Reloading Bench Ideas


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Olympus
December 22, 2010, 11:54 AM
Does anyone have any ideas for a decent reloading bench? I've been looking through the photo thread and it looks like a lot of people use some kind of kit that has brackets and you just add the 2x4s and top. But I can't figure out who makes those. I've been to Lowe's and Home Depot website and can't seem to find any kind of kit for a workbench or anything.

Anybody know what those kits are called/where they are sold? Or have any other ideas for a reloading bench. The wife says I can't do any kind of built-ins because I'm going to be using a spare bedroom. So I need something that will be free standing and that has a shelf or two for storage. Ideas?

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ranger335v
December 22, 2010, 12:22 PM
Both Lowes and H'depot sell the galvanized brackets you ask about, don't have any idea if they are listed on the web sites tho. Using those brackets to make a work bench frame makes the project easy. Use 2x4 material and "dry wall" type bulk screws to hold the frame together. Add support underneath for a storage shelf. Use solid surface material for the top, inexpensive particle board or OSB works fine. Add additional 2x4 cross members under the top where you plan to mount tools like the press, powder measure stand, etc. Enclose the ends and back with the cheapest, thin paneling you can find and glue it on the legs; that will provide an incredible amount of bracing for a totally rigid bench.

Make your bench height for standing work (about 40-42") and plan to use a thrift store "bar stool" for sitting work. The top should be as long as you have room for, mine is 8' and it's none too long. Make the top no wider than 24" (21" is good) wider benches only makes it difficult to reach items that get pushed back.

Protect your top surface from spills. Three-four coats of marine grade polyurethane does a very good, durable sealing job and makes it easy to clean.

Vette
December 22, 2010, 12:23 PM
Lowes has a bench made by kobalt in ss or powder coated. Has a steel pegboard back with a bin across top that i keep powder in . Drawers under wood top. I have mounted 2 lee progressive presses and a lyman turret. Works for me.

whipper
December 22, 2010, 12:26 PM
Olympus,
I know you are looking for a kit or pre fabe bench. However if you know of a cabinet maker or someone who is good at working with wood, my dad built this for me it works and looks like a piece of furniture. The plans I got from an old NRA book.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=37288&d=1142791826

Olympus
December 22, 2010, 12:43 PM
Well I was looking for something sturdy, but as inexpensive as possible. That's why I was thinking about some kind of pre-fab kit or something.

CoRoMo
December 22, 2010, 12:59 PM
...something sturdy, but as inexpensive as possible.
2x4 lumber, a sheet of plywood, and deck screws.
Nothing will be cheaper. Nothing will be more sturdy.

oneounceload
December 22, 2010, 01:11 PM
A Gorilla Rack from Costco or Sam's works well when you add a double layer of plywood as the top - set the unit in half and side by side and you have an 8' long bench that is sturdy and is not permanently built it. I have done this in two homes - I get two shelves capable of holding literally a ton of lead on each unit - the shelves are adjustable so I can make one higher than the other. IIRC, they are now running about $85-90. Add a sheet of 5/8 plywood to make a 1-1/4" thick top, and you have a nice bench for under $125

rfwobbly
December 22, 2010, 01:43 PM
I agree. Build your own and not only save, but end up with a better bench.

• You can buy the steel brackets and screws from Lowes or HD, then recycle lumber from scrap yards, other projects, building sites, etc. Just before Thanksgiving my HD had a sale on ten new 2x10 x20 FEET for $4 each. Good wood is everywhere.

• Reloading benches are typically taller than the average "work bench" or desk. Build your own to your heights needs.

• Everyone's space is different. Building you own lets you tailor your bench to your space.

rondog
December 22, 2010, 01:44 PM
IMO, this is totally subject to the space you have to work with and your personal needs, and woodworking skills/tools. There's a thousand different ways you could go with this. But Harbor Freight also has some nice workbench kits too.

