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Old March 23, 2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Recommended Height for Reloading Bench

Hello All,
I am new to reloading and am still waiting for my Hornady press and dies to arrive after very long backorder. Meanwhile, I need to build a reloading bench. There are a lot of simple plans out there, but it is confusing as to the best height for the bench top. I plan to use a standard kitchen table chair, so what do you recommend for the height of the bench.

Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:00 AM   #2
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Quote: I plan to use a standard kitchen table chair,,,,measure the kitchen table, and make yourself comfortable. I have an oak office desk I do my handwork at setting in a swivel, rolling, reclining type office chair. I work at my press while standing, resizing, pouring powder, seating bullets... But all the casework is at my desk.. which is sometimes cluttered,,,no all the time cluttered with tools.
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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I usually stand while reloading. Fatigue mat under the feet. 36" bench is about right for me. If I need to sit, I have a cheap bar stool I got at one of the big box stores long ago. If I'd got one of those elevated press mounts, like Dillon sells for their presses, I'd have lowered the bench by the height of the stand.
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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Are you planning on sitting and working or stand and work. I generally stand and my bench is 38" and my presses mounted on a 2" thick block of wood that I can bolt and unbolt from the bench to put another press or tool in it's place. If you are standing my rule is to bend my elbow and hold my hand and forearm parallel to the floor and measure for height. It's higher than most peoples loading benches but I'm the only one using it and that is my comfort height. You have to decide what works best for you and not what we prefer because we are all different.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:31 PM   #5
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Grump is correct, make your bench top about elbow height for what ever position you're going to work. I like versatility so I prefer to a bench for standing and use a bar stool for sitting at the same height. Even then I need to block presses up so I don't have to bend over to fully depress the lever.

I've gotten a few good laffs at tall reloaders who carefully made their loading bench the same height as their short wife's kitchen counter tops because that 'must be right!'
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your input. I just wanted a ballpark idea as to height. Since I don't know what will be the most comfortable, I was just trying to get some input before I build a bench. I just don't want to have to build twice. It seems a lot of people stand to reload. I had not thought about that. Now I am still confused. I was thinking 2' x 4' benchtop; it's just the height I an trying to sort out.
Thanks again!
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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I built my bench to be able to sit or stand, but usually stand. I built mine taller than most, it's 48" high. That puts the press handle right at shoulder height for minimal fatigue.

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Old March 23, 2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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My bench high is about 38" high x 24" deep x 5' long with a back stop. I stand when reloading and I have a mat in front of it the length of the bench. I re enforced under the front edge of the bench with 1" angle iron bolted to the face of the bench. The presses are mounted to 1\4" steel plate which is through bolted with counter sunk allen head 1/4" bolts. The presses are bolted to the tap threaded plate. The front edge plate screws are threaded into the angle iron. The Bench itself is just made of 3/4" and 5/8" plywood and 2x4 frame enclosed with doors and shelving underneath.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Bench height is really subjective. You need to decide whether you want to stand or sit while reloading and build it accordingly. Height will depend on how tall you are.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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I bought a house that had a work area already built in the garage, when I get back home I'm going to see if it's suitable for mounting the LCT press I just ordered. If not, I'll be starting a bench project of my own. I was also thinking about buying the Lee Reloading Stand or maybe some other fold away work bench.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:30 PM   #11
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I sit- because when I sit down to reload (although I kinda forget what that's like since I haven't been able to buy powders and primers for months now) it's for four or five hours at a stretch doing hundreds of different rifle-caliber rounds.

Experiment with what will work best for you. For me, it was standard countertop/desk height- 30"-32". Running a press handle for hours at a time can be rough- especially if you're not seated at the "right" height and angle to the press.

I recently built a large table for a gunstock duplicator- and since this work requires I be working over this table hours every day and there was no way to know what would be most comfortable, I designed the leg support so that they could easily be cut- and the table lowered- until I found the most comfortable height for me. This is a "standing" table, so I started out high, tried it, and ended up cutting several inches off the legs to lower it to the optimal height.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:09 PM   #12
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Thanks again for all the advice, everyone! Tobnpr, that's a great idea! I'll build it a little tall, then I'll just have to cut equal amounts off the legs until its just right. Why didn't I think of that? I think I would prefer to sit. I stand all day in front of a lab bench and fume hood, so I would like some sit time.
Thanks again for all the responses.
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:03 PM   #13
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Mainly I think you just need to figure out how you like to load.
I have tried loading at normal table top height, seated in a regular chair.

I did not like it.

The benches I have made, I build them so the top is at my waist height.
I can work them standing or seated in a stool.
I prefer the stool.

Some presses I still had to build a base to raise it to a comfortable working height. I did this with my Hornady press.
Basically play around find out how you like to work.

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