Building My Reloading Bench


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Lerk
October 4, 2012, 12:07 AM
Well after putting it off for so long I got impulsive tonight and pick up material to build my reloading bench to my my Hornady LNL AP, Lee Classic, Pacific DL-266 and put my other goodies in.

Got 2 36" base cabinets (2 drawers, 2 doors) and a 72" counter top to hook them together. Gotta sand them up and stain them, assemble everything and mount the presses.

And a little update of tonight's progress. I plan to build this in a way that it can be broken down for transport. So to start out I flipped one of the cabinets on the side:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0330.jpg

Next I had to cut some 1/2" plywood to fill in the space between the two cabinets at the back:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0331.jpg

Next threw the other one up there:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0332.jpg

Just another view:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0335.jpg

And wanted to reinforce the top cover so I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to put underneath it:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0337.jpg

But sadly in my rush, I realized I have zero screws or bolts the right size to put any of this together. Tomorrow heading to town to pick up the hardware.

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Certaindeaf
October 4, 2012, 12:24 AM
.But sadly in my rush, I realized I have zero screws or bolts the right size to put any of this together. Tomorrow heading to town to pick up the hardware.
Doh! Looks like fun, man!

lead slinger
October 5, 2012, 08:24 PM
looks good want to see it finished

Lerk
October 6, 2012, 04:29 PM
Got the top glued and screwed together now. Also got the top connecting bolts for the cabinets done as well. Working on the bottom ones right now and putting the studs on the top that will bolt to the cabinets.

Doc Savage
October 6, 2012, 09:51 PM
Looks just like the cabinets we got for the kitchen when we redid it last year. Looking good.

Robert

MachIVshooter
October 6, 2012, 10:52 PM
I only mean to offer constructive input here, but I really can't imagine a reloading bench that you are unable to get your legs under. Sounds like a sore back to me.

I personally prefer the storage up top. I just reinforced a freebie computer desk:

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n117/Hunter2506/101_1149.jpg

Lerk
October 7, 2012, 03:44 PM
I've found that it is more comfortable for me not to sit under my bench when reloading. I was previously reloading on a desk and sat under it, but never did because I had to hunch backwards to be able to run everything.

Plus this bench will be higher and the presses will be on riser mounts, with a barstool it should be pretty comfy.

mxjunky78
October 8, 2012, 09:54 PM
I've found that it is more comfortable for me not to sit under my bench when reloading. I was previously reloading on a desk and sat under it, but never did because I had to hunch backwards to be able to run everything.

Plus this bench will be higher and the presses will be on riser mounts, with a barstool it should be pretty comfy.
I see the pros and cons to both options. I personally prefer a legs under bench myself. But to each his own. Nice work Lerk.

tallpaul
October 9, 2012, 08:10 AM
MachIVshooter....
Like you can get your feet/legs under your bench hahahahaha looks like my open bottom ones... I have several benches set up and am starting to get back into the game and may change everything around a few times before I am all set...

MachIVshooter
October 9, 2012, 07:43 PM
MachIVshooter....
Like you can get your feet/legs under your bench

About a foot under at my knees, which is all that's needed to comfortably operate the press.

I've had to use cabinet tables before at freinds places, and found my knees sore from being mashed into the doors or drawers and my back burning after a few hours.

Lerk
October 9, 2012, 09:21 PM
Just another update, everything is assembled, I have dilled all the mounting holes for the presses. Hoping to get the sanding done yet tonight and to get a coat of stain on it before I head to bed.

Too lazy to upload progress pictures, but I'll get them up soon.

AJBarney
October 11, 2012, 10:00 AM
waiting on pics.....looking forward to seeing the good work :)

Lerk
October 12, 2012, 08:22 PM
And here are pictures of the progress. Been stained and the sealant is drying currently. Assembly in the morning.

Bolt system connecting the two cabinets:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0339.jpg

This is the outside bolt block before the top has been screwed to it:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0342.jpg

Connecting the top:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0343.jpg

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0345.jpg

Another view of the bolt block after the top has been connected:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0347.jpg

And finally of the stained product:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0351.jpg

Sorry for the fuzzy pictures also, camera must of been a little dusty

Pacsd
October 12, 2012, 08:45 PM
Have you given any thought of securing it to the wall and or the floor? Or, did I miss that reading all the posts?

Lerk
October 12, 2012, 08:52 PM
Sorry I never did specify, due to having to stay at my parents currently (due to some financial and medical issues) I am unable to fasten it directly to the wall or the floor. So I had to build it in such a way that I can dissassemble it easily but also have it sturdy enough to be free standing.

One more picture also, the bottom of the top:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMAG0352.jpg

Certaindeaf
October 12, 2012, 09:28 PM
When that thing is loaded down it'll be just fine free-standing. Just make sure it doesn't rock.. shim it if necessary while it's unladen.
Good work and I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.

