View Full Version : looking for ideas?loading benches
03-10-2011, 07:15 PM
k here we go, i can build anything that money can afford. how wide and long should i make my loading bench ect..... if u guys have some pics u can post i would love to see them before i make my own. thanks in advance!:)
03-10-2011, 07:59 PM
I have a 6' bench with a shelf below and on top it has worked well for me but then I have lots of other shelves and an 8' bench for working on guns.
can't get pic to post44804
03-10-2011, 08:08 PM
I don't see it as a matter of money.
What you want is funtionality (user friendly).
Build the bench to where you can get to everything with ease.
Big benches are great for auto shop and wood working. Not so much for reloading. Up close and personal is best when reloading.:)
Unless yer talking factory line reloading.:rolleyes:
Getting up and grabbing something is one thing. Walking the floor is another.
Nice~n~tight. Close quarters has it's benefits.
03-10-2011, 08:19 PM
Brisk, your bench looks like it is never used? Whats up?
03-10-2011, 09:29 PM
MB22, I use 2 benches currently, a 7 ft. long 24" deep solid hard maple top with rubber based feet (I get water in the basement sometimes) purchased for $200. I load rifle and do gun work on it.
I use the small Desk 4-5 ft. long by 24" deep to load handgun ammo and it works good for that. Just the right height for using the chair and crankin out mucho rounds fast!
03-10-2011, 09:34 PM
what a messy bench
03-10-2011, 10:05 PM
ok u guys are going to laugh. i realley don't want to buy any materials. i have about 100' of 6x6 same of 4x4's lots of 2x4's, 3/4,1/2 plywood and lots of hardwood.maple,oak,cherry,hickory ect... sorry about the money thing thought is was funny. but the design,storage spots mount to wall ect. i just made some baseball bat holders from wood i've had for 20 years for a buddys kids. it came from a house in coronando they were remodeling i was doing thier floors and the other crews were throwing it away i pulled the nails and took it home. i said i would use it sometime. 100+ year old wood that i finally used for a kid. it looks beautiful and i hope it will be cherished. i have some honey doo's to but that's another conversation k.
03-10-2011, 10:15 PM
I'm not laughin, it's good to save money. To make something thats nice and can stay in the family. When you get done make sure to show us. But as you can see by my pics, you can use as big or small as you want. It's like Bobitis said, build it for you.
03-10-2011, 11:23 PM
Madbuck, put a lot of thought into "close by" shelving for all the accessories and clutter. As you can see by the photos here, and my bench is no different, "stuff" is necessary in the loading process but "stuff" does accumulate and pretty soon the bench top is full. Adding more overhead shelving is still on my to-do list, ha.
03-10-2011, 11:38 PM
I've built two benches, one for upstairs & one for in basement where I keep everything. Type in reloading benches and you'll see some traditional plans. I use the old hornady style and like it, 6 foot long, I made mine a little deeper for extra storeage and I have cabinets go to the ceiling. Light is what you need too, spend a hundred on good 4 bulb with those newer little bulbs. Need a tv in place to watch reloading videos & music dvds while reloading.
03-11-2011, 12:52 AM
Might want to beef up the top of the bench seeing as you have plenty of wood laying around. A good sturdy place to mount your press is a definite plus.
03-11-2011, 07:16 AM
My bench is a cheapy tin affair that works fine BECAUSE I tied it to the wall in the back. The press is on the front edge and that gives it a lot of leverage over the bench. If you load down the bench then all is well but if you tie the bench to the wall behind it then it will be steady as a rock, even on a carpeted floor (My reloading area is a spare room that happens to be carpeted).
I built two other benches as work tables, one for reloading tasks like case trimming, etc. and the other for gunsmithing using nothing but 2 x 4's. Diagonal cross bracing is the key to stability, even if it is just across a corner.
There is another issue in a dry environment, like the desert where I live or in a cold country house mid-winter. That is static electricity. In my house if I wear nylon socks and walk the length of the house I can draw an inch long spark off the light switch plate screw. Can you imagine if that spark zap'ed over to the powder canister or a primer package. I bought a anti static rubber mat that is grounded to an outlet box. The matt is conductive and it conducts any static build up on your body into the mat and to ground... no sparks. It is under and around my reloading bench including under the stool I use when pulling on the press handle. These mats are commonly used in electronic assembly plants and can be custom sized. Sorry, but I don't remember who made it as I bought it almost 15 years ago through my now deceased brother-in-law. An Internet search might reveal a source.
