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ZNiner 01-31-2013 5:13 AM

Help Me Decide on Reloading Bench Dimensions
So I'm on the fence on the dimensions for my reloading bench. I already bought all of the wood and actually have the plywood cut for 8'Lx2'W. I haven't cut the 2x4's yet.

Long story short, I am going to trim the length down to 6 feet as 8 feet is too long for my needs. At this point, I am reconsidering the width, 2 feet seems shallow to me but it could be just right.

So for those of you with benches here is the equipment I am looking to setup on my bench:

1 Dillon 550b
1 Forster Co-Ax
1 Sinclair Stainless Ultimate Trimmer
1 RCBS Chargemaster Powder Dispenser
1 Thumlers tumbler
Various small tools

The bench will have two shelves beneath it with the same dimensions of the top so that is where things will go for storage.

I am going to be putting together one of these workbench kits minus the upper shelving:

So what say you 6'x2' sufficient? or 6'x3'?

XDRoX 01-31-2013 5:46 AM

My first bench was 8'x4'. 4' is really too big IMO. It was hard to reach the back of the bench. My new bench is 9'x20". 20 inches is plenty deep enough IMO. I do allow 2ft for each press. I think that gives the perfect amount of space. It's very comfortable to load on. Each one of the cabinets in the picture are 2' wide. I allow one press per cabinet.

So IMO 2' would be plenty deep. But a would go 8' wide if you have the room.

blockfort 01-31-2013 6:48 AM

In the name of ergonomics, I made my bench quite a bit higher than a standard counter or desk. I stood up and measured from my bent elbow to the ground, and made the bench just under that. My press is mounted directly to the bench, not on a stand. It's quite comfortable, and I don't have to hunch. If you're building something, build it for you, just like an adjustable stock, you'll be happier if you're comfortable.

MIAMIbaseballer 01-31-2013 9:06 AM

I think xdrox nailed it..... I went with 2' deep and 6' long just for my 650....

Dark Mod 01-31-2013 9:25 AM

I prefer to err on the side of the larger. Its nice to be able to spread stuff out, and keep everything seperated. It seems im always running out of space on my office desk as ive collected more and more equipment.

Now the tumbler and media seperator are on a folding table, my single stage and powder measure are on my workbench, my progressive is on my desk table, and my lee classic turret sits unmounted and relegated to a dark corner of the garage where it will stay until it learns how to be a better press. My ammo storage, dies, powder, accessories, scale, primers, trimmers bullets are all stacked into the desk hutch and drawers. If it was my only bench i would be really hurting for space and storage.

I can think of a million things to do with extra bench space (mount a vice, table saw, gun cleaning area) and if its gonna be your only work surface you will be glad you built it large enough to accomodate your expanding collection of reloading gear.

KeithET 01-31-2013 9:29 AM

After 30 years of reloading and several benches from very small (28" x 20") to very large (8' x 4') I have decided that I really don't need a lot of depth. The length is of more importance to me mainly to accommodate the equipment that I want mounted permanently which is my Dillon 550. I have a single stage press and various other tools that can be bench mounted but I only use occasionally so these will have a place to mount but will not take up space when not being used. One other thing I have noticed for me is whatever the available space is I will clutter it up at some point and will need to clean it up in order to reload. To keep the cleanup to a minimum I will keep the bench size down to a more reasonable size. I am currently still using the 8' x 4' ( multi purpose not originally intended for reloading which is almost always cluttered to some extent) bench but want to make a new dedicated one of ~4' x 2'. The new smaller bench will have plenty of space for any task I plan on as long as I keep it neat and clean. I hope to have this rady to use in about a month. Still have a lot of crap to move out of the way (as well as toss) to make room but its finally happening.


ZNiner 01-31-2013 10:13 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I will keep it at 8ftx2ft.

Given that each press would need a 2 foot radius of space I realized it didn't leave much room for cleaning my long guns.

What do you guys recommend in regards to coating/paint for the top of the bench? I was thinking some kilz primer and spar polycoat. Any other ideas?

Whiterabbit 01-31-2013 10:34 AM

good choice. I tink the minimum size is 4'x2'. you'll be happier with 8x2. No need for the extra foot.

I sized my shelf under the bench so that rubbermain bins fit. Two on the floor, two on the shelf. With a 2x8 bench you can fit EIGHT rubber maid bins for storage of supplies.

Seven, after one space is eeked out for the tumbler and the media separator.

Whiterabbit 01-31-2013 10:36 AM

for the top of the bench I recommend a varnish finish of some kind. My next bench ill try BLO or Tung or the like, from Agent Orange.

But my current top finish? paraffin wax and nothing else. $2 finish from the grocery store that is chemical proof and durable as hell. Gap fills if needed, and soaks in. You can eat off it if you wanted to, after brushing off the gun powder.

Apply with a heat gun till the wood doesn't eat any more. Let dry, then scrape off the surface layer of wax to re-expose the wood. Done.

Whiterabbit 01-31-2013 10:37 AM

Actually, all my workbenches get this treatment. Here is my mill table the day before the mill arrived:

lugee 01-31-2013 10:45 AM

My bench is pretty deep, about 3 ft only because I store my tumbler and ultra sonic cleaner on it. Plus it doubles as a work bench for firearms and car parts. My reloading presses are usually attached at the ends or on a stand alone table for ease of movement and to allow all the components within short reach. The trimmers are all mounted/bolted on planks of wood and c-clamped to the bench when I need them, that way I can move them are store them in cabinets when not in use.

tangocharlie7 02-01-2013 5:39 AM

building the bench is a fun part of the process. if it helps, i've adding on to my bench three times already in the last 2 years. just never seems to be enough space. so would proabaly 2x whatever you think you need initially.

HighLander51 02-01-2013 5:54 AM

The only space I had was the corner of the laundry room so that's what works. And all from scrap material.

ronas 02-01-2013 6:13 AM

Pretty much as large as possible. Mine is 72" wide by 28" deep. It's not big enough.

blockfort 02-01-2013 6:54 AM

Definitely recommend covering the top with white Formica. You can even use some industrial double sided tape if you don't want to glue it. It's hard, smooth, easy to clean up and resists everything.

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