I just used an old 6 ft. folding banquet table, built a shelf across the legs with 2x12's, and put an old bookcase cut in half on the back of the top for some shelves. But I'm kind of a Bubba about "recycling" old stuff like this. I go for cheap and functional over fancy and pretty.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/gun%20and%20reloading%20benches/DSCN2177.jpg

472x1A/B
December 22, 2010, 04:32 PM
Really nice bench there rondog. Way better than my scrap wood bench. (sorry for no pictures, no camra)

UpTheIrons
December 22, 2010, 05:06 PM
I built mine out of scavenged lumber and a discarded kitchen island top. The island top is 30x38" and I bummed all the 2x4s and 2x10s from my F-I-L. Total material cost was about $15 for the hardware. It fits nicely in the garage, plus I still have room for a single stage press on the left side, even though it will be a snug fit. After this picture was taken, I did put an angle brace on the back to increase stability. The shelf is made of 2x10s, which really helps with the weight, too.

I kinda wish I had made it a bit bigger, though, because it is already full of cans of brass, bullet boxes, powder cans and more.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4044/4507997217_f48dd131f4_z.jpg

shooter_from_show-me
December 22, 2010, 05:39 PM
Built mine by scratch with about $40 in material and a few hours on a Saturday about 18 months ago. Since then I have anchored it to the wall...:)

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii95/luvngthelord/1-31-10011.jpg



Bill

Hiwbiwwy
December 22, 2010, 05:59 PM
I'm still working on my reloading bench, but I built my garage workbench out of these brackets by 2x4 Basics. It just uses 2x4's and plywood, and it's super sturdy.
http://www.2x4basics.com/garage-storage.asp

Hondo 60
December 22, 2010, 06:02 PM
Mine's just an old computer desk with a 2x6 bolted to it.
This gives me the option to sit while I reload.

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/bench.jpg

BikerNut
December 22, 2010, 06:19 PM
Look at the sticky at the top of this forum called "Show Us Your Reloading Bench". There's currently 67 pages of ideas.

What usually works best varies with each individual. I used office furniture to build my reloading bench/gun cleaning bench... because I already had it and it was easy to convert it to for what I needed.

http://www.greatanswers.com/HerbsBench.jpg

Office furniture can be handy because of the built-in shelves, drawers, etc. Plus, there are mountains of used office furniture for dirt cheap prices.

There are more perfect setups than mine, but it works for me.

kennedy
December 22, 2010, 07:05 PM
I attached an old counter top to the wall, braced the front with 4x4s, used an old bathroom vanity with drawers to fit under it. all scrap I had in my shed, one note, I had to place a 2x4 vertically from the floor to under the bench where press was mounted to take up the strain of full length sizing.

GP100man
December 22, 2010, 07:40 PM
I just built a 2x4 frame ,covered with 3/4 plywood , nail 2x4 in a L then screwed em in & braced em . Ya can also put a bottm shelf on the legs to store bullets or gear to add weight . Add shelves on top as needed

http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/xx110/GP100man/102_0031.jpg

http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/xx110/GP100man/102_0032.jpg

rsrocket1
December 22, 2010, 07:53 PM
A Gorilla Rack from Costco or Sam's works well when you add a double layer of plywood as the top - set the unit in half and side by side and you have an 8' long bench that is sturdy and is not permanently built it. Add a sheet of 5/8 plywood to make a 1-1/4" thick top, and you have a nice bench for under $125

+1 on the Gorilla Rack. I have a single layer of plywood on mine and have used it over the years as an RC airplane building bench, a ham radio repair workshop, Xbox mod center :) and now a reloading bench. I do use 2x4's and 2x6's to mount my presses similar to Hondo 60. These pieces of wood run to the back wall where bookshelf brackets anchor the wood to the wall studs. This makes the presses totally stiff and works great when full length resizing rifle cases.

HOWARD J
December 22, 2010, 08:08 PM
What about Harbor Freight

http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?category=&q=work+bench

Olympus
December 22, 2010, 10:00 PM
I've already looked through the sticky about the benches. That's what I was asking if what the pre-fab kits were. l think I'm going to look at the price difference the 2x4 Basics deal and just actually building my own.

brandon_mcg
December 22, 2010, 11:31 PM
checked into some of the pre-fabs before i built my work bench. i built an 8 feet long x 4 feet wide work bench for 38 bucks. for that price i'm thinking about building another one.

