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Thread: Got my first press

  1. #21
    Boolit Man Spoonerism's Avatar
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    At this point I need dies, molds and a melting pot as well as manuals and components. The big thing I'm waiting on is my wife to move her soap factory out of the basement so I can build a bench. I. Tempted to throw together a temporary bench I can use on the couch untill I'm fully set up.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    Forget the couch and go for the kitchen table.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

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    I have seen and made several portable reloading benches for apartment use that worked well. Most set them beside a table and used the table to hold the loose stuff and the stand for the press and powder measure. I hade one made up that would fold into a 8" X 8" X 48" rectangle to store in a closet. You sat on it adding your weight to it for stability. I sat it up beside a table or bench and used the bench for loading blocks brass components and little things. The portable bench had a press mounted and a powder measure stand on its top. Worked well and allowed for loading at the range or other places. This was made up from 1" square tubing and heavy wood. You can mount your press to a 2X8 and clamp it to a heavy table top with c clamps. a layer of felt or cork on the under side of the 2X8 and some scrap under the table top to stop marring saves problems later on to. Make the bord long enough for the press and a powder measure to mount on.

  4. #24
    Boolit Man Spoonerism's Avatar
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    I considered clamping a slab of wood to a chair across the arms to mount the press and powder measure to, but I'll have to see what I can work out after I get some dies.

  5. #25
    Boolit Man
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    I use a school desk in my living room. It sits next to the couch. It's a newer style without the seat. It looks like a rectangle box on legs. I keep a lot of my stuff inside the desk and have holes drilled in the top to mount the press on the left and powder measure on the right. When Iam done loading I unbolt everything and put it back up inside. The kids use the desk for home work or art projects. I have a lee hand press I use some times also. I have a chess /checkerboard I made in high school that I flip over and mount my powder measure to and set it on my coffee table.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W. View Post
    Welcome to the dark side.......
    Tom is correct. We have cookies.
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

    Yeah, I love cast iron cookware.

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  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Everybody mounts their presses to take the big force of the down handle / up ram stroke, but many neglect that on full-sized rifle cases the first bit of up handle / down ram stroke can take a lot, too. I've seen presses flip and flop like a politician. I despise such movement in either. I mount directly to the press a vertical support for compression / tension (must attach to floor or heavy weight, too) and a horizontal one for torsion. My presses don't even wiggle.
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  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    I'll always remember my first time. She was so pretty--all dressed in red, sitting on that bench.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    People have used the grinder stands from Harbor Freight as a press stand.

    I made this one but added small under counter lights, peg board back and a set of 2x8 shelves that sit along the back for 1/2 the width. Place to store dies, powder measures etc.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Simp...den-Workbench/

    I glued and screwed joints and added an angle brace from bottom shelf to back leg. Holds plenty of weight. Only movement I get is as someone already mentioned, up stroke on sizing large rifle brass. I'm pulling the sizing ball for 8mm mauser out of cases formed from 30-06 and so handle force is up and there is usually a jerk as the sizer pops free.

    One other item is look at space under that bottom shelf. I made mine tall enough for 30 and 50 caliber ammo boxes. That is what I store the cast boolits in, at that location I can slide a box out, get some bullets, slide back under shelf.

    I will say needs seem to grow over time and there is something to be said for starting "rough" and working toward an arrangement and set up that best meets ones needs. Sort of like not pouring the sidewalks until you see where people make a path in the grass between buildings and parking lots. As long as it doesn't end up like all my work areas, namely expanding to take over all available space plus 10%.
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  10. #30
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birch View Post
    I'll always remember my first time. She was so pretty--all dressed in red, sitting on that bench.
    my first, was a old heavy broad, she claimed to be Minnesotan, but had Herters written all over her, as a single stage with dark brown wrinkly skin, she'd drop spent primers all over the place like it was raining.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    I have seen and made several portable reloading benches for apartment use that worked well. Most set them beside a table and used the table to hold the loose stuff and the stand for the press and powder measure. I hade one made up that would fold into a 8" X 8" X 48" rectangle to store in a closet. You sat on it adding your weight to it for stability. I sat it up beside a table or bench and used the bench for loading blocks brass components and little things. The portable bench had a press mounted and a powder measure stand on its top. Worked well and allowed for loading at the range or other places. This was made up from 1" square tubing and heavy wood. You can mount your press to a 2X8 and clamp it to a heavy table top with c clamps. a layer of felt or cork on the under side of the 2X8 and some scrap under the table top to stop marring saves problems later on to. Make the bord long enough for the press and a powder measure to mount on.
    My first 35 years went something like this! I just used a stand I made out of 2x4's and an RCBS jr. for my press. The press bolted down on a steel plate with angle iron kickers run vertical down the four corners of the vertical wood of the stand. Later I got "fancy" and welded a square tube or two to the sides with nuts welded for clamp bolts so I could add other things there in conjunction to my task at hand.

    One such item was a tilted tray for brass to be worked through the press. Adjustable for height and angle it saved a lot of hand motion retrieving the next casing particularly with handgun loading. In line with the ram I added a mid sized canvas bag, I believe a bank money bag .... the cash was gone when I got it ... sorry. I suspended the bag right below the press with a piece of acy. welding rod to hold the mouth of it open. With this I saved time by dumping a worked case right off the shell holder and getting back to my tray quicker to pick up the next casing.

    Fold up typing table or whatever was available for a flat spot to put all the loose stuff on. For a procrastinating pack rat like me being portable had it's advantages. Now with a pretty load room I have a heavy table I built for loading piled high with my latest acquisitions of treasures and have to hunt for a flat spot to work. I think I need to track down that typing table?

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 08-12-2017 at 09:49 AM.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Thats exactly what I started with years ago . After a lot of 45acp I broke it and got the classic cast . Welcome to a hobby that will give you tears of enjoyment .Dont even ask how many press I have now .

  13. #33
    Boolit Master


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    [QUOTE=

    Fold up typing table or whatever was available for a flat spot to put all the loose stuff on. For a procrastinating pack rat like me being portable had it's advantages. Now with a pretty load room I have a heavy table I built for loading piled high with my latest acquisitions of treasures and have to hunt for a flat spot to work. I think I need to track down that typing table?

    Three44s[/QUOTE]

    I have 2 of the folding sided typing tables on wheels, that move to the process at the time. And yes flat space is at a premium if ya don't want to cause an avalanche.
    Not being able to spend much time in the basement causes me to be messy. It has become imperative to get as much as possible done in the shortest time, so putting stuff away and cleaning are low priority. When the pain gets to that point, any further attempt is fruitless, and usually ends with mistakes.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

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    Welcome to the fraternity.
    It's an enjoyable hobby...next will come the casting .... the real addiction.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    The thing to remember you will now be able to make whatever kind of load you need right at the house no need to go online to find reduced loads or bullet selections that don't quite fit your needs welcome to the club and if you have a question never be afraid to ask the only dumb questions are the ones you should have asked but you didn't have fun and enjoy the hobby (starnbar)

  16. #36
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    My first reloading table was/is constructed of pallet strapping 2x4's. The kind that go around a bundle of 4" PVC Pipe.. that was almost 35 years ago
    its only 3" wide and holds a rock chucker, a RCBS powder measure, and a 505 scale . its conservatively loaded 30-40 thousand rounds
    Still used today ..
    Now I built a nice 6' bench later on
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  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonerism View Post
    I picked up my first press yesterday at the gun show. It's a new Lee anniversary kit for $80. All I need now are dies and supplies and I'll finally be on my way to being a proper caster.
    Good for you! There is something about self-sufficiency that makes this hobby very pleasurable. My significant other calls it "man knitting".
    Scrounging for lead, sorting, smelting, alloying, casting lube/sizing, and reloading all bring a whole other aspect to the hobby,.
    Enjoy!
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Bolt it to a good chunk of wood then use g clamps to fix it to any flat surface that's handy.that will do till you get a permanent set up .you'll save a fortune ,not .you'll shoot more with more satisfaction though.reloading has kept me sane for years.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check