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Thread: Bench depth

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Bench depth

    I am building a built in bench in my new reloading room and am going round and round trying to decide how deep to build it. I was planning 30" but it seems that 24" may be more user friendly for reaching stuff on shelves above it. 24" is also a bit cheaper for materials. Any suggestions before I start running 3/4" ply across the table saw??

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    My bench staeted out it's life as a Hotel reception desk. It is made with a formica top, has a cabinet door on one side with a drawer above it. It also has a foot rest across the base at the back.
    It is about 36" long and about 24" deep. It also has a shelf across the back which is about 8" wide and sits about 12" above the work surface. I have the powder measure on the higher surface along with one of the presses. Everything down to the spot for the hand trimmer goes in a specific spot with screws for easy removal if I want to use the bench for a workspace or to clean firearms.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    My bench will be L shaped 14.5' on the long side and 10' on the short. The bench top will be 41.5" above the floor for use standing or with a stool. I plan to mount everything permanently and there will be a dedicated cleaning/work area on the shorter side. Just can't decide the depth and it is not something I plan to change in the future!

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    I built my bench 24" deep, 44" tall ( I am 6'4" so I built it to suit me). There are shelves above the bench and I have no difficulty reaching the top shelf that is 6'6" above the floor.

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    I know you already started, but one of the best bench tops I have used have been solid core door blanks. In my old bench's case it was 36" deep. I have recently procured a section of bowling alley lane for my new bench it's about 40" wide and solid maple.

    24" has never been deep enough for me if I have shelving at the back. I like to have 24" of clear space in front of any shelves.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I scored a bunch of cabinets so 24" it is. 200 bucks netted me a big lazy Suzan, a 48" cabinet with 2 drawers, 2 two door top cabinets with finished ends and a top corner cabinet. I will still need to fab up some shelves and do some Krylon work but this will be some progress!

  7. #7

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    My arms are really long, so I made mine 32" deep (it's 20' long). When I first started using it, I thought I'd really messed up because that was too far to the wall.

    But then reality struck. Or should I say that the clutter settled in. Not really clutter, but I have screw driver racks, part bins, die sets, all sorts of stuff along the back of the bench. They're all within easy reach, and meanwhile the bench is still deep enough for me to do anything I want to do. If I'd gone with 24" I couldn't have put ANYTHING along the back of it and still had room to work. Yeah, I have to stand up to reach things on all the overhead shelves. But that would be true for all but the bottom shelf, no matter how narrow I made my bench.

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    Mine is 24" deep. I split a 4x8 sheet of ply wood for the garage shelves and one of those became my reloading bench. I think 30" will be my next depth. I would like to build an "L" shaped area in the corner of a room with draws and shelves.

    A couple of weeks ago Eric Berger built a work of art for a reloading bench. I wish he would post some pics on here. He went as far as cutting the trees from his own property to build the top and base.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Mine is 30 inches deep and I wouldn't trade it for an inch shorter, but an inch or two deeper wouldn't be at all bad. Of course this is entirely a personal decision. It 's also 50 inches tall and I love it; no stooping for me and a bar stool works perfectly as well if I get tired of standing. If my bench were wider I could do more, but at 6 feet long it is as big and cumbersome as I care to move. I built it many years ago and it is is as solid as ever. Carriage bolts in the legs and supports are your friend...
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    24" has never been deep enough for me if I have shelving at the back. I like to have 24" of clear space in front of any shelves.
    Same here, I have about 39" but the back 13" is taken by two 3 drawer Craftsman center tool chests (no lid so another box could sit on them) with 2X12 shelves on top of them to the ceiling. This gives a little over that 24 of usable top and the drawer force me to keep in some what tidy so I can get at them.
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    32" x 14' for mine. Gives me room at the back or the bench for stuff. I didn't mount my anything permanent, I tend to leave my press s at one end till needed.

    42" high, I like to stand while loading.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Don't mean to hijack this thread, but what is the favorite bench TOP material...formica???

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    Mine is red oak. Formica would be good, but anything hard and nonporous would do, I'm sure. Buddy of mine down below is a sheet metal worker and did his with surplus stainless steel. Really cool look and pro job, but it's nothing I could ever afford.

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    Mine is 33" deep and 6' long, seems to work out very well. Like 1Cor, I'm glad I didn't go any narrower. Its nice having the extra space to sprawl out

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    The last bench I built was 36" deep and 96" long. I used a 4x8 shoot of 3/4" birch plywood over 2x6's as a base. making it about 2.5" thick. This bench is half gun bench and half reloading bench with some common area in the middle. I have shelves on the reloading side from the table top up to four feet and one shelf at the bottom on the gunsmith side with a 4x4 x1/4" peg board with assorted hooks and prongs for parts, etc. I also have room for two Kennedy parts bins and that works pretty good.

    If I were to build a deluxe reloading bench I'd make it at least 30" deep and this 36" is very useful Lots of room for loading blocks, brass and bullets, powder jugs. It's the cats meow.
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  16. #16

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    Here is a pic of my ghetto work bench. My carpentry skills are extremely limited so I just went with 3 2X12s (actually 11" wide) to make it 33" deep with some shelving above. The little ditches/gaps between the 2X12s on the bench top hasn't been an issue at all.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt-n-Fish View Post
    Don't mean to hijack this thread, but what is the favorite bench TOP material...formica???
    I use tempered hard board, shiny side up.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Reload bench... I just use the dinner table couple of c clamps and it's reloading time.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    In the past I have used a 3'x2' piece of hard board as a sacrificial shop work surface. Surprisingly sturdy stuff when laid flat. It saved my old Formica bench surface tons of damage!

  20. #20
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    All the work benches in my garage are 24" deep, partly because ripping 3/4" ply in half yields a 24" depth, and partly because it seems like a deeper bench doesn't offer much benefit.

    Here's a shot of my reloading space, it would be nice if it was twice as wide, but I get by. When I finally went to the trouble of makind shelves and getting it 1/2 decently organized I found I was much more efficient.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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