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Press mounting (on Bench)

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jotto, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. jotto

    jotto 19E/19D/19K/12B

    Feb 5, 2006
    NW Indiana
    Greetings all,

    I have recently purchased a bench to begin reloading on. I bought a Stack-On WB-432 that comes with a 1" thick MDF work surface. A link to the bench is provided below from Cabela's. It was not sealed with anything so I heavily coated it it polyurethane prior to mounting it on the bench.

    My question is should I reinforce it with say a 1 x 4 on top then mount the press to that? The coated work surface seems pretty tough now with the coating but being new I really have no idea how much strain the press will put on it. My thoughts were to glue/screw on pieces of 1 x 4 to further strengthen it first. Would that work? Overkill? Not enough? I'm going to start off with a Hornady Lock 'n Load single stage press but plan on upgrading to a turret press a year or so down the road as I get better at reloading.

    Second question is I believe that to mount the press I would drill through the surface and run bolts through the press and top to secure it. Correct?

    Any tips, pointers, suggestions would be most appreciated, thank you.

    Link to the work bench on cabelas:
  2. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Jotto, welcome to GTR. As far as using 1x4 to further reinforce the bench top, I'd instead opt for a section of 5/8 or 3/4" plywood as it will be MUCH sturdier than 1" lumber. Think about how much flex a 1x has, unless you stand it on its side. 3/4" plywood will not flex, and 5/8 mounted on your MDF will be more than enough.

    Be sure to securely fasten your bench to the floor or wall, or put some heavy materials on the bottom shelf to keep it from moving. Remember, the less movement the bench has, the easier the press functions will be.

    Unless that press has some real peculiarities, simply affix it to the bench with a "C" clamp where you intend to mount it. Check to insure there is no interference with the operation of the press (don't know if it requires some setback from the front edge of the benchtop?). If good to go, mark the mounting hole locations on the benchtop with a pencil, remove the press, drill holes just large enough to allow your hex bolts to pass thru and mount it. Underneath the bench, use a fender washer against the bottom of the benchtop, along with a regular washer, lock washer and nut. On the top of the press, use a regular washer between the press and bolt head.

  3. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Congrats and welcome! I've received a lot of helpful information here, and I thought that I'd share my SS setup configuration with you:


    Hornady LnL SS, bolted into 3/4" MDF with 3/8" bolts. I've got flat washers up top, and fender washers underneath with lock nuts. Mine is not bolted to the wall, but is plenty steady. Even the Dillon 550B on the strong mount is fine on the bench.

    Have fun!
  4. Ferdinandd


    Feb 17, 2008
    I'd build the top up to 3" or so and run bolts through to anchor the press and bind the layers together. During decapping especially, you can deliver a lot of force to the press and bench.
  5. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Yeah, the MDF isn't stiff enough. You can either put a vert edge, as beanie shows, or a simple stiff is a 2x6 or 2x8 flat perp to the bench. Bolt the press right thru that, pretty darn rigid. IF you want more, a 4x6 flat, that isn't going to flex against the most brutal press operation.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  6. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    I don’t know what MDF you are talking about. I use the 4X8 sheet of MDF that I use takes two men and a boy to pick up. It’s not the stuff that you can see wood chips in. You can take it and put it in a bucket of water for two weeks and it does not swell like the other stuff does. It came out the same way as when I put it in the water.

    You can also put bar stock under the press where the bolts go under the table bottom, or a sheet of steel.
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Simply construct the outside frame of your bench with two, 2X4's screwed together then a sheet of 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood, (or whatever you want to use) as a bench top.

    There isn't a loading or swaging process that will move or flex it.

  8. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    I agree. Entire subsurface of 2" x 6" ...


    (I used and additional 2" x 6" on the leading edge)

    ...with 3/4" plywood top surface, finished with polyurethane or anything tough.