03-11-2011, 08:13 AM
Mine is home made with 2X4's, and 3/4" plywood. It's 48" long, and 28" deep. I have two shelves on top about 8" deep, and 18" tall. It is not fastened to the wall, but is built sturdy. With storage underneath. Although it is a mess at this moment, there are a lot of things on that desk that have nothing to do with reloading! Everything is within easy reach. I don't have to get up for anything I need.
03-11-2011, 08:28 AM
Finally I get to help out. LOL I have 4x4 legs with 2x4 supports across the back and to the sides with 1/2 inch plywood top and 2x4 to support the top. This is about 2ft. by 7ft. which allows for my case tumbler and prep center as well as other things needed. Then I have three shelves from 1x10x @ 4ft. for shelves above. It is sturdy as ever and was built in the room. MAN I hope it never has to be taken out. LOL BTW, Under the top I have added a 2x4 support under the press for added strength. I painted it grey so it can be repainted as needed. Don't you all wish I would have posted a pic instead of all this nonsense? LOL
03-11-2011, 08:43 AM
Where's the picture Gene? And by the way, my bench can be moved from room to room. I know because it was first set up in a trailer house we lived in. The only thing is that by using the plywood I had to get a large piece of firewood to whack my bullet puller on! The plywood is too soft and absorbs the impact!
03-11-2011, 09:00 AM
look up the thread reloading room changes. about 30 days ago lots of picks thear hope this helps:)
Make it stable and solid.
One of mine has 4x4 legs and plenty of bracing.
The top is 5/4 birch plywood.
03-11-2011, 12:37 PM
This is what I ended up with given the limit space I have.
Here is pic of theirs:
03-11-2011, 06:18 PM
wow lots of go pics thanks one looks like the whole room is a reloading place. i guess the most important thing is a confortable rolling chair lol. got all your guys imput im going to put it on paper then make it it. will be on one wall about 10' long. thanks for all the ideas peeps. when i'm done i'll have pics posted. after turkey season about may-ish.
03-11-2011, 09:16 PM
Key things to consider:
Good lighting - as us more seasoned guys know, you can't have enough light. It's just easier to see what you are doing. If you don't install enough initially, you can always add some.
Bench countertop size - I made mine 28" deep and 10'-0" long. I don't use all of it, but I think I will "grow" into it. I ripped 2x6 into 1 3/4" pieces and glued it all up. Don't forget to put a backsplash on it so you won't have things rolling behind the cabinet.
Bench height - easier in the long run. I made mine 43" high above finished floor. I added rubber mats to stand on, so I'm at about 42 1/2" working height. I suggest you measure the distance from the floor to your elbow with your forearm level to the floor and subtract 2". If there are multiple stations, you can vary the height. I just made mine all the same and haven't had any issues with any of the loading processes.
Bench strength - plenty stout. You will have to support the lever action of the press. Again, I have 1 3/4" to bolt or lagscrew into. I'm not worried about the press moving on me.
Cabinets and shelves - I had a couple of older cabinets that I reused for the base under the countertop. And plan to install all the wall shelves you can fit on the back wall. The main idea is to have as much easily accessible storage as you can have.
Power - if you can swing it, plan for extra electrical outlets along the back wall length behind the workbench. Eventually, I will install continuous power outlets on top of the backsplash of the work top.
I'm sure there are other suggestion I could make, but I haven't been reloading long enough to have come across all issues yet.
03-11-2011, 09:18 PM
Forgot to mention, you'll want to get a comfortable stool for when you don't want to stand at the workbench.
03-14-2011, 07:44 PM
I built mine with 2 by 4's for the legs and bracing, and 2 by 6's for the top. It is deep enough that I can reach anything without bending. It is 4 feet wide, but really would be better if it were 6 feet. It is waist height, for I generally like to stand while reloading, but occasionally use a bar stool to sit. I used lag screws to secure the table to the wall for stability.
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