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Harbor Freight workbench thoughts

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by z7, Jun 29, 2016.

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  1. z7

    z7 Member

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    Anyone using this bench?
    https://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Design-Workbench-Drawers-Hardwood/dp/B008MXLDHQ

    harbor freight has a sale going on for the 4th and you can get them for $139 plus tax.

    are they strong/sturdy enough to load with? Can they be broken down (legs pulled off) for moving around? I will be putting it upstairs and will be moving in two years.

    I will be putting a LNL AP and Hornady Classic SS, maybe in an Inline Fab mount.

    majority of loading will be 9mm/40cal/.223 with other rifles occasionally.

    I built my last bench, it worked, not a great bench though, and when I moved I took a 12lb sledge to it and threw it away. I would struggle to build a comparable sized bench with drawers for that price and it is difficult for ME to make one that I can disassemble.

    any experience is appreciated.
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Considering you'll be moving in 2 years and presumably wish to take the work bench with you, it's likely about as good as you'll get. You may need to reinforce the top though (i.e., with a piece of plywood).

    The bench will also either need to be loaded down or attached in some way to the floor or wall for best results. Each drawer will take 25 lbs. for a total of 100 lbs. which may be enough to keep it from moving around while you're using your press.
     
  3. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I purchased one about a year ago and finally put it together last weekend. Mine is being used as a bench to clean and service firearms as I have a slightly bigger bench for my presses.

    In my opinion if I didn't already have a suitable bench I would use this bench for handloading. It is the perfect (in my opinion) width (20") and very sturdy. It will work fine for a small scale handloading bench.

    A few comments. First, I basically ignored the assembly instructions, they stink. Second, I had major problems getting the drawers on the supplied tracks and finally I used my own allen wrench, the supplied wrench is too small.

    If you want to use all of the drawers then you need a mount like as the inline fabrication strong mount. This will put the press at the perfect height (for me at least) to stand while loading. If I were doing it again as a press bench I would buy new and better drawer rails. And I would probably put some oak plywood against the back but the bench is very sturdy as is.

    In summery: buy this bench is you want a nice bench for your presses, it will do the job. A good purchase for the money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  4. DudeRick

    DudeRick Member

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    Don't keep your brass uncovered on the shelf under the drawers. The ball bearings of the drawer slides fall out into whatever is below.
    I had a ball bearing wind up in the bottom of a loaded 9mm round. That was the end of that gun...
     
  5. Big7

    Big7 Member

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    Never tried them for a loading bench..

    They are used A LOT in the Tool & Die Shops and Machine Shops that take a heck
    of a more beating in that environment than a loading bench will ever see.

    So, If I needed one, for only $175.00, I would give it a try.
     
  6. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I build all of my benches out of 2X4's and 1/2 plywood tops. I glue 2 pcs together to make a 1" thick top. It's might be cheaper to buy that bench. good wood isn't cheap.
     
  7. Handloader109

    Handloader109 Member

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    Well, I own two of them. One is now my reloading bench, perfect height for my 650xl and standing height with the oem riser. Plenty heavy enough without weights. But I do have a hundred pounds or so of brass on shelf and probably 25 more in stuff in drawers. I paid about $150 for each of mine, price is a bit lower. If you can use coupon on these, (I think you still can) I've got a 25% off for this weekend. Saves a few more $
     
  8. z7

    z7 Member

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    Thanks for the replies, i am going to buy one this weekend, should be $139 plus tax. I will post any mods i make (if any)

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  9. PCFlorida

    PCFlorida Member

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    I have two of them also. 1 I have my 650 mounted to and the other is more of work bench. You will never find a better bench for the money IMO.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I looked at that bench over at Harbor Freight and was not impressed with the quality. The drawers were binding when pulled out and it was not as sturdy as you would think for the size. I was looking to buy it for a loading bench but passed.
     
  11. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    It might work.
    KXkCHvYl.jpg
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Is that the same bench from Harbor Freight?
    That does not match what I saw last week!
     
