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Thread: New reloading bench

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master

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    New reloading bench

    My old small reloading bench is developing some lean so before it collapses on me Im going to replace it. It was an old computer dsk I reinforce some. Its worked for 8-9 years and was a freebie for me so Im happy with the service.

    To save the time and work of making a new bench from scratch Im looking at the Harbor Freights 60" wood workers bench. In the pics it looks pretty good, 4 drawers, a shelf down low and a 2 1/2" thick butcher block style top. Im thinking if I glue the joints on assembly And a little reinforcing along back and sides, again glued joints. And add 2-3 shelves on the back this could be a nice bench for loading. Ill mount my RCBS Summit press so drawers wont be blocked. Im thinking 3/8 or 1/2" plywood on outsides of legs and back below bench top to box it in and stiffen it up. glued and screws to fasten them. 1" X 8" boards for the shelves along the back 1"X4" along back of shelves to keep things in place. I may angle the uprights to get 3 shelves one 8" deep one 6" deep and the top 4" deep The wood block vise will be utilized to hold trimmers and other tools when needed. Im thinking several thread inserts epoxied in so powder measures drop tubes and other things can be mounted with a simple set of strap clamps. Once assembled a light sanding and a couple coats of true oil or minwax antique oil finish rubbed in, maybe even a light walnut stain. The first shelf will be high enough for a couple of those little cabenits with the plastic drawers to set under. The shelves will also be used to store my clamp on powder measures. 2 Harrels, 2 belding and mulls, an old redding and a lyman 55. The screw in mounted will be in a drawer. dies in another, scales on the shelves. Cast bullets in ammo boxes may be in a drawer or on the bottom shelf.

    The price for this bench is roughly $159.00. By the time I buy the wood glue up and finish the butcher block top legs feet and shelves it will be way more than that. Let me know what you think of this bench and my plans

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Country, we use a lot of threaded inserts in wood.From "store bought" to more often than not,inserts made in our machine shop.Threading hardwoods;you need to adjust the diameter of the hole to suit the wood.Meaning,even though regular taps work great,the hole size isn't written in stone...... heck,we've used a ton of heli-coils in wood.Obviously,cleaning off factory applied lock tight coatings. Just go with a quality epoxy.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    jcren's Avatar
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    I use a 60" woodworkers bench. Mine has holes in the top for clamp dogs, which are a pain, and has a cedar block top. Need to overlay the top with a sheet of plywood or solid door blank one of these days, but it has worked for years.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    A 12’ 6X6 for the 4 legs and 2X6’s and 3/4” plywood for the rest. Made many work benches for the garage and basement this way and they are rock solid.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    My benches are pretty simple and stable.
    Two 2"x12"s
    You can add plywood bottom layer to make bomb-proof, I have not seen the need
    Two decent two drawer filing cabinets spaced out around 75% +/-
    I like the 29" tall cabinets. You could easily raise them up with a base.
    One 2"x 4" cut in four pieces to box in the 2" 12"s on either side of the filing cabinets. Can lift off the filing cabinets if needed
    Deck screws
    Lots of storage space in the filing cabinets.
    Very stable.
    Next step, fill the gap in between the 2" 12"s, sand and finish, optional. I have had both and found it not necessary.
    A quality filing cabinet is worth it. More stable and drawers are super smooth and strong enough to hold some serious weight and the depth and height are sweetness.
    Have built a few of these
    Get a comfortable office chair and you are golden
    I use the Inline Ultra Mounts, have four with with
    Quick change plates.
    Work is at eye level for me.
    Would call it a reloading desk up to 8 feet long
    The two I am building now will be 5 to 6 feet depending on everything else
    Last edited by jmort; 09-04-2018 at 11:02 AM.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have used the wood inserts a lot on projects and find that drilled in to depth plus a little. used a allen head cap screw and jam nut to drive them in, and epoxy in place ( I use JB Weld for this) are very stable and long lasting. I used a washer under the jam nut and this allows me to tighten down to flush easily. I may plug the dog holes with some wood also. just cut to fit lightly snug and glue in. But also considered using them to mount locate odds and ends like powder measure stands trimmers scale leveling plates risers. If this works I may put a thin sheet on the underside to keep chips and crud from falling thru into drawers. A powder measure mount with square peg and foot 8-12: tall with a + cross section and 8" square top would mount and locate 4 powder measures guick and easy just by how you placed it in the dog hole a short strap clamp and 1 cap screw or thumb screw would securely lock it in place.

  7. #7
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Country. I have read in past threads of people buying that bench from Harbor. Most are satisfied with it for the cost.Robert

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Dutchninja's Avatar
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    just a suggestion if you have a Sams club near by. I have three of these Seville Classics UltraHD Workbench Good and heavy and really sturdy. I cut some boards for the bottom and store a bunch of ammo cans and stuff underneath. they also make roll away drawers that fit under them took. Those are nice to pull out for a gun cleaning stand.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    MrWolf's Avatar
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    I just bought two of them. Can't beat the price with coupons vs cost of materials. One is setup as a workbench in my reloading room (spare bedroom) for all those little things needing done that don't require a full blown garage visit. The reloading one so far just has my stuff on it or near it. Depending on what you will be reloading you might be able to use as is. In hindsight glueing the joints sounds good for the reloading bench. Good luck

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchninja View Post
    just a suggestion if you have a Sams club near by. I have three of these Seville Classics UltraHD Workbench Good and heavy and really sturdy. I cut some boards for the bottom and store a bunch of ammo cans and stuff underneath. they also make roll away drawers that fit under them took. Those are nice to pull out for a gun cleaning stand.
    These look nice and the price point is hard to beat. The smaller unit looks perfect.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchninja View Post
    just a suggestion if you have a Sams club near by. I have three of these Seville Classics UltraHD Workbench Good and heavy and really sturdy. I cut some boards for the bottom and store a bunch of ammo cans and stuff underneath. they also make roll away drawers that fit under them took. Those are nice to pull out for a gun cleaning stand.
    I have two of them. Very sturdy and after adding shelves of 2x’s and loading them with bullets and ammunition, they are great. Much better than the HF product will ever be.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Bought the harbor freight bench yesterday. Will assemble it with glued joints, even splurged for a fresh bottle of gorilla glue. AM going to rough sand surfaces before gluing. Also bought the little 7X10 lathe as this will allow for me to do some odds and ends till the new building is up and the shop is done. Then a 13X 40 lathe 9x48 Bridgeport and some other tools and tooling will be available. Im not planning on casting on this bench, just reloading and for the time being the little lathe when needed. Were getting the area cleared for the new bench now. The card board box is going to be a set of silhouette templates for me to use to paint them on butcher paper or poster boards. Havent decide if Im going to plug some of the dog holes or not yet.

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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