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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well thanks for sharing all the info you all do here. I am not yet a reloader, but have been getting the supplies together to be able to. What finally pushed me was a too good to pass up on trade with a local guy. He wanted to trade his RCBS press, scale, calipers, 9mm die set, some brass, some powder, some bullets, and a dry tumbler all for a Marlin model 60. I feel like I got a pretty good deal on that trade.

So here's my question for you all. I have a "man-cave" in the house that I can dedicate some space to reloading, but I don't want to overtake the whole room. It's only about 8x11.5' of floor space and I only really want to dedicate a corner to it. From the corner in either direction, it could go abut 4-5 feet. How deep is a useful bench? Would 4' from the corner by about 16-18' deep be sufficient?
 

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With some shelving added underneath and over...that would be plenty of room.
 

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I'd go 24 inches deep by at least 6 feet long.
 

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There was on old desk in my basement that is about 4.5' wide and 2' deep that I use as a reloading/gun working bench. It's extremely heavy and all metal so it's plenty sturdy. I cut an old bookshelf in half and attached the two pieces to the back of the desk with a piece of pegboard in between. It's manageable for the setup I have but I'll soon be upsizing just to have more workable space. There around the desk is a large metal filing cabinet that I use to keep brass, ammo boxes and extra equipment. Two of the cheap three drawer plastic organizers from Walmart also used to keep brass. Then theres a pretty good sized mini-fridge where I keep most of my powder and primers. I'm starting to consider just picking up a full sized fridge that's no good because the mini-fridge is full and powder is starting to stack up on top. I reload for 22 different calibers so the dies, bullets, powder and primers are really starting to take up space.

It's all makeshift but it works for me. Next bench will defintely be wider but no deeper. Storage is really my main issue. Like grandpabear said... SHELVING. Also I've found that a vise is very handy.
 

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How deep is a useful bench? Would 4' from the corner by about 16-18' deep be sufficient?
My loading bench is 36" wide, 24" deep with shelving 8" deep, and three shelves high, the width of the bench. I have my scale at eye level on a shelf, and two presses mounted on a raised platform, along with a powder measure. The size is sufficiently large to set up and load up to 250rds or so at a time.

I have about 15,000 bullets on the heavy shelving, of various calibers and weights. A similar number of primers of all types, a dz loading manuals and references, loading blocks, and tools for adjusting and removing dies, all stored on the shelves or in the drawers. Powder sits on the side in heavy wooden/stackable boxes, on wheels, about 40lbs.

What it is not good for is cleaning guns, or any other tasks. It's not large enough to accommodate more than one load recipe at a time. It is used strictly for reloading, nothing else.

I have acres of room in my basement workshop. One area is dedicated to archery maintenance and arrow building. Along with a 20yd indoor range.
Behind my loading bench is a 8'x3' very solid table, with two heavy shelves underneath, for maintenance and cleaning. On the other side is a similar bench with a drill press, a belt/orbital sander, a heavy vise, and a drill mill.

But my loading bench is sized for a single purpose, so nothing ever gets mixed up.
 

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Min is 8' long x 24" deep. When I'm facing it there is a heavy industrial work table right behind me that is 5' x 3' . I seem to use all of that space, but am not cramped.
 

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You can make whatever space you have work. I used to use a small Black and Decker workmate for a portable bench. Not the sturdiest in the world, but it worked fine. Now I've got a solid 48x30" bench in a spare bedroom.
 

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Frankford Arsenal reloading stand for now works just fine for me. The one with the fold down edges that is. It is height adjustable as this old back has to stand once in awhile.
 

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The bigger the better. As you accumulate tools and supplies, it's amazing how much real estate they use. My bench is a 4x8 sheet of 1" plywood cut in half .... 2'x8'x2" with a full length 2-level shelf on the back. I keep my spent cases in plastic coffee cans on a shelf halfway between the floor and benchtop and loaded ammo in 50 cal GI boxes on the floor, under the lower shelf.

