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Old August 9, 2002, 05:31 PM   #1
Clint Tickler
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Bench Dim's

I've moved and am getting ready to set up a new bench in my shop. I've got a 16 x 16 outside building that I've put power to and divided in half. I get half and my best half gets half. (My half has heat) Anyway. actual inside dim's for a half are 7 x 15. I'm thinking of a horseshoe shape bench, 22"' wide on both sides, 8' long on one side and 10' on the other, and that leaves 40" open to move around in between the two. One side will be my Dillon 650 and 2, maybe 3 single stages and the other side will have a spot for cleaning and working on guns, both hand guns and rifles. Then of course case trimmers and other case prep tools. This will be pretty much just a reload/armory room. I'm wondering if a 22" deep bench is enough and if 40" between is enough. I'm a fairly big guy at 225 but I think 40" will work. Any thoughts?
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Old August 9, 2002, 07:45 PM   #2
C.R.Sam
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Sounds nice to me...
But I'm bout half your size.

Shelves n cabinets above the rear of some and pegboard above other parts cool too.

Good lighting and exhaust fan ?

Sam
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Old August 9, 2002, 11:22 PM   #3
Clint Tickler
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Good lighting of course but I hadn't thought abought an exhaust fan. Thanks.
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Old August 10, 2002, 04:35 AM   #4
C.R.Sam
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Deep sink would be nice too if you can get away with one.

Of course, wife will need one on her side too.

Hey; it's your money, we're here to help you spend it.

Sam
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Old August 10, 2002, 03:02 PM   #5
Jeeper
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I have a u shaped desk that has 40 inches between the sides. It is easily enough space to move around. Make sure to have plenty of storage space and a good surface for the top of the bench. I also really like the bins that dillon sells. I use them for all my bullets. As for the 22inch dimension I would measure you 650 especially if you have the casefeeder. I forget how deep it is. THere have been a ton of posts here if you do a search where you can see pics of different benches that will give you ideas for storage.
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Old August 10, 2002, 04:09 PM   #6
larryw
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One suggestion would be to lay out the dimensions of the work space using boxes or the like. We did that when sorting out a kitchen remodel and found a couple problems that, while they looked good on paper, didn't work in real life. For example, can you reach the upper shelf in the corner of the horseshoe?

I'm also a pretty big guy (6'5", 225#) and while 40" sounds like all the room in the world, it is actually pretty tight, espcecially if you plan on putting a stool there for extended sessions at the bench. Perhaps narrower sides will work as well and give you more room to roam?

Another suggestion, and I base this one on personal experience that is too late to fix (well, I could, but that safe is friggin' heavy and bolted down tight...). Put your longest rifle in the cleaning stand and poke your longest cleaning rod through both ends: can you do that without having to move the rifle or banging into the presses? If not, rethink the layout.
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Old August 11, 2002, 04:42 PM   #7
Johnny Guest
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I'm glad you opened this topic, Clint.

I'm paying close attention, because I'm in the process of buying a house and will close this month. I'll be able to set up a loading bench/shop area for the first time in many years. I've been working at a metal table with some home made shelves, but it has really been make shift. All the input on this forum will be a big help to me, and may save me some costly false starts.

larryw---I'm about 6-3. What heiight is your bench top? If you could conveniently change it, would you? How high do you consider ideal for a tallish man? Would you make different areas (Loading, gun cleaning, repair area) different heights?

My work area will be strung out along two walls of a two-car garage, so I won't have the convenience of turning in place and easily reaching some of my stuff. I can live with this, especially if I hand engough cabinets and shelves.

Any possibility that some of you could post photographs of your set ups? I have not yet run a search for prior threads, but will do so soon.

My aim is to mount a Dillon 550 and two single-stage presses. My only not-easily-moveable power tool will be a bench mounted drill press.

Thsi reminds me--I'm having an electrician look at another wiring matter on Monday--Need to get him give me an estimate on some outlets and lighting fixtures.

I apologize for leaping into the middle of your thread, Clint, but you got me to thinking . . . .

Best to all,
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Old August 11, 2002, 06:28 PM   #8
Jeeper
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JG.

I would suggest definatley looking at what you will be doing at the bench...Cleaning guns, standing or sitting etc... I use a high bar stool while loading which made my bench a little higher than normal. Also look at what else you want on the bench and how you want to organize it. Where are your tumblers going, brass etc. I have moved 5 times in 5 years and had 5 different benches..I am building a new one now also. I posted some previous posts that had pics of various peoples benches. Take a good look and get a plan before you start. Good luck


http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ighlight=bench

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ighlight=bench

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...threadid=87346

Here is a search result for "Bench" There are more ideas there
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...der=descending
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Old August 11, 2002, 11:42 PM   #9
larryw
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JG, my bench is 42" high and I find that extra 6" to make all the difference in the world when loading, cleaning and tinkering. I do everything standing.

The bench is 8' long X 24" deep with a safe on one end and the press on the other. I find myself always bumping into one or the other while cleaning my rifles. If I were to do it again, I would keep at least one end open (one of these days I'll move that safe...).

