Reloading Bench

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Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/26/2014, 8:09 pm

I purchased the following workbench last month to serve as a reloading bench and was surprised how well it served its purpose.  It's so sturdy and stable that I don't see the need to place an additional floor support under the press or brace on the back side as many see necessary with other benches.  Best of all it wasn't expensive.  Hope this helps someone.

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/ultra-heavy-duty-workbench/prod1490086.ip

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by Guest on 11/26/2014, 9:45 pm

Over the years I have purchased three of these benches from Harbor Freight.  Very solid, just make sure you install the brackets for the drawers correctly.  They go on sale as low as $120 at times.

http://t.harborfreight.com/tool-storage/workbench/60-in-4-drawer-hardwood-workbench-69054.html

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/26/2014, 9:55 pm

ChipEck wrote:Over the years I have purchased three of these benches from Harbor Freight.  Very solid, just make sure you install the brackets for the drawers correctly.  They go on sale as low as $120 at times.

http://t.harborfreight.com/tool-storage/workbench/60-in-4-drawer-hardwood-workbench-69054.html
And drawers too.  Wish I would've seen that earlier.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by BE Mike on 11/27/2014, 8:40 am

ChipEck wrote:Over the years I have purchased three of these benches from Harbor Freight.  Very solid, just make sure you install the brackets for the drawers correctly.  They go on sale as low as $120 at times.

http://t.harborfreight.com/tool-storage/workbench/60-in-4-drawer-hardwood-workbench-69054.html
The one thing I didn't like about the Sam's Club workbench is the wasted space underneath. A shelf sure comes in handy and loading up the shelf helps weigh the bench down, making it more stable. I did wonder about the Harbor Freight bench with drawers. I was worried that the drawers might interfere with my knees.
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by CR10X on 11/27/2014, 8:52 am

Over the years I've made a couple of observations about reloading benches for Dillon (650) reloaders.  If possible, get shelving or enclosed bottom and store those heavy bullets there and use the Dillon bench mount if you have space.  Or look at using a back or wall brace. Basically anything you can do to make the press support be as stable as possible.  

For the 650 with a case feeder, there is a difference between stable that lets the case feeder vibrate and really stable mounting that keeps the casefeeder vibrations to a minimum. It can also help with powder drop consistency and keeping the powder in some of those 9mm and smaller cases.  There are also a couple of shellplate and machine fixes for that issue as well.  Of course your experience and mileage may vary.  But if you run into issues with the case feeder, just take a look at making sure everything is tight and supported.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by john bickar on 11/27/2014, 11:16 am

Have been thinking about building this bench, as it comes highly recommended.
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/27/2014, 4:50 pm

John - That's a fine looking bench.  I've seen pics of completed ones that look exactly like it.  I hope someday to make one myself should I continue with reloading or shooting for that matter.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by KenO on 11/27/2014, 6:06 pm

The problem with most benches is they are way too low. The press manufactures suggest that the top of the press handle be about shoulder high. And others say the best height for the bench top is elbow high. Both are the same.

But, most build their benches too low, so a cottage industry sprouted, like In-line fabricators press mount, and the Dillon Strong mount, that put the press higher where it should be. Then they can also sell you a bullet tray, etc, but if you built your bench the right height, then your bullet box would set right on the bench top, and you can see what you are doing (for us old guys) without leaning over. And, your wouldn't have to buy the Strong mount.

I have built lots of benches over the years, a couple last year. I finally started building them higher like others have been saying for many years. I'm a retired metal fabricator, and built my own "strong" type of mounts. Now, with my benches higher, I don't need therm.

 We are making ammo, not sandwiches.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by Virgil Kane on 11/28/2014, 8:27 am

john bickar wrote:Have been thinking about building this bench, as it comes highly recommended.