Fleet
December 22, 2010, 11:37 PM
Here's a goody

http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf

jmorris
December 23, 2010, 03:11 AM
When we were kids my brother an I couldn’t reload inside the house while Mom was home so we mounted the presses to 4X4’s and clamped them in a bench vice in the garage when in use and at the top of our closet in a rack when not in use. It was quick, very stable and out of sight when not loading.

sniper5
December 23, 2010, 08:46 AM
For a benchtop you might want to look at an undrilled solid core door. They can be had for not too much money, and are pretty much ready to go as a bench top and are VERY rigid. Combine that with some 2x2 or 2x6 or 4x4 lumber and galvanized construction hardware and you should be into the project for not too much money.

Lost Sheep
December 24, 2010, 07:20 AM
When I started reloading, everything I used fit in a footlocker and could be set up on an end table (with my powder scale sitting on the separate coffee table).

I also recommend a dropcloth. Spread it out to catch any spilled powder, dropped primers (live or spent) and the inevitable carbon and primer residue that comes out of spent cartridges.

Recently, I just repackaged all the stuff I regularly use and will share with you the pieces of my reloading setup and how I store/transport them.

3 Toolboxes:

One: (23" x 10" x 10") contains my press (Lee Classic Turret), mounting system (a 2"x6" board that I clamp into a portable workbench or anything handy) a small 4"X8"X1.5" fishing tackle box to contain all the small parts & tools and the primer feeding system. There's room for a couple of manuals in there, too, but I store them on my bookshelf, with one next to the computer.

The second: (15"x8"x8") contains all the gunpowder handling parts. Scale, funnel, Lee Auto-Disk Powder measure/dispenser and a set of Lee's measuring scoops/dippers and my loading safety glasses.

The third: (15"x7"x7") contains seven sets of reloading dies, mounted in their turrets inside their storage cylinders, ready to plug into the press and use.

With my folding workbench, I can set up my reloading room anywhere in just a few minutes and take it down just as fast.

If you really want a permanent bench sitting in your extra room, go for it. Having shelves with doors perhaps is very convenient and having things permanently set up is good, too. I have preferred portability. I can even easily take my entire setup to a friend's house for a two-man loading session or to the range. Just one man's choice I thought I would share.

Lost Sheep

kolob10
December 24, 2010, 08:04 AM
I started with a small desk, added a few shelves above and it lasted for several years. Now I have a small room with a bench 8 foot long and three tiers of shelving above and two tiers below. Bench is made our of a preformed kitched counter top supported by 4x4 legs & framework of 2x4's. I shutter to think how many die sets, scales, powder, bullets, & accessories I have invested in over the years. I have four presses - a Dillon 650, Dillon 550, a RCBS Rockchucker, and a Lee hand press. It can get addicting but enjoyable. Good shooting!

flashhole
December 24, 2010, 08:43 AM
This is mine. It is free-standing and the worktop measures 2'x4'. The uprights are fake wood deck posts (Lowes).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69/GuideGun/MainReloadingBench.jpg

jake556
December 24, 2010, 10:55 AM
Here is how I made mine customize whichever size you want heavy, and super sturdy bolted back 2X6 to wall studs I think I spent $50 total.

http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u33/jake6986/dillon2.jpg

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u33/jake6986/dillon1.jpg

James2
December 24, 2010, 12:14 PM
http://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/bench_1.jpg

Here is an idea for an easy to build bench. The skirts are the same plywood as the top. I used 4x4 legs because I had some. You could use 2x4. The press location is reinforced with a piece of 2x6. It is all put together with grabber screws. This particular bench is 8 feet long and 2 feet wide.

http://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/bench_3.jpg

Olympus
December 24, 2010, 12:28 PM
Those are some really good ideas.

