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Reloading Bench for 1br apartment

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

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  1. morrow

    morrow Member

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  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.

    12031e7ef2cc92875ce1e13dbc3210ce_w300.gif
    http://whalenstorage.com/category/Garage-Industrial/group/Work Benches/3 Door Industrial Work Bench
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  6. moxie

    moxie Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    CMV Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     

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  13. morrow

    morrow Member

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  14. btg3

    btg3 Member

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

    kingmt Member

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  16. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    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 Member

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    ReloadinginfrontofthecomputersoIcan.jpg

    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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.

    IMG_0804.jpg

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

    Strongbad Member

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    This is the one I use.

    Lowe's Workbench

    It's going to set you back more than the one from HF but it's a great workbench. After reading the reviews on the Lowe's page, I'm not the only one who has made a reloading bench out of it. It needs a stouter top but that's an easy fix. I used the existing piece of MDF that comes with the bench as a template then I cut a piece of 3/4" finish grade plywood to match that. You could double that and it would be plenty thick and beefy enough. I chose to triple that. The bottom piece is the same size as the factory piece. The two upper pieces which are sandwiched together add a 1" lip all the way around (except the back). This allows me to get the press out away from the drawers and give me enough room for the handle to cam over.

    Fortunately I have a countertop person in the family who trimmed it out with some formica but this isn't necessary. You could put a coat of paint or polyurethane on a good piece of plywood and call it done. Either way you're out the door for about $250 and the bench will last you a long time.
     
  22. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  23. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I built my bench from jobsite scraps as well the only cost was the screws. 4X4 legs 2x4 bracing and shelf brackets 2x4 top (solid) and 3/4 plywood on top of the 2x4's making the top 2 1/4 inches thick. It turned out heavier than I expected but thats ok it doesnt move around.
    Point is if you can build a good bench for free you can apply the savings to components and shoot more 8).
    T
     
  24. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Same kit I bought. The hardware that came with it was fine.

    You have to get your own 2x4s and cut them or have home depot or lowe's(if that is where you buy it.) cut them for you, they will do it for 25 cents a cut if you have no saw.
    A walk down either of those store lumber sections will turn up a large variety of 2' x '4 ply panels of whatever quality you could want. You can go light on the shelves, but the top should be sturdy.

    As has been pointed out, there are a lot of options. I choose the kit because I didn't need much in the way of carpentry skills to make a nice bench.
     
  25. fishin_bum

    fishin_bum Member

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    a sewing machine cabinet works great if space is limited they are sturdy and you can usually get them at a second hand store for almost nothing. they have the foldouts for more room while reloading. I used one for years until just recently I built two benches to accommodate a second reloading press and a swage press.
     
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