I like my work surfaces to be sturdy: the top is made out of 1 1/2" solid oak butcher block (cosmetic reject from a local cabinet shop); the mass is really nice, especially when you have to horse down on something. The legs and bracing are 4x4s and everything is half-lapped, glued and lag bolted together, to wall studs or to the concrete slab. I can jump on the bench without it shaking or losing its level.

I also have the Dillon 550B and after a short stint with it mounted on the bench top, I sprung for the "Strong Mount" which raised it up to the right height; now the top of the handle is just below arm pit level. I regularly load 500+ rounds a session without any strain.

Since I do everything standing and don't need the knee room, I added two rollout shelves below the bench. Taking Norm Abram's advice, make sure you get the heavy duty "full extension" drawer rollers, if they're not rated for at least 200#, they're not going to last (a case of 45ACP weighs 50#, 1000 230gr bullets weigh 32#: 200 pounds is nothing). Top shelf has a couple tool boxes and the bottom one carries loaded ammo, brass and bullets, all stacked in 50 Cal ammo cans.

About a foot above and running the width of the bench is a 6" wide shelf for cleaning supplies, radio, bottle of beer, etc. Above that is pegboard. I have an 8' power strip with 8 grounded outlets that I purchased from the local electricians supply on a dedicated 20 amp circuit screwed to the wall just below this shelf. Power outlets are like ammo: one can never have too much.
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Old August 12, 2002, 05:19 PM   #10
Clint Tickler
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I appreciated you chiming in Johnny. You asked some good questions I hadn't thought of. Such as height. I'm going to temporarily block up my bench to 38" and see how that feels and go from there. Thanks for all the input Gents. It's easier to get it right the first time then change it later when your time is better spent loading or shooting!
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Old August 12, 2002, 10:54 PM   #11
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Thank you all very much - - -

jeeper, the links you provided are excellent. They will save me a lot of searching and probably some false starts.

larryw and Clint, your input is invaluable as well. I am saving this thread and will refer back to it many times in the next few months.

All best,
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Old August 13, 2002, 02:06 PM   #12
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Clint, I had to build my loading bench in an alcove in my garage - coincidentally, it's work surface is 22" deep, the same as you're planning. Overall length is just under 12 feet. I've got shelving above and cabinets on either side.

Things were complicated a bit by having a big window with a deep window sill right in the middle of the alcove. Instead of placing a leg in the middle of the bench along the back side, I "straddled" the window sill with a pair of legs and cantilivered a support from the front leg to the back 2x8 cross member.

The table top is a 2x10 and 2x12 laid side to side, with 3/4" plywood forming the work surface. A thin slat of wood "finished" the front edge. The front center leg is made of three 2x4's, the other legs are 4x4's. The upper cross braces across the back and sides are 2x8s, the lower cross braces are 2x6s. A pair of 2x10s form the lower shelf. Drawers were salvaged. Most of the bench is held together with 3/8" carriage bolts of the appropriate lenth. It's SOLID, but simple to build. (The hardest part was cutting the legs to different lengths so the table would be level on a slightly sloped floor.)

Just for kicks, I built a "lazy susan" turntable out of lumber from a shipping crate to put boxes of bullets on - you might consider something of the sort for the corner of your bench.

I have a RockChucker, a Dillon SDB, and a Ponsness Warren shotshell press on the table - the latter is easily removable, but when I'm using it, I let the shells drop through a hole in the table top right into one of the drawers.

22" is deep enough to work on, but the 40" space you're allowing yourself will be tight quarters. Remember - reloading presses will hang over the edge and reduce the overall space available, especially when you work the handle. At 40" I think you'll be bumping into things a lot.

I've attached a CAD sketch of my bench for your amusement . . .
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File Type: jpg loadingbench.jpg (68.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old August 13, 2002, 06:22 PM   #13
Clint Tickler
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Looks good hank. I'm going to test that 40" spacing to see if I can live with that or not. I've got one section of the bench propped up right now to test the height.
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Old August 14, 2002, 09:32 PM   #14
Boondocker
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Hi Clint

My bench is and old fashion office desk. Its a monster I found at a yard sale and it is 36 inches deep and goes around 300lbs and it doesnt budge a bit. Best 20 bucks I spent. Here is a pic.
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Old August 14, 2002, 11:07 PM   #15
C.R.Sam
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Quote:
It's easier to get it right the first time then change it later when your time is better spent loading or shooting!
Been lookin at loadin and shootin benches since the 30s....Don't think anyone got it right the first time. Or the fifth time.

But, sho do help when it is CLOSER to right the first time.

Research and brain picking saves frustration.

And tis indeed fun.

Sam
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Old August 15, 2002, 11:23 AM   #16
Jeeper
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CR Sam has it right,

Every bench I make has something I would change about it. A place like this would have helped me not make some of those mistakes earlier though. You should be way ahead of where most of us started.
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