Another thing I thought about what how sturdy are some of these benches going to be on carpet? My "man room" is in a finished basement and there is regular indoor carpet in the room. I'm curious to know if anyone else has their bench on a carpet floor and if there is any wobble.

flashhole
December 24, 2010, 12:42 PM
On post #27 you will see my bench is on an area rug. The rug acts like a self-leveling adjustment tool and keeps the bench rock solid.

jake556
December 24, 2010, 03:20 PM
Mine is on carpet keeps my feet warm!

JohnMcD348
December 24, 2010, 07:46 PM
When I first started looking I read a few posts here that directed me to this link that I used to build my bench with. I think it cost me about $30-40 in wood and I had extra left over to add to it after the initial build. I used some of the scrap wood to add a locking cabinet under the table to store supplies and such. And, I added a shelf on the back for books and tools and a base for a light. I modified some of the measurements to make the table sit higher, wider and longer but the basic plan is there.
http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/workshop/bench/below20xl.html

Lost Sheep
December 24, 2010, 09:32 PM
http://www.cabelas.com/gun-smithing-2x4-basics-bench-kit.shtml?type=product&WT.tsrc=CSE&WT.mc_id=GoogleBaseUSA&WT.z_mc_id1=739882&rid=40&mr:trackingCode=9C117452-F5D2-DF11-82EF-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA
or, if the link does not work, paste this into your browser
cabelas.com/gun-smithing-2x4-basics-bench-kit.shtml?type=product&WT.tsrc=CSE&WT.mc_id=GoogleBaseUSA&WT.z_mc_id1=739882&rid=40&mr:trackingCode=9C117452-F5D2-DF11-82EF-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA

I found it stumbling around on another forum.

Lost Sheep

CSA 357
December 24, 2010, 09:37 PM
i found some used kitchin cabnets worked like a charm, and very cheap too lots of good storage space underneath i have added more now and have plenty of space for casting, loading, case prep, have over head cabnets with over head lighting

Olympus
December 24, 2010, 10:45 PM
When I first started looking I read a few posts here that directed me to this link that I used to build my bench with. I think it cost me about $30-40 in wood and I had extra left over to add to it after the initial build. I used some of the scrap wood to add a locking cabinet under the table to store supplies and such. And, I added a shelf on the back for books and tools and a base for a light. I modified some of the measurements to make the table sit higher, wider and longer but the basic plan is there.
http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/w...below20xl.html


That looks like a pretty straightforward build. I might give that one a shot.

Lost Sheep - stumbled across that very thing today when I was looking at the Cabela's website too. But $90 before buying the wood and pegboard is a little high. I was thinking about $50 to $75 max. But if it weren't that expensive, I think I'd probably end up getting that kit.

whipper
December 25, 2010, 01:15 AM
Got camera working, here are two picks

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6951406&postcount=1663

theZ0MBIE
December 25, 2010, 01:41 AM
I looked on craigslist and found a bench that had a 48" laminate kitchen top and 4x4 post for $30. It was braced pretty cheaply with 1x6's and cheap screws. I replaced all boards with 2x6's, lag screws, and a sheet of MDF under the counter top. I now have a solid, heavy bench that cost near nothing.

Will post pictures soon.

Olympus
December 26, 2010, 06:58 PM
Just finished my reloading bench. I used the link that was posted about the hammerzone.com and modified the plans a little bit. I made it 6 foot long which is pretty much all I had room for. I made it 24 inches deep and decided to use the standard bar height of 42 inches tall. It's all 2x4s and I used 3/4" MDF for the top and for the shelf in between the legs. I also ordered a piece of laminate countertop to use for the very top. I had to order it so it's not completely finished, but 99% done. I'm pretty happy with it. As soon as the laminate comes in, I'll be ready to mount the press and get to work!

Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas!

foolsgold80z
December 26, 2010, 08:05 PM
I used the Harbor Freight workbench in my office closet.
http://static.motownmuscle.com/forums/files/12584cfd714952e40.jpg

Olympus
December 26, 2010, 10:07 PM
I just noticed that on my Loadmaster, the two mounting holes in the rear put the ram of the press almost against the front edge of bench. Is this normal?

