|You could share my lab bench, pardner|
(Photo credit: HenrySheehan.com)
One or two years is not enough, in my opinion. A year isn't enough to experience the ups and downs, the changes in procedures, the successes and failures, the "hey, we used to store that over here" and the changes in coworkers and supervisors. I expect that 20+ years identifies you as a grizzled bench veteran. Given this range, I suspect the tipping point between "bench newbie" and "bench Clint Eastwood / Sarah Connor" is somewhere between 7 and 15 years (again, not counting graduate school).
Readers, what do you think? If you're the bench equivalent of Julio Franco, when did it happen for you?