This is not a plan/blueprint, but, the Sturdy Bench featured in The Blue Press by Dillon will fit your needs. If you are going the inexpensive route, then I would suggest a used metal desk. You should be able to pick one up at the Salvation Army, a garage sale or used business furniture store. Either way - build it or buy it - it has got to be sturdy.
I got 2 cheap undercounter cabinets and a short section of countertop that someone ordered, but didn't pick up, from the local home center. Bolted the top to the cabinets and have a solid bench with storage. Add a piece of 1/2 inch plywood under the countertop and a hundred pounds of components in the cabinets and it's even more stable.
For along time I got by with using an old apt size kitchen table, it'd walk around a little bit but got the job done. Now I've moved up to a used metal desk thats about 4-1/2 ft. long. I've got my Rockchecker, RL550B, two lyman 450 sizer / lubricators, a Corbin swaging press, and my uniflow powder measure all mounted on it.
Check all the yard sales for a useable desk or table, their out there!
"Always place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark"
Ya know, it occured to me before that in the Dillon catalog, they give ya a pretty good picture of their bench, yo can just look at it and make a material list, 2 x 4's, 4 x 4's, carriage bolts, plywood, measure your work space, build it to fit!
"Always place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark"
The cheapest sturdy solution I've found is to go to Home Depot and buy one of their 6-ft. precut workbenches. All you have to do is screw it together. It comes with a shelf under the bench and a little 4-inch shelf across the back. Last one I bought was 49.99.
Don't get anything particle board! Like a genius I made a bench out of this and SNAP)
1. Remember to leave enough overhang in front for mounting the press.
2. If possible design the bench so that it can be bolted to the floor or the wall.
3. Reloading can take some time, have a seat!
4. May want to make drawers underneath for manuals, magazines, and data.
5. Buy a sturdy wooded shelf to mount just above the bench for sensitive equipment to be placed on. (like scales and calipers)
6. Mount a handy flxible flourescent light on a corner.
7. Trash can underneath with shop vac.
If you had e-mail I could send you a picture of this kind of set up.
[This message has been edited by Gargoyle (edited 08-15-2001).]
I do not have plans but my bench was created as follows:
1. 8 ft 2x12 cut in half for top - gives you a top surface 4 ft wide, slightly under 24" deep.
2. Could not find good 4x4 for legs so I put 2x4's together to make 4x4 legs.
3. 4 - 2x4's on each side for braces, the 2x12 top mounted on the top 2x4 brace.
4. Back side has 2x6 and a 2x4 for cross bracing.
5. Lower shelf using a 2x6 and a 2x4, upper shelf is 2x6, provides shelving and bracing.
6. All put together with screws, no nails.
Not a lot of extra room but I do have a case trimmer on the left, a 650 in the middle and a single stage on the right.
Call me spoiled. I have a workbench in the end of the garage (heated in winter). It's L shaped . . . one side at about 40" inches the other at 34", both 24" deep. The "upper" side is maybe 12 ft. The other is 6 ft. I found some white plastic surface particle board for the tops. The benches are 2" X 12" planks. Same for the shelves underneath. I have drawers unde the benches too, and shelves above them.
I bought some plastic shelves from Home Depot for about $40. They're 6' h X 3' w X 2' deep or thereabouts.
Two single stage presses are mounted on a length of 2" X 10" which gets C clamped onto the bench where I want it. A swing arm light with a magnifying lens supplements overhead lighting.
Two soft jaw vises for "smith" work.
One vise is a woodworking vise and I use it to hold case trimmers that I have mounted on a length of 2" X 4". Same setup with a bench mounted primer tool. I also have a hand tool.
Nice part about having two separate bench surfaces is that I can set up scales on one and a press on the other. That way the scales are not jostled by the press action.
This way I'm able to set up my bench and move gear according to what I want to do.
White plastic surface allows me to see dirt, dust, spilled powder, stray primers. Cleanliness and order are important in reloading.
Sometimes I stand, sometimes I sit. It's nice to have an option. A radio is a nice feature, along with a clock.
ALL the manuals warn against eating while loading. Reload materials are toxic. But I drink from soft drink cans and glasses . . . carefully keeping my hands off the food surfaces. Don't put drinks on the same surface as your scales or press! That's just inviting a spill! I have a small side table for that stuff.
Head to the GoodWill etc. and look for folding tables, benches, chest of drawers, filing cabinets, etc. My space didn't get planned. It evolved from experience in what I needed.
I made a bench almost like yours. Shows great minds think alike. 2x12s for top, 4x4 for legs, 2x6 for sides. In addition, I made a bottom shelf out of 2x12s and 2x6s for sides. Also, put in 3 additional cross pieces (2x6s) for extra support of the top and bottom shelf. I, also, used a 2x6 for a "back lip" across the back of the shelves to keep stuff from rolling off. Used all screws. Man is it heavy and stable. Used a 4 foot level to level everything. Took about 2 hours to build it. Mounted my XL 650 on that.
My drive away cost for all material including screws and tax was $43.00. Bought the materail at Lowe's.
I got a "gorilla rack" for my bench.very inexpensive and strong.Only thing you have to do is get a piece of wood for the top as the one it comes with is not sturdy enough.I have seen them as cheap as 69 bux at costco to 99 bux at sears or OSH.
4ft long by 2ft deep,all steel construction,takes about 20 minutes to put together.
[This message has been edited by paranoid (edited 08-18-2001).]
Saeed has a double pane glass isolated shooting tunnel in his "lab" . . . and it's about the size of a small airplane hangar. I'm trying to find the link to his photos of the lab, but the main page has a photo of the bench and the test tunnel.
I forgot about the lip I put across the back, I used a 2x4, other than a couple of 2x6 vs 2x4 it sounds like they are identical. The only problem I have is that due to our weather in Houston I have to reload and keep equipment indoors, therefore my bench sits on carpet. I wish I had a way to bolt it to the floor and the wall but that is just not practical at this time.
Hi act837 : The National Reloading Manufacturers Association has a really nice reloading bench and cabinet plan. There is a specific paln for the bench and cabinet. Also, a complete materials list and a how to section for assembly. You can contact them at:
National Reloaders Manufactures Association
One Centerpoint Dr., #300
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
I had forgotten I even had these plans untill I read your post. I recieved these plans just befor a move to Fl. and had forgotten all about them. If you can't contact them send me an e-mail and I'll see if I can send you a copy of these plans. Welcome to the forum and happy reloading.
Happiness is "25 straight"
I too, just purchased one of the gorilla racks. I would like to add two things: first, it took me about 90 minutes to put together (I'm not mechanically inclined, so your mileage may differ). Second, someone mentioned not drilling into particle board because it may break. I'm pretty sure that the top is particle board, so if you're still considering it, you may want to mount a sheet of plywood on the top.