Press mounting (on Bench)


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jotto
September 17, 2011, 01:36 PM
Greetings all,

I have recently purchased a bench to begin reloading on. I bought a Stack-On WB-432 that comes with a 1" thick MDF work surface. A link to the bench is provided below from Cabela's. It was not sealed with anything so I heavily coated it it polyurethane prior to mounting it on the bench.

My question is should I reinforce it with say a 1 x 4 on top then mount the press to that? The coated work surface seems pretty tough now with the coating but being new I really have no idea how much strain the press will put on it. My thoughts were to glue/screw on pieces of 1 x 4 to further strengthen it first. Would that work? Overkill? Not enough? I'm going to start off with a Hornady Lock 'n Load single stage press but plan on upgrading to a turret press a year or so down the road as I get better at reloading.

Second question is I believe that to mount the press I would drill through the surface and run bolts through the press and top to secure it. Correct?

Any tips, pointers, suggestions would be most appreciated, thank you.

Link to the work bench on cabelas: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Stack-On-Reloading-Benches/1172292.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dreloading%2Bbench%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=reloading+bench&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

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bds
September 17, 2011, 04:23 PM
question is I believe that to mount the press I would drill through the surface and run bolts through the press and top to secure it. Correct?
Yes. I usually use nylon locking nuts as repeated operations of the press will loosen regular nuts, even with locking washers. Be sure to recheck the bolts/nuts for tightness after about 1-2 weeks' use.



My question is should I reinforce it with say a 1 x 4 on top then mount the press to that?
You could consider reinforcing the top with a layer of OSB or 2x4s/2x6s underneath the MDF as it maybe develop cracks at the press mounting holes.


Any tips, pointers, suggestions
OSB or Plywood reinforced with 2x4/2x6. I currently use 10 layer hardwood plywood for my portable bench (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7248285#post7248285) top with 2x4s for reinforcement and there is absolutely no flex even when sizing thick walled military .308 cases.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=140527&stc=1&d=1302984132


Here's a portable bench with OSB/2x4s (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7235246#post7235246) that I covered the top with thick upholstery fabric from Walmart. I put two 2x4s flat under the OSB below the LCT press and used drywall screws to fasten to the OSB and 10d nails to fasten to the frame. No flexing of the bench top while resizing military .308 cases.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=140226&stc=1&d=1302460069

rondog
September 17, 2011, 04:32 PM
Don't have a photo, but my "bench" is an old folding banquet table. To get my Lee Classic Turret up to a level comfortable to me, I stacked two pieces of 2x12 and bolted them to the table, then mounted my press to that. I likes to sit in a comfy swivel chair when I'm yankin' and crankin' on the press, and was tired of the handle hitting my knee.

ColtPythonElite
September 17, 2011, 04:38 PM
I'd use about 6" long carriage bolts and put a short piece of 2 x 4 on the bottom side of the MDF.

357Shooter
September 17, 2011, 05:16 PM
I'd go buy a half sheet of the thickest or 1 inch plywood you can get (it's available with I think poplar? on one side) and glue and screw that to your top, then find your wall studs and screw the whole bench to them with good long screws, you really can't overdo it, the firmer the better.

cfullgraf
September 17, 2011, 05:33 PM
Put flat washers under the nuts on the underneath side. Large diameter, like fender washers, would be better, but regular flat washers would be ok. The washers will spread the load out on the bench top and help prevent the top for compressing under the load and the press getting loose.

Enjoy your new bench.

GP100man
September 17, 2011, 06:05 PM
Here`s acouple of benches I cobbled up with what I had.

I do most of my Heavy sizing with this Lyman Orange Crusher II & have all 3 mounting holes thru a 2x4 running the width of the table & weight on it to steady it with 3/8 bolts thru all the way

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

On this table the RCs are mounted with 5/16 threaded rod on the perimeter 2x4 & braced down at the bottom with a spacer.
The Lyman T mag is mounted with a 2x4 on the rear hole & 2x4 perimeter all with 5/16 threaded rod.
http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/xx110/GP100man/102_0032.jpg


All are very solid & don`t wiggle a bit unless the whole bench does !!