I have two presses mounted on my bench ... a Dillon RL550 on the right side and a RCBS Rockchucker in the middle. I have 16 sq ft of bench space so when I'm reloading, I have room for a scale, powder measure, caliper, trickler, Acro-bins, powder, funnel, and of course the press, plus space for other related stuff. When I finish reloading, everything has a storage space .... no junk left on the bench top except for the two mounted presses. Powder (20 jars), bricks of primers, and many boxes of bullets are stored in or on the rear shelf.

When I first started, I only had a single stage press and a much smaller work area. I don't consider myself to be a clumsy person but with restricted bench space, I found I was always bumping into obstructions, spilling powder, and dropping cases on the floor. When I finished, I had no space for storage so my bench top looked like a junk heap.

Reloading bench space reminds me of buying a gun safe .... you tend to out grow it in a year or two.
 

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I'm not home to measure it but this bench is about 40X24. I'd like a bit more room but it works.
 

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Well thanks for sharing all the info you all do here. I am not yet a reloader, but have been getting the supplies together to be able to. What finally pushed me was a too good to pass up on trade with a local guy. He wanted to trade his RCBS press, scale, calipers, 9mm die set, some brass, some powder, some bullets, and a dry tumbler all for a Marlin model 60. I feel like I got a pretty good deal on that trade.

So here's my question for you all. I have a "man-cave" in the house that I can dedicate some space to reloading, but I don't want to overtake the whole room. It's only about 8x11.5' of floor space and I only really want to dedicate a corner to it. From the corner in either direction, it could go abut 4-5 feet. How deep is a useful bench? Would 4' from the corner by about 16-18' deep be sufficient?
Couple of feet deep tends to be the norm.
Here's a thread that'll give you some ideas.... http://rugerforum.net/reloading/44352-reloading-bench-lets-see-them.html
 

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My bench is 6' X 30" with 12" shelves in the back and a shelf underneath; I should have made it at least 36" wide. Reloading stuff is like water - it tends to expand into the space available - I spend entirely too much time poking through stuff looking for small tools and the like, but I admit that I could be better organized. Like Iowegan said "bigger is better", especially when it comes to have cupboard space to store stuff that you are not using - I could use twice as much of that.
 

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GONRA suggests - robustly fasten the bench top to a wall.
Adds more or less "free" stability and rigidity for your situation.
If bench top isn't smooth or real thick, be sure to add a top layer too.
You can doit! Merry Xmas!
 

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Mine is simple. Only two tools that are 'hard' connected to the bench. The rest is in drawers when needed, like the scales. And the way I set it up the bench can be cleared for doing other things than just reloading. The home-made bench is very 'sturdy'. 3' 6" to the top, 32 inches deep. 5' 8" long. Have a large vise attached to the other end. Excuse the mess :rolleyes:

 

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I have seen very small and very large reloading benches, while bigger is better up to a point, you have to make the bench fit the space avilable. If you are going to build your own like I did, make sure it is stable and heavy. The top ofmy bench is 3/4" exterior grade plywood. The frame of the bench is 2 X 10 lumber. I spaced cross members of 2 X 4 a every 16"" and extended them beyond the frame by 6" and ran a 2 X 4 from one end to the other. I secured the reloading presses with 2 1/2" long 1/2" lag bolts. Each leg is made with 3 2X4s with 1/2" plywood strip sandwiched between 2 of the 2X4s and the third 2X4 attached laterally to the other 2X4s. I have a 3/4" plywood shelf installed to hold my brass and bullets. It weights over 400 lbs and sets on a concrete floor. It is very stable.
I have seen various size benches for sale in Lowe's and Home Depot that would work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good luck on getting started. I think you "made out like a bandit" on your trade.

Thanks everyone! Yes, I feel I made out like a bandit as well on that trade. That's why I try to have trading stock on hand, you never know what someone is going to be looking for.

I think I have some good ideas from you all, and I did go look through that "Show your reloading bench" thread as well.

I am going to make it as big as that corner in the room allows. I am going to want it to be multi purpose so I can clean/maintain guns, do small woodworking or craft projects, etc, so I think I am going to make sure I have plenty of shelves, drawers, or cabinets as well.

I'll do a build thread when it gets time to start putting it together too.
 
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