Lerk
October 31, 2012, 12:58 AM
Seems I neglected to post up pictures of the final product, sorry about that. So here it is done and with the presses mounted. Had to do a little shimming, but it's solid as a rock now. I doubt it'll ever be clean, it's not even right now :rolleyes:

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMG_0269.jpg

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMG_0270.jpg

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMG_0274.jpg

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMG_0273-1.jpg

http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w175/Lehrke91/IMG_0272.jpg

From the left is a Lee Breech Lock Challenger single stage with my homemade mount, it's not very pretty, but it's very strong. Next is my Hornady LNL AP with Inline Fabrication Strongmount, roller handle, and also has the ceiling LED kit installed, which gives it a lot of light on the shellplate. Finally is the old girl, a Pacific DL-266 single stage shotshell reloader setup for 12ga. I had just gotten parts in from Hornday to replace both hoppers, some minor springs I needed, and also shot and powder bushings, so she is ready to roll. Probably going to do some test loads tonight with it.

But it looks like I'll have to build another now, might be buying some more presses :p

horsemen61
October 31, 2012, 01:26 AM
looks good damn good great job

Certaindeaf
October 31, 2012, 10:32 AM
Nice setup!

Kingcreek
October 31, 2012, 10:47 AM
Looks nice.
My first thought was how you gonna open the drawers with the presses mounted, assumed a front edge mount if you don't have open front space for legs. Then I see you went top mount and I wonder how it works for you ergonomicly? Maybe you are seated high enough that you are over it more than in front of it?
Anyway, nice job. I often see cabinets discounted as scratch and dent or discontinued etc, sometimes very cheap. I also see older used cabinets from remodels from time to time that are better made than new ones. I think a kitchen cabinet contractor would be a good source of free ones if a person wasn't too picky.

Lerk
October 31, 2012, 11:26 AM
Height wise it works out great either standing at it or with a bar stool, actually very surprised that both positions ended up feeling great.

And yea you're correct, you can find some very inexpensive scratch and dent stuff you if you look around. That counter top on mine is actually scratch and dent from Menards, only cost $20. It had a few small chips out of the back splash piece, so it worked out nice not wrecking a really nice one since I was going to drill it full of holes and probably get some damage from normal use. I do wish there was a local cabinet maker who I was involved with, could've probably gotten better cabinets for the same cost, but I was in a hurry so I made due. The drawers on these are pretty flimsy so I can't load them with much weight, and the bottom, back, and sides are all made out of particle board, so it didn't have the strength that I would've liked, but it'll still do the job great nonetheless.

StretchNM
October 31, 2012, 11:27 AM
Looks good Lerk! I kindly like the way you mounted the presses on stands (homemade and well done) above the bench. I'm not sure how that would work out for me, but it looks interesting and worthy of a try.

One minor point: That is NOT a Lee Classic you have there. That's the Breechlock Challenger. A good press, in my opinion, but not quite a Classic series.

Lerk
October 31, 2012, 12:11 PM
You are right Stretch, been calling it by the wrong name since I got it. That'll teach me for not researching things correctly. Better go change that description.

capreppy
October 31, 2012, 11:50 PM
Why the wood blocks under the inline stand?

Looks really nice. I am currently using my old desk and need a better bench. This has given me some ideas.

Lerk
November 1, 2012, 01:41 AM
I ended up having to use the wooden blocks under the LNL storngmount in order to mount it that far away from the end. Without them, for some reason the threads on the handle would just barely touch the counter surface, they might have just been a tad too long. I figured it was better to give it more clearance and it also makes it a bit more comfortable to operate at that height.

HOWARD J
November 1, 2012, 02:55 AM
Is that some kind of insulation on the wall ??

Josh45
November 2, 2012, 04:19 PM
How much did that setup cost you?
It looks great! I'm thinking about building one myself as well and was looking for ideas and what the cost would be. Time isn't important but how long would you say it took?

Lerk
November 2, 2012, 08:12 PM
Howard, yes it is insulation, a type of hard styrofoam IIRC.

Josh, Each 36" cabinet cost around $80, the top was $20 as it was a scratch and dent, stain and sealer was about $20, and with all the misc. hardware to mount everything it total right around $220. If I wasn't in a rush I probably could've built a set of cabinets out of plywood and red oak for about $50-$60 each which would've been stronger and eliminated the particle board, but I was in a rush so I chose the already completed one. It took me about a week and a half to put everything together, stain the cabinets, and mount the presses. That was only working on it about 1-2 hours a night. The staining/sealing took the longest at 4 days to do, but that was because I put a three coats of stain and three coats of sealant on it.

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