkeye1

    hawkeye1 Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Just build the bench to fit your size and your particular press set up. I use a Lee Turret press, am 6'6'' and my bench is 49 1/2 inches high. Perfect for me standing up. You just have to determine the perfecet height for you. Place the whole press assembly on your bench and see if you want to go higher and by how much. you will figure it out.';

    good shooting
  9. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

    Jul 7, 2007
    My workbench doubles as my reloading bench and it's framed at 40" high with a final dimension of 42" with two layers of Masonite as a bench top. I'm average height, not too tall at 5'9", so I can either sit or stand and I have a bar stool that I use when I choose to sit.

    My Dillon is mounted onto a couple pieces of wood shaped like a T which I insert into a 5" vise, this way I can switch between a sizer/luber and my press at the same location and when not in use, put it all away. This is good so that my reloading hobby isn't advertised, plus it frees up space for larger projects.
  10. GP100man

    GP100man Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Tabor City, NC.
    i like to be able to look into the case to check powder charge no matter how low or hi ,if i can do this im happy!!

  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I am 5'10" and mine is 36 1/4" high. I might adjust the heigth some when I get my 550. It is a little too tall to sit in a chair for my RCBS Reloader Special press. That is mounted to bench heigth and a little too short to stand with it. But this is a do it all work/reloading bench. But might become reloading only when i get the 550.
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