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Thread: Any Problem With Using A Steel Base For A Press?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Any Problem With Using A Steel Base For A Press?

    I have a Lee Challenger mounted on a piece of 2x8 and clamped to my table for use. I decided to mount a Lee Turret that I bought secondhand next to it and there was too much flex. I had a piece of flat steel in the garage I used to weld something else so I cut out a square, drilled holes to match both presses and then degreased it. Grinding the edges off round, I spray painted it with RustOleum, put it on top of the 2x8 and then mounted the presses. Nice and solid.

    My question is that I'm now thinking of sparks or static from the steel. Since I spray painted the entire thing should I be concerned with that as in, if I drop a tool or something on the steel do you think I could get enough of a spark to cause a problem? I could cover the entire thing with a cloth around the presses I guess.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with steel bases plate. I use the Lee press mount system it is steel base plates. It's not like you're reloading with flint tools. It takes some effort beyond accidentally dropped tools to make sparks.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    Personally, I doubt if there would be a problem. There are many presses with steel parts and a mounting plate of steel will not add any "sparking" possibility (unless a bare power cord drops across the plate. But then if the plate isn't grounded there might not be any sparking/arcing even then.).
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Your good to go. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/rbs_...4&userid=27901 uses steel on there mounts. Now I wouldn't try striking a fire starter while using black powder, other than that you should be ok.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    My reloading bench has a steel frame & legs from 2" x 4", 3/16ths" Steel tubing, with a 1/4" steel plate on top.
    I haven't noticed any spark issue.

    Presses are bolted down with 1/2" nuts & bolts.
    Powder measure and trimmer are mounted with tapped holes into the deck itself.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 01-10-2020 at 02:34 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I've had steel base (8" x 15") plates under my Hornady Progressive and Rock Chucker for going on 30yrs.
    No Problems Yet.
    I HATE auto-correct


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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I've been wanting to do very similar, I just don't have a source for a few scrap steel plates since I'm not in the metal or machining industry. I've been pondering on using hardwood, oak or ash. I want to do interchangeable plates with my press and lubesizer and affixed through the table with t nuts and bolts. I'm sure hardwood would work for the sizer but not sure about the press.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I've been wanting to do very similar, I just don't have a source for a few scrap steel plates since I'm not in the metal or machining industry. I've been pondering on using hardwood, oak or ash. I want to do interchangeable plates with my press and lubesizer and affixed through the table with t nuts and bolts. I'm sure hardwood would work for the sizer but not sure about the press.
    I tried a piece of Rock Maple with the C Press I had it was quite sturdy. Should be a metal place near you somewhere or a welding shop you can get a small square from. Any place that does heavy equipment repair should have what you need.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I have a steel supplier near me. They supply a lot of the steel fabricaters around here as well as build things them selves.
    They have an area in the back corner were they put the left over bits. You can go in and buy this for a per pound price. I have picked up a lot of bits from them for my projects.
    Last big bit was a piece of square tubing to extend a trailer tounge so it could haul a boat easier.
    Look around near you for such a place.
    Leo

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would suggest when using salvaged plate to use a straight edge to check that it is still flat. a bowed plate may cause issues with some plates being stronger / stiffer than the press bases. Otherwise the steel plate will stiffer a weak bench top nicely

  12. #12
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    I've got my Dillon 550B, Redding T7 and Rockchucker mounted to my bench which is a full 2" thick. All other benched equipment is mounted on 1/2' to 3/4' thick micarta plate and C clamped to the bench top when required. The micarta plate is absolutely flat and probably resists flexing as well as steel up to 3/8" thick, at least for the stress I would put on it in reloading operations.

    Sort of off topic but I wouldn't hesitate to use steel if I had the means to work with it.
    John
    W.TN

  13. #13
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Not in less you’re planning on grinding on the steel plate while you’re reloading at the same time you’re not gonna get static or sparks
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    If that was a major concern they wouldn’t make cast steel or cast iron reloading presses and powder measures
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is my bench top. 5/16" steel plate recessed in then drilled and tapped for my different presses.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    No problem, I have a number of presses mounted on steel plates. 9 right now on the top of a steel bench.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    The OLD Air Force 127-100 Explosive Safety Manual said the reloader should have a ground wire and
    be grounded.

    Mike

    p.s. mine do not
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  18. #18
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I welded my electrical quad boxes under my bench, it’s grounded via the wall outlet in the room it’s in as are the presses bolted to it. I can’t tell any difference between it and all of the wooden ones I have had except it’s more ridged.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I too used 2x4 shaped steel tubing with 1/4" thick walls. all the connecting plates are of 1/2" steel plate.
    the lower shelf is 8 feet long... 8 inch wide steel plate that is 1/2" thick.

    the whole assembly with NOTHING mounted on it is close to 500 pounds. And the lead ingots on the left weigh roughly 9 to 10+ pounds each.
    the lead on the right is weighed in 7+ pound ingots.

    is it stabil? .....why yes indeed it is.

    950 pounds of lead ....+400 pound frame ...+ whatever 5 presses weigh.

    during a cycle ...not one thing wiggles or vibrates.
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    Last edited by mozeppa; 01-11-2020 at 11:38 AM. Reason: add

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    My reloading bench is an old machine table, 2’X7’ and is 1-1/4” top plate, weight est @ 750#. Very heavy and stable. No spark issues yet 2+ years and it not grounded. Its just a little to tall, and to cut legs would be a major ordeal, so i just stand or sit on tall barstool. Only way to creat a spark would be to strike with something very hard on the edge and I’m not up to that.

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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