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Press mounting (on Bench)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jotto, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. jotto

    jotto Member

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    Greetings all,

    I have recently purchased a bench to begin reloading on. I bought a Stack-On WB-432 that comes with a 1" thick MDF work surface. A link to the bench is provided below from Cabela's. It was not sealed with anything so I heavily coated it it polyurethane prior to mounting it on the bench.

    My question is should I reinforce it with say a 1 x 4 on top then mount the press to that? The coated work surface seems pretty tough now with the coating but being new I really have no idea how much strain the press will put on it. My thoughts were to glue/screw on pieces of 1 x 4 to further strengthen it first. Would that work? Overkill? Not enough? I'm going to start off with a Hornady Lock 'n Load single stage press but plan on upgrading to a turret press a year or so down the road as I get better at reloading.

    Second question is I believe that to mount the press I would drill through the surface and run bolts through the press and top to secure it. Correct?

    Any tips, pointers, suggestions would be most appreciated, thank you.

    Link to the work bench on cabelas: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Stac...oading+bench&WTz_l=Header;Search-All+Products
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    Yes. I usually use nylon locking nuts as repeated operations of the press will loosen regular nuts, even with locking washers. Be sure to recheck the bolts/nuts for tightness after about 1-2 weeks' use.


    You could consider reinforcing the top with a layer of OSB or 2x4s/2x6s underneath the MDF as it maybe develop cracks at the press mounting holes.


    OSB or Plywood reinforced with 2x4/2x6. I currently use 10 layer hardwood plywood for my portable bench top with 2x4s for reinforcement and there is absolutely no flex even when sizing thick walled military .308 cases.

    [​IMG]


    Here's a portable bench with OSB/2x4s that I covered the top with thick upholstery fabric from Walmart. I put two 2x4s flat under the OSB below the LCT press and used drywall screws to fasten to the OSB and 10d nails to fasten to the frame. No flexing of the bench top while resizing military .308 cases.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  3. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Don't have a photo, but my "bench" is an old folding banquet table. To get my Lee Classic Turret up to a level comfortable to me, I stacked two pieces of 2x12 and bolted them to the table, then mounted my press to that. I likes to sit in a comfy swivel chair when I'm yankin' and crankin' on the press, and was tired of the handle hitting my knee.
     
  4. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I'd use about 6" long carriage bolts and put a short piece of 2 x 4 on the bottom side of the MDF.
     
  5. 357Shooter

    357Shooter Member

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    I'd go buy a half sheet of the thickest ¾ or 1 inch plywood you can get (it's available with I think poplar? on one side) and glue and screw that to your top, then find your wall studs and screw the whole bench to them with good long screws, you really can't overdo it, the firmer the better.
     

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  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Put flat washers under the nuts on the underneath side. Large diameter, like fender washers, would be better, but regular flat washers would be ok. The washers will spread the load out on the bench top and help prevent the top for compressing under the load and the press getting loose.

    Enjoy your new bench.
     
  7. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    Here`s acouple of benches I cobbled up with what I had.

    I do most of my Heavy sizing with this Lyman Orange Crusher II & have all 3 mounting holes thru a 2x4 running the width of the table & weight on it to steady it with 3/8 bolts thru all the way

    [​IMG]

    On this table the RCs are mounted with 5/16 threaded rod on the perimeter 2x4 & braced down at the bottom with a spacer.
    The Lyman T mag is mounted with a 2x4 on the rear hole & 2x4 perimeter all with 5/16 threaded rod.
    [​IMG]


    All are very solid & don`t wiggle a bit unless the whole bench does !!
     
  8. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I added a slight bit of reinforcement to my bench top.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I've been using an old steel bench for over 30 years now. I bolted 2X8s to the bottom of the bench frame under each press. There is absolutely no flex when using any press or movement of the bench.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Re-enforcing is never a bad idea for a press. They really create some strain due to the physics involved. Because of the leverage a press utilizes if easy to over look how much strain is created when we are resizing a cartridge, especially bottle neck cases. I use a large wood table with a like size 1 1/2" think cherry wood top added to it. Prior to adding the cherry wood top, I was having difficulty keeping the table from trying to lift up on me when resizing bottle neck cases.
    Oh, and if you want your press to be some what easy to move around rather than a semi permanent loaction, try using at a 4" or larger C clamp. It's completely rigid and allows you to move quickly without haveing to take a couple of bolts out to do so. And for me that is rather important because I often jump from loading on my Mec and single stage RCBS and I sometimes will use 2 RCBS presses if I'm doing a bunch at one time and want to keep my seating die, priming die or what ever the advantage may be I'm wanting to utilize at the moment.
     