I have built this bench but modified the cabinets on the top somewhat. I built two of them and made one with a top 8 feet long and the other with a 6 foot top and joined them in an "L" shape to fit in the corner of my basement.  This is the most solid bench I have ever had in my almost 50 years of reloading with plenty of bench and storage space for all my reloading of pistol/rifle/shotgun.


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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by BE Mike on 11/28/2014, 9:05 am

john bickar wrote:Have been thinking about building this bench, as it comes highly recommended.
Those plans have been around for many decades. I think that they have withstood the test of time. If I had been handy at carpentry, I'd have built one for myself when I was younger.
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/28/2014, 5:50 pm

KenO wrote:The problem with most benches is they are way too low. The press manufactures suggest that the top of the press handle be about shoulder high. And others say the best height for the bench top is elbow high. Both are the same.

But, most build their benches too low, so a cottage industry sprouted, like In-line fabricators press mount, and the Dillon Strong mount, that put the press higher where it should be. Then they can also sell you a bullet tray, etc, but if you built your bench the right height, then your bullet box would set right on the bench top, and you can see what you are doing (for us old guys) without leaning over. And, your wouldn't have to buy the Strong mount.

I have built lots of benches over the years, a couple last year. I finally started building them higher like others have been saying for many years. I'm a retired metal fabricator, and built my own "strong" type of mounts. Now, with my benches higher, I don't need therm.

 We are making ammo, not sandwiches.
I read somewhere to position the height of the press so you don't have to bend down to complete the downstroke.  After loading about 150 rounds of .38 wadcutters for the first time using a single stage press mounted too low I quickly realized the wisdom of that advice.  My Dillon XL650 is mounted much higher and doesn't require me to bend down.  It makes a difference.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by DavidR on 11/29/2014, 9:45 am

I made my benches so I can load sitting down, much more comfortable for long loading sessions.
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/29/2014, 10:03 am

DavidR wrote:I made my benches so I can load sitting down, much more comfortable for long loading sessions.
Good point.  Maybe an ideal height would be one that you can load comfortably sitting or standing and be able to use the bench comfortably for other tasks.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by DavidR on 11/29/2014, 10:56 am

My loading bench is 3 sided, like a open rectangle, chair in the center Hornady LNL in front, Dillon 1050 on left side, scale  and open area for bullets and Dillon primer tube loader on the right. Swivel office chair and I can do whatever loading I want with good comfort
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by beeser on 11/29/2014, 11:05 am

DavidR wrote:My loading bench is 3 sided, like a open rectangle, chair in the center Hornady LNL in front, Dillon 1050 on left side, scale  and open area for bullets and Dillon primer tube loader on the right. Swivel office chair and I can do whatever loading I want with good comfort
Would like to see that setup.  Any chance sharing picture(s) of it with us?

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by tjpepitone on 12/1/2014, 8:42 am

I too prefer a taller position for my reloader (Dillon SDB), however I can't spare the space on the bench to have it mounted all of the time.  The solution I came up with was to mount the press to a T-shaped block I make out of two pieces of 3/4 plywood laminated together.  This is clamped into a heavy bench vise permanently mounted to the bench.  I also have a second turret press setup with the same mount so that I can switch them whenever I like.  Brackets mounted to the wall serve a a place to store the presses when they're not in use.  

I've found as long as it's a good heavy vise and it's kept tight it's acceptably sturdy and it get the press about as high as Dillon's strong mount would.

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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by jmdavis on 12/1/2014, 3:39 pm

I don't think that the Harbor Freight bench is nearly as sturdy as the original one. Plus it appears easy enough to add a low shelf to the bottom of the one from Sams. 

If you do go with the HF version. you should use glue and screws for the assembly.
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Re: Reloading Bench

Post by Rob Kovach on 12/1/2014, 4:03 pm

We just built a Harbor Freight one for one of our Wisconsin shooters a couple weeks ago.  It's plenty sturdy.  We screwed it to the wall, and if there was an tornado, I'd hide under that thing.
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