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Old May 13, 2009, 12:30 PM   #1
Citywaterman
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NRMA reloading bench

I'm getting ready to build the NRMA reload bench. I have a small room that it will fit perfectly. I priced most of the materials with the exception of a few odds and ends. I plan to cut the plywood this weekend. Gathering all the bolts and screws will take time. I finally found the double track for the slidding doors. This bench is big (by the plans) but is exactly what I want. I told my wife that I planned to build my own bench. She may not realize exactly what I have in mind. These plans have been around for awhile (also displayed on the RCBS catalog cover). Has anyone build one of these reloading benches? Any opinions? Any suggestions? If you built this bench, can you post a photo? I'm looking forward to building this one. Thanks, Citywaterman
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Old May 13, 2009, 04:02 PM   #2
FlyFish
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I built an NRMA bench from the plans over 30 years ago and am still happily using it. It's been disassembled and reassembled twice for moves and still does everything I need it to. I followed the plans pretty much exactly except for the top - a chemist friend of mine had given me a piece of synthetic stone lab benchtop that his company was throwing out and I modified the plans so I could use that instead of the plywood (as I recall) top that's specified. I also made the legs a bit longer to better suit how I like to work.

As the years have gone on, my stash of supplies has outgrown the storage area available in the bench, so I now use it in conjunction with some cabinets and shelving, but it's still my main work area. I'm traveling at the moment and don't have a photo to post, but I'll try to get one up when I get home.
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Old May 13, 2009, 08:04 PM   #3
NuJudge
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It lends itself to customization

I'm 6'4" so I made the legs longer, and I made the top out of 2x12's.

I've moved twice also (never again), and it comes apart ok. If I'd known I was going to move twice I would have used Lag screws with hexagonal heads, not the slotted screws the directions said to use. I'd have also counter sunk the screw heads.

CDD
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Old May 13, 2009, 09:22 PM   #4
Randy 1911
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Where can I get a set of plans? I need a new bench. How big is it? Do you have a picture?
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Old May 13, 2009, 11:21 PM   #5
Citywaterman
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The Plans

I picked up the plans on the internet. I googled NRMA Bench plans and I got all sorts of links. The NRMA does not have a website anymore. Not sure what happened. THe plans are 4 pages, with a material list and instructions step by step. Not sure how much the materials will cost. I know that I will need 3 sheets of 3/4 ply, a sheet of 1/4" ply, some 2x4s, 2x6's and a couple 4x4's. Miss bolts and screws. The plans have everything laid out nicely. I plan to cut out the wood this weekend. This will be a two weekend project (I work a lot). I found a picture of the bench on the internet. Not sure who built this bench, but he did a real nice job. It looks big. 72" wide by 34" deep. The plan shows 42" for the bench top. That can be shortened. Here's the picture. Looks nice.
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File Type: jpg NRMAReloadingBench.jpg (63.8 KB, 821 views)
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Old May 13, 2009, 11:24 PM   #6
Citywaterman
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Photos of your NRMA bench

I will post a picture of my bench when I finish it. If you built one of these benches, please post a photo of it. It a nice bench. I heard the plans have been around for years. I believe the RCBS catalog has one of these benches on their front cover.
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Old May 13, 2009, 11:44 PM   #7
Tex S
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See post #14 here:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...eloading+bench

It is the coolest NRMA bench I have ever seen.

Oh wait... thats my bench!

Quote:
I finally found the double track for the slidding doors.
Don't sweat the doors. The guy that built mine had to order the track from somewhere, and when he finally got it I had been using the bench without doors for a month or so. I told him I liked it better with no doors. The doors would just be a PITA. Open, close, open, close, open, close, yada yada yada. Try it without the doors first. If you decide you want them you can always add them later. I am in and out of those shelves so much I would have probably already worn a set of doors out, and my bench is only 6 months old!!! If you are tall you might wanna add length to the legs. I also definitely recommend the drawer and removeable press mounts.

Just my $.02

Last edited by Tex S; May 13, 2009 at 11:57 PM.
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Old May 14, 2009, 12:10 AM   #8
Randy 1911
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I found the plans. Here's the link. http://dennymac.com/bench/
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Old May 14, 2009, 08:44 AM   #9
Citywaterman
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No doors

I found some double track for the doors ($18 for a 72" rail). I will hold off with the doors for awhile to see how I like it. In order to keep my wife happy, I may need to install the doors so that it won't be so cluttered (in apprearance). I've seen some pretty cluttered reloading benches. I like the idea of a center drawer for easy to get to supplies. I checked the link and I really like the look and the functionality of the NRMA bench. I'm not tall (5'6"), so I will need to shorten the legs a little. 42" seems a little high for my height. I've read that elbow height is good. I tend to stand at a work bench. Appreciate all the comments. Citywaterman
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Old May 14, 2009, 09:35 AM   #10
Citywaterman
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Center drawer and bench top material

Tex, You built a great looking bench. Was the drawer easy to build? After I get my bench built, I would like to add a drawer. Is the bench top laminate? Thanks, Citywaterman
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Old May 14, 2009, 12:23 PM   #11
Tex S
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Quote:
Tex, You built a great looking bench. Was the drawer easy to build? After I get my bench built, I would like to add a drawer. Is the bench top laminate? Thanks, Citywaterman
I didn't build it. I have a buddy who is a cabinet builder and I traded him some swimming pool work for it. The top is black laminate.

I really like the drawer. I keep my little stuff life calipers, micrometers, bushings, lockrings, etc. in there. You need to be careful though. If you are planning on mounting a press in the middle of the bench the drawer will not open (most presses hang too low). I am right handed and it is easier for me to have the press mounted on the right side of the bench anyway.
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Old May 14, 2009, 03:21 PM   #12
FlyFish
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As promised (see Post #2), here a photo of my NRMA bench with the stone lab benchtop:

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Old May 14, 2009, 05:20 PM   #13
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I built mine around 20 years ago. Followed the plans exactly. If I were to build it again, I would use nicer plywood (Birch veneer I think is the upgrade). It costs about $10 more a sheet, but the bench looks so good, it is worth it. I cut the doors from plywood as the plans called for, but being so thin, they didn't keep their shape. So I made another set from masonite, and they have been perfect. Much better looking than the plywood.

I have moved mine several times. If your going to keep it in a room or basement with a 30 inch door, you have to remove the jam strip to get the legs through.

A very solid bench.
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Old May 14, 2009, 09:17 PM   #14
D1lazarus
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I have built the same bench myself with modifications just like everyone else. I used 12x12 commercial vinyl tile for my top. Easy to remove and replace if they get too damaged.
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Old May 15, 2009, 03:01 PM   #15
Citywaterman
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Nice bench

FlyFish, I like how your bench looks. The stone top is a nice addition. I will look at some bench top options other than the plain plywood top. Maybe formica or plexiglass. The commercial 12" vinyl tile sounds like a good idea too. I'm not sure what I'll do with the doors. I'll build the bench first, then decide. Not sure if I should leave it plain, paint it or stain with polyurethane. Either way, this is an awesome bench. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old June 5, 2009, 01:51 PM   #16
Citywaterman
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My NRMA reloading bench

I posted a new thread "My NRMA reloading bench" with photos and cost of materials.
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