Loading Bench Replacement...


Robert Farrar
January 12, 2003, 12:42 PM
Hi all,
I'm looking to replace my bench that was lost in a flood. I can't seem to find anything under $300. I have searched the net seemingly endlessly and have only found 1; made by Kencraft.

I have looked at a couple of workbenches at the local hdwe. stores, they ain't gonna cut it. Unfortunately I'm not set up for woodworking here.


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January 12, 2003, 01:39 PM
How `bout getting your hands on an old solid wood door,(use it as your table top), and build some legs for it out of 2x4`s?

January 12, 2003, 03:41 PM

I tend to over-build but in my mind there is nothing worse than a wobbly anything. My bench is 32" x 96" x just under 2" thick and covered with high gloss Formica.(Great for cleaning-up spills) It is attached to a wall in the back with 2" x 2" x 1/4" angle iron for the full lengh and supported in the front with three 4 x 4's attached to the table and concrete floor with 2" long 2 x 2 x 1/4 angle iron shoes. The top being 34" off the floor accomodates a stool nicely. (Sit at your stool and see what height is good for you) My wife says it would be a good tornado shelter;)

I made mine, but a local cabinet maker could quickly put one together for you and you could install in a short time using angle iron purchased at a weld shop.
To get the thickness I laminated three 32" x 96" pieces of 5/8" particle board using drywall screws and glue.....easy!

Sure, it weighs a ton but its solid and sure ain't gonna move!

January 12, 2003, 03:51 PM

When you say you're not set up for woodworking, does that mean putting together a kit won't work? You can build a pretty good (solid) bench with basic hand tools using premade cabinet bases and laminated countertop material. Added bonus here is the enclosed storage space. If you're tall, you can get "fancy" here and fasten 2x4 lumber to the tops of the cabinets to raise the bench surface to the proper work height

Another option is to go to a used office furniture store and pick up one to those heavy steel desks, but it may be too low, especially if you prefer to load and work standing up.

Robert Farrar
January 12, 2003, 05:05 PM
Thanks for your replies. I'm all for a kit; I don't have any power tools other than an old drill. I'm upstairs (now :-) in an apt. I'll keep my eyes peeled for parts and lumber.


January 12, 2003, 06:56 PM
Consider building the NRMA bench plan listed in RCBS literature. Supposedly can be built for less than $100, is put together with bolts (for disassembly) and primarily uses plywood and lumber.

I will manufacture one if I can locate a local lumber yard which can do the cuts for me.

Good luck

January 12, 2003, 10:42 PM
well i spent, $13 for the top, which is 16"x8'...

3 8' 2x4's and about 5ft' of 2x8's had those laying around... maybe 15 bucks new...

20 drywall screws, and plugs, maybe 2 bucks...

the shelves cost me about $30....

i tried just mounting the press to the top but that didn't go too well, so i mounted a pair of 2 x8's on each side to support the bottom and added another layer of the top that i trimmed off, and another short 2x4 to hold down the press... now i'll break the arm off the press before it comes off the bench....

i'd assume i got plenty of room for everything i need, so far i just have the press, but all my audio equpiment for sale keeps finding itself over there...

January 13, 2003, 11:26 AM
any used office supply places, or used furniture stores.

Look for a small to moderate sized typing desk. Based on your apartment size and stairs, you're on your own for how big.

You can add a bit of plywood to the top or just drill mounting holes directly into the desk. Use the drawers for tools and dies and components and such.

If you do the plywood attachment deal, you can use the desk as a desk, too.

January 13, 2003, 12:16 PM
Expanding on Archie's suggestion, you can mount the press to a 24" chunk of 2X12 and use C-Clamps to attach it to the desk. This lets you remove it when you're not loading.

Use countesunk screws from the bottom up so you don't mar the desk surface when clamped down.

A friend with limited space does that and it works great.

January 13, 2003, 08:21 PM
RugerSAfan, I do not enjoy bursting your bubble on the plan to have a lumber yard cutting out $100 of materials and you being able to bolt together a bench as printed by NRMA. The only bolting used is where the legs attach to the crossmembers for the top and bottom shelf. It makes a very nice bench but would be more than getting a lumber yard to cut some pieces to length.


That said, I started out using a small wooden desk as described in previous post, it served me well until a friend gave me a very heavily constructed 25" x 49" shipping pallet for a piece of gear that he had sold. I added 4 x 4 legs and 2 x 4 bracing all around. I still use that old bench as a work table. Hand saw, drill and bit, wrench, hammer and nails was about it on that project.

January 13, 2003, 09:48 PM

That is a gorgeous bench! Is that the one built with the NMRA plans? If yes, what type of wood did you use? It sure doesn't appear to be plywood.

January 14, 2003, 07:47 PM
Ruger, The bench is made on the NRMA plans and is constructed with quite a bit of plywood and plain old lumber. Mine is two of the NRMA benches butted together. The only pretty wood on the thing is birch faced plywood as used for the doors on the storage.

Like I said before Robert, If you can find a heavy duty shipping pallet with a good top you can make a go of it with simple hand tools. The pallet I came up with had two 3/4" sheets of plywood layered for the surface with the upper sheet bordered with 3/4" pine. The top layer was cushioned with some 1X4 and set on three oak 4x4 s. All I had to do was add some legs and sturdy them up. Very easy. I did not build the NRMA benches myself.

January 15, 2003, 02:31 AM
Here is mine

January 15, 2003, 03:31 AM
My reloading bench-NRMA plans. I didn't put on the cabinet as of yet.

Note: all cuts were made with a handheld radial saw or a jigsaw. Bench has no wobble and parts fit well-just goes to show you can build this yourself without a lavishly-equipped wood shop.

January 16, 2003, 07:56 PM
podwich, There you go! Money wise, how much do you have invested?

The cabinet part of the N.R.M.A. plans is what involves more than basic tools and runs up the cost. The original questions remains, "bench" not bench and above bench storage.

The Rock
January 17, 2003, 09:52 PM
I bought a workbench from sears. I think it was about $200 or less. Came as a kit that I assembled.

Very sturdy and mounted a Dillon just fine.


January 18, 2003, 12:52 AM

I'm in an apartment too, I found an old microwave cart and I c-clamped a 3/4" piece of plywood to the top. I drilled a few holes in front for my press on one side and powder measure on the other. Bolted press and measure thru plywood and top of cart; I added a couple angle brackets to rear of cart to cut down on any wobble....works for me and doesn't take up too much square footage :D

Mike M.

January 18, 2003, 09:56 AM
I bought a Gorilla Bench from Sears. it was under $300 and comes in a kit, goes together in less than an hour. Great bench, strong. They have a couple of sizes too to choose from.

Dan Shapiro
January 18, 2003, 08:15 PM
Here's my bench. I picked it up as a kit at Home Depot for well under $100. Everything was pre-cut and predrilled. The drawer was home built.

January 19, 2003, 10:32 AM
Well I moved my from the unheated garage. To the basement!This time of year in Illinois it's in the teens:eek:
And I just miss sitting down and the loading bench!

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