Bench Requirements

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Mike1959, May 23, 2012.

  1. Mike1959

    Mike1959 New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am just getting ready to start down my path to reloading. I currently have a work bench in my garage that is 24x12 ft long and 38" off the floor. Will this make a good starting point as fas as benches are concerned? I built it higher due to back surgeries and issues. It does have shelving above and below. Also what considerations do i need to make for storage of powders and primers?

    I ask because I am currently remodeling some stuff in garage and want to get this right. Thanks for any input.

    Mike :dontknow:
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    24 inches deep, 12 feet long and 38 inches high? It'll make a helluva bench. My bench has 36 inch legs and 3/4 ply top, so basically 37 inches. I load standing up. A lot of people seem to like to sit, to reload. I have a bar-stool, if I feel the need to sit, but it seems to work better for me standing up.

    If at all possible, I'd store the powder and primers inside the house. Don't know about where you live, but where I live, the temps in my shed go from the high 20s to the low 100s. My powder and primers seem to like it better in the mid-50s to low 80s inside my house.

    They last longer when they are not subject to extremes of temperatures.
  3. Claudius Valarium

    Claudius Valarium Member

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    Sounds like you are off to a good start. You may have already seen this but, there is also good information on this post about a year ago.

    http://http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=87946

    If you are going to add a/c in the garage, the powder and primers should be ok. My setup is in a room that is not "officially" air conditioned (there's a unit in the room and a small amount of air finds it's way into the work space), but the room is insulated and the temps stay fairly constant year round. My point here is that the a/c doesn't have to be sized to match the house temps. It just needs to "temper" the air.
  4. Claudius Valarium

    Claudius Valarium Member

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    By the way Mike, welcome to TFF! There's a lot of good information and good people on this site.
  5. Claudius Valarium

    Claudius Valarium Member

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  6. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mike, nice to have you onboard. That is a great bench that you have. Like Alpo I like to stand when I reload. I do have a bar stool, but I seldom use it. My bench is 43" tall and for me it is perfect. One thing I will mention is lighting, lighting, and more lighting. Make sure there are no lighting cords laying on the bench because they get in the way. Two 6 foot overhead lights above your bench will help out a bunch.

    If you are going to bolt your press and etc... onto the bench, I would recommend clamping them first so you can get a feel for how much distance you will need in between each mounted piece of equipment you intend to mount. Also, once your e.q. is mounted make sure the handles travel top to bottom without hitting the bench.

    I prefer to bolt the front of my bench together. Some use nails to build a bench, and some use screws. I prefer to bolt the front cross section of 2x4's together so it stays tight for the duration. Since your's is already built, all you have to do is drill the holes and put the bolts and nuts on. It makes for a stout bench. That is just my preference.

    One last thing and I will shut up. If you have flex in your benchtop, don't be affraid to double layer the top. You want it as stout as can be.

    Here's a pic so you can see what I mean about the bolts. You will see that I also doubled the top so it would not flex. I always get the cheapest wood available for my top.

    Jim

    Attached Files:

  7. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Active Member

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    Welcome! Sounds like a nice bench! I have two benches built in my shop. One I use for loading, and one for gunsmithing. Mine are 3'D x 8'L x 36.5"H. I used 4x4's for my legs with a sheet of cabinet grade 3/4" plywood on top with a pressure treated 2x10 under the plywood at the front. That made the first 10" of my bench top 2.25" thick. I made me some steel plates to act as a big washer to run my bolts thru. It stiff as a rock. Also I mounted a 2x6 to the wall screwing it to my wall studs, then screwed my bench to the 2x6. My bench is as rock solid as concrete. As for powder storage I store my powder on a top shelf above my bench. My wife found some wire potato chip racks. I have them setting on the backside of my bench. They work great for storing my primers, and cleaned brass. I have peg board behind my bench to hang tools.
  8. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Nice set up.
  9. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    sounds great. I have a table and a work bench that is 4'x3' free standing.. table is 4x4.. I have my tumbler on the table, and some tools and whatnot, plus my brass trimmer and reamers. on my bench side I have a couple presses and the holder for my powder measure, my scales and reloading blocks.

    underneath i have my projectiles and dies.

    in a box under the table I have my powders. i ziplock bag all powder cans and dies and bullet boxes to keep moisture out. I store my boxes of primers on a shelf under the dies, in a seperate area from the primers. also zip lock bagged. I habe a couple small buckets of brass i am working on I keep to the side of my bench, the rest of my brass I keep ziplocked on that shelf with the primers.. I use cardboard boxes to set al the bags in.

    have a bag / box with all my shell holders.. etc. plus a bag that has all my instruction sheets for the dies and scales and presses.

    I have an old integral seat / desk style school desk next to the table and bench.. it has an underslung rack for books. i keep all my reloading books in that rack and set out the ones i need on the desk to read for loading data. I have pad and paper to make notes on at the desk... I keep masking tape and empty cartridge loading boxes ( plastic / reuseable) on the table and when i load up some cartridges i mark on the box on tape what the load data is, date, bullet type, etc.. all my primer pocket tools are on that bench as well, though my hand primer tool is on the bench. lube spray is with the loading blocks on the bench. I have a cartridge gauge on the table next to the trim station, as well as a sheet with al the trim-to specs laminated and attached to cardboard, stood up at the back of the trim station so i can look up and see wht my specs are.

    a work in progress.. but it works..

    i save reuseable food containers like tubberware.. etc, as it makes great bins for sorting bulk brass as it is being depried, or sized and lubed.. trimmed, and debured..e tc..

    don't put a tumbler on the same bench as a powder scale or a powder measurer/thrower.


  10. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Welcome aboard! Sounds like you have a ready made reloading bench. I have to agree with Highboy on the lighting. I use a small reading lamp, with magnifier, mounted right over the spot I use for my reloading tray. It provides enough light that I can see right down into my brass. One quick glance, and I can see that all brass has powder, and a double charge is quickly spotted.

    Attached Files:

  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    yep.. I got a lamp just like that.. they work wonders. I also use a small hi brite single led lamp for peering into deep bottleneck rifle cartridges.
  12. daboone

    daboone Member

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    Set up a shelf at eye level for the beam scale. That will help bending or stooping you head to accurately view it.
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    hey now.. I might just implement that stolen idea in the morning!!
  14. Mike1959

    Mike1959 New Member

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    sounds good guys, thanks. DA that is good idea since i dont like to stoop

    Mike
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