  13. ewlyon

    ewlyon Member

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    I think the quality with these is very hit or miss. I have heard good things but I bought one a couple years ago and the pieces just do not fit well which results in two of the drawers binding a lot and the bench not being as sturdy as I would like. It would also be a pain to break down and move. I would suggest the folding wood workbench from home depot. It costs about half as much, is very sturdy, and the legs fold under it with just the removal of one shelf. It is a much better deal in my opinion especially since the top could very easily be replaced. Look on the home depot website for a folding wood workbench and you should be able to find it for under 80 dollars
     
  14. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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  15. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    Same bench with a 7' section of solid core door on top. Here is an other photo before I mounted my 366 on it.
    09PgB3Dl.jpg
     
  16. roval

    roval Member

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    i use one as my reloading bench. i have a t7 turret press close to the end with the vise so i didn't mount the drawers on that side . i have a dillon 550b with a strong mount in the middle of the bench. it does rock back and forth till i used a steel shelf mounting bracket to attach it to the studs on the wall behind it as i load in the garage. only had to use one right behind the dillon. im happy enough with it .
     
  17. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    The Harbor Freight Bench will work quite nicely.

    You could also save some money by building two frames out of 2x4 timber using four inch lag screws. Make sure one in 1&5/8 inch shorter than the other. Put a 2x8 on top of the shorter frame and then connect them using 2x4s in a "X" pattern. Top it off with a 5/8 inch piece of plywood and you'll have a bench you can use for just about anything for next to nothing. If need drawers, just buy a ready-to-assemble base cabinet at Home Depot or Lowes. You'll still be ahead money-wise and you'll have a bench you can disassemble in a matter of minutes using a ratchet wrench (no sledge hammer needed).
     
  18. maddmaxx11

    maddmaxx11 Member

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    I bought the bench from HomeDepot. It cost about $60 and has worked great. I screwed it to the wall with 1/4" screws and is has been solid.
     
  19. z7

    z7 Member

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    Madmax, how does the mdf top hold up to bolting a press on it? That is my only concern with the folding bench from HDepot

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  20. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I use one for my reloading bench. I like it, it's fairly solid and a lot of my components will fit on the bottom shelf.
     
  21. weaselfire

    weaselfire Member

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    This exact bench has worked fine as a reloading bench for me for years. I have several and they work for everything from gunsmithing to small engine rebuilding to woodworking to arts and crafts.

    Pain to take apart though. :)

    Jeff

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
  22. TBJK

    TBJK Member

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    I have one as well. I don't have it tied in to anything just free standing. I've loaded thousands of rounds on it. I use my rockchucker on it too. It's fine. The drawers do suck though. The lower shelf I had all my dies & accessories for my loadmaster & rockchucker besides the actual presses. Also about 15 lbs of powder plus all my wife's crap. We have to share the bench. I used T nuts inserted in the bottom then used a 2x2' piece of plywood to mount them on to make it somewhat modular.

    I did get mine for a steal of like 85$. It was on clearance for being returned.
     
  23. Mauser69

    Mauser69 Member

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    I do not think that bench is all that sturdy - at least not up to my personal standards for a reloading bench. I have one for occasional wood work and extra space from my main heavy benches in the shop, and I was not impressed with how it is made. While the top is plenty strong and the drawers are OK for miscellaneous garbage (they are small and poorly made), the rest of the bench can be a little rickety - is is NOT well made for heavy use. I'd never pay the $180 asking price, but I got mine for about $120, and think that is about the max it is worth.

    That said, there are things you can do to easily improve it, including screwing a 3/8" piece of plywood on the back of the legs and lower shelf to provide square rigidity to the frame (don't forget to anchor it to a 2x4 under the top to tie that rigidity to the main slab) and bolt the whole thing to the studs in a wall.
     
  24. 2011redrider

    2011redrider Member

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    Bench that was setup in the store didn't seem very sturdy at all and drawers were not sliding well at all. plus it was only 20" deep. I wnt with a kit of Resin legs andshelf brackets from Amazon for about 60 buck and then the lumber. Went 7' x 3' deep to store lg items like my case prep center and chargemaster at the back out of the way. a bit more than the 139,
    but a lot more storage and bench space.


    Reload%20Bench_zpspistelmj.jpg
     
  25. z7

    z7 Member

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    Went with the home depot special, $79. I will be attaching it to the wall and eventually adding a 1x8 cross piece to the back and some shelving above it. All i need now is an inline fab mount and a LNL AP to throw on it. And some more powder/primers, bullets, more brass. . . . . This list never shrinks. 3aad98a92b47ca8477b019296b8e85cc.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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