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Benchtop optimal height, depth?
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

The rest of my reloading stuff came in yesterday, Very Happy and so now I have to build a benchtop. Confused

Was thinking of 29" from floor to top surface, with a higher shelf to get the scale at eye level when seated...

Do you guys prefer your press base set at a normal (ie. kitchen table height of approx. 29") level, higher, or lower....

What is optimal from a motion/ergonomics point of view? Thinking that lower - so long as there's leg clearance when sitting - might be better so as not to have to reach so high for the handle.

As far as depth goes, 16" to 20" seems plenty deep from the pics I've seen here.

Also, I imagine that a good stiff top is best, something that does not flex easily. I've got a good slab of 1" plywood laying around here somewheres.

p.s. a single stage rifle and a regular shotshell press will be mounted.

Thx.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

I have my loading bench up to 38". And a sturdy bar stool. That way I can sit or stand comfortably and work the press or any other loaading tool. I do have a balance beam scale, but I use my digital more then the beam scale. I don't need a shelf just for my scale that way...



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English Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

My bench is 42" high.
This means I can comfortably work standing, or sitting on a high stool.
I guess I must be a little taller than you Bushy. Very Happy
The bench top is 30" x 72" & once I mounted a second press, is only just big enough.

Edit: I'm over 6'1" & have arms like an Orang-utan. Laughing


Last edited by English Mike on Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

4"? Not by much...

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

My bench is 36" high (I'm 5'8") and I think a couple more inches would have worked a little better.

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

I'm 5'10" and my bench top is perfect at 39". Even so, I have blocked up under my presses 2 to 3 inches, enough to allow me to fully depress the handle without having to bend over each time. A bar stool allows me to work seated when I wish.

I also find it helpful to use the elevation blocking to extend the presses about 2 inches forward of the bench top, it makes feeding cases and bullets into the press easier. I use what I call the "two finger shuffle" when swapping cases so the old one is removed and a new inserted in a single action.

Your plan to elevate your scale to eye level is VERY important. Place a good, heavy, trickler where it can dribble into the pan without having to move anything and you will be able to feed powder into your cases quickly. You will find it convienent to add some width to the scale shelf to push the scale towards you far enough to prevent stretching to reach it. My scale shelf is part of a "book shelf" unit that sits on top of the bench (anchored to the wall). It also holds powder cans, a radio, etc. so it isn't limited to a single function.
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Boy am I glad I asked you guys for your input.

Hadn't considered that the handle also goes down...so at 29" I'd be bending down even though seated in a chair.

Mocked up a 38"-39" height which seems like the sweet spot for my build. Bonus is it gives me a clear view of the die's mouth, which is prolly a good thing.

Plan A:
Now thinking about a multi-level top, the press at 39" and the rest at 29" so that loading blocks & bullets are worked comfortably without having to lift my hands above the shoulder.. Scale and heavy trickler at eye level as suggested.

Plan B:
Or just something to mount the presses....2'x2' square-topped 39" tall plywood rolling cabinet (with drawer and cubbies to hold components), on lockable casters. Roll it up to the sturdy kitchen table which would hold the loading blocks, bullet box, and other components. Take the scale out and set it on its own box at eye level on the kitchen table. When done, place scale, components etc. in cabinet and roll the thing back into a dark corner somewheres.

A couple more nights' sleep and the design will firm up.

p.s. The light is really good in the kitchen, so are the tunes. ;-)

Be glad to hear your comments on hare-brained plan B.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

By the way twofifty. In that photo of my loading bench...The bench is held against the wall by long screws set into the wall studs so that when I resize rifle cases I won't pull the bench over...Please keep that in mind too...

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

My loading bench is at 41" AFF. I'm 6' 1" and find anything shorter uncomfortable to work at for extended periods.

I'm in the process of replacing the remainder of the cabinets in the garage, which will bring then up to the same height. Once it's done I'll post some pics...

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woods
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Mine is 40" and I almost have to bend a little to follow the press lever to the bottom of the stroke.

Wish mine was 41" or 42".

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

My reloading bench is 29" high and when I roll my computer desk chair from the computer to my reloading bench (from one end of the room to the other) it is the perfect height. In other words there is no standing at my reloading bench.

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

1895ss wrote:
My reloading bench is 29" high and when I roll my computer desk chair from the computer to my reloading bench (from one end of the room to the other) it is the perfect height. In other words there is no standing at my reloading bench.

No one but Spomer would be that lazy...

That confirms what I suspected all along, "SS" stands for "secret Spomer".

1895 is Ron Spomer, look at the picture....

It's him...I swear it is...... Very Happy

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy I don't think so .............. but I'd probably rather live in Idaho than here. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

www.collectorscovey.co...omaut.html

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

I think he's one and the same...



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wncchester
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Benchtop optimal height, depth? Reply with quote

"Plan A:
Now thinking about a multi-level top, the press at 39" and the rest at 29" so that loading blocks & bullets are worked comfortably without having to lift my hands above the shoulder.. Scale and heavy trickler at eye level as suggested. "

I think you will find that working with loading blocks, case trimmers, etc. on a bench just below elbow height will be quite comfortable and won't require lifting your hands up at all.

Another fact, you will want a LOT of light on the loading bench. I prefer a minimum of a 4 ft. dual tube floresent directly over my head so the light falls slightly forward but I don't cast a shadow on the bench. And plan for an electrical outlet or two very near the bench for a desk lamp, radio, battery charger, power case trimmer, casting pot, etc.
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