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Benchtop optimal height, depth?
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Bushmaster
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Location: Ava, Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

wncchester is very correct about the lighting. I have a 4 tube in the ceiling and two desk type lamps on the wall on the right of the loading bench. You will note that there is no shadow on my bench in the photo above. It's important to be able to see inside each case to insure that the correct powder charge was administered. For rifle cases I have a mini mag light for checking all the cases when they are all charged and in the loading block just before seating the bullet.

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KYGunner
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

I like hearing all this feedback. Could we post some pictures in a special photo section allowing me to maybe steal some bench setup ideas? The perfect reloading bench.....!

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twofifty
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

No problem with lighting as there is a window right there, plus an outlet. Will anchor into the wall and floor for stability.

Found these bench plans somewhere, some interesting cubby holes and a special eye-level shelf for the scale... The plans look like they're out of some 1950s Popular Mechanics, perhaps a bit over the top, but a nice setup nonetheless.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

I guess better late than never... I finally got my bench cleaned up enough to photograph (at least the top of it!). Its only 4' wide and 2' deep but it's worked for me for around 20 years. I keep the scale and electronic powder dispenser beside it on another surface so any vibrations from the operation of the press or measure won't affect it as much. As you can tell, the storage area underneath needs some organizing...


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Morax
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

i have begun to notice if the bench is much bigger than the needed space to work with, it becomes a catch all for every dang thing that happens to come past it!! I am seriously thinking of splitting my bench down the middle and redoing it in a seperate room for the reloading.
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

My 'bench' has now evolved to its second iteration.

Started with 20"wide x 30"deep, 3/4"ply screwed onto a derelict dresser. The dresser provides the height and stability. Bench top is at 30" which is right for my build/chair, the press' handle length, and gives me a clear view of the die's mouth. But the lube tray and case blocks were crowded with the small tools which led to inefficiency.

Bench now is 40" wide and just as deep, simply adding a 20x30 3/4"ply removable leaf - no gaps and at exact same height. Powder measure dispenser stand is screwed down just behind and to the left of the press, where it is easily reached. Amazing how well my cheap Lee Perfect Powder Measure works.

Also built a portable shelf unit (3/4" ply for weight and stability) that is just big enough to hold my beam scale and trickler at eye level - there is a lower shelf to this thing for dies and small tools. I do have to reach up to the trickler though...time will tell if this shelf unit will get cut down an inch or so.

Nothing fancy, but it works.

Am thinking of covering some of the bench with a piece of short-pile carpet runner, to catch powder near the dispenser. Shake the carpet outside and the powder is gone.

How do you guys control and get rid of spilled powder?
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Wicky
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Location: Alice Springs, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Hi Guys, I use a rule of thumb for bench heights - when you are standing measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of your elbow when your arm is bent at 90 degrees and take off 2 inches. That height works well for standing and with an adjustable chair all is good. I have a shelf at eye level when I am seated, back plays up if I stand too long!

twofifty the best way to deal with powder spills is have the missus vacuum around your bench for you. I tend to do my own.
I would keep your bench top smooth easyer to clean with a brush and remains a stable surface for other bits of gear. I put my carpet under the bench so it is about 12 inches past the edge, then back to the vacuum to pick up any bits.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Morax wrote:
i have begun to notice if the bench is much bigger than the needed space to work with, it becomes a catch all for every dang thing that happens to come past it!!

Ain't that the truth mate. Why do you think that I have never posted a pic of my bench....there are times I can't see the damn thing for crap and corruption.

Cheers, Vince

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:04 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Vince, you'll notice that the post before mine with the picture was in Feb. Took me that long to get down to the actual bench top...

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Morax
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:01 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
Vince, you'll notice that the post before mine with the picture was in Feb. Took me that long to get down to the actual bench top...

hehehe pumpkin i noticed the BOTTOM of it this is what propted me to post about the top of mine! the bad thing is i had a old bench worked good, then i got ahold of a work bench and drawer init from a guy who used to work with stainless steel so this thing was heavy duty, and big. well it is a full garage wide minues a man door so thats what 7 foot long and front to back its almost 3 foot, I gotta lean to touch the back edge. then the shelf/drawer unit on top is 6 drawers high and two drawers across the top, at 6 foot tall I cant reach or see whats in the top drawers without stepping on something so useless, but heavy duty, (not thinking i mounted the reloader with cheezy bolts ripped it right off the top twice).. 3/8 inch lags hold it down now..
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Welcome aboard Wicky...Pull up a stump and grab a beer...We look forward to your pearls of wisdom to add to ours...What is yer poison? Hunting, fishing, guns?...Oh yeh...That's why yer here isn't it... Please join in...

Powder that escapes (which isn't much) my Lee Auto Disk is foxtailed onto the floor and swept up and dumped into the waste basket and sent to the burn barrel...If you must have rug...Make it so you can remove it and take it outside and beat it. It gets real exciting when you can't find that errent primer and your wife sucks it up in her vacuum. She will have a lot of kind words for you after she recovers... Very Happy

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fireball 3
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

hi ya bushmaster, I like the idea of a removable piece of carpet..
I use a small 1gallon wet/dry shop vac from wallymart.It's brushless so there is no sparks either..I like the way your bench is set up..I'm just using an old 3drawer (on the side ) desk, But for HD,I have a 1/4"x18"x 22" steel plate bolted on top.I have predrilled and tapped holes for the different units to be mounted..To use as a desk I just slide in a 3/8" panel, then it's a desk again...Just my .035 cents worth...Dave

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Wicky
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Joined: Apr 06, 2008
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Location: Alice Springs, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Thanks Bushmaster, not sure about the pearls of wisdom, more probably lies!!
Hunting and just guns are my passion, our government likes to keep us on our toes with firearms. You never know what each new day will bring.
I hope I can offer as much assistance as I get from these forums.

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