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Thread: Lee Hand Press - a pain

  1. #1

    Lee Hand Press - a pain

    I have a Lee hand press. I like it a lot. But for the life of me I can't figure out why Lee thought the knife-edges on the handles was a good idea.

    I can't be the only one to notice the discomfort of the Lee Hand Press. And I'm sure brighter minds than mine have figured out a clever solution. So what do you guys do? Wrap it in leather? Wear gloves? Fill in the frame with foam?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    Wrap the handles in tape. Not unlike a hockey stick or a baseball/softball bat.

    G'Luck!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Or a piece of foam pipe insulation.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I just sanded the the edges with some fine sandpaper. It removed those little raised bits of paint and sharp edges. As for the shape itself I just tweaked my technique till it was more comfortable. I also polished my expander button and make sure I lube my cases well. Those two things there have made all the difference in the world. I resize 30-30 easily. And the 30-06 is a little more effort but not much. It helps to clean and lube your press occasionally too.

    I've thought about using plastidip, that rubber dip in a can, but I don't know if I'd like it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You might look for a set of bicycle grips or motorcycle grips that fit snug on the handles and press them on. also don't forget others like golf club grips. There is simple rubber tubing that can be just pushed on to cover and cushion handles. Wood could be fitted to the handles and then shaped to make a comfortable grip and glued in place.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I made a set of wood handles for a lee loader once. Fitted them and sanded the paint off below where they touched then JB welded them in place. I didn't like them as much as the unmodified tool so I sold it and bought another. For me it isn't the sharp edges that are uncomfortable but the thinness of the grip at the top. The wood grips mirrored the factory shape so it didn't help much. If anyone wants to make grips you can die them red with a sharpie and it will turn the JB weld like a deep blood red and looks nice. Then clear coat.
    Last edited by Bazoo; 02-22-2019 at 08:24 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    This Lee hand press? https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/66...ock-hand-press

    Mine doesn't have any sharp edges. You can of course pinch your hand in it if you loose concentration, same as any press. Other than that, mine is very comfortable to use. They beat the heck out of the lee loader kits.

  8. #8
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    What pain....I'm 69 , work at a desk drawing stuff, have soft hands , not a great deal of hand strength .
    Been using two of them to reload handgun and 30-30 . As long as I keep my fingers from getting pinched on closing it has not been painful. I do not wear any gloves or pad the handles.
    I do press the handles together with the palms of my open hands.
    Try changing your pressing technique or how you are holding the press .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    +1 to all the above posts
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Or you could contact WR Buchanan... I believe he is a sponsor here. His hand press is to the Lee hand press as a Ferrari is to a Yugo.

    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

    Froggie
    Last edited by Green Frog; 02-22-2019 at 09:11 PM.
    "It aint easy being green!"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Or you could contact WR Buchanan... I believe he is a sponsor here. His hand press is to the Lee hand press as a Ferrari is to a Yugo.

    Froggie
    A better comparison would be a Ford Ranger to one of the big diesel, decked out monstrosities that now sell upwards of $100k. I would hope WR Buchanan's press provides more leverage if you are trying to full-length size rifle cartridges, else the Lee does everything a press needs to do. His is $200, Lee is $40.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    A better comparison would be a Ford Ranger to one of the big diesel, decked out monstrosities that now sell upwards of $100k. I would hope WR Buchanan's press provides more leverage if you are trying to full-length size rifle cartridges, else the Lee does everything a press needs to do. His is $200, Lee is $40.
    His press is worth the money if you plan on loading a lot by hand. There really is no comparison. While I donít FL size rifle cases w/ it, itís more than capable. I have a travel kit setup that fits in a carry on size pelican case. This allows me to load in hotels during the week while Iím away from home. It was money well spent.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    I use the gripy black fabric tape... works great
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    His press is worth the money if you plan on loading a lot by hand. There really is no comparison. While I donít FL size rifle cases w/ it, itís more than capable. I have a travel kit setup that fits in a carry on size pelican case. This allows me to load in hotels during the week while Iím away from home. It was money well spent.
    I've never used his press. I imagine it would be difficult to seat bullets if not set up on a hard surface. With the lee though it balances in the hand when open so it's easy to place a charged cartridge and bullet in place and move the handle without disrupting the bullet alignment. I'm sure the Buchanan press is made better and is stronger. Can you tell me how is the balance when not using a work surface to set it on?

    I would like to find one used sometime to try, but the cost is prohibitive. Fact is while the lee is not as "good" as the Buchanan it works well and holds up well.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    I use the gripy black fabric tape... works great
    'Atta boy! Score a goal or knock it out of the park!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

    President Reagan tells it like it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6MwPgPK7WQ

    Phil Robertson explains the Wall: https://youtu.be/f9d1Wof7S4o

  16. #16
    Could wrap it with Para-cord. Like some do with lever guns.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I carried mine in a wooden surveyors box with all my components and a suitable powder scoop. I drilled two holes in one handle and would screw it to the side of the closed box. It worked great; the biggest cartridge I loaded with it was 30-06.
    I wonder where it went?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Texas: "I wonder where it went" I find myself saying that a lot lately. Old age and three rooms of reloading and casting gear send me on an unending search at times. Gp

  19. #19
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    Mega: I thought you had one of my presses? Oh well, maybe not.

    Mine will do something none of the others will do. It will stand up by itself. It also has more leverage than the Lee because I had a Lee press in hand when I designed mine.

    The idea that you can clamp it to a table is just a plus that makes doing the operations other than Sizing much easier to accomplish. You don't need 3 hands to seat a boolit being one.

    As far as waiting for a used one to come on the market, might be a while as most people are passing them down to their kids.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy KMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    The idea that you can clamp it to a table is just a plus that makes doing the operations other than Sizing much easier to accomplish. You don't need 3 hands to seat a boolit being one.
    Randy,
    I was just looking at the press on your website and was wondering, how do you clamp it to a table?
    I was thinking of moving a press out of the garage and into my office to load small amounts before I go to the range for ladder testing and such. A press I could clamp to a table and then take to the range would be ideal.
    " It has been a long-standing policy of mine to never argue with idiots and women" Jeff Quinn

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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
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