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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a table in my shed that is approximately 2x3.5 feet with a diagonal cut at about 30 degrees on the right side that makes it about 8" shorter on the front. The shelf is in a corner where my left shoulder would be closest to the wall facing the table and the cut would be around my right hand. Here is what I'm thinking about for my set-up. In the back on the left side the powder measure, the scale/trickler in the middle and tumbler all the way to the right. On the diagonal cut have the press mounted at my right hand, directly in front of the tumbler. I figure that it will be out of the way there, and that's where my outlet is.

The shelf was there when I moved here and it's almost chest high. Do I need to move it down? It would probably take about 1/2 hour to do it, but if I don't, I'll have to stand and work.
 

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John,

There are really only a few principles to follow when setting up your bench. Everything else should be personal preference. I'm sure there are others, but these are some general standards to go by:

- the bench should be sturdy. The sturdier the better. It shouldn't flex or move when you work your press. It should also be at a comfortable height (so should your tools) for how you plan to reload. I prefer to stand, so my bench top is about 37-38" off the floor. However, with the long stroke required by my press it is more comfortable a little higher so I raised it about 3". If you prefer to sit, you'll want your bench to be a little lower, or get a tall stool so you can work sitting or standing.

- Everything you use to build a load (press, scale, powder thrower, trickler, brass, etc) should be in easy reach of your press, and setup so that you won't bump into anything when you move your powder from the scale to the brass.

- Your scale should be setup so that any breeze moving in your shop won't affect it. If you house it on your bench and the bench isn't solid, it can throw off your zero sometimes. No big deal to re-zero, but if you can give it a home off the bench itself, it will probably be easier to use. It's also nice to be able to give it a permanent home where you use it for reloading. Less setup time to get going.

- Consider storing your 'occasional use' tools (tumbler, hand primers, reamers, etc) off the bench. Its easier to get these tools out of a cabinet when you need them than it is to move them while you're reloading. Also, your brass trimmer is probably best placed away from your press, powder thrower, brass, or any other piece of equipment that you want to keep clean. That way you keep the trimmings from getting into the moving parts of your equipment and into your reloads.

- Overhead storage isn't necessary, but it's very convenient to be able to reach up and grab the powder/bullets/primers/tools or whatever else you need while your at the bench.

Regardless of how much thought you put into your first bench, it won't be perfect. Once you use it some you'll figure out how to do it better the next time. After you've used it a while and have a good list of improvements, then you can set in and rebuild it. Even then you'll probably have some things you'll want to change, but the 'perfect' reloading bench is something you'll just have to work out for yourself over time.

I'll give you the grand tour of my bench tomorrow. After we load a few rounds you'll probably have a much better idea of what would work best for you and the space you have to work with. You might also see if you can get a couple other guys to show you their benches. My setup and methods may or may not suit you, and you can always get some cool ideas by checking out how others have their shops setup. Mind you, this is only my 2nd bench, but I love the way it's setup...and I already have some improvements I wanna make for my next one!
 

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Lots of good info posted by Wes. Having a solid bench is one of the most important things. Movement could cause problems in the loading process. My bench is about 36" high, then I have both of my progressives mounted on riser mounts about another 8" above the bench. I prefer to stand while reloading so I can look down on everything and see into each case to visually check for powder. My bench top is 5' wide, 3' deep and 1.25" thick and weighs about 200#, plus there is probably another 200 to 300# of bullets stored under the bench top.

Here is my setup. It looks junky, but I know where everything is. I have made a few minor changes since this picture was taken...

 

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Lots of good info posted by Wes. Having a solid bench is one of the most important things. Movement could cause problems in the loading process. My bench is about 36" high, then I have both of my progressives mounted on riser mounts about another 8" above the bench. I prefer to stand while reloading so I can look down on everything and see into each case to visually check for powder. My bench top is 5' wide, 3' deep and 1.25" thick and weighs about 200#, plus there is probably another 200 to 300# of bullets stored under the bench top.

Here is my setup. It looks junky, but I know where everything is. I have made a few minor changes since this picture was taken...

Good lookin' setup. I sure wouldn't mind helping you reduce some of that inventory you've got stocked up on that shelf to the right. :thumb:
 

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nice, I would like to get into reloading, but have no place to really shoot. The closest place would be Sylamore and thats still a 90 minute drive. However, I would like to reload for shotgun, but I don't know that I would save all that much being that I can buy 100 rounds for $18 at wally-world. With the 3 of us shooting, we usually go through 1500-2000 rounds a month.
 

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Here's a pic of mine in the making...



The top is a piece of epoxy-based countertop from the Epoxyn factory in Mountain Home. It's 66"x24"x1/2" and weighs somewhere between 200-300lbs. It's screwed down to a 2x4 base that's bolted to all 3 walls, and the sides are jammed in tight so it doesn't move AT ALL. My Rockchucker sits on 3 pieces of 1-1/8" plywood laminated together and bolted to the bench where my drill is in the pic.

The uppers I got from a fire job my bro-in-law did. I had to cut it to fit, but it works. When I took this I hadn't unpacked everything from the move yet, but the microwave spot above my press is a perfect and permanent home for my scale, caliper and dies. I need to put a door on it to keep the cat out though :rolleyes: I keep my bullets, primers and powder in the cabinet above that. My tools, books and ready brass go in the middle section. My knives, black powder stuff and other various and sundry 'stuff' goes in the section on the left. On the bottom left I have all my Folgers cans of pick-up brass, range bags, etc. I'm short on storage, so right under my press I keep my shop vac and a 5-gal deer feeder that needs to find a new home somewhere else.

Ideally I wanted a devoted reloading bench, but since I don't have many surfaces to work on this doubles as a work bench. The vise is handy for all sorts of stuff, but I wanted it there so I can rack up my Wilson trimmer in it and keep the trash can under it.

Once I finish another project or two I can finally start organizing and rebuilding the rest of my 6x12 shop...



:hopeless: :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
now Wes, theres a law against leaving deer horns stored in a closet on top of the water heater, they should be on wall to be seen:thumb:
Now he's obviously got them set up there so they will dry faster against that water heater flu.
 

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Dude, that's not a closet - that's my SHOP! And its the only place I'm somewhat allowed to hang such things in my house. It's a small shop, but I'm working on it in stages. I got the 1/2 painted where my new bench is. Once I get a couple more projects out of the way I'm gonna move everything to that side so I can get the other side painted, build some storage and move it all back. Once I get the walls painted I'll start hanging my stuff on the walls. I'd love to get rid of the water heater, but I don't see it happening. I am, however, strongly considering installing an on-demand whole-house water heater, which will take up MUCH less space, and I can hang it on the wall off the floor. I'm also gonna be running an air duct in there this spring :thumb:
 
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