  11. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    If you plan on FL resizing rifle cases, better add an inch or two of quality plywood or other hardwood to your benchtop.

    Drilling thru the top is fine, which I did. Use the thickest (probably 5/8"), highest quality bolts you can fine and plenty of thick washers underneath to add strength. I haven't had a problem w/ the nuts loosening, but if you are concerned, Loctite or nail polish on the threads will solve that.

    The bench needs to have enough mass that it won't move during FL resizing. Adding mass gives you a legitimate (excuse) reason to buy reloading manuals and more presses to bolt to your bench. :evil:
     
  12. josephbw

    josephbw Member

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    One thing that will make it rock solid, is to lag bolt the bench to some wall studs using L brackets.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I put plywood over the MDF on my commercial bench, glued and screwed in place and varnished with polyurethane. I put fender washers or wood block spacers underneath press attachments. I used it for two presses and accessories for about 15 years and it is still solid although a bit grimy.

    The new installation is doubled 3/4" plywood on 2x4 frame all sides, doubled 2x4 legs with braces and half shelf; tied to floor and wall.
    My S1050 is on a riser made out of doubled 2x12 laminated beam, my Rockchucker on a 2x8 bolted to the bench, the 550 direct to the bench next to a leg. The extra boards give the working height I want for each machine and stiffen the mount.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  14. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    jotto

    As you can see most are probably over engineered & heavy , but I`d rather it be that than having the press pop off or the table walking around .
     
  15. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    +1 to those who L-bracket their bench to wall studs. The worst feeling is having the press wobble or simply rock the table back toward you as you full length resize a big rifle case or run full speed "in your rhythm" with a progressive.
     
  16. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    My press sits on a reloading bench that has a top made from 3/4" plywood - doubled over, glued and screwed - for ZERO flex.

    The racking material is then screwed to wall studs
     
  17. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Yup. Mine is made of 2x4s, 2x10s, 2x12s, and 4x4s, all bolted together. No nails. The bench top is held in place by long wood screws. With the bookshelves and presses in-place, it ain't going anywhere.

    Here is 11.5' of hardwood heaven. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  18. dickttx

    dickttx Member

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    You kind of have to go with what your space allows, but I would definately reinforce the top.
    I have found that if you cannot screw the table to the wall, then a 1 x 2 strip laid across the back of the table and screwed to the wall is just about as effective.
     
  19. jotto

    jotto Member

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    Much appreciated everyone! My next task is to build some shelves in my locker that I'll be using for powder storage then I'll reinforce the bench top as recommended.

    Then I'll get my press and get started!

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  20. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I didn't read the replies so sorry if it is redundant. MDF is some great stuff but for your use will start to break down around the bolt holes. Putting something on top to reinforce would be insignificant. On the bottom would be very significant. Fender washers would + a 2" board would improve it greatly. I would use 6"x6" at the least 12"x12" even better or pull it & add a solid bottom using the MDF as a finished surface.
     
  21. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    I'm bolting through some 1/4" plywood and through some 2x4's. The 2x4 top is supported by a 2x4 frame. Solid is an understatement.
     
  22. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Here's another idea...

    [​IMG]
     
  23. j2crows

    j2crows Member

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    I used 2 layers of 3/4" plywood for my top.With a 2x4 frame. Then I went to a metal shop and bought a 12" square of 1/4" flat steel. Hung the edge about 2" off the table, marked 2 holes for the press and 3 holes for the plate. Filed everything smooth, gave the plate a coat of paint. Used the appropriate bolts. Solid, solid.
     
  24. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Is the top of the frame/table, under the MDF sheet metal? If so, I would put a 1 X 12 on the bottom side of the sheet metal portion of the top and "sandwich" the MDF - sheet metal - 1 X12. Bolt press on with bolts running through the "sandwich"...
     
  25. ErikO

    ErikO Member

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    I mount my press on a 2x12x3' board and bolt that down to a 3/4" plywood top. So far no shifting even when case sizing with steel dies.
     
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