I took my time and spent a few weeks getting things together, but ended up with a nice set-up. I went to the local Home Depot and Lowes stores and looked around back in their prefab cabinets. There are usually a couple that have some pretty good dings or scratches on them that can be had for a discount . I ended up getting 3 to start with, 2 were uprights, and the other a small hroizontal that I mounted between the two uprights. I picked up a cracked counter top that was longer than I needed and cut off the two ends to make up a real nice bench top. To me color wasn't that important, and I ended up getting the 8' counter top for about the same price as a sheet of 3/4" plywood would have cost. I will say this, if you can find one that has the darker color to ir like the simulated granit or stone color it hides some of the oil or grease that you will occaisionally get on it from working on a gun or what not. However they are pretty durable and mostly resistant to most cleaning solutions.
The frame uses a 2x6 upright for the back top header and another flat across the front to use to mount my presses to. I used 2x4's for the rest of the framing. I screwed the 2x6 through the wall to the studs which firmly anchored it in place. Slid the counter top in place and screwed it down to the frame, countersinking and plugging the tops of the screw holes.
To mount my presses I had to cut out a section of the front edge of the counter top to allow the press to set back enough to catch the middle of the 2x6. It makes a real nice looking bench when your done. Since I have done mine I have had several other folks do one up for themselves.
I can't get you a pic of it right now as I left my camera in the country. Shoot me an e-mial, and when I get my little digital back I will shoot you something.
I agree with bolting the bench to the studs in the wall. I do not remember exactly the table dimensions, but what I did was prop my press up on the breakfast table and sit in the chair and determine if that was comfortable. It was not. I then built the table to be shorter than the kitchen table. I guess I could have gotten a tall chair or stool [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] I also agree that old kitchen cabinets are excellent. Old book cases are good too.
Shag carpet is a bad idea. Been there done that. Any dropped primer or small part is lost until it clangs through the vacuum cleaner.
Good idea is to look at good lighting system. Tall floor lamps can be moved around to put light where you need it.
I use the aluminum RCBS universal base plates on my bench and also on a nearby desk to hold any RCBS product that needs to be bolted down. I secure the base plates with bolts for permanent installation or large "C" clamps for removable option.
Design your bench heavy, then double that. Reloading benches need to be very well built and secured to the wall or floor to prevent movement.
I found a company in Montreal that makes custom workbenches for labs, commercial businesses etc. The benches have extensive pullout drawers built in, can hold up to 200 pounds each, fully adjustable for spacing etc. Cost a few $ but I only hope to buy it once. It is superb - two inch thick butcher block top, five steel drawers, holds three presses and a measure or more, extra full width top shelf for stuff. Just wish it was bigger but no more room. Excellent suggestion re metal storage cabinets, I went to a commercial office furniture distributor, got several pieces of scratch and dent cabinets that are like new.
Another good suggestion is to install a 5" bench vice where you will be cleaning and working on guns. Vice is essential, get one and you will find out how handy they are. Also get some padded (felt, leather, rubber) pads for the jaws. Only way to clean a rifle is to clamp the barrel in the vice, work on rifle from the receiver end. Until you get one you will not realize how important a vice is. Also lots of light as suggested. I use track lighting, works nice and an oversize florescent light over the work bench.
Good luck with your reloading bench and gun room.
I have a slight advantage, being that I'm a cabinet builder by trade. On my bench I used one sheet of mdf cut into two 24" pieces and doubled up with a 2x4 frame under it, back bolted to wall studs and the front edge set back so that my press would function properly. It is located in a corner so the wall end is also attached to studs, and dirrectly under the press I have a cabinet (for extra support and storage)that is lockable (have small childeren). I have peg board on the back wall to hang and store various items, and shelves on the side (within arms reach without getting up) for bullets, primer trays, calipers, and other ods and ends.As far as lighting I have a 4' flourescet dirrectly over my bench with 4 of the smaller halogen work lights aimed at the bench, arranged to keep my shadow off of the work area. It really doesen't take up that much space either since I'm on a tight budget I'm currently using one end of a 8x12 barn.
Don't tell God how big your storm is, Tell the storm how big your God is
I've have a rather old picture of my modest reloding setup which has changed a little bit over time. Sorry for all the clutter, I have a newer picture, but I can't find the cable for my digi cam. And... yes that is my kitchen table. I have a very understanding girlfriend [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] It may be a cheap setup, but it has produced some nice rounds. It's all I can afford being a Dell grunt worker.
before you guys carpet your reloading room remember this, I knew a friend of a friend that did that, one eve he walked across the floor in his socks and reached for a can of IMR powder, static electricity sent a spark to the metal can and ignited the whole pound. not only is it hard to clean it can be potentialy dangerous