In need of a real bench...


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ny32182
October 27, 2009, 02:32 PM
Has anyone ever ordered from here:

www.benchdepot.com

They have several types of top surface available; the three that interest me are:

1) Standard formica (sp)? I assume this is the same as a standard counter top... is this durable enough for long term use on a reloading bench?

2) Formica with solvent resistant treatment... might be good for minimizing damage from hoppes, breakfree, etc?

3) "Butcher Block"... appears to be large, heavy, thick wood, but expensive. Maybe overkill?

Thanks for any input.

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Vern Humphrey
October 27, 2009, 02:39 PM
I make benches with a frame of 2X4s and a top of 1" plywood. I put a second piece of plywood on the cross-members to make a shelf for components, tools and so on.

One of the best "benches" I have, though, is an Army surplus dresser I bought at property disposal. It's a good solid mount for my press, and the drawers are full of components -- and the fuller they are, the steadier the "bench" is.

billybob44
October 27, 2009, 08:49 PM
I'm not much of a Sears/Craftsman man, I use mostly Snap-On Tools in my work, but I have a Craftsman bench with a sheet of Formica on the top of the 1' bench top. It has drawers on one side, and lockable storage on the other. It works for me, and at the time I bought it, it was very reasonable priced. I have my RockChucker mounted on the far right side, and my Dillon RL550 on the far left side. As I said works for me-----:D:neener::D

Drail
October 27, 2009, 10:41 PM
The best top I have found for a bench is rubber matting with ribbing molded in to prevent stuff from rolling around on the bench. The rubber and vinyl runners sold in building supply stores (Lowes and Home Depot) can be cut and fit to your bench. They resist solvents very well (I also clean guns on my bench).

rfwobbly
October 27, 2009, 10:56 PM
The benches you show are for electronic assembly and, while spiffy looking, IMHO are not going to be rugged enough for press operation.

You can buy a set of steel work bench legs for $24 a pair at Northern Tool and several other places on the web, then add your own work top. The advantage is that you can build a 4 foot long bench for your apartment now, and extend it later as your budget allows.

You'd also want to add a 1/4 plywood back to prevent side-to-side motion. And maybe a 2x6 as a foot rest.

A 3/4 to 1" thk top is plenty sturdy until you place a press on there. Preping the top for the press is the whole game in a nut shell. The press needs to be directly over, or very near, the bench leg to get the best support. You may still need a 12x12 plate of 3/8 thick metal under the press if the top is "particle board", "chip board", or any type of wood by product that is mostly glue.

A very sturdy and novel way to support the press is shown on the UltimateReloader web page. That guy supports his presses on a steel post going directly to the floor. Then he attaches the aft end of the mono-pod to the bench to keep it from falling over. Watch the videos. You'll see there is no movement at all when the press is working. That's what you want to see because that's what saves your back. IME, most people with back problems have a work bench top that flexes under the load of the press operation.

Yes you needs lots of room to spread out your books, primers, scales and calipers, but you can do that on something with the strength of a card table. So keep that in mind as you plan your bench.... 99% of the requirements are for the press.

;)

williamd
October 27, 2009, 11:13 PM
Have two I like. One has a heavy hardwood top, bought it at Sam's Club. The other is an electrical switching cabinet (free form power company) that I stripped out and steamed to remove old oil residue. The latter will hold your truck engine if need be. Lay it on its side, made doors from the front cover and can lock powder and ammo inside. Darn near a safe! Both are 6 feet by about 2 feet.

madd0c
October 27, 2009, 11:40 PM
I made a VERY solid reloading bench based on the plans found free here:
http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf

I only made the bench part and not the hutch part.

For the cost you are looking at in a premade bench I can guarantee this bench is sturdier.

If you don't include the enclosing of the bottom, then you could probably get the rest of the lumber cut when you buy it at a big-box place like home depot or lowes.

Total cost for the bench was right around $100.

hope this helps,
madd0c

Steve C
October 28, 2009, 02:15 AM
I bought this 24x48 commercial grade bench by Edsal from Grainger Industrial supply (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1W810?Pid=search). Its adjustable in ht and with the composite hardboard top provides a good mounting surface for my Hornady LNL AP. Along with some plastic bins to hold small parts and dies, bullet and powder storage on the lower shelf provided. These come in different sizes and you can buy all kind of accessories, drawers, shelves, splash boards, etc. Look through the other listings for different sizes and tops. For home use a commercial grade is plenty sturdy but you can go to the industrial grade for real heavy duty. If you live in a large metro area with industry there should be a local Graingers outlet.

http://www.grainger.com/images/products/enlarged/XL-1W810.JPG

If you want to make your own top you can just buy the bench legs and put what ever top you like. Search the site for bench legs.

McMaster Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/) is another industrial supply company that has just about anything you need in the way of benches, material storage, etc.

If you work for a company that's one of their customers these places will often give you a substantial discount off the list price.

jandrotoro
November 9, 2009, 12:41 PM
I was looking at another thread on this site, asking for picture of other people's reloading setups. Here is a link to that thread.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=218720

I too have been looking at getting into reloading. I have been looking at multiple ideas for benches and such. I have most of the equipment, but want to make a man cave.

A bench that I have been looking at is one at Sam's. It is $200 and comes with a hard wood top. They have a similar one at Costco. A member in the other thread, modified his and I think I might copy most of his bench, since it looks like it will work effectively. His screen name is REMBRANDT.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=218720&page=52

Alex

Vern Humphrey
November 9, 2009, 12:59 PM
Go with Sam's club. They're pro-gun. Costco is anti-gun.

rondog
November 9, 2009, 03:46 PM
Go with Sam's club. They're pro-gun. Costco is anti-gun.

Sam's Club is Wal-Mart, you think they're pro-gun and not anti-gun? I don't worry about that nonsense, I just get what I need wherever I can find it at a good price. This bench is from Costco, I almost bought one but it was too long for the space I had to work with. It's about $200 also. Damn heavy too, I wasn't looking forward to rasslin' it all downstairs to the basement. I'd put some 2x12's across the bottom for a shelf, and add some 2x4's mid-way up with some more 2x12's for a second shelf. I like shelves.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/garage/workbench_1.jpg

ny32182
November 9, 2009, 03:56 PM
I was going to get that exact bench from Costco, but it was discontinued last when I finally got around to going in there to get it a few weeks ago.

rondog
November 9, 2009, 04:03 PM
I was going to get that exact bench from Costco, but it was discontinued last when I finally got around to going in there to get it a few weeks ago.

Bummer. :cuss: But you have good taste! :D

ranger335v
November 9, 2009, 04:24 PM
If you live anywhere near a Harbor Freight Tools store, they have a 5' woodworking bench with drawers and a useful vise that sells for about $150 when on sale, as it often is. "Butcher block" top. I've looked at it as a decent loading bench for those lacking in tools or skills for building such a bench unit. Users might want to fill its few square suface holes with plugs but that shouldn't be much of a problem, otherwise it's near perfect, IMHO.

Vern Humphrey
November 9, 2009, 04:50 PM
Sam's Club is Wal-Mart, you think they're pro-gun and not anti-gun?
Yep. In fact, Wal-Mart donated a Remington 870 to our church for a raffle.

On the other hand, Costco used to be the Price Club. They had a newsletter that openly promoted anti-gun causes.

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