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Bench top setup

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by alanwk, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. alanwk

    alanwk Well-Known Member

    I am getting ready to set my new Lee Press and powder dispenser on my bench. What is the best placement for them? Press on the right edge or center edge of the bench? Powder dispenser to the right or left of press, etc? Just looking for ideas from those that have gone there before. Thanks.
  2. Crownless

    Crownless Member

  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have my LNL almost all the way to the right. I have a single stage press mounted on a board than can bolt down just to the left of that when I use it. (Where the pans for brass and bullets are right now)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  4. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Alan -

    First, Walkalong hit on the route I take. I mount the press to a 14" square piece of 3/4 plywood (which you can usually fish out of the trash at your local Home Depot). Then you can clamp the press at different positions along the bench, or completely remove it from the bench. This lets you "try before you buy" and the extra thickness under the press usually helps with the stiffness of most benches. Additionally, if you have only 1 work bench and you also use that to do "honey do" repairs, then being able to completely remove the press to work on (for instance) a vacuum cleaner is quite an asset.

    Secondly, from a practical standpoint you want the press over the stiffest part of the bench. For most people this is one of the 2 front legs. Otherwise you end up using part of your energy to flex the bench with each press handle operation. Since flexing the bench only contributes to muscle pain and NOT ammo production, it is wasted motion and wasted energy.... and something to avoid. It will also make Al Gore happy since you'll have a reduced carbon footprint. :D

    The web site UltimateReloader shows another take on this. He sets a very stiff post directly under his press, then he uses the bench just to stabilize the one-legged press stand. Using this method you can brace against a wall or any other stable object in your reloading area. As an engineer, it's easy for me to understand that this system does the best job of stopping bench flexing/ bending.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009

    ASCTLC Well-Known Member

    I'm right handed and set mine up with the press on my right and the powder dispenser on the left angled towards me.

    I also use the portable method. I used carrage bolts in through the bottom and tightened down until they're even with the bottom so the 3/4" plywood sits flat on the bench. C-clamps hold it down fine as my bench has zero flex.


  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Mine is just to the left of the right side where it is as close as I could put it functionally, plus I put a support piece, with multiple screws plus glue, under the bench top to help.

    Pic of support brace
  7. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    For years I had mine on workbench with a 3/4" braced plywood top. It flexed. Recently I built this bench and located the presses directly on top of the uprights. The presses are mounted to a 5/16" thick steel plate that is tied across the bench top to the other upright and bolted to the bench top as well as the upright. No more flex. You don't need a lot of work surface to reload, it helps a lot if you are neat.


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