Spartan299
December 26, 2010, 10:44 PM
This is what I did, but that's cause I had the resources ta do so.
http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad14/Spartan299_photos/gun%20picks/Guncollection022.jpg
My old bench was made outta 2x4 and 4x4 lumber with a solid plank top. Heavy as hell and has lasted for 20 years and still goin' strong. Also a great place ta hold up in the event of an earthquake. :D

2x4 and plywood will serve ya just fine until ya decide you can do something more to your likin'. If ya bolt the legs to the support structure, you can disassemble it much easier if you gotta. Also makes it easier ta git through a door.

10 Spot Terminator
December 26, 2010, 10:45 PM
My vote goes to the walkaround island bench Flashole showed pics of. I am currently getting matierials together to make a 4ft x 4ft top in that style not only for loading but for cleaning and servicing my weapons , in particular my long guns. How much more versatile can you get ? All this time I have had an island kitchen to get on with my cooking habit and never once thought about using the same concept for my shooting needs. Great idea !!! I wont have to have all my accessories spread out down 2 walls of my small shop ....

1SOW
December 27, 2010, 12:30 AM
If you do a search for "work benches" you should find a gazillion versions both homemade or available at stores.. Pick the one closest to your needs and build it yourself to save money. Go to the woodworking links and some plans are free. Others have pictures that leave little to guesswork. Use good screws and bolts to assemble it. This will make it last and allow easy modifications/additions if needed.

Your kitchen countertop is 32" high, your kitchen/dining room table is 30" high. One you sit and the other you can sit on a barstool/taller stool or stand. Take your pick.

flashhole
December 27, 2010, 09:08 AM
"I just noticed that on my Loadmaster, the two mounting holes in the rear put the ram of the press almost against the front edge of bench. Is this normal?"

Yes, it is that way for most presses whose ram extends below the work surface. Hold it in place and exercise the ram before bolting it down to ensure it does not hit anything that would obstruct its movement.

jeepmor
December 27, 2010, 11:46 PM
Quote:
...something sturdy, but as inexpensive as possible.
2x4 lumber, a sheet of plywood, and deck screws.
Nothing will be cheaper. Nothing will be more sturdy.

Use glue and fasten it to the wall studs with 3" screws too. Quite solid.

A couple dbl wide kitchen cabinet uppers with adjustable shelves will serve you well.

STW
December 28, 2010, 05:52 PM
2x4 Basics workbench can be purchased from Lowes or Cabelas. It provides legs and you provide 2x4s and top/shelves. You can go as big or small as you want. I made it easy on myself by choosing 4 feet llng and two feet wide. (3 8-foot 2x4 cut in half for the length and 2 more cut in quarters for the width). A few cuts on a 4'x8' piece of particle board took care of bottom and middle shelves and the top. I spent less than $100 total.
My loaded ammo fits on the bottom shelf and my components take up the middle shelf.

Clark
December 29, 2010, 05:03 PM
I got a printer table that was made of steel and 1.25" particle board.
It was free and very stiff.

I just started adding scrap pieces of wood, with some rusty lag bolts I found for free.

I started adding presses and more scrap lumber.
It is now 3.5" thick on top, 5" thick on the ends.

I have no money invested, but some time.

chasw44
December 30, 2010, 10:14 AM
I designed my own bench, customized to my ergonomics and the space I had to work with. I started with the principle that is should be very sturdy. That has payed off over and over again. The stresses you put on the bench when sizing or reforming brass, for example, are substantial and will bend the top to some degree.

Less bending is better. Accordingly, I used 6X6 cedar beams for the vertical pieces and 2X6 pine planks for the top, reinforced underneath with 2X4s. Everything is held together with carriage bolts, not nails. The height of the working surface was set so my forearms can rest comfortably on the work surface when standing. The whole thing is anchored against the wall in a corner of my basement.

