Plans on building a reloading bench?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by MDslammer, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. MDslammer

    MDslammer Site $$ Contributor

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    Hi Guys,

    New to the forum so hellow to all. I did a search for "building plans for reloading bench" but only found
    a few threads. Most of which I've already seen from web surfing.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd check with you all to see if you had any recommendations as to where I might
    look for some advice/info/plans on building my own bench. I was thinking of something along the lines
    of 2'x6'. I'm no carpenter so it's going to be as simple but as effective as possible.

    Thanks very much.
    Best.

    MDslammer
     
  2. nra-for-life

    nra-for-life

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    1 1/8" plywood makes a great top and is commonly available at all home depots/ lowes stores. this is very stout material. legs can be made by fitting together steel pipe (either black or galvanized) found in the plumbing section. you can either use 90's from the store and fit it together and bolt it all together or if the option is available then weld it. Lows/Home depot will cut and thread the pipe for you. I'm a contractor and building/welding it was not a big deal for me, but for some it may be a hassle. The 1 1.8 ply will run you about $40 and you will probably have another $30ish or so in pipe..... These ideas were given to me courtesy of boyd allen who's plans ideas i used for my own but modified. same basic idea though. I like a 3 leg design personally because it is easier to me to set up and have no wobble.
     
  3. Leaddog

    Leaddog F-Class T/R Site $$ Contributor

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    Bolt to the wall for maximum stability. I have two benches. One for brass prep and the other for everything else.
     
  4. nra-for-life

    nra-for-life

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    oops my bad i was thinking "shooting bench," not reloading bench. yup, like charlie said though definatly attach to the wall. i used e few 3" drywall screws. i built mine. 2x4's, course drywall screws, and some plywood sand the whole thing down and you will be splinter free. mine is 30" off the ground (designed for sitting while handloading which i would highly advise). the bench top is 1 1/8" ply and the workspace is 7' x 24". here ill give you some pics hopefully this will help a little bit


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  5. wmdron

    wmdron Site $$ Contributor

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    I've built two reloading benches very similar in design to nra's. I used 2"x6" for the framing and legs. Each leg is two 2"x6" screwed together to form a right angle. I then made a frame for the top out of 2"X6" that measured 2' x 4' so it would accept precut 3/4" plywood sheets from the lumber yard in that size, I used two of these precut sheets screwed and glued together to make the top, 1 1/2" total. I then bolted and screwed the legs to the frame and screwed it to the wall. You can make your bench whatever height is comfortable for you. Sorry for no pics I am having camera difficulties at the moment.
     
  6. timeout

    timeout Site $$ Contributor

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    I have two reloading benches. One very old and solid. The other, an office desk. The desk is not nearly as old, but very solid and and easy to to clean. Look around at second hand shops (like St. Vincet DePaul) and used office furniture stores. These solid old desks are plentiful and very inexpensive. The one I found has 3 drawers on the right and a "flat" style drawer in the middle. The drawers are very handy for keeping tools, dies, etc. This route saved me time and money. I like it better than my old bench. I use the both, but mainly the office desk.
     
  7. hdfireman

    hdfireman

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    Here are the plans I used.
    http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf

    I have not had time to build the top yet but bottom works great and very solid
    http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf
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  8. ddkearney

    ddkearney Site $$ Contributor

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    MDSlammer - I built the same bench and top as HDfireman shows about 20 yrs ago. A great, solid unit that has survived one move. Bench and lower shelf hold an incredible amount of weight; top is easily removed. I had a local lumberyard cut all of the wood pieces to plan size and it made construction/assembly much easier.
    Don
     
  9. MDslammer

    MDslammer Site $$ Contributor

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    Thank you all for taking time to chime in and post pics. Very helpful. You all did a great job!

    I was going to make mine 4' high. Use 2 4x4's cut in half for the 4 main posts to frame around. Do you think this will be too high? I was planning on standing to reload. Bad idea?
     
  10. ar15topgun

    ar15topgun

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    The pics of these benches are all wrong...they are too neat and orderly. Needs much more clutter and disorganization.
     
  11. BuffaloBill

    BuffaloBill Site $$ Contributor

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    OK, here's a cluttered one! My dad made it for me years ago; it deserves to be kept a bit neater. It's red oak with a 2" top and dovetail joint drawers.
     

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  12. TheSnake

    TheSnake Site $$ Contributor

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    An important question to me is will this be in the house or in the garage/shop? If in the house, below is a post I make some time back. This does not take much carpenter skills and is inexpensive for the end result. You get the bench top and lots of storage space for your stuff. Bolt it to the wall studs with straps and it is rock solid. The end results look like a custom build without the high price.


    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/index.php?topic=3778894.msg36025737#msg36025737
     
  13. amlevin

    amlevin

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    Years ago I sent away for a set of plans for a "Reloading Bench". Over the years I managed to put off the project and loose the plans.

    A few years ago I found them posted online. Here they are:

    http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com/downloads/bench_plans.pdf


    I was fortunate to have a table saw and cut all the cabinet materials first. All the other lumber was cut using a Cutoff Saw so edges were square and smooth.

    Built it exactly per instructions with the exception of substituting white melamine coated cabinet grade particle board for the "Bench Plywood". The edges of the particle board were capped with 3/4" screen stop from Home Depot.

    This is one stout bench which stands up to some real "high effort" work with a Rock Crusher as well as providing a rock steady platform for my Dillon XL650. Stable enough that the case feeder doesn't sway even a fraction of an inch while loading at full speed.

    I had to fabricate mine in three sections, the legs/bottom shelf, Bench Top, and Top Cabinet, in order to move it into an upstairs room. It's one "heavy mother" when finished but well worth the effort.

    If it wasn't so messy now I'd post some pics. Maybe later.

    BTW, if one doesn't have a table or panel saw, it's often possible to get a local cabinet maker to cut all the material according to the plans for a small fee. If you catch the local Home Depot at a slow time, most of the cuts can be made on their panel saw and they might even overlook any charge. My local one is pretty good if you don't go at a busy time. Helps the "associate" pass the time and avoid "busy work".
     
  14. ddkearney

    ddkearney Site $$ Contributor

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    MDSlammer - the bench described by hdfireman, amlevin, and me are all the same one; the basic plan is a design for a stand-up/tall stool arrangement. It's really stout!
    Don
     
  15. nra-for-life

    nra-for-life

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    lol, i purposly only took pictures of the bottom side of my bench to show the construction aspects... no need for everyone to see the disaster that is on the top! "neat", "orderly", and "reloading bench" are typically not three terms used in the same sentence in my house!
     
  16. nra-for-life

    nra-for-life

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    Yes. certain operations like trimming, neck turning, etc, etc could take hours or even days depending on the precision you are trying for and the number of cases you are working on. Better to be sitting IMO....It allows you to not hurry things like you might do if you were getting tired of standing.
     
  17. amlevin

    amlevin

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    If you have a "stand up" bench and are tackling some projects that are tedious, and time consuming, just invest in a "Draftsman's Stool". They're available anywhere from less than $50 to over $500, depending on construction. A good stool will have a back, is adjustable for height, and even has a foot rest. Take a look at a used office furniture shop first. Might snag a "high dollar" one for a bargain price.

    If your bench is going to be installed in a corner, consider a "Return". This is just an extension at right angle to the main bench and doesn't need to be as sturdy as the main bench where the press(s) are mounted. Make it so you can get your knees under it and perform tasks like sorting, trimming, etc at this area.
     
  18. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Site $$ Contributor

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    I have always reloaded at a normal desk, an older one that is very sturdy, and that has a plastic laminate top. I find a comfortable chair to be very important. Rather than modify the desk, I have made a mount for my press that clamps to the desk, and that raises the press up to a higher position, and turns it toward me. When I am using the press, I sit at an angle to the desk, with my knees on either side of an inside corner of one of the drawer pedestals. Between loading sessions, I store the press mount at the back of the desk's knee well. This setup gives me a lot of flexibility, allowing the desk to be useful for a variety of tasks while being well suited for loading. One thing that I have recently added to my equipment that relates to reloading bench design, is a way to look at my balance scale as if it was at eye level while it is on the desk top. I find this very convenient. It uses a prism and adjustable mount. This is the setup that I use when trickling powder charges.

    If you decide to build your reloading bench rather than adapt a desk, let me make a couple of suggestions. Plywood panels that are screwed and glued to the ends and back will act as shear panels that will make the bench much more sturdy, and less susceptible to developing a wiggle as the wood shrinks causing the joints to loosen up. In any case, glue is a good addition to any cabinet construction project. I would also suggest that a top finish surface that is trapped in position by the tops edge trim is a good idea. That way you can put the bench to heavy use, when needed, secure in the knowledge that you can make the top finish as new, quickly and easily, by either flipping the original piece, or dropping in a new one. There are several candidates for this application, quarter inch plywood, tempered, or plain masonite, melmene, or any other kind of tough, smooth sheet material.

    I would go easy on bolting things to the bench. A friend has a Dillon press, that he may use a couple of times a year, bolted to his garage work bench. It is in the way for many tasks that he does on a regular basis. If it were mine, I would install T nuts in the bench, and keep the press on a wall mount, with a dust cover on it, for those 363 days that it was not in use.
     
  19. timeout

    timeout Site $$ Contributor

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    Here are pictures of the desk (purchased for very cheap), my original loading bench, and what was my pool table before I took up shooting ;D All of this comes complete with the clutter of many projects going at the same time. Also the easy chair I received for Christmas to make the process comfortable. Unseen are a large steel cabinet, a small steel cabinet, an enclosed wooden ccabinet, and a large wall mounted drawer type organizer cabinet, all of which contain reloading equipment and components. It is wet, cold and nasty here today, so I am going to "hole up" in my executive chair and reload this afternoon!
     

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  20. coreydelong

    coreydelong

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    Do not overlook consignment shops. I found an old HEAVY desk for $40 that was perfect. I bought a sheet of lexan to place over the wood top because it was so nice. It holds my Dillon 550 for plinking ammo and a single stage for doing match loads.

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