Reloading Bench Top


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bcurry
April 28, 2009, 11:24 PM
I've picked up a discarded chemistry/biology counter top and it seems super strong, you know the typical black slate-like Bakelite/polymer material. It was tossed from the local high school and I'm thinking of cutting it down for the reloading bench. Anyone know what kind of saw blade to use for lopping a foot off the end?
Thanks,
BCurry

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unclesam099
April 28, 2009, 11:40 PM
Check out the local hardware store, they'll sell a blade labeled as a stone cutting blade. It's probably some sort of stone (duh) as it would be chemically inert for the labs. Likewise with a drill bit if you're going to be mounting a press.

SquirrelNuts
April 28, 2009, 11:40 PM
You could use a 7 1/4" circular saw. I would use a plywood blade with about 80 teeth on it. Lay down masking tape on the counter to keep it from chipping and go SLOW.

bcurry
April 29, 2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks guys...I've got 3 so if I mess one up experimenting, have spares to try again.
BCurry

Walkalong
April 29, 2009, 08:45 AM
There has been some nasty stuff on that board. Clorox it thoroughly with lots of scrubbing. If it was out of a lab like here in the hospital, you would not want it at all. High School it was probably just chemicals.

Masonry bits will drill it. Stone/concrete cutting blades will cut it. Good stuff.

bullseye308
April 29, 2009, 09:49 AM
If you are anywhere nearby, I have a blade that should work for it. It is a diamond blade I have for some super hard wood that I use. I have some concrete drill bits too for mounting holes. Also wouldn't mind working out something if you are interested in letting one of those 3 go.

All4eyes
April 29, 2009, 02:04 PM
I would use a diamond tile blade, and a 4 1/4" grinder. You should be able to find one in a hardware store for under $20. I have seen carpenters try and cut them before, and it is not an easy task. Make darn sure you have some safety glasses and a resperaitor of some sort. They are an epoxy resin of some sort if that helps.

WV_Vizsla
April 29, 2009, 03:12 PM
Not to be an alarmist....
Make sure is is not Asbestos based, they were in my chem lab bench... HAZMAT removed 3 years ago.

We use a regular carbide high tooth count circular saw to cut them. Outside in the wind is best. Belt sander to clean up as desired.

bcurry
May 1, 2009, 11:12 PM
All,
Thanks for the info everyone...While I was under the impression they were slate, I was gonna make the wife an island for her kitchen. Once I discovered they were polymer, something super durable for reloading came into view. They have the holes punched for the usual gas burners (3 across) close to the edge.

WV_Visla & All4eyes: Thanks for the info about asbestos. I've seen mention of bakelite use in the 50's which is about when these would have gone into service...but you never know. I'll use a respirator, eye protection, & gloves to play it safe. Grind while wind blows the other way.

Bullseye308: I'll shoot you a pic tomorrow and you can let me know if you're interested in one of the spares. They are super-heavy and hard as nails.
bcurry

bullseye308
May 1, 2009, 11:51 PM
Fantabulous :what: I can't wait. :D thank you.

Winston_Smith
May 1, 2009, 11:58 PM
Nice score. The material is probably Durcon. It is hard as s*** and I am interested how cutting it goes. My experience trying to drill a hole through Durcon was not very successful.

If you got it from a HS I would not worry about any chemical or biological contamination. If it was dangerous, they would not have been allowed to use it.

Also, have you thought of building a bench to fit the top?

broham
May 2, 2009, 12:02 AM
I'll take a differant aproach. Don't cut it at all. I built a real heavy duty bench with a top that's 35x55. It is pretty big but I wish it was bigger now that I have my set up. Think about organizing your loading room to allow a large bench. Just my 2 cents.

ruckerduck
May 2, 2009, 01:09 AM
If it is black, it is soap stone. Use a circular saw and a diamond blade from Home depot. Plug into a surge protector anduse water to cut. It helps if you clamp a 2x4 to use as a guide. I cut my granite countertops to length this way. Turned out great.

bcurry
May 2, 2009, 05:38 PM
Here are some pics of the tops, weighing in at just over 110lbs. each! I can just about mount the presses without solid mounts-LOL. Notice me ditching the chinsey melamine top :D Anyway, you guys were right...perfect width and the little bit of overhang on the ends will come in handy. I was back and forth in using the 3 holes predrilled either as back anchors for shelving or across the front to anchor the flat steel plates the presses will be permanently mounted to. Looks like I can go 3 across and still have some wiggle room.

Bullseye308, PM sent...


http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u55/IQ45/Bench/PDR_0365Medium.jpg

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u55/IQ45/Bench/PDR_0369Medium.jpg:banghead:

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u55/IQ45/Bench/Benchlongview.jpg

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u55/IQ45/Bench/PDR_0373Medium.jpg

bullseye308
May 5, 2009, 09:45 PM
Met Mr. bcurry today and got both of the tops. Thank you sir. WOW:what:, these will make great benches. Also a very nice man to talk to. Again, thank you sir. Lots of work to do. :)

Walkalong
May 5, 2009, 10:13 PM
Those tops look like they will be great for reloading bench tops. Much better than I imagined when you first posted.

Encoreman
May 6, 2009, 12:39 AM
WOW Bcurry, looks like you acquired a piece of history, don't get upset if the Smithsonian doesn't ask for the piece with Mandrell on it. 1 of the girls or an admirer??

bcurry
May 8, 2009, 11:11 PM
With the one left, I won't be cutting even though it is about 1 foot too long for the space it needs to go into...instead, I'll be making the space larger to accomodate the top/bench. Looks like it can be drilled with one of the ceramic tile drills like you all said. Can't wait to start loading on the new presses! Thanks for the kind words Bullseye308 and best of luck with your projects. Will keep in touch when the weather dries out some.

Encoreman, I'm with you on the history...I sat at one of those in the 12th grade 25+ years ago and cooked some liquid that smelled like bananas. :evil: Kemandrell had to scratch really hard with a super-sharp object to get that light scratch in there. His name came to life with a little car wax.
BCurry

bcurry
May 8, 2009, 11:31 PM
All,
I just got off the phone with another forum member who has 4 of these if anyone else is interested...talk about solid!!! He might be consider a little friendly horse-trading. ;) PM me if interested.

Mods, if you feel this thread needs to move to "Reloading For Sale", I certainly understand.
Thanks!
BCurry

Winston_Smith
May 9, 2009, 12:32 AM
I am jealous of you guys. A top like this has been on my want list for a long time. These will last you a lifetime. If I was in CO I would jump all over one of these.

bullseye308
May 9, 2009, 02:52 AM
If I was in CO I would jump all over one of these.

That wouldn't make it any easier, we are in Tennessee. :neener:

who has 4 of these if anyone else is interested

Let me make some calls.......:cool:

bcurry
May 9, 2009, 09:06 AM
A top like this has been on my want list for a long time. These will last you a lifetime.
Winston_SMith,
They are practically indestructible...would you like me to get a common carrier estimate to your city?
Thanks,
BCurry

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