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Thread: Bench issues / ideas

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Bench issues / ideas

    I have been pondering my reloading bench. I have a bench for chair height and I'm using a Lyman Spartan currently. My issue is that I have to set so far back from the bench for the press handle to clear my body. I tried setting to the side and that's uncomfortable. I've been thinking of modifying my bench so there is about a 4" inset where the press mounts. That way I can clear my gut but still reach my tub of brass.

    Suggestions welcome.

    Thanks.

    Bazoo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    chair height, folding TV style tables set to both sides and run across through press? Benches are to put stuff all over the top so you can't work there till you make a hole anyway.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Sometimes I put a wooden bar stool next to me while using the press to put stuff on. Sometimes it's handier than reaching to the bench. Just drop to one side or the other.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Perhaps go on a diet or sit off to the side!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Set the press as high as comfortably possible. Then use a Akro Bins and mounts to bring the components to you. Inhave Akro bin hangars mounted lower and shel mounted for easy access

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I second the bin hanger on the front edge of the bench , lines the components up close to the shell holder ( I have 3 bins on the left side of my LCT like this ) if you use a loading block you could rig a small detachable shelf on the bench edge to hold it. Even a piece of plywood that hangs over the desired amount with a few boxes of boolits on the back to counter balance it

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    My most used pair of presses are mounted to posts in my shop, I do all my reloading press work standing. I have shelving around the post for holding boxes, containers of components. I have good lighting from both sides. That is what works for me.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    The last 2 benches I've routed a recess in the bench to set the press (Rockchucker) back from the edge. This puts the tray of cartridges closer to even with the ram and puts both about the same distance from my body.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    DonMountain's Avatar
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    I have a bunch of old 5 gallon sheet rock mud tubs I keep my shotshell casings in, all stacked up in the corner of my reloading room. I often just put one on either side of me as "tables" to hold my reloading supplies. Casings and bullets.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I've got a slide out shelf about 6" under the countertop to catch bullets from the sizers and presses. The shelf also holds the components. I use those round cookie and candy tins you see around the holidays. Folks are giving them away. I lined one with a bubble envelope to keep stuff from being damaged when it drops from the sizer.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    I sit to the side of both Lyman turret and Rockchucker. The operating handles aren’t interfered by me and I’m not a small guy.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I appreciate the ideas. I want to shed the gut, but I need to use my press now. I've been setting to the side some, and it doesn't really suit me. Twisting hurts my back. I've been pondering on reworking my bench so I'm thinking how I can improve this area while I'm at it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I think your idea of mounting the press out could work, just don't underestimate the torque a press puts on the bench. I'd go with something like a 2x8, and ideally bolted to the bench with a backer plate. If you have the means, a 1/4" steel plate may be even better. Even 3/8" wouldn't be overkill.

    Myself, I have to sit diagonally to see inside my rock chucker press, and this is the way I prefer it. On my bench I don't have to twist to get close enough either through. Actually now that I think of it, mine has a 2x4 overhang. I don't know how fancy your bench is, but you could mount a 2x4 or 2x6 all the way length wise across the front, level with the bench top. Make some strong braces on the ends to keep it from twisting, some corner brackets wouldn't hurt too. If you like your current top, you could put something like a 1/8" x 4" steel flat stock across the seam on the bottom to support it. A 2x4 could work too if you have the room. Even better might be I did as I said first, but then on top of everything is a new plywood top. I would go with 3/4".
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 02-05-2020 at 11:12 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I'm not thinking of mounting the press out from the bench. I'm thinking of cutting a notch in the top and mounting it back a ways. One of the reasons I'm going to rework the bench is because it flexes some. So I'm going to beef it up regardless of press mounting options.

    I am all going to make removable plates for the press and lubesizer and any other future press' to interchange. I want to do steel plates for the presses but will start with wood as that's what I have available. I'm going to attach the plate to the bench via bolts and t nuts.

    When I'm not using a press I'll have a filler blank for the recess.

    Least that's what I'm figuring now.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Gtek,probably said what I'm thinking right about now. Have to clean off my reloading bench so's I actually can use it. About half way there. I have two presses mounted on both corners. The Dillon on the left and lee classic cast on the right. Frank

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I should have read closer. I don't want to make an insulting suggestion, but have you considered just adding something to the front of the bench to rest a tray of brass in? Rather than move the press back, move the brass to you. I'm thinking a good sized Akrobin with one of those metal tabs to hang it from.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I appreciate your input MSM. No worry of insult here. I have considered that. I have to strengthen my bench anyways as it needs more braces. It will be easy enough but was an oversight when I built it. I might give the shelf extention a a try temporarily to see how it goes before I tear into it.

    Right now my press is mounted on the front but towards one end and the lube sizer to the other end. With the center clear for things like gun cleaning and small projects. I want to do removable plates and not have the press and sizer perminately mounted, so I'll have more room and also be centered on the bench.

    I'm working with a 4' long bench in a 6' wide nook. I've considered redoing the whole shebang and making a 6' long bench but right now I'm not ready to commit.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    I appreciate the ideas. I want to shed the gut, but I need to use my press now. I've been setting to the side some, and it doesn't really suit me. Twisting hurts my back. I've been pondering on reworking my bench so I'm thinking how I can improve this area while I'm at it.
    I sit at a forty-five degree angle to the press and bench. That way I don’t have to turn much.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Same for me. 45 deg.

    My bench is counter top height. I use a std desk chair. Puts the bench top a bit 'higher' but I can see what is going on better. Also gives a bit more room under it.

    I also have interchangable 'plates' for various presses. I used oak 3/4" boards. Drilled a three hole pattern and put T nuts in the bench. Then bolted the presses to the boards. The boards are about 1ft long and 8" (I think) wide. The grain runs front to back. The bolts are 5/16". I also made a lighter weight 'rack' under the bench to stow my presses. Just one bolt for each.

    I use solid core doors for bench tops. Relatively inexpensive and stiff. My reloading bench is 4ft wide mounted in a closet (2ft deep). I used 2x4's screwed to the wall studs. Bench top screwed to the 2x4's. It does not move.
    Last edited by charlie b; 02-06-2020 at 08:13 AM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Czech_too's Avatar
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    The solution to MY problem was a raised 'platform' of sorts. It allows me to mount any piece of equipment in the same spot and at a comfortable height.Attachment 256155Attachment 256154Attachment 256156Attachment 256157
    This may not work for you because I prefer to stand vs. sitting. The cutout on the front is to accommodate an upside down C press used for sizing. It brings in in closer to the benchtop, doesn't hang out nearly as much.

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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