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What should I look for in a reloading bench?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by M249SAW, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    Tampa, FL
    Im slowly assembling the components to reload but now I need a sturdy bench. Im way out of my league when it come to carpentry so I would either need to buy one or have one built.

    What should I be looking for?

    Thanks
    Kyle
     
  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Conifer, CO
    Length, width and height are pretty much determined by personal preference and space availability. The most important feature is to make it sturdy... you want no movement while the press is in operation.

    If you can tie your shoe you can build a bench... go to Home Depot or Lowes, they have inexpensive books on building work benches, just modify it to meet your needs.


    Jack
     


  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    You have to decide how you want to load. Seated, Standing, Leaning on a tall stool. I have tried seated and standing. Standing is much better for me. You get to use all your body for leverage. Even then you have to decide if you are going to use a strong mount with a Dillon. Mine is set up at 46" or so inch's. That height would work fine with a LnL/650/550 standing. No strong mounts needed.
     
  4. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Both of what Jack and Steve said. The height well all be determined by how tall you are and what press you are loading on. Having done both also, I highly recommend standing for reloading.
    Do a search for reloading benches. You well find all kinds of ideas.
     
  5. AZBru88

    AZBru88

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    Arizona
    Man I must be the lazy reloader! I like to sit, I do add a chair pillow to raise myself up a couple inches! I like to be able to see my powder level on station 2 on my Dillon's. I don''t use strong mounts, all mine are direct to the bench. My bench is over kill. About 25 years ago my buddy and I found a guy getting rid of true 4"X12"X20' bridge timbers. About broke my poor 1/2 ton pick up carrying them (I was younger and dumber then!) My bench is made with them and 4x4's for legs. I have no idea what they weight, but it would take 4 men to move them! Its lagged together with 6" counter sunk lag's. With a bottom shelf.
    A cheap way out is one of the old metal desks, topped with 3/4 ply screwed and glued. You get storage with the drawers, and a sturdy bench.
     
  6. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    Washington (the state)
    If you have a costo near by they sell a nice hardwood work benchs.
     
  7. fredj338

    fredj338

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    100%! If you don't want to build a bench from scratch, cheap kitchen base cabinets w/ a solid 2x or lam plywood top works great. Easy to put together & you get shelves w/ cabinet doors or drawers for storage.
     
  8. M249SAW

    M249SAW Rescue Jockey

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    Jul 24, 2004
    Tampa, FL

    Now there is an idea. And I will check Costco too.

    Thanks guys!
     
  9. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Just make sure it has a 1" overhang so you can buy a 650 with out remaking the thing.
     
  10. unclebob

    unclebob

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    Mary Esther FL
    Also if you want it taller you can build a base for the cabinets too set on. You can make the base any height you what, for the height of the tabletop that you need.
     
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Or you can stack base cabinets on a 12" or 18" over the fridge cabinet. So your finished height could be

    12+30=42
    12+36=48 (perfect for standing with out a strong mount)

    If your tall you use a 18" over the fridge to go 6" higher. I think they also make a 9" upper as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  12. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    Still on the first cup of coffee and he's already got the tape measure out. The day ain't startin' out good... where are my meds? :crying:


    Jack
     
  13. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    It kinda is my job to know the basics of cabinets. But not every manufacture does things the same. Some have a lot less options then others.
     
  14. dudel

    dudel

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    +1 Weight is good. Anchor things down well. You'd be surprised how much it helps if the bench is anchored to the wall.
     
  15. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

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    If you can make it solid and then anchor to the earths core, you will be fine.

    Solid is good.

    When I did my room I used kitchen cabinets. I beefed them up quite a bit.

    Under the bottom shelf I added 3/4 inch plywood with blocks to support anything I might put in there. A 60 lb case of bullets would easily push right through whatever 1/4 inch "wood" they use.

    I blocked in the front and middle where the counter-top would go with 2x8s. That gave a lot of lateral stability to the cabinet and also made it easy to screw the bench top to the cabinet. And it made everything heavy. Large Marge could do a table dance on my bench and my scales would not even flinch.

    Before all the cabinets got screwed together, I lag bolted them to the studs in 2-3 places each.
     
  16. Bolt it to the wall. Consider the top. Some presses need a 3/4" top (Dillon?) with overhang. Anyway there are "top" considerations. Sometimes you can find tables cheap at second hand furniture stores.
     
  17. *j-w-m*

    *j-w-m*

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    For the top you might consider a flat panel solid core door. I've built several really sturdy work benches by attaching these to legs of some kind. They come in different thicknesses and widths. I tend to like the 30" width and 1.25" thick.
     
  18. If you are building one in the basement you might be better off using a level instead of a square. Don't assume things are square and plumb. Frequently they aren't.
     
  19. bob_fuller

    bob_fuller

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    Ankeny, Iowa
    my only advice beyond what these guys have said is to make sure your bench is a lot bigger than you think it needs to be :) I thought mine was just the right size, but I ran out of space very quickly.
     
  20. dudel

    dudel

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    I find I prefer to build shelves and cabinets instead of a large bench. I find I'm more organized with a smaller bench than with a large one. Things tend to get put away, and everything is within reach on my 4' wide bench.

    My other 8 and 10 foot benches are a mess.