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Most of the 'benches' at our range don't work well, metal plate, square edges, etc. Is there a preferred or even 'official' layout for a proper bench? I am looking for drawings or dimensions, height, materials,legs etc. I am guessing the good ones are all concrete, 4-5" thick, nice rounded edges, space for a spotting scope. Also what about the seat height?
Thanks.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 959 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Get a copy of Jim Carmichael's book "Do it yourself Gunsmithing". In it he gives you a step by step w/ pics how to build concrete benches, using wolmanized lumber for the legs. I built 4 of them for my range 40 years ago + they are still like new. Also under the bench (my own idea), I installed a sheet metal tray attached to the 2 front legs to keep your sandbags dry when not in use.


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Oh + it's a great book anyway. Lots of good ideas. It was published by Outdoor Life Press in the late 70's-early '80s but I'll bet there are some on Amazon.


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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O.K. Seat height. Standard cabinet height is 33". What I did was pour some 2'x2' concrete pads (you can get them from the A.C. supply house also). I bought pedestal seat mounts used on boats; they come with bearings on the top where you bolt your seat. They swivel + since they are made for marine use, no worries if they are left out in the weather. I built the seats themselves out of cedar as it takes a long time to rot but I'm sure there are other ideas on the material. Not steel. Here in Texas, you don't want to set your ass on a steel plate in summer. You can pad it sure but I wanted to make it so when I went down in the valley to my range all I had to carry was my rifle, ammo,+ muffs. You can also buy the boat chairs that are plastic + already ready to bolt to the pedestal base. Just drill some holes in the bottom so they won't hold water.


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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From what I am finding on-line it looks like the favorite shape is either a T or a trapezoid with a height of about 34" with three 8"-10" dia. concrete legs. So does anyone who shoots B.R. prefer one shape to the other?
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 959 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Individual tastes. Mine is built as a Channel;shooter in the middle, equal area on both sides (that will accommodate left + right-handers). The problem with concrete legs is the setup forms + dealing with a concrete service. How I did mine was using wolmanized 4/4 's I built the base of the frame, then built the upright legs, then temporarily built a plywood button (important part here is to make the bottom 4 moderate pieces so you can release the forms from the mould after the concrete sets. Of course, that is not necessary but it does make a more professional looking job than leaving the plywood on. Do what you like; these are only opinions from someone who built his own. As I mentioned before that standard cabinet height is 33", please bear in mind that the length of the stool makes a difference. That being said, check yourself on your kitchen island. Might save you some grief down the road. You have your dimensions right there in your own kitchen. I hope this helps.; Please feel free to contact me if you like. As I have said, I've built mine + for 40 years they have worked. Take your choice of what I have done or the internet. It's mox nix to me but if I were you I would listen to someone who has actually done it V/S one who practices theory.


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Just reread my post. Sorry if you were offended by my comments. I only offer you free of charge ideas, not guaranteed solutions. Best, Randy


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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randy...i agree with the "shooter in the middle" and will be building one soon (with in 6 months, i hope), and covered. can u send me pics? i built one out of wood from a plan that was the T shape a few years ago and hate it.
 
Posts: 1079 | Location: south of austin texas | Registered: 25 November 2011Reply With Quote
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I'll try to post some pics. I agree that the wood ones rot out fast in the elements. I went through several over the years before I bit the bullet + went concrete.


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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Heres some pictures of mine





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Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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like the U shape and looks solid as hell. never got along with the T shaped ones, including my own.
 
Posts: 1079 | Location: south of austin texas | Registered: 25 November 2011Reply With Quote
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Thanks all. I personally like the U shaped benches best but they do take up more space. With an established range that might be a problem. I will have to see.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 959 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Well, mine are in my valley so space is not a concern. Also, the channel design makes it useable for left + right-handers. In the second pic. down there is a metal framework in the background. When I set it up + cover it with that black plastic mesh greenhouse shade material the top + right sides are covered by that mesh so when shooting semi-autos the brass hits the mesh + falls right down. Makes recovering brass a cinch.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 13716 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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