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Thread: Space saving bench?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


    nagantguy's Avatar
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    Space saving bench?

    If you were to design/ build or buy a small reloading bench to use in a very small area like an office; what would you use? I'm looking at a black and decker workmate collapsing folding table but it has a very wide base. This will be a one press set up and probly dedicated to one caliber . So enough room for a scale some tools and a press and powder measuring device.
    Crazy as this sounds I have a very very old library table and the reason I've never turned it into a bench is it's so old and pretty and solid like a battle ship and I hate the idea of drilling holes into it. But I could replace my desk with this table as they are about same size and go with a duel purpose set up; but I worry about clutter and the danger of a wondering mind having work and reloading going on at same station.

  2. #2
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    rancher1913's Avatar
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    think pat marlin makes one that is portable, think some use it in an rv when traveling

  3. #3
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    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    First off I dont have this but looks like it would work good for your needs https://www.google.com/search?q=lee+...90674068753220
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    My favorite portable bench is a grinder pedestal from Harbor Freight(less than $25 with coupon), with a wooden riser added for stand-up reloading.
    25% of the cost of the Lee Reloading Stand linked to above.
    I put the scale on a separate shelf to isolate it.
    Pictured here with a drill press on it
    Click image for larger version. 

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    More pics:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...=1#post4239407
    here's a thread with a lot of info:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...oading.829492/
    Last edited by Kenstone; 12-24-2017 at 02:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    HangFireW8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagantguy View Post
    If you were to design/ build or buy a small reloading bench to use in a very small area like an office; what would you use? I'm looking at a black and decker workmate collapsing folding table but it has a very wide base. This will be a one press set up and probly dedicated to one caliber . So enough room for a scale some tools and a press and powder measuring device.
    Crazy as this sounds I have a very very old library table and the reason I've never turned it into a bench is it's so old and pretty and solid like a battle ship and I hate the idea of drilling holes into it. But I could replace my desk with this table as they are about same size and go with a duel purpose set up; but I worry about clutter and the danger of a wondering mind having work and reloading going on at same station.
    You have to ask yourself some questions on what it will, and will not be used for.
    1. Bullet swaging? (need a heavy bench, and/or bolt to floor)
    2. Full length magnum case sizing, or case forming? (need a somewhat heavy bench, or bolt to floor)
    3. Need room for just a progressive, or a single stage, powder measure, case prep, etc.?
    4. Where are you going to put your scale? Power measure? Will they be affected by reloading jiggling?
    5. Are you going to integrate storage into your bench, or store separately? Do you have room for both?
    6. If your hobby expands (rifle + pistol + revolver + shotgun, single stage + progressive, etc.) will you have some way to grow?

    Part 5 is a big deal. Storage adds weight to the bench, but also size and bulk, and all your stored stuff gets jiggled around.

    Once you consider all the factors, and the actual space you have, your options should be more clear.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
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    A few musings.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I've posted this other places-- but I'll do it again here so you can find it. I have to do all my reloading in the corner of my den (small home). I bought an 18" x 30" desk at Walmart (the kind you put together from a box). I covered the top with 2x12 pine. Put a small angle bracket on the back top and screwed it to the wall in the corner of my den to take the load from pulling the press handle. Powder measure bolted down on the left side, press bolted down on the right side, scale in the back left and lots of room for loading blocks in-between. It only takes up an 18 x 30 space in my den. I put this bench right next to the closet, and I keep powder, primers, brass, gas checks and bullets on shelves in the closet (If I'm sitting at the bench and need something, I just slide the closet door open and take it off the shelf). This works great and I've loaded thousands of rounds with this simple setup.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would make it from wood to the size needed or allowed. drawers down the back and covered shelves above. a slide mount or quick mount for the press and a quick way wo mount the powder measure. This way when not in use nothing is in view in a office where strangers may come and go.A little finishing and when not in use its a funny looking desk or cabinent to most people.

  8. #8
    I have reloaded on the Black & Decker Workmate table for the last 10 years. I screwed a 1/2" piece of painted plywood to the tables wood top. (29" X 26") I can not fold the table up anymore with the plywood mounted but it sets in the corner of the spare room just fine. I swap from a Hornady L&L progressive, Lee classic and MEC 600 Jr. Its very sturdy and other than having to swap the presses around as needed it works just fine. (I mount the extras off the back with one bolt)

    VL

  9. #9
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    I have one of the very early B & D Workmates (alloy frame, folding bottom legs for dual height) and it's a great piece of gear. If you screw a solid top to it, like MB above has done, I reckon it would make a pretty stable loading table.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I used a Work Mate for about eight years while stationed in Germany and Ft. Irwin. Unlike some of the other respondents, I made the work top so that it would slide off by simply loosening the Work Mate jaws. I took a 2"X10" that was as long as the table top was wide and cut a 3/4"X2" section from each side of the board's face so that when the board was screwed to the table top it formed a groove into which the jaws clamped. The top was a piece of 1/2" plywood cut about 30"X30" and was screwed to the board, not the Work Mate. A Lee 3-hole turret press was bolted to the table top through the board for extra strength. When sizing rifle brass it was necessary to slide the top so that the lowered press handle just barely cleared the Work Mate frame to get additional stability. When reloading pistol brass the table top was approximately centered on the Work Mate. I set the powder scales on a separate table to isolate it from the press.

    It only took a few seconds to install or remove the table top if I needed to use the Work Mate for something else and I could lean the top, with press still attached, against the wall or in a corner to get it out of the way. Worked good for apartment living.

    Gus Youmans

  11. #11
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    This is what I did, left the wheels off when using it as a loading bench. It has my Star sizer mounted on it now. I made the mistake of using a cheap tool box that didn't have roller bearing glides so I highly recommend one with ball bearing glides. The plywood top has threaded brass inserts in it that match the bolt pattern that plates all of my reloading presses, powder measures, priming tool, etc have so they can be swapped easily.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, I would put a shelf on the wall very near the press at eye level. They put your scale on the shelf so that the vibration of loading does not disturb the scale. I would also put my powder measure where the vibration would not settle the powder in the measure.
    Wayne the Shrink

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

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I use one that I got from Midway a long time ago. I forget what it's called. Looks like a table.
    I think they still sell it under a different name.
    It has a round plastic base, a single steal pole, and a square top.
    I don't have much space, and it's easy to move around, so it works for me.
    A friend used to use a wooden stool a the range.
    Seemed to work well for him.
    I resize and deprime on a press outside.
    I'd think it would be hard to size on my plastic table.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Harbor Freight has one originally for a bench grinder that looks like it would be ideal. Really well made even if it is HF.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Reloading bench choices get pretty personal. My limited space set up was a Workmate and I stored it under my bead with the press and counter top in a closet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 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