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Lets Talk Reloading Benches

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Agent6-3/8, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Short story is I've gotten married, moved and started a new job in the last 6 months. Now that things are beginning to settle down its time I get my reloading equipment setup again.

    With space and funds at a premium, I'm looking for suggestions for a small affordable reloading bench. I don't need anything big, just something large enough to hold a single stage press, powder measure, case trimmer, etc. Just the basic stuff.

    You guys have any suggestions?
  2. wallacefan


    Dec 24, 2011
    i bought harbor freight bench its solid and 6 foot long
    hope that helps

  3. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Reloading benches can never be to big or to solid.
  4. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    Solid core doors make great benches. Cut it to size.

    I have 38 feet of bench and I wish I had more.
  5. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    I don't know how "handy" you are but have you ever thought about building your own? With just a couple of 2x4's and a sheet of plywood you can make a very sturdy bench to what ever size you want.

    Just another thought.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  6. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Could you explain a little more of what you need. Does it need to be portable? What space do you have to work with? Do you have tools to build one? How much is in your budget for one? Etc.
  7. Kurly


    Jun 27, 2006
    Build your own. I tossed my old reloading bench when I moved out of my home and away from the STBXW. Built a new one for about $30 using polystrand/OSB board and some 2x4's. There's plans on the net if you look. Would recommend at least a 4' length and 2' width.
  8. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    The HF bench is really a pretty good deal for those that have space considerations. It's well made, sturdy. I got mine when I was in a space confined apartment for my XL650 with intentions of building a custom one when I got my house and a garage again.
    I'm still loading in it now and have a SS mounted to it as well. The only thing I have had to improve on it was to use wood glue when I first assembled it on all the joins especially the drawers. Now that I have it in the garage I also cut 2x4s to fit under the feet to elevate it 1 1/2 inches and have it lag bolted to the studs in the wall using "L" brackets.
    One of these days I'll build a custom bench but for now with my requirements really don't see a need.
  9. Those Harbor Freight benches look like a nice option! (And there's a store near by)

    I'd love to build me own, however, I'm currently living in a two bedroom apartment and don't have the tools or space here to build one. I could build one back home at my folk's but I'd have the issue of transporting it 80 miles and making the time to drive home and build it. Something 4' or 5' by 2' would be optimal as I intent I set up in a closet in our spare bedroom.

    Thanks for the info guys!

    Posted from my iPhone 4s via Outdoor Hub mobile
  10. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Build your own. Use plywood, cut at the store, instead of the 1x4's I used for the deck as that was more trouble than it was worth (although it is plenty strong). I put a sheet of melamine, smooth side up on top of the 1x's to give it a nice smooth surface. All you need to do is make a few cuts on soft building lumber, you can even use a hand saw. Sheetrock screws and wood glue do the rest. Screw it right into the wall and through the carpet into the subfloor for extra strength and stability. This one cost about $30.00 and took an hour to make.

  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    This is my casting bench. Make sure the file cabinets are the same height. Mine are a little different and I couldn't beat the price, so it's good enough for casting. Liquid nails and bolts for the vice are all that's holding it together and it is rock solid.

  13. PhantomF4E


    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    If you decide on the Harbor Freight bench , Which I use and is quite sufficent Look in an American Rifleman Mag or online . There are coupons floating around you can save a few bucks . I waited till a flyer came out and it was on sale than went in . Think I only paid $130 bucks and it is solid as a rock.I mounted a 3/4" plywood sheet to the top to extend the mounting out for my rock crushers . I'm a single stage only operation.
  14. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    Harbor freight bench. 1/4 sheet of steal on to of that. Always get larger than you think you need it's easy to add more presses. I thought my bench was big enought , now three presses case trimmer and scales I'm wishing I had more room.
  15. Just wanted to say thanks to those that encouraged me to build my own bench. I was home for a visit and decided to put some of my dad's scrap lumber to use. With the wife and I living in a two bedroom apartment there isn't room for a "man cave", but the did let my claim the closet in our spare bedroom. Thus my custom made "man closet" reloading bench.

    I'm back in the saddle and cranking out handloads once again!

  16. Fear Night

    Fear Night NRA Life Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Nice bench Agent! Good to see you have a setup now.

    I'll add mine since its a little different. I'm using an old computer desk that I got for free a few years ago from a friend. I was worried about the mounted press tearing up the cheap MDF, so I mounted 1/8" steel plates above and below the surface that the press mount bolts go through. It is incredibly sturdy when using the press.

    I also mounted the small fluorescent up top to give me plenty of light. I'm very happy with how it has turned out.

    It's not ideal but, did I mention it was FREE? :supergrin:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  17. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009
    I went with the Stack-On steel and wood bench. Secured it to wall with a length of 2x4 as per the instructions. It's compact, rock solid and under $100.


    I was just getting it set up when that pic was taken.
  18. G36_Me


    Aug 4, 2009
    Nice bench you built!! Reminds me of 35 years ago and me in the same boat. Congrats on the bench, wife and apartment!!!!
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    The above benches are too neat. A high-back leather chair, really? At least get a an empty bottle of SunDrop for a spittoon to brighten up the place.
  20. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Four feet is plenty if you have no more room than that. It will be frustrating to work in that limited space, but you can do it.

    The key to success is to attach everything to the dwelling. Especially, the top has to be anchored to the wall.

    Make the top out of 3/4 inch ply and, then, screw a second piece of 3/4 ply to the first layer. This will make a top that is stiff and quiet. It will also allow you to change the surface layer in the future should your requirements change or the top get so grungy that you can't live with it any longer.