1911Forum banner

Bench Height For My Square Deal

2029 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  eskinner
In an earlier thread I had members input on getting a Dillon SDB.
I just picked up two SDB's without strong mounts and this weekend am building a bench to mount them on.
Being a newcomer to reloading,I'm not sure yet if I want to load sitting down
or standing up.
I rested the press on my kitchen counter which is 3ft. high.
Standing up(I am 6ft.1in, tall) the press seemed too low.I had to bend a bit on the downstroke.
Sitting on a stool,it seemed okay,but it seemed I could see the process better when I was standing up.
I could see where to place the case and also where to place the bullet on filled case a little better when standing.
I'm just not sure if I want to spend too much time standing,but I have a feeling I may be more efficient at reloading this way.
Maybe I should build the workbech 3ft. high and get a strong mount to raise the press higher.
How much height does the strong mount add
Please share your experience
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
140 Posts
Bench height


Being 5' 9", I have my Dillon 550B mounted on their strong mount and it is comfortable. My reloading bench is 3 1/2 ft high and with the strong mount(aprrox 9"), I still bend slightly on the down stroke. You will need to experiment with your bench height and possibly buy the strong mount. You might think about 3 1/2 ft high. You might for example experiment with the height of your kitchen counter if you are comfortable with that, just make sure you lay down newspapers so as not to scratch counter top and to stay out of the dog house.

As far as sitting or standing, I stand when reloading on the 550B, yes so I too can check the level of powder in each case before seating a bullet and see if a primer has been picked up. I put a rubber mechanics mat on the floor to make the concrete more tolerable, but when I am reloading on my RCBS Rockchucker I sit i.e. no strong mount. And I only sit because I feel I have more control when neck resizing and bullet seating. I become less tired or less back problems when I sit loading my rifle rounds; 22 Hornet, .223, .243, 257 Wby Mag, 7mm Rem Mag and 30-06. I know I will catch flak about this but I don't trust the Dillon charge bars for rifle rounds, I want to individually weigh these charges.

Hope this helps! Let us know what your findings were.

· Registered
238 Posts
I'm just under 6'2", and with the strong mount, the bottom of the mounting plate on the press (ie, the part that would bolt to the bench or strong mount) is 40" to the floor.

I'm attaching a crappy little cellphone picture, but you get the idea. Originally, it was lower, and as you can see I had to put blocks under the strong mount to raise it a couple inches. Made all the difference in the world.

I tried sitting, initally, before I got the strong mount, and didn't like it. I think, if you're a decent handyman, which I'm assuredly not, you could probably build your bench in such a way that the height was "right" w/out a strong mount....


· Super Moderator
15,229 Posts
Sitting or standing is really a dilemna is deciding what bench height you want. I recently built a new reloading bench and opted for a standing height. I use strong mounts to spread the "footprint" of the press stress on the bench. I designed the bench height so that the shell plate would be about "center of mass" on me, when standing, so that I can look down into the cases. It will still work while sitting, but is just a little more awkward and you lose the ability to peer into the cases.


· Registered
669 Posts
Tried sitting; now I stand

I find I move around too much when reloading to sit comfortably. Sometimes I will "half-sit" on a barstool, but checking cases for powder, reaching for stuff, etc. makes sitting in one position difficult. I also find it more tiring, as the same muscle groups get exercised over and over in the same exact way. Being able to shift position a bit makes a big difference. One thing I WILL recommend is one of those pads that cushions the area you're standing on, or at minimum, a good non-slip rug of some sort. It will ease the strain of standing for a long period, which actually tires your back more than your legs.
Enjoy the wonderful world of Dillon -- you made a great choice.

· Super Moderator
EDC: SIG P938.
22,403 Posts
I have two SDBs, one with strong mount, and one without. I had my bench custom-built for me, and it's a bit higher than standard counter height, right at my waist. I've been loading with my presses c-clamped to the bench, so I can fiddle with the locations before bolting them down (if I ever do - I kind of like being able to clear the whole bench if I need to). Without the strong mount, I have to either hunch over a bit, or stand with my feet unnaturally spread, neither of which is comfortable after a half-hour. The strong mount raises the press just enough that I can stand comfortably. If the bench was high enough to load comfortably without the strong mount, it would be too high for anything else.

· Registered
235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All excellent points,gentlemen.
You have confirmed what I had been thinking.
After trying sitting and standing,I liked standing,so that is how I'm going to build my bench.
I find by standing,I can move around and see everything on the press better.
I'm going to build the bench at around 36 inches high.
I ordered up a strong mount today.
Added on a bullet tray too.
What the heck.It's Christmas.
With the strong mount I won,t have do do any bending to downstroke.
I'll get a rubber mat to stand on so as to soften the standing on concrete.
At 36 inches I can also sit at the bench to do other things.
Great replies!
Thanks again for helping me figure this out.

· Registered
130 Posts
I added a clamp-on goose-neck lamp from Home Depot to the back of my strong mounted SDB. It is aimed so I can see down into the shell before placing the bullet to be sure there's "about" the right amount of powder in there. Haven't had any problems yet but, well, paranoia is a funny thing...

And yeah, I stand when reloading: there's a lot of moving around to do.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.