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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally getting around to building my forever reloading bench. I'm using two 2 drawer filing cabnets for the bases of the bench. They are 29" high floor to the top. I'll span the two together with a piece of marine grade 3/4" ply wood. What is considered the perfect hight for a bench. I am thinking 30" is a bit too low? Also there is carpet flooring in the room. Pros and cons on this as well. Once it's done I don't want to have to redo it so I open to any and all suggestions.
 

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Hey Charlie,

I am a "high static" guy...would ditch the carpet....

Are you going to sit? Or stand? If standing, then the height of your kitchen counters...

If using 3/4" plywood, would double it up...screwing & gluing it....

Would still use a "strong mount" (In Line Fabrication makes them for Dillon & non Dillon machines/presses in 4" & 7" heights) to keep from stressing the plywood...

All the light you can stand.

Go with LIGHT COLORS...makes finding missing parts/pieces easier...

Anchor it to the wall! As well as the floor! (can never be too sturdy)

Later, Mark
 

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And a BACK SPLASH! (keeps them pesky parts from rolling off the back) LOL
 

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With or without carpet, you'll be chasing a live primer until you find it.....at least I do. I vaccum the room once a week even if it doesn't need it, just to make sure that I don't have any spent primers that missed the primer cup once they get popped out.....go with what you like, or you could put a couple of those clear plastic sheets under your desk that make it easier to roll around, they would also keep the primers from getting down into the carpet.

I just used an old desk my daughter was getting rid of. I drilled holes to mount the press, and put the rest of what I needed on top and used the drawers for storage. Works for me.

This is my setup, it's a little cluttered but it's mine. Yes, that's an LED light on the press, makes it easier to see what I'm doing.

Picture frame Table Toy Computer keyboard Automotive design
 

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Carpet will hold spilled powder, and if the pile is too high will conceal dropped primers (live or used).

Vacuum of very flammable materials needs something that won't expose it to the electric motor. I have a throw carpet I can remove from my concrete floor. When I do vacuum, I use a Dyson which isolates the air flow from motor. Even so, you don't want to be vacuuming a mix of live primers and spilled powder.

I think 3/4 plywood is too thin for the mounting area. Try using a 2x8 horizontal across the front edge of the table to provide a mounting base under the plywood, as well as more rigid mounting. Make sure that things cannot slip on the filing cabinet base you use...

I use a lab bench chair with a foot rest that I can raise and lower to get to the right human factors angle. IIRC, standard counter height is 36 inches, so you're a bit low.

I have a maple top workbench with metal frame that is about 2 inches thick. It's good and stable.

Here's a video of the cartridge counter I just made for use with my Hornady lock-n-load press and Lyman taper crimp die:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe a premade kitchen counter with bilt in backsplash? I can see doubleing up the plywood. If I use plywood I'll paint it brite white. As to hight? I like to stand as I have 2 pinched nerves in my lower back and sitting makes my legs go numb so I have to stand and walk around about every 15 mins. or so. It would be bar height i guess so I could use a bar stool occasionaly. I could pull up the carpet and lay a vinyl flooring material down ( wouldn't cost too much. ) Any of these ideas garner merit?The 2 filing cabnets are full of files and are very heavy so I'm thinking they will make an excellent base
 

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Mine. 12 ft long. 42" high. So that its comfortable from a stool or standing. Bottom mid shelf. 2 long top shelves that are adjustable for height. The left 3 feet I dropped down to 36". That area holds my casting pot, catch box etc. I built a big drawer under that area to hold my molds, lube and sizing dies. Since these pics 3 more Mec 600 Jr's have been added to the bench.
 

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Maybe a premade kitchen counter with bilt in backsplash? I can see doubleing up the plywood. If I use plywood I'll paint it brite white. As to hight? I like to stand as I have 2 pinched nerves in my lower back and sitting makes my legs go numb so I have to stand and walk around about every 15 mins. or so. It would be bar height i guess so I could use a bar stool occasionaly. I could pull up the carpet and lay a vinyl flooring material down ( wouldn't cost too much. ) Any of these ideas garner merit?The 2 filing cabnets are full of files and are very heavy so I'm thinking they will make an excellent base
NO, Countertops are made of PARTICLE board, Yes they are heavy but that stuff is JUNK. As Series Guy stated, 2 sheets of 3/4 Ply with a Masonite (hard board)top is the "standard" No paint needed.
Just make sure you leave overhang for the press mounting bolts or you will be drilling though your file cabinets.
Put some brackets to mount it to the wall,

A short fiber carpet is fine, vinyl will is a pain (it probably causes more static) Depends on where you live and the humidity. I have carpet and vaccum it. Not like you spill a pound of powder, A vacuum is not gonna blow things up or cause a fire.
 

