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Reloading Bench for 1br apartment

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by morrow, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. morrow

    morrow Well-Known Member

  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Looks like it would work. You will probably want to glue all joints in addition to what ever fasteners they provide and maybe add some angle braces to the legs.

    You want the bench to be as rigid as possible. Without some help, screw or bolted joints in wood will loosen over time under the operation of a reloading press.

    My presses, including my progressive, are mounted to a free standing floor stands and I operate off a table. One benefit is the press can be easily stored away when not in use.
  3. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    Looks good. Any small table will do, even half that size. Strongly suggest fixing it to a couple wall studs with small angle braces. Real solid.
  4. DCoke

    DCoke Well-Known Member

    I've seen this bench up close at HF.... very rickety, so any extras that have already been posted along with whatever else you might find necessary will make this bench work.
  5. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Well-Known Member

    I have actually seen that table in person a few times. I was actually impressed, as far as HF stuff goes. As stated before, I would try to glue or otherwise secure the joints. I have also seen a pretty neat bench(which I isntantly thought would make a great bench for a new loader)(or for me if I didn't already have a bench) at my local Costco, but I can't seem to find any info on thier online catalog. If you have a local Coscto, it might be worth a look. IIRC, it was a more $$ than the HF bench, but it also had lockable cabinets and you could hang a 4' light underneath them, and a pegboard-like back, and a nice 1.5-2" butcherblock style work top.

    Edit: Found the bench I was talking about. I would take the wheels off it and find a way to make it more stationary. I really like the lockable cabinets for components, and you can put a light below it. They are pretty beefy in person.

    http://whalenstorage.com/category/Garage-Industrial/group/Work Benches/3 Door Industrial Work Bench
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  6. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    Rickety won't do it.

    The bench I've got is made from a surplus solid oak office table, 34"X18." Screwed to the wall it's all I've ever needed. I have a RCBS Partner Press and Uniflow powder measure bolted to it. Plenty of room for scale, loading blocks, etc.

    Midway has several benches for sale under $200.
  7. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Well-Known Member

    If your willing to add bracing to the HF bench you can stabilize it. It's current design has no bracing. Just enclose the back and sides with ply wood screwed to the legs will tighten it up. Any that you can secure to the wall will greatly stabilize the bench.
  8. dsb1829

    dsb1829 Well-Known Member

    I had one very close to that design, also from HF. It was very wobbley if any off vertical pressure was applied. My current workbench is just 2x4 construction, but is cross-braced and solid. IME I can build far better for far less money. I rent a place during the week, so I have my press mounted to a 2in thick plank. All I need is something to clamp it to and I am set. At home I use the wb, at the rental I use a desk or counter.

    Am I the only one wondering about the guy living in an apt with a dillon 650? :)
  9. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    Apartments by all means can be nice, some cost more than a 2 story house. But I said hmmm too.
  10. CMV

    CMV Well-Known Member

    I think you'd come out ahead on cost and just the right size building your own.

    I laminated 2x4's (take 2 cut to the same length, damp a little & apply a small amount of Gorilla brand wood glue, & then screw together with 2.25" - 2.5" deck screws). I used a 2"x10" plank for a lower shelf and added support. For the top I used a pre-made 18"x36"x1" table top, but plywood would have been cheaper and just as solid.

    Single 2x4's halfway up around 3 sides (front open). All joints used deck screws & the Gorilla wood glue.

    So my bench is really small, but rock solid. Maybe $50 in materials if I had to go to Lowe's & buy it all, but most I already had in the garage. Not pretty, but exactly what I wanted.

    I get around the lack of space by mounting the presses & tools like Dillon Super Swage to oak boards. Then I just clamp whatever I want to use to the bench and whatever is not in use is stored out of the way. My entire reloading setup - including all tools, consumables, bench, chair, etc takes up less than 25 sq ft. That means I have to move stuff around a lot - not nearly as convenient as nice big basement setup - but it takes up less than 1% of my house this way :)

    Oh- if I were still single, I'd probably still live in an apartment too (and might have a Dillon instead of a Lee press :) ). I had much nicer toys & stuff not dumping tons of $ into mortgage, insurance, taxes, & upkeep even though I made a lot less. A lot more free time too not dealing with any maintenance, renovations, or yard work. Before I met my wife, I had a large (950 sq ft) apt right on the lake & in a very nice part of town. It cost much less per month than the house in a much less nice (but not crappy) neighborhood I bought after we'd been together for a while.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  11. Otto

    Otto Well-Known Member

    Depending on the press you use may prevent the drawer(s) from opening on the Harbor Freight bench.

    I have the black metal Whalen bench pictured above.
  12. GT1

    GT1 Well-Known Member

    I am in a tiny apt. I picked up a 2x4 basics brand workbench kit. You cut the 2x4s to whatever size you like and pick your own shelving/bench top material.

    It is 20"x40", has two sheets of 3/4" birch hard ply glued and screwed for a 1-1/2" solid as a rock bench top and holds my 650 with casefeeder fine along with my LCT.

    It is lag screwed into wall studs and it also has about 300lbs of bullets and ammo and other reloading goods on the shelves, it doesn't move much. ;)

    There is a reloading bench picture thread around here somewhere, lots of ideas and options in there.

    Attached Files:

  13. morrow

    morrow Well-Known Member

  14. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    +1 Can't imagine doing without.
  15. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

  16. Waldog

    Waldog Well-Known Member

    Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy a 30" or 36" base kitchen cabinet. Add a double thickness plywood top. Add your press and you have a cheap, nice looking loading bench. Attach it to the wall and it is very solid. Works well. Speaking from experience.
  17. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member


    When reloading gets repetitive, I move a press from the reloading room and clamp it in front of the keyboard and watch TV recorded off the cable TV receiver in my computer with Windows Media Center.

    Use the hands to operate the press, but use the mouse to fast forward through the commercials.
  18. daboone

    daboone Well-Known Member

    I have to disagree. I use the OP linked HF workbench as my cleaning station. Maybe the ones in the store are rickety but the one I put together is quite sturdy. It doesn't submit, sway, quiver, shake, wiggle or buckle to a very tight patch going down the bore. I've been using it for over a year and would buy another if I needed it. I'm not using it as a reloading bench so the opinion I give pertains to its function as a very solid cleaning station. The shelf below and the 4 drawers make it ideal for this purpose.
  19. Glock XIX

    Glock XIX Member

    I agree with "daboone", I have the same HF bench. I attached it to the wall studs with L brackets and lag bolts, solid as a rock ! I have a xl650 and a LnL both mounted on it. Just think about where you mount the press so the overhang doesn't block drawer access. I have LnL mounted on the end of the bench, and the 650 is on a strong mount in the middle. I will say the bottom shelf is useless for storage of heavy items.
  20. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    I built this bench for my son's new house out of wood sent to my company as shipping crates. I bought a $18 piece of plywood so it would have a smooth finish top.


    The point is this. Scrap materials abound to build whatever size bench you want for next to nothing.

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