EddieNFL
September 17, 2011, 06:40 PM
I added a slight bit of reinforcement to my bench top.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a338/EddieF/002.jpg

BYJO4
September 17, 2011, 10:26 PM
I've been using an old steel bench for over 30 years now. I bolted 2X8s to the bottom of the bench frame under each press. There is absolutely no flex when using any press or movement of the bench.

http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l545/BYJO4/View2.jpg

gamestalker
September 18, 2011, 04:13 AM
Re-enforcing is never a bad idea for a press. They really create some strain due to the physics involved. Because of the leverage a press utilizes if easy to over look how much strain is created when we are resizing a cartridge, especially bottle neck cases. I use a large wood table with a like size 1 1/2" think cherry wood top added to it. Prior to adding the cherry wood top, I was having difficulty keeping the table from trying to lift up on me when resizing bottle neck cases.
Oh, and if you want your press to be some what easy to move around rather than a semi permanent loaction, try using at a 4" or larger C clamp. It's completely rigid and allows you to move quickly without haveing to take a couple of bolts out to do so. And for me that is rather important because I often jump from loading on my Mec and single stage RCBS and I sometimes will use 2 RCBS presses if I'm doing a bunch at one time and want to keep my seating die, priming die or what ever the advantage may be I'm wanting to utilize at the moment.

Kevin Rohrer
September 18, 2011, 10:38 AM
If you plan on FL resizing rifle cases, better add an inch or two of quality plywood or other hardwood to your benchtop.

Drilling thru the top is fine, which I did. Use the thickest (probably 5/8"), highest quality bolts you can fine and plenty of thick washers underneath to add strength. I haven't had a problem w/ the nuts loosening, but if you are concerned, Loctite or nail polish on the threads will solve that.

The bench needs to have enough mass that it won't move during FL resizing. Adding mass gives you a legitimate (excuse) reason to buy reloading manuals and more presses to bolt to your bench. :evil:

josephbw
September 18, 2011, 11:50 AM
One thing that will make it rock solid, is to lag bolt the bench to some wall studs using L brackets.

Jim Watson
September 18, 2011, 12:43 PM
I put plywood over the MDF on my commercial bench, glued and screwed in place and varnished with polyurethane. I put fender washers or wood block spacers underneath press attachments. I used it for two presses and accessories for about 15 years and it is still solid although a bit grimy.

The new installation is doubled 3/4" plywood on 2x4 frame all sides, doubled 2x4 legs with braces and half shelf; tied to floor and wall.
My S1050 is on a riser made out of doubled 2x12 laminated beam, my Rockchucker on a 2x8 bolted to the bench, the 550 direct to the bench next to a leg. The extra boards give the working height I want for each machine and stiffen the mount.

GP100man
September 18, 2011, 01:05 PM
jotto

As you can see most are probably over engineered & heavy , but I`d rather it be that than having the press pop off or the table walking around .

rsrocket1
September 18, 2011, 01:15 PM
+1 to those who L-bracket their bench to wall studs. The worst feeling is having the press wobble or simply rock the table back toward you as you full length resize a big rifle case or run full speed "in your rhythm" with a progressive.

oneounceload
September 18, 2011, 02:46 PM
My press sits on a reloading bench that has a top made from 3/4" plywood - doubled over, glued and screwed - for ZERO flex.

The racking material is then screwed to wall studs

Kevin Rohrer
September 18, 2011, 08:15 PM
As you can see most are probably over engineered & heavy , but I`d rather it be that than having the press pop off or the table walking around .

Yup. Mine is made of 2x4s, 2x10s, 2x12s, and 4x4s, all bolted together. No nails. The bench top is held in place by long wood screws. With the bookshelves and presses in-place, it ain't going anywhere.

Here is 11.5' of hardwood heaven. :D

http://i666.photobucket.com/albums/vv29/KevinRohrer/Reloading/IMG_0379-1.jpg

dickttx
September 19, 2011, 09:24 AM
You kind of have to go with what your space allows, but I would definately reinforce the top.
I have found that if you cannot screw the table to the wall, then a 1 x 2 strip laid across the back of the table and screwed to the wall is just about as effective.

jotto
September 19, 2011, 05:05 PM
Much appreciated everyone! My next task is to build some shelves in my locker that I'll be using for powder storage then I'll reinforce the bench top as recommended.

Then I'll get my press and get started!