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The Texan has an atriculating lamp bolted onto his desktop. That's really necessary to make sure you have plenty of bright light on your workspace. When loading the propellant it's important to visually check the depth of propellant in a few cases during each run. Having all that light will make it so much easier to see inside the casings.
If you decide to layer plywood, be sure to glue them topgether, and use heavy weights on the stack to make sure they bond flat, and evenly to each other. Gorilla glue swells when drying, so you might better consider using a high quality wood/furniture glue instead. When you mount your press you might want to buy a couple of small pieces of aluminum plate to bolt on each side of the deck under the press for maximum strength. Aluminum doesn't build static, so the electrical charges aren't a worry. On my workbench there is a 2' X 3' sheet bolted to the bench top that the previous owner installed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The room I'll be in is small that's why I using the filing cabnets as a base. The bench top will be built on a 2x4 frame screwed and glued together. I like the idea of an added top of masonite on the ply wood. Thanks for the heads up on the pre-made counter tops. As far as buying a bench I've not found one that suits the area I'm using. I guess I forgot to mention that this room will do double duty as an office as well. As to the articulating lamp? I have one that has a magnafying lense in it and it's very bright.
 

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The room I'll be in is small that's why I using the filing cabnets as a base. The bench top will be built on a 2x4 frame screwed and glued together. I like the idea of an added top of masonite on the ply wood. Thanks for the heads up on the pre-made counter tops. As far as buying a bench I've not found one that suits the area I'm using. I guess I forgot to mention that this room will do double duty as an office as well. As to the articulating lamp? I have one that has a magnafying lense in it and it's very bright.

I meant to add that there i NO need to use Marine Plywood. Have you priced that stuff?!!!!! Over kill. Just regular exterior, good on one side(cheaper than interior) Not that damn chip board. You will cover it with hardboard and it will not show anyway,
One 4 x8 sheet, have the lumber place cut it to whatever you want.

Lumber has gotten to crazy prices. I had to buy some PT stuff and about had a heart attack!
 

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Carpet will hold spilled powder, and if the pile is too high will conceal dropped primers (live or used).

Vacuum of very flammable materials needs something that won't expose it to the electric motor. I have a throw carpet I can remove from my concrete floor. When I do vacuum, I use a Dyson which isolates the air flow from motor. Even so, you don't want to be vacuuming a mix of live primers and spilled powder.

I think 3/4 plywood is too thin for the mounting area. Try using a 2x8 horizontal across the front edge of the table to provide a mounting base under the plywood, as well as more rigid mounting. Make sure that things cannot slip on the filing cabinet base you use...

I use a lab bench chair with a foot rest that I can raise and lower to get to the right human factors angle. IIRC, standard counter height is 36 inches, so you're a bit low.

I have a maple top workbench with metal frame that is about 2 inches thick. It's good and stable.

Here's a video of the cartridge counter I just made for use with my Hornady lock-n-load press and Lyman taper crimp die:

If you mount your metallic presses on an Inline Fabrication press riser you take all of the edge torque away and all forces are directed to the large footprint of the riser; that will let you get away from building up an extra thick edge
 

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A friend bought this at Harbor Freight.

View attachment 500914

He added a back splash and top shelf across the back. Had to do some improvising to mount his 2 loading vices but it has worked wonderfully.

John

I like that HF bench. With a "coupon" it is a deal. If I had the room I would have bought on already! Lots of things I could use it for.
 

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If you mount your metallic presses on an Inline Fabrication press riser you take all of the edge torque away and all forces are directed to the large footprint of the riser; that will let you get away from building up an extra thick edge
I don't like risers as it puts the press too high in the air. And unless it has box brackets your reach for brass and bullets is a lot farther away.The top on mine is 1/2" plywood. 2x4 on the face and a 2x6 mounted horizontal behind and under the 1/2" plywood. 7 presses and a super sizer are mounted with 1/4" bolt with washers and nuts. The bench has never flexed nor has any press wiggled in years of loading ammunition. You don't need an overhang to mount any press. They all flush mount to a 90 degree corner.
 

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I have a couple of old desks from schools being remodeled. Not student desks, but teacher's desks. They are about 28" to 30" tall, and I use them for cleaning, tinkering and so forth. I built my re-loading bench from 2x4's, 2x6's and I used 2x8's" for the top. The 2x8's were overlaid with 1/8" luan , which was glued (elmers woood glue) and shot down with a brad nailer.

2x12's for shelving and then all painted with miss-matched paint from the lumber yard (I got lucky, and it''s battleship grey) Loading bench is 32" high and it works great with my Dillon 550b, without a StrongMount. Pictures are on my PC at work.
 
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