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Reloading workspace for a beginner...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sgt-spam, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. sgt-spam

    sgt-spam NRA Life Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    NE Ohio
    IMG_3678 by sergeantspam, on Flickr

    Above is part of my 'office' where I intend to put a new press and related accessories. The furniture is hand-me-down Steelcase, and can go if need be.

    Right side is my cleaning area, and the left is where I thought I'd set everything up to start reloading (I have no prior reloading experience).

    Underside of table is 27" off the floor. Tabletop is 1 1/2" thick. I have 55" from tabletop to ceiling. The segment I *think* I want to use is 66" long / wide.

    From the reading (and looking at pictures) that I've done, I imagine I'll probably want some kind of shelving on the wall, and maybe underneath. I'm right handed, and when seated, the table is a comfortable height to work on stuff.

    Since I'm starting from scratch, are there any definite do's or don'ts for my workspace? Carpeting a problem (static electricity)? Location of press? Knowing what you know now, how would you set up this area?

  2. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Bench height is a personal thing, however experience tells me that if you are seated on a 30" barstool, the top of your bench needs to be 37" off the ground. Add more height if you intend to reload standing. If considering Dillon equipment, the strongmount if desired will have to be taken into consideration when determing the benchtop height.

    Bench support is crucial - if you want the easiest reloading, there must be absolutely no flex to the benchtop, either vertically or laterally. You can add either 2x4 or 4x4 leg posts under the benchtop to firm it up, and should consider attaching it to the wall.

    Carpet could generate static electricity, and will definitely result in lost primers should any get off the bench. The posted picture shows chair mats in use. I would suggest them on carpet. Either those, or a very close weave throw rug.

  3. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    It looks good to me. I don't get all hung up on bench height. Chairs are adjustable and everyone has different lengths of their arms and torso etc.

    If you mount a press in the middle of a long span, and the bench flexes, you can shure it up with lumber or even a cheap file cabinet to break up the span.

    You need a Rigid Tool calender on the wall.
  4. GOA Guy

    GOA Guy

    Feb 22, 2010
    You have the basic necessity in spades........SPACE. Get a Lyman #49 manual and read it twice. If you are going to load rifles for accuracy get a Sierra manual and read it. If you will reload for hunting a Nosler or Hornady manual would be good too. The ABCs of reloading is liked by many also. Read, read, read.......When you feel you know how to proceed with equipment get it and then you, yourself can figure out how you want to set it up. I like to run my progressives standing and my single stages sitting. Some guys won't stand for anything, others are that way about sitting. You might add some lighting, maybe not. It may take you a bit to get all set up. That's part of the fun for me.
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Plenty of wall space there for multiple flat panel TVs.

  6. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    One thought is that when the handle is all the way down, the arm is fully extended downward. I can't imagine how I could get enough leverage sitting down so I do all my reloading while standing (I'm about 6'1").

    My 550B is mounted on a 38" bench with the strongmount riser such that the ball is 53" above the floor. When my arm is fully extended, the ball is all the way down.

    My 1050 is mounted on a 38" bench with the handle 55" above the floor. Again, when my arm is fully extended, the handle is all the way down.

    As to the single stage press, it too is mounted on a 38" bench (too low, really) and the handle goes a long way down. It's not too important, however, because nothing happens very fast on a single stage press.

  7. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    I know that I would love to have that much space.
  8. I'm in the garage with a bench about 1/10 of the size of your spread.

    You are doing all right my friend.

    Good luck.
  9. sgt-spam

    sgt-spam NRA Life Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    NE Ohio
    Thanks for the feedback guys. The room started out as a computer area when I was gaming a lot and doing repair work on the side (dimmer switch in the middle of the wall). At that point the basement wasnt finished so it wasn't hard for the Mrs. to give up the space. Now that the basement is done and there are kids toys all over the place I feel a little funny about taking that much room but what's done is done.

    There are some crazy elaborate benches out there, and from what I've read and your help it seems I probably don't have a sturdy enough surface. I think I need to get my dad involved and get a bench built before I buy anything.

  10. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001

    OK, here's my thinking (yes, I'm tired, I'm sick, and I've probably had to much cough syrup)

    You have a lot of dead space on that huge desk (which I'm assuming you don't need, since you said it can go) .

    1. Remove the parts I put red dots on.
    2. Move the file cabinet on the left, under the new shortened desk.
    3. Move the book case to roughly where the file cabinet was.
    4. Slide new shortened desk and chair as far as you can, taking up space previously occupied by the book case.
    5. Build new bench along back wall where blue line is, to whatever specifications you have room for.

    Easy peasy.. :)
  11. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    This is my thinking. I just don't think that top will cut it. There's a lot of good "kits" out there to build benches. Yeah, they won't look super cool and awesome, but they'll be very function. If you've got a relative who's good w/ wood however, that's the way to go.

    I'm a huge fan of #3 on PDF file above. It's very very easy. You can get the brackets at Home Depot/Menards... as long as you're capable of cutting straight lines, You'll have a good solid bench.
  12. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)

    If you do you will be sorry.
    I have 16 foot of desk space and could use more. If the desk top flexes were you put the press just reinforce were necessary.
  13. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Axiom #1: There is never enough horizontal surface area in an office or shop.

    Axiom #2: Added horizontal surface area will collect things and soon be useless for the job at hand.

    Axiom #3: Cabinets and shelving will benefit the conscientious worker with the discipline to put things away.

    Axiom #4: Picking up after each process or task is next to godliness.