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New Reloading Bench

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JSimpson65, Sep 5, 2010.

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  1. JSimpson65

    JSimpson65 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Humble, TX
    Hello All,

    I thought I would share some pics of my new reloading bench setup.

    My reloading is done in the garage for space reasons - no space in the house. Also, having small children it gives me a little privacy when I need it. My house had a built-in countertop in the garage, supported with some brackets coming off the wall, but the big open space underneath didn't lend itself to organized storage. When I first moved in, it seemed like an 8ft bench gave me more working area than I would ever need. Soon, however, the reloading dies, brass, tools, Dillon press, etc. started to add up. Since I also like to do a little woodworking, I finally got around to building a cabinet underneath the countertop:

    [​IMG]

    The cabinets are 3/4" plywood throughout, which makes for a really solid workbench. Everything is bolted to the wall studs with lag bolts as well. As you can see, there is a Dillon 550 on the left and a Rockchucker in the middle, with room between the two for working space. I made the two center sections just wide enough apart for the drawers to clear the Rockchucker mounted in the center of the bench. The areas on each side are general storage. I left about a 3 inch overhang on the workbench to give me something to clamp onto for bullet sizing, brass trimming, etc. The lubrisizer on the far right is only temporarily clamped to the bench so I can move it to the center when I use it. Before the large cabinet, I had originally made the small, two-level shelf setup on top of the bench for die storage, then added the wall-mounted shelf unit on the far right wall for brass later. The brown cardboard boxes at the center rear of the bench hold various cast bullets, all labeled.

    [​IMG]

    Just visible in the first photo and below is the rubber mat I put on the floor the length of the workbench. I like it because it makes it more comfortable for standing and also keeps things from bouncing as far if they get dropped. As I shoot a lot of single-action revolvers, it also keeps me from damaging a cylinder if one were to walk it's way off the bench to the concrete below. It wasn't long before I was in need of more storage for brass, dies, cleaning stuff, etc. The two bottom drawers are for brass (pistol on left, rifle on right), and with 9 coffee cans each give me plenty of storage, at least for now. Just visible on the far right shelves are some rubbermaid containers that store some of the pistol brass I have large quantities of. I have room for 8 of these, and each will hold 1,000 or more pistol brass:

    [​IMG]

    I also made sure the drawers were tall enough to store the rapidly expanding numbers of handgun dies, as well as storage for boolit molds I've started accumulating to feed my casting habit:

    [​IMG]

    The rest of the drawers hold cleaning things, various tools, etc. and still give me room to expand as I have about one and a half drawers empty. I have thought about taking down the pegboard and adding a bunch of shelves, but I'm going to wait to see how my storage works out over the next year or two. I've only been reloading about 2 years now, and so far the collection of stuff hasn't slowed down too much!

    Anyway, thought it would be fun to share some pics and hope it gives someone some organization ideas as well.

    Thanks for looking,

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  2. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,573
    Location:
    Carolina Low Country
    Welcome to THR, and thanks for the outstanding post!

    I've heard it said that a neat desk is the sign of a troubled mind. If so, I could use some of your troubles... :rolleyes: Excellent setup & very efficient use of space. What is your counter/bench's height? I built my work bench 30" but my actual loading bench is much lower so I can sit in a rolling chair and avoid aggravating my back & SI joints (thanks to Army PT/rucking about & AF running :cuss: ). I also have to use my garage, but it's a double and since my crew cab truck is too long I have half. Drawbacks for sure (no heat/air) but in a couple of years I am going to build a barn & live in it. My wife will probably help me... :D
     
  3. ReloaderEd

    ReloaderEd Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    washington state
    gosh you did a nice job on your beautiful bench. Lots of good ideas for me at we live in an apartment and my cabinet is nothing like yours.
    You certainly are well set up for reloading. Lee bullet molds which I use too. I did make a lead hood over my lead pot that sucks everything outside like a dryer vent. it works really well and if I find the picture will send it to you. Anyways, good reloading.
     
  4. mdp75

    mdp75 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    waveland Ms
    great job!!!!!
     
  5. JSimpson65

    JSimpson65 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Humble, TX
    Thanks for the kind words all.

    Maj Dad,

    The height is about 36", which works pretty well with the shop stool I have. I like it as it is also a comfortable height for me to work standing up at.

    I didn't include a photo of my casting area as it is fairly mobile. Depending on the weather, it is either next to the overhead garage door which is open with a fan running, or sometimes out on the back patio which is also covered and with a ceiling fan. I do like the Lee molds and have quite a few, but some are difficult to work with. I have purchased several custom molds (also a member of Cast Boolits website) and the quality of the Lee's can't come close. For the price, especially the 6 cavity moulds I use for pistol cartridges, I think it's hard to beat the Lee.

    You can also see a window just to the right of the bench. I've been thinking about adding a window AC unit but I'm not so sure the HOA will tolerate it. May have to find some way to camouflage it or maybe I'll splurge for one of the mini-split units instead.
     
  6. JSimpson65

    JSimpson65 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Humble, TX
    Also forgot to mention that, especially since my reloading are is in the garage shared with woodworking equipment, the two presses, powder measure, scale and lubrisizer are all normally covered.

    Thanks again,

    Joe
     
  7. brotus2

    brotus2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
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    Location:
    FL Panhandle
    Very nice cabinet work. Especially like the flush drawers. Well designed and well thought out.
     
  8. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
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    5,256
    Location:
    Manitowoc, WI
    Wow - very nice set up. Yours puts mine to shame.
     

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  9. BP Hunter

    BP Hunter Member

    Joined:
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    Beautiful setup!!! But....with so many brass and, why are you only using a single stage press?:confused: I'd think it would take a long time loading all that brass vs. a turret press
     
  10. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Nice set-up!
    I hope you can keep it that clean/organized, mine gets cluttered up pretty quickly.
    I like the clear containers and frugal use of coffee cans...I use those too! lol
     
  11. JSimpson65

    JSimpson65 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
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    Location:
    Humble, TX
    BP Hunter,

    On the left side of the bench sits a Dillon 550.

    kbbailey,

    Yep, hard to beat the coffee cans. One of the ladies at my office knows I like to keep them, so she always brings me the empties. I almost have too many now, but I just can't bring myself not to save them. Who knows what other uses I'll find for them.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  12. RevolverDan

    RevolverDan Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
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    Great bench! I'm designing mine now, so I've been looking at the bench photo thread. Got a few from looking at this one too. Thanks.
     
  13. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Good post- looks neat and tidy!
     
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