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Old October 9, 2000, 08:37 AM   #1
posigian
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Ok, Im not up and running yet, but I am getting closer! I have been taking my time buying what I need and plan to start reloading as soon as hunting season is over.

I am now working on setting up my work area and wanted to hear suggestions on how my layout should be? I am right handed and working on a real small bench I made using a Black & Decker Workmate. I am trying to determine where best to mount things such as the powder measure, trimmer, scale placement, ect....

Do I want certain things to my right or my left? I need to make some of decisions before I bolt anything down. So what works best for you?



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Old October 9, 2000, 09:57 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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I'd suggest putting the stuff on temporary mounts that you can clamp to your bench.

That gives you the ability to move them around until you find the configuration that is most comfortable and natural for you.

Once you reach that point, consider mounting the stuff permanently.

Most presses are really designed to be operated with the right hand while the left hand feeds components, I think.

And that's just fine with me, as I'm left handed. I'd rather feed the components with my strong hand.

In the next couple of weeks I hope to have my new loading bench up and running. I snagged one of the old solid oak drafting tables from my father, and that's going to be topped with a 1" thick plywood slab. I'll have room for loading, with plenty left over for other hobbies.

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Old October 9, 2000, 11:46 AM   #3
Dimitri
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Head to your local lumber yard and spring for a 2 X 12. Cut this into lengths, 3 foot should be about right, and mount your press, measures, etc. to the plank. Then clamp your plank in your workbench.

This way you're not committed to a setup. You can always unbolt from the plank and move stuff, even fill the holes if you're so inclined. And you still have the WorkMate available when the wife needs shelves . . .

I mount my case trimmer on a block of 2 X 4 and clamp in the wood vise on the bench. Same thing with my RCBS standing primer tool.

I work left to right, right handed, and I place bullets in the neck with my left hand.

Single stage press, I have two . . . Far left is set up for belling, then the Uniflow powder measure, then the seating press. I provide ample room for clearance between the powder measure and the seating press. The first "belling" press is on the left so nothing in the way on its left side.

The Uniflow measure comes off its flat bracket when I'm using the press on the left for depriming.

-- You'll work out your own system. But work it out on a cheap plank and leave the WorkMate intact.


Head to Target and purchase a couple of those folding, wood, "beach tables" that set up about chair height. This lets you set out your components on a table that's not part of your working area. You're going to need more bench area than the WorkMate will provide.

Stack up RubberMaid bins are decent for storing the gear. With the lid on it, the bin makes a decent small work table.

You can remove the plank from the WorkMate and stow it standing on it's side in the closet along with the bins, folding tables, WorkMate, etc.

Apartment living *does* suck . . . right?


[This message has been edited by Dimitri (edited October 09, 2000).]
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Old October 9, 2000, 02:09 PM   #4
Southla1
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I swear guys one of these days I am going to take some pictures of my bench and reloading shop and all and scan them . Not that its the best or smartest layout but maybe, just maybe, it may help someone or someone an idea. I made the bench top out of 2X4's laminated together and have it L shaped. I then covered it with a piece of woodgrained wall paneling. The press is on right, with plenty of free space right in front in the middle for different items. I also have 3 holes drilled there for my MRC shotgun shell press for when its time to load shotshells. The Lyman 450 lube-sizer for the cast bullets is on the short part of the "L" on my left. I built shelves over the bench out of 1X12 spruce and finished it with about 4 or 5 coats of "sand&seal". that way when they get dusty they clean right off with a damp rag.

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Old October 10, 2000, 08:20 AM   #5
Sport45
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My 550B is mountd on a piece of 2x6 and C-clamped to the end of my bench. The bench is VERY heavy, made of 4x4's, 2x6's, and landscape timbers. (You don't want your workbench to sway when you are sawing or planing a block of wood clamped to it!) I put my brass behind and to the right of the press, and my bullets to the left. On the downstroke I am reaching for a bullet, and after seating the primer on the upstroke I reach past and pick up the next brass. Works well for me. How many of you guy find you often drop the first loaded round on the floor because you forgot to put the bullet tray back? Hope it's not just me!

[This message has been edited by Sport45 (edited October 10, 2000).]
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Old October 10, 2000, 08:32 AM   #6
posigian
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Thanks for the all of the replies so far. I notice a lot of guys end up using wood that is closer to 2" thick to mount their press. How important is the thickness of your wood?

He is what I have been working on so far:

Workmate has a 3/4" plywood bolted on top. It measures 3'x2'and hangs over the edge of the work mate by 2 1/2" to be able to mount the press with some bolts.

It seems very sturdy and I think it will work, but should I concider using a thicker piece of wood as the bench top?



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Old October 10, 2000, 09:05 AM   #7
Southla1
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Posigian, the thickness of the wood is where you get your strength from. For regular re-loading it is not that critical but as you expand and start some operations such as case forming it becomes critical. At one time when I was "space challenged" I was using a table with dressed 1" cypress on top, now a dressed 1" is only 3/4" thick. The press was bolted to that and during just a full length sizing on an 06 case the wood split. That is why the last 2 benches that I have built are 2X4 with a 4X4 frame and lag screwed to the studs in the wall. like the man says "it ain't going nowhere"


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Old October 11, 2000, 07:38 AM   #8
Sport45
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I mounted my 550B to a 2-by for strength. The thickness also allows you to countersink the nuts for a flush bottom. That way the board doesn't have to overhang your bench giving even more stability.
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Old October 11, 2000, 05:15 PM   #9
Jbar4Ranch
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My main bench is framed with 2x4's with 4x4's for legs and 1" plywood for a top with a shelf underneath made of 1/2" plywood. My Lyman 450 is mounted on the left bench which started out life as a sewing machine table and now has a chunk of 3/4" high density particle board for a top.


Gotta upgrade those two old presses with a 550 someday.....
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