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Condo Reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by meanmotorscooter, Dec 25, 2008.

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  1. meanmotorscooter

    meanmotorscooter Member

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    I live in a condo and every square inch is already occupied. What can I do to get started in reloading if I have no room for a bench? Is there some kind of portable bench I could use and then put in the closet when I'm done? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Two pieces of 2x8 and three pieces of 2x4 and you can make a waist-high stand for a press. If all you do is neck size for rifle, it's easy to use a foot to hold it steady. I use my dining table for all the rest of my reloading--laying stuff out, repriming, weighing charges.

    I have a stand that's sorta portable; weighs about 40 pounds. An 18" square steel base plate, 1/4". A length of 2" pipe, waist high, that threads into a pipe fitting that's welded to the plate, in a corner. On top is the mounting plate for my press and powder measure; it's a piece of 3/8" plate which is welded to a 2" pipe fitting. The whole thing screws together and can handle full-length resizing.

    You can always get a Lyman 310 Tong Tool, and create the strongest grip in Christendom...
     
  3. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    Scooter, first do the research. Read the stickeys and comments here. Decide what your needs are based probably on how much shooting you do or are planning on doing. (If you reload, you will probably shoot more because you will be able to!) Then do more research based on your needs, basically refining your research to a single-stage, semi-progressive turret press or progressive press. Once you have done the reading (there are a number of good books recommended in the stickeys) and the research and made the decision on which type of loader will best suit your needs, then you can make your plans on a portable/stowable bench. My bench is a 6ft tall shelf unit with the 3ft shelf being the actual bench; I have storage overhead and underneath. It stores everything I need. It resides in one corner of my wife's sewing room! :D It sounds like you do not have that much space. But the basic size of my actual workbench: 20in deep x 48in wide could be made up of something like a scrap piece of laminated kitchen countertop. You could pre-drill the holes for the press and, using wing nuts and washers, clamp the countertop to a counter or table and quickly mount your press using the wing nuts. My tumbler stores in a 5gallon bucket with a lid. The bucket is used to sift out the media after tumbling. My cheap-ass tiimer and the bag of media and my cleaning towel all fit in the bucket when finished. Figure out what you need. You can make something that will work just fine.
     
  4. meanmotorscooter

    meanmotorscooter Member

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    I forgot to mention I will only be reloading 9mm and 45 acp.
     
  5. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    If it means anything, I reload 45acp and 380acp, or 9mm shorts. Can't ditch anything and throw in a shelf unit, can ya?
     
  6. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    You could do those two calibers in small amounts with a set of regular dies and a lee hand press. (not the lee loader, which uses a mallet. I love my lee loaders, but it's not the greatest for .45 ACP I hear). Those tools would fit in a shoebox. I'd personally add a small scale and a load manual of some sort as a minimum for safety's sake.
     
  7. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Easy - my bench an most of my components fit on a TV stand and a loocking tool box. Go for it!
     
  8. jfh

    jfh Member

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    IMO, if you are only reloading for (two) pistol calibers, then you could use a bench as narrow as 32" wide, assuming complete access across the front.

    I'd use a Lee Turret--the Classic Cast Version--and simply set up two turrets with each die set.

    Jim H.
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    A condo is just an apartment you bought. snicker. A Black & Decker Workmate makes a good portable loading bench. Look in pawn shops and at garage sales. They seem to appear at both regularly.
     
  10. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    I once lived in an apartment. I made a workable bench top to fit on a 2-drawer file cabinet by layiing 1 pieces of 2x12 on top, and screwing the pieces of 2x12 to pieces of 2x4 paralleling the sides of the file cabinet. I could even do heavy resizing with it, if I piled some weight on top of the benchtop.
     
  11. donkee

    donkee Member

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    +1 on the B&D Workmate. I used one when I was in my apartment. Worked great!
     
  12. meanmotorscooter

    meanmotorscooter Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Now I just need to decide what type of portable bench to start with.
     
  13. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I used a B&D Work Mate for several years. I mounted my powder throw on the left side and my Rockchucker on the right side. Still left plent of room for my scale, bullets, and cartridge box. Very neat, small, and handy.
     
  14. kolob10

    kolob10 Member

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    reloading in a condo

    Try a Lyman 310 (used to be called the nutcracker since it is similar in appearance to a nutcracker) or a Lee handpress. Slow but effective. I have a full reloading/ gunsmithing room but I use the Lee handpress on occasion just out of convienience. You can reload at your kitchen table (just make sure mama ok's the task) I have used a gun mat or some other covering to prevent any ding in the table. Good shooting.
     
  15. meanmotorscooter

    meanmotorscooter Member

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    Is the Lee auto prime better than the ram prime that comes with the hand press kit?
     
  16. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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  17. meanmotorscooter

    meanmotorscooter Member

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    What's the easiest and fastest way to fill all the cases with powder accurately when using a single stage press like the Lee Hand press?
     
  18. chuck520

    chuck520 Member

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    I recommend mounting your press to a board about an inch and a half thick with lag bolts. Then use c-clamps to bolt the board to your kitchen table. When you are finished reloading, put the press in the closet.
     
  19. mallc

    mallc Member

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  20. Reopropf

    Reopropf Member

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    You can easily use a workbench and make it functional to your needs:
     

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  21. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    My first reloading was done in a small apartment. I had no reloading table, so I bolted the press to a stout piece of aluminum plate. 3/4" plywood would serve the very same purpose. The plate/plywood needn't be larger than 18" square. (Hint: Home Depot gives away plywood scraps that size.) Then I used 3 C-clamps (I believe the Brits call these J-clamps) to temporarily mount the press to a sturdy kitchen table.

    When I was done, the clamps came off and back the closet everything went. It de-stresses the table so well I still use the system today. And even with a sturdy work bench it allows you to "clear the decks" for other projects. Your press doesn't have to be in your way when the wife asks you to rewire the table lamp or such. It's very handy.

    .
     
  22. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    I used a Rockler router table leg set, and got the heavy duty casters on it, and it works great. I load it up with brass, bullets, powder and tools, and it is very stable, yet easily rolls back into the laundry room when not in use. It would easily fit in a small closet too. The leg set is heavy gauge cold rolled steel angle, and very sturdy when bolted together with shelves and a top. The casters lock both pivot and roll so it stays put when you lock them.

    Andy
     
  23. benzuncle

    benzuncle Member

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    Well, there you go. Plenty of good ideas. Loading in your condo is a cando! Now all you need to do is decide how much loading you intend to do, how much time you want to spend doing it and then which outfit will get you there!
     
  24. dwhite

    dwhite Member

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    Lee hand press (not a Lee Loader). Small, inexpensive, easy to use. Uses standard reloading dies. Ive had mine for 2 years and love it.

    All the Best,
    D. White
     
  25. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    For charging the cases, use a loading tray or block, and a powder funnel.
     
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