Building My New Reloading Bench


January 7, 2011, 02:56 PM
I'm a "newb" here, but i'm not a newb to guns and reloading. I started reloading in the 60's, so i have a few reloads under my belt...

Over the years, i've had several reloading benchs, and even reloading rooms, but i decided i would build myself one last HD bench, in my basement, for reloading and other "hobbies", and start moving my "keeper" reloading tools all into one area...

So, here's the story of how i built my NEW HD Ash Bench,

Because my basement is unfinished, and always will be, i just don't need anything fancy, or made like fine furniture! I've already been there done that...

SO, i hatched a plan to mill a big log into thick slabs of lumber, and have that be the bench top. I figured i'd just cut some big blocks off a second log, and use those for the legs. I also wanted shelves going up on the back of the bench to put reloading tools on.

A several days ago, i was measureing some logs i harvested out of a pasture i cleared, and decided that a 22" (on the small end) Ash log i had, would work for this project.

So i grabbled the Ash log with my loader tractor, and moved it to the mill site,

and loaded it on the mill deck. This is a nice log!

I got started milling, by takeing an outer slab off and chainsawing it up for firewood. Eariler i had moved my sno-mobile trailor into place, to put all of the firewood on, makeing it easier to move it to the wood stove.

Anyway, i decided i wanted my table top to be 3-1/2" thick, and the shelves to be 2" thick, so i made the cuts to get what i wanted, turning the log as needed.

Takeing the outer slabs off as i go,

And continued makeing thick cuts to get the needed lumber,

Pileing it on my tractors pallet forks,

Until i was finally down to the last cut, splitting what was left of the log,

And here's the lumber i milled out of the Ash log, ready for the next stage to be made into a HD bench!

Next, we will put the bench together,


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January 7, 2011, 03:00 PM
I decided to square up an OLD oak log i had lieing around, and put lengths of it under the top for the legs, so i took the tractor and grabbled the log out from behind some other logs i have here,

With it on the mill, i got started by taking thick slabs off it, as the outer surface of the log was rotted from the log laying around for a LONG time,

With the first slab off, i turned the log and took another thick slab,

And continued on around,

Until, i had the log squared up into a 18" square "cant",

So, i grabbled the cant up off the mill, and moved it to the back door on my house, then measureing off the length i wanted and chainsawed it off,

And with a helper, we stood it up and moved it into the basement,

With two blocks now moved into the basement and set into place, i nailed a 2"x12"- 27" long piece on top of each block to set the top pieces on. So, it's now time to move the top pieces down there too. The first piece was 4" thick and 12" wide,

The second piece of the top is, 3-1/2" thick and 18" wide,

The idea of two different thickness' of the top is, i wanted the back of the top to be "thicker", to elevate the things sitting on it, that way, it's much easier to get at them better. It also gives a 1/2" lip, so what ever gets pushed back on the bench hits the lip, and doesn't push the things already back there out of place. AND, the last reason the back board is thicker is, it has to support all of the shelves and the weight that's on them, as i will be pileing some pretty heavy things on those shelves, like lead bullets!

Anyway, i think the top looks GREAT!

Next, there are shelves to build!

January 7, 2011, 03:07 PM
awesome build....let me know if u come across a reload that causes the top to bow... LOL

January 7, 2011, 03:12 PM
Now it's time to get a couple shelves on it... I got started by cutting another chunk of 3-1/2" thick by 18" wide plank off, the extra 8' 6" piece i milled out of an ash log, the other day,

I marked out all the cuts i needed to make two uprights to hold a shelf, and because it was so thick, i had to cut it from both sides,

It didn't matter that the cuts weren't "clean" because now that the planks were cut to a size i could handle, i could take them later on up to the shop and clean them up!

I also had to knotch them out, because of the two thicknesses of the bench top,

So i cut the knotch, and then took them to the shop and ran them over the jointer and through my planer,

I still needed a couple uprights for a second shelf, so i grabbed a 1-1/2" x 12" and ran one edge over the jointer,

And then ripped 8" off it with the tablesaw and ran it through the planer too...

So, back at the bench, i had another full 2" x 12" that i needed to cut to length and rip down to 8", so i marked it,

And ripped it with my circle saw,

And, with the uprights in place,

I muscled the shelves into place too!

So, here's how my HD Ash Bench looks today,

As you can see, i drilled holes in the shelf, and pounded 200 grain Matchkings in the holes for the pegs to hold my Gearwrenches,

I'm planning on sawing out another 6' bench, to put on the end of this one... I also have some plans for the legs, and a few other things... BUT, i have a friend who is terminally ill, and i'm going to go see him for a few... My bench project will have to wait until i get back!

I hope you enjoyed the picts of my NEW bench project!


January 7, 2011, 03:39 PM
haha I hope you never have to move that thing... nice work!! this might be the only bench I have seen actually made from "SCRATCH" you literally didn't even have boards... very nice

January 7, 2011, 03:48 PM
WOW! you win the prize for THE BEST RELOADING BENCH EVER in my book. What a terrific piece of work. Thanks for sharing.

January 7, 2011, 04:59 PM
Well, that is passing fair. But, you only got two legs so don't put a really heavy load on your new bench.


January 7, 2011, 05:01 PM
That's awesome! The mill looks like a lot of fun!

January 7, 2011, 05:26 PM
+1 with flashhole, WOW

January 7, 2011, 06:32 PM
Outstanding bench! Thanks for sharing.

P.S.: This makes me really wish that I knew someone with a mini-sawmill.


January 7, 2011, 07:00 PM
Excellent work! Beats mine, which I made out of 2 and 4x4, using a handsaw and a hand planer :)

January 7, 2011, 07:28 PM
I don't get impressed very easy but that is one hell of a bench for sure!

Hondo 60
January 7, 2011, 08:35 PM
Now that's a reloading bench!
Very cool!

January 7, 2011, 08:39 PM
You should start making those benches for others here on the board...... but the shipping might be a little steep. Very nice! ~Wingnut13

January 7, 2011, 08:47 PM
You certainly started from nothing. Looks awful cold to me, but to each his own. I'm very impressed, with the bench and the skills necessary to build it, not too mention all the toys.
Thanks for posting

January 7, 2011, 09:56 PM
That is truly extraordinary! Indeed, perhaps the very nicest bench I've ever seen regardless of its intended purpose. I wish you many, many satisfying years at your new bench.

Patriot Prepper
January 8, 2011, 02:24 PM
Amazing! When you said you were building your own bench, you weren't kidding. Wow.

You did a great job of documenting your progress. I am impressed.

The bench looks great and as solid as a rock. Excellent job!

January 8, 2011, 04:25 PM
Excellent pic's, very fun to watch-------just wondering, I do a lot of woodwork, is this kiln dried lumber, if not, it may warp quite a bet on you

January 8, 2011, 11:00 PM
Excellent bench!

January 8, 2011, 11:15 PM
Kudos my friend, and welcome aboard !!

January 9, 2011, 12:15 AM
Nice Journey;)

January 10, 2011, 10:08 AM
Excellent pic's, very fun to watch-------just wondering, I do a lot of woodwork, is this kiln dried lumber, if not, it may warp quite a bet on you

It's true, i did use green lumber (right out of the tree) and as a retired custom cabinet/furniture maker, i do understand wood movement, but the 12" wide top piece has a LOT of weight on it, same for the shelves. So, i don't except to see much warping there, at least not any that will bother me...

As for the 18" wide piece, i "quartersawed" it, so it's not going to warp much if any at all, and so far hasn't. It WILL crack through the pith, but i'm not worried about that at all, as i'll just pour some Accraglass in the crack a year or so from now, and sand it smooth.

If all else fails, i have a wood furnace close by, and a electric chainsaw to get it down to size... lol

Thanks guys, for viewing the picts., and all the great comments!


January 10, 2011, 06:09 PM
i think you have a mighty sturdy bench there (and i thought I went overboard building mine out of spare 2x10 and 2x12's).

Might want to add in some center support for the bench top if you plan on loading 105mm shells, as they tend to need a bit of force for sizing LOL....

again great walk thru on the build.. I originally thought i was going to see another 2x4 basics kit put together by some novice that didnt even own a hammer before the kit was put together (my brother and a couple of neighbors fit into this category of having NO TOOLS).....

again congrats on the build.

January 10, 2011, 06:11 PM
nice work! i bet that son of a gun is sturdy!

beautiful wood.

