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Thread: Thinking about buying my first press...

  1. #81
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawinredneck View Post
    I’ll be the discouraging voice of reason. For RIGHT NOW, I’ll suggest you just stick with the Lee.
    Point taken, and that sounds like good advice

    So, I ordered the Lee kit, 9mm dies, loading trays and ammo boxes, a bullet puller, primers and bullets of different weights

    Cabelas is having a sale on a tumbler and media, so I'll pick that up today. Also need to grab some powder.

  2. #82
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like a good day. So now you will have to give us a report on how your first session goes. Build a bench yet?

  3. #83
    Boolit Master sawinredneck's Avatar
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    I think you made a wise purchase, take your time and pay attention to every detail and you’ll do great!
    Quote Originally Posted by sniper View Post
    Irish Proverb: Never approach a Bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an Idiot from any direction!

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmw1954 View Post
    Sounds like a good day. So now you will have to give us a report on how your first session goes. Build a bench yet?
    Trying to decide whether to build something similar to this picture and then top it with 3/4" plywood

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    Or just pick up one of these from HF

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  5. #85
    Boolit Master
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    Again part of the beauty of this hobby. You can build the bench to suite you and whatever style you develop. Size is completely dependent on you and your needs or available space. Go here and look around. it's really too bad that so many pictures were lost do to Photobucket changing the user agreement.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ing-bench-pics.

    There are also a good number of videos on youtube if you search reloading bench. Also search small reloading bench and you'll find some nice compact ones if you need that.

  6. #86
    Boolit Master
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    My pictures were lost but here they are. The original desk/Bench
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    Current bench
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    I used the same top from the first picture which is a 1.125" heavy commercial desk top on the bottom only I found the two old kitchen cabinets for give away on craigslist so I attached a 1.5"X1.5" to each cabinet and then attached the top to that. The whole thing is very solid and the presses do not move or flex.

  7. #87
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    Traffer's Avatar
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    I have made several loading benches so far. The last one was made from an old kitchen chair (tube steel). I have found that if you mount the press so it is "inside" of the legs when you are looking from the top, it won't fulcrum the bench and want to lift it up. I just make sure that about 3/4 of the length of the handle is within the projected area of the legs. You don't need such a heavy bench then. If you think about it, if you are not "levering" against the weight of your bench, you only need to make one that will hold your own weight. That is all the non-levered or fulcrumed weight you ever put on it anyway. You may not be able to figure out what I am trying to say. I will take some pictures and post them tomorrow.
    Here they are:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oin1sp0ug9...00002.MP4?dl=0
    The above link is a video about the press bench.
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    The reason there are so many layers of hacked up 2x4's is because I made it too low and just kept adding chunks of wood on top that I had laying around. I will make it nice when I get my welder working and everything will be nice white metal except the top which will be a piece of 2x10. But you can see what I mean about having the fulcrum in the middle so it won't lift up the back legs.
    Last edited by Traffer; 11-04-2017 at 04:56 PM.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  8. #88
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that the HF bench will be cheaper than making your own (plus quicker to put into use), so could be a good way to start. The drawers will be useful, although if you mount a press in front of the drawers you won't be able to open them!

  9. #89
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    keyhole's Avatar
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    Here is my bench built about 40 years ago. Top frame is 2X6 bolted to 4X4 posts. The posts are supported by 2X4's a few inches above the floor. Top is 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood on top of one another, with tempered hardboard top surface. It is strong. There is no flex, bounce, or anything undesirable. Fortunately, I had plenty of room so built it 10' long. Built another for a friend who wanted plastic laminate ("formica") top. If building another I would use the plastic laminate also. It is bolted together so can be disassembled. In my experience, weight is your friend. It makes everything solid.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The HF bench shown in a previous post is a woodworkers bench. There are square holes in the top to accommodate dogs for holding wood pieces. I could visualize small gun parts, primers, etc. falling into the holes a lot. As another poster already stated, the drawers will be useless once you mount presses on the front. Without seeing the bench I would have concerns about how sturdy it is.

  10. #90
    Boolit Master
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    Have seen at least two of the Harbor Freight benches on display that were broken. They are light duty and subject to breakage during shipping based on the one's I have seen. Look good, but!!!

  11. #91
    Boolit Master
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    Heavy presses are the best and even better when bolted to the floor.

  12. #92
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    https://www.familyhandyman.com/works...ench/view-all/
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Simp...den-Workbench/

    Both cheap 9 to 15 2x4 workbenches. Glue with liquid nails and screw, plus maybe add an angle brace to the bottom shelf (you can see the one on the right behind the white boxes) and it will not let you down. I added a shelf made from 2x8 or maybe it was 2x10 to the right side for turret disks and dies. If I was doing again I would go with thicker surface material. You look close you will notice presses have a pad of plywood under them and a 2x4 block under the front edge to avoid any flex. Not normally an issue but was noticeable when forming or sizing larger brass. My dream is to get some rock docks from Pat Marlins but for now it does the job and didn't blow apart my budget.

    The weight on the bottom shelf can be fairly significant and so far hasn't deflected the shelf any. I store bulk cast in ammo cans under the lower shelf so it helps to plan the height of that to accommodate on the floor storage for heavy items. I did not glue the rear top shelf legs to base, I wanted to be able to take it apart if I moved and the top shelf handles little weight.

    Only good thing for reloading stands I have seen at harbor freight is the grinder stands can make a single press stand that is cheaper than the Lee version and reported to be stout enough for most uses, me I would just put the money toward a bench if I was not tight on space. https://www.harborfreight.com/univer...tand-3184.html



    PS. I did have that all straightened out once, freaked my wife out, she thought I was preparing to die or something. So now I let it be organized organically.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  13. #93
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    bottom left corner of that previous picture you can just see this vibratory brass tumbler from Cabela's it is US made and has a very good reputation. Good price on the kit and I use the strainer to sift media into a 5 gallon bucket, which works well.

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabel...Kit/731769.uts

    Had it for a few years worked through a pile of brass, it started to hesitate on starting. Took it apart in like 15 minutes and put some lubricant on the shaft, back in business. At one time I was doing brass by the 5 gallon bucket so this unit has seen hard use.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  14. #94
    Boolit Master
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    So has all this helped or just confused the issue?

  15. #95
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Suggestion if you are building a bench - put it against a wall and add a shelf at just below eye level that is attached to the wall, not the bench. This is where you put your powder scale - away from bench vibration.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  16. #96
    Boolit Master
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    Years ago I bought some computer printer tables with a slot for the paper to go thru.Steel frames and 2" thick tops with formica top and trim.Cost $1 each at auction because of the slot.The old time printers were heavy and noisy and shook while printing.Thats where the "green stripe" paper for paper patching comes from.Dot matrix printer,they called em.

  17. #97
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawinredneck View Post
    Iíll be the discouraging voice of reason. For RIGHT NOW, Iíll suggest you just stick with the Lee. Iím bad about diving in over my head as well, so I get where youíre at! But youíve never reloaded, you donít even know if youíre going to like it and want to continue doing it. The Dillon requires a lot more attention to everything at once and getting one set up right can become overwhelming, Iím still fumbling with the silly powder measures, Iíve got to get some knobs with + - on them!
    Iím not trying to discourage you, quite the opposite, I want you start slow, know every step and what/why things happen. The 550b/c if not setup and operating correctly will create a lot of problems quickly!
    Whatever you decide, go slow and be safe.
    Pretty much what I ended up doing. Got the Lee, and then the Dillon after about 2.5 months.

    Click image for larger version. 

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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