The top is approx 5 feet wide by 2 feet deep. I have a large vise permanently bolted to the outer corner, with a LocknLoad powder measure stand next to that and an RCBS Rockchucker next to that. At the opposite end, I have a Lyman case trimmer permanently mounted. In between these fixtures, I have perhaps 2-1/2 feet of open space with some holes drilled for other devices which are used less frequently, e.g., cast bullet sizers and a Lee Loadall (shotshells).

I suppose you could buy a ready made bench kit, or buy someone else's design, but it seems more appropriate, if you have rudimentary carpentry skills and tools, to make your own, custom fit for you and the dimensions of your basement/garage/back porch. - CW

jeepmor
December 31, 2010, 12:23 AM
Use screws instead of nails too. Sheetrock or deck screws work great.

Flatbush Harry
December 31, 2010, 01:03 PM
FWIW, I recommend the Husky Workbench that Home Depot sells. I got mine about a year or so ago for $199, set up took about 1-1/2 to 2 hrs. It is rock solid and has two drawers, plenty of shelf space, a pegboard back for hanging tools, etc, top shelf, where I keep my powder and primers and ample room on top. I've got a Lyman turret press at one end, an RCBS accessory base plate for various tools at the other and keep my powder dispenser on top, other tools on the shelf beneath. If, as and when I move, it disassembles.

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/82/82549c7e-6099-4381-84be-7b72a7c3afd4_300.jpg

Magichelmt
December 31, 2010, 03:17 PM
I built this in one afternoon for under $100. I had the guy at Lowes rip the 3/4" plywood for me, 3 pcs 2' x 4' and then the last section cut 1' x 4'. That gave me a double layer top deck, and back splash to build on to and two shelves underneath. I just framed up a base and mounted it into the studs. My big @$$ could dance on that thing and it would not move.

http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af119/magichelmt/IMG_0279.jpg

James2
December 31, 2010, 03:34 PM
What a neat thread. You see there is no end to the possibilities.
My first reloading bench was a shelf I nailed to the wall in the closet.
This particular closet was 3 feet wide and I put the bench in the end
so it was 3 feet of bench.

BTW fastening a bench to a wall sure makes them solid.

hapidogbreath
December 31, 2010, 04:39 PM
This is what my den of inequity looks like. Needs to be cleaned but for a work in progress it does right by Me.......

Olympus
December 31, 2010, 04:46 PM
I'm going to have to post a picture of mine soon. I got the call from Lowe's today that my piece of laminate came in for the top. I got it all painted last night. I hope to get the top glued on tonight and get the press mounted.

hapidogbreath
December 31, 2010, 04:56 PM
I have used this setup since 94. I have moved it twice ( new Digs ). I have added 2 more benches and a little Smithy and other goodies. Still a work in progress. Went from a 550 a 650 Dillon. Kept the RCBS.

Olympus
January 1, 2011, 07:13 PM
Finally got the top on my bench and got my press mounted. I had to some minor modifications to get my press mounted since I let a few details slip my mind when making the top. But here is the finished product. Keep in mind, I'm just now getting started with reloading so I don't have a lot of other components yet.

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy151/brownscustomgrips/P1010029.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy151/brownscustomgrips/P1010028.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy151/brownscustomgrips/P1010027.jpg

jpwilly
January 1, 2011, 07:32 PM
http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/workshop/bench/below20xl.html

don't know if this link has been posted yet...

Lincoln4
January 1, 2011, 08:23 PM
Here's my work in progress. 2X4 Basics kit. I found that ordering it from HomeDepot online was the least expensive way to go.

http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o161/twlongtine/2011-01-01155433.jpg

sappnasty
January 1, 2011, 08:27 PM
This is my bench that my father in law and I made. All from materials purchased at Home Depot. Total cost to build was under $100.00. Very, Very sturdy. Not too big and not to small. I also installed a flouresant light under the top shelf in the center. I stained it, applied Tung oil to seal and painted it Green for my RCBS gear. I love it!
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f189/GLOCKSOLJ/P1140947.jpg
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f189/GLOCKSOLJ/P1140949.jpg
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f189/GLOCKSOLJ/P1140952.jpg

sappnasty
January 1, 2011, 08:29 PM
I took about 1 week with everything.

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