Thanks again everyone!

kingmt
September 19, 2011, 08:47 PM
I didn't read the replies so sorry if it is redundant. MDF is some great stuff but for your use will start to break down around the bolt holes. Putting something on top to reinforce would be insignificant. On the bottom would be very significant. Fender washers would + a 2" board would improve it greatly. I would use 6"x6" at the least 12"x12" even better or pull it & add a solid bottom using the MDF as a finished surface.

scythefwd
September 19, 2011, 08:55 PM
I'm bolting through some 1/4" plywood and through some 2x4's. The 2x4 top is supported by a 2x4 frame. Solid is an understatement.

Hondo 60
September 20, 2011, 08:05 PM
Here's another idea...

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/bench3.jpg

j2crows
September 23, 2011, 10:51 AM
I used 2 layers of 3/4" plywood for my top.With a 2x4 frame. Then I went to a metal shop and bought a 12" square of 1/4" flat steel. Hung the edge about 2" off the table, marked 2 holes for the press and 3 holes for the plate. Filed everything smooth, gave the plate a coat of paint. Used the appropriate bolts. Solid, solid.

mdi
September 23, 2011, 12:54 PM
Is the top of the frame/table, under the MDF sheet metal? If so, I would put a 1 X 12 on the bottom side of the sheet metal portion of the top and "sandwich" the MDF - sheet metal - 1 X12. Bolt press on with bolts running through the "sandwich"...

ErikO
September 23, 2011, 01:42 PM
I mount my press on a 2x12x3' board and bolt that down to a 3/4" plywood top. So far no shifting even when case sizing with steel dies.

rfwobbly
September 23, 2011, 08:32 PM
► Generally the best stability for any bench design is to mount the press over one of the legs. If the press feels better or more convenient mounted in the center, then add a 5th leg under it.

► +1 on bolting the table to the wall.

► You'll want your scale up off the table top. 1) So that it doesn't get a book dropped on it. 2) So that the vibrations in the bench top don't disturb it. 3) So that you don't have to move it aside when you are finished weighing. A 1x4 works really well.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-oDvVFeHFJbY/S3YuMOli1fI/AAAAAAAACu0/HiOqN5ZFb_I/s800/Bench1.JPG

webbee
September 23, 2011, 09:12 PM
If you mount a sheet of masonite with screws only, to the top of whatever you put over of the MDF, you have a replaceable benchtop surface.
If your using two sheets of 3/4" ply, glue sandwitching the MFD between the 2 ply sheets would probably make it stronger.

Lots of good advice in this thread. Nice loading bench photos, too.

brickeyee
September 23, 2011, 10:03 PM
MDF is NOT the solidest material for a reloading bench top.

A decent layer of plywood (3/4 inch and up) or some 2x lumber on the off side.

MDF WILL flex and crack, unless you use metal strapping to spread the load (even fender washers are not large enough, especially for rifle calibers).

Lag screws are anther BAD idea.

Use through bolts with a flat washer and lock washer, or a nylon self locking but.

1SOW
September 23, 2011, 10:08 PM
I had something similar to what you're proposing and later strengthened it, similar to what "bds" suggested.
I have cabinets under the benchtop and the center fascia board is actually reinforced as an additional leg under the press as "rfwobbly" said.

I added full length 2x4's screwed and glued under the top and under the press mounting bolts. This made a big difference in press rigidity.

I used large flat washers and split-ring lock washers on the mounting bolts, and they have loosened a little every few thousand rounds just as "bds" said.

AK_Maine_iac
September 24, 2011, 03:04 AM
Mine may be over kill. Will post some pic once i get my camera set up to transfer to my computer. Home made with 1/2" steel boiler plate. 2ft by 5ft work surface. Two inch pipe for legs. Would not have made it so heavy, but that is all i had for a bench top at the time.

scythefwd
September 24, 2011, 06:24 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7492556&postcount=2184

That is a clickable thumbnail.

Here is my bench. If you take a look, that is 2x6 or 2x8 across the top with a 1/4" plywood top screwed to it. My press is bolted through the 2xwhatevers, over a leg. I used 5/8ths carriage bolts to mount the thing. It ain't going to move, and I don't see any flex on the top.

Woody3
September 24, 2011, 01:02 PM
Ak Maine:
Sounds like an excellent welding bench.


Keep your head low and your powder dry.

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