January 10, 2011, 06:29 PM
I hope you never have to move that thing

Exactly what I was thinking.

Captain FU
January 10, 2011, 08:50 PM
It is a wonderful thing (to me anyway) to see people that can still do things with their own two hands. So much of America is basically helpless anymore.

Reloading to me is a "fend for yourself" kind of thing. And building a bench out of a log is as well.

Awesome freaking job.

January 10, 2011, 09:16 PM
Outstanding sir!!!!

January 21, 2011, 07:57 PM
Nice thats how i made my coffee table ha. used beech that i found up in the woods. threw on some danish oil and turned out pretty nice. very solid.

Tim the student
January 24, 2011, 02:36 PM
Man, that is cool! Nice job.

January 24, 2011, 06:34 PM
I only have one question: When can I swing by to build mine like that? I think freight might be an issue but I'll work that out. I had to build mind using only an electric saw, level, square and screws. That bench looks like it would last decades even pounding on it every day with a sledgehammer!


January 25, 2011, 05:25 PM
Thanks guys!

Frieght really would be an issue! lol That baby is really really heavy!! :)


January 25, 2011, 09:48 PM
Very good pictorial of a step by step build! Nice heavy duty bench! Just goes to show that the right tools make such a project fairly easy. Can you imagine cutting down that tree and cutting it into the planks with the tools of the 1800's or early 1900's?

Good Job!

Jimmy K

January 25, 2011, 11:16 PM
Holy Tool Man!

Great job! That is doing it right and learning from all the past setups that weren't quite right. I really like it when things are built SOLID. You have a knack for wood, and the raw materials and tools needed for it. My dad is the same way with steel. If he's still around when I get my perfect location, I'll have him build me one out of steel. I might need a D-9 and a trackhoe to put it into position, but it will never wear out.

Thank you very much!

January 26, 2011, 12:26 AM
I am impressed with the log/wood used, beautiful wood! I thought my bench was a little over-kill, HA! You do fantastic work, those shelves won't bow any time soon either. I like your wrench pegs, neat idea!

January 26, 2011, 12:33 AM
Holy Crap! That should be one solid bench.

Jeff H
January 26, 2011, 07:15 PM
Awesome job, but I have a question. How do you keep all the woodworking dust off the reloading bench? Everytime I start a project in teh workshop, sawdust gets everywhere.

January 27, 2011, 02:11 PM
That,sir, is the Paul Bunyon of all benches!
Your love of wood and its beauty is obvious. Congrats on an awesome build. I am envious of your talent.

January 27, 2011, 02:15 PM
That is truly amazing! I love the rawness of it all and that I know it is heavy enough to not have to worry about stability! Great work! I wish I had equipment like that!

January 27, 2011, 03:52 PM
Awesome job, but I have a question. How do you keep all the woodworking dust off the reloading bench? Everytime I start a project in teh workshop, sawdust gets everywhere.

Easy, my reloading bench is in my basement, and my woodworking tools are out in my wood working shop. :) Here's a pict. of where i do my wood and metal working,

Thanks to everyone for the very nice comments!


January 27, 2011, 04:02 PM
Makes me jealous! I have absolutely NO..ZERO..ZIP-ZILCH wood working talent! On top of that..out of a raw piece of lumber! It just ain't fair!!

January 28, 2011, 12:00 AM
I thought the bench was great...but that workshop on waterfront property is even better. That is a beautiful homestead/workplace you have there!


January 28, 2011, 02:08 AM
A friend of mine decided to make a table for his son.
He made a saw mill with a little chain saw.
I was disturbed by his table design, so I bought him a book.

Mike Kerr
January 28, 2011, 04:06 AM
Very Impressive. I believe it is the strongest looking wood bench I have ever seen. The most amazing thing is the pictorial story from logs to lumber to bench. I'll look forward to seeing your "phase 2".



February 5, 2011, 07:00 PM
Hey DM~,

What does your gun cleaning station look like? Just wondering.....

February 5, 2011, 07:18 PM
Very impressive.

February 5, 2011, 10:55 PM
Hey DM~,

What does your gun cleaning station look like? Just wondering.....

You have to clean guns??? Your kidding, right? :)

I just put a gun cradle in the vise